Home defeat for the Bannsiders by neighbours

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Coleraine fell to a 17-shot defeat at home to table-toppers Ballymoney last Monday at a cold and wet Lodge Road.

The Bannsiders were coming off the back of a good 7-0 away win over Ballycastle, however, they were down a few players for this match as Ballymoney looked to keep up their good league form having defeated Cookstown at home in their last outing.

It was a good start from the Lodge Road men as they opened up an early three shot advantage on the visitors before the Co. Antrim lads took a four shot lead at the halfway stage. Despite regaining the lead again, the Coleraine men slipped 15-shots behind with five ends remaining before eventually falling to an 81-64 defeat to a strong Ballymoney outfit.

On rink one, David Gaile’s men had a very good win against Alastair Steele’s quartet. It was a good start from the home rink as they opened up a narrow two shot advantage before a count of four on the 9th end had them nine shots to the good. Gaile’s men continued to play good bowls but the Ballymoney boys kept pegging away and reduced the deficit to five shots with a handful of ends remaining before the home quartet sealed a very good 23-14 victory.

It was a tough night at the office for the rink of Freddie Monahan, Jim Duncan, David Reilly and Ian Ross as they lost out to Gary Kelly on rink two. The home quartet were five shots in arrears after five ends of play and it was a similar story at the halfway mark in the game. A run of bad ends for the Coleraine men saw them trail by 16 shots with five ends remaining before they fell to a disappointing 30-12 defeat.

Over on rink four, ‘The TV Rink’, Victor Dallas’ four had a very good win over Willie McCaw’s quartet. It was a steady start for the home rink as they opened up an early three shot lead before a count of three had them seven shots to the good.

Jordan Dallas, Jimmy O’Neill, Mark Mason and Victor continued to bowl well and moved five shots clear with a handful of ends remaining before Mark ditched the jack in the last end as the Coleraine lads claimed a hard fought 17-13 victory.

It was a difficult night for Ally Davison’s men on rink three against the unbeaten Brian McAlary quartet. Paul O’Neill, Trevor Steele, Alan Irwin and Ally Davison had a great start as they opened up an early three shot advantage on the visitors.

However, McAlary stepped up a gear and lifted 11 shots in four ends to open up a nine shot lead at the halfway stage of the game. With a handful of ends remaning, Davison and his rink trailed by 12 shots before eventually slipping to a 24-12 defeat.

Despite being short a few players, Coleraine will be disappointed with the 5-2 defeat, in what has been a poor campaign for the Bannsiders. Ballymoney are now 6.5 points clear at the top of the table with two games remaining.

Meanwhile, Coleraine remain third in the Senior League table and complete their campaign next Saturday at home to City of Derry as they look to finish on a high before regrouping for next season.