Bowls: Double triumph for Cookstown

Damian McElroy helped Cookstown achieve two victories in six days. Pic: Alan Donnelly

Damian McElroy helped Cookstown achieve two victories in six days. Pic: Alan Donnelly

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Dunluce 74 (1.5)

Cookstown 87 (5.5)

Cookstown travelled to Bushmills to take on a Dunluce team who where on a three match winning streak and fielded a strong team against the Cookies.

Colin Hogg, Philip Wallace, Damien and Marc McCracken faced the Dunluce rink skipped by Barry Kane.

Colins rink got off to a solid start and they fustrated Kane and his rink for long periods in the game and had taken an early lead.

Dunluce battled hard in this rink match and going into the last end Cookstown held a two shot advantage. In the last end Dunluce claimed 2 shots by virtue of a close measure to earn them half a point.

Damien McElroy, Trevor Vance, William Lennox and Chris McKnight where pitted against Paul Moore’s rink. Early exchanges in this match where close with the green very heavy.

After 10 ends Damien and his rink went into a 15-10 lead and had hoped to carry on the momentum through the rest of the match. Cookstown never really got going after this and with too many short bowls Dunluce seized their chance without doing anything special and ran home winners to snatch victory from a below par McElroy rink.

Liam McHugh, Eric Sands, Barry Brannigan and Ashley Wright came up against Mervyn McKeeman. Liam and his rink controlled this game from start to finish, though nearly shot themselves in the foot. With two ends remaining Liam and his rink had a five shot advantage and looked certain to grab their point.

On the 20th end Liam’s rink lost a crazy count of six to remarkably leave them trailing by one going into the last end.

As always Liam and Eric rallied their rink for one final push and this paided off with the Cookies pick up a count of two to win the match.

Cookstown’s Mark Wilson, Thomas McAleavey, Aaron Ward and Jonathan Shepard came head to head with Uel McKeeman. As in past weeks Mark and his rink where in no mood to hang around and lifted big counts of shots to settle Cookie nerves across the green. Credit to Thomas, Aaron and Jonathan who along with Mark recorded a great victory against Uel 26-14.

Cookstown 88 (6)

Ballycastle 68 (1)

Cookstown where strongly expected to record a victory against a Ballycastle team yet to record a league victory this season.

Though Cookstown taken nothing for granted as two weeks previous Ballycastle produced a great Victory in the Irish Cup against a fancied Larne team.

Cookstown picked up six of the seven points in this match, a far from vintage performance though points on the board is crucial.

The league is entering a povital stage and it’s boiling down to a two horse race between the Cookies and Ballymoney. Even with the Cookies undefeated this season after 12 matches, Ballymoney still hold a two point lead at the top of the league even with the Cookies defeating them early in the season.

Ballymoney have been scoring heavier in other matches. Cookstown face trips to Ballymoney, Coleraine and Portrush in the coming weeks which will determine where the league title ends up.

Though morale in the camp is good, still in the Irish Cup and with Dunbarton to play in the coming weeks the Cookies are up for the fight.