Bowls: Cookstown exit Senior Cup to Belmont

Colin Hogg enjoyed victory on his rink but his team mates weren't so lucky. Pic: Alan Donnelly.
Colin Hogg enjoyed victory on his rink but his team mates weren't so lucky. Pic: Alan Donnelly.

Cookstown travelled to Belmont in the last 16 of the Irish Senior Cup but just lost out to their Belfast opponents.

This match was billed as tie of the round with these two heavyweights meeting for a place in the quarter finals.

The weather was fantastic and Cookstown knew before the match the they would have to adapt very quickly to Belmont’s fast paced green.

Belmont got off to a great start in the match with Mark Wilson, Thomas McAleavey, William Lennox and Jonathon Shepard drop a count of 6 in the first end. No panic set in and with 20 ends remaining this Cookstown rink always fight to the end.

Though as the game went on it was Belmont who had taken control and had raced into a 25-12 lead at 15 ends.

Credit to this rink who never gave up and scored some fine shots in the remaining six ends to eventually narrowly lose 29-21.

Liam McHugh, Eric Sands, Barry Brannigan and Ashley Wright faced Belmont’s Rob Horner. There was a fine display of bowling on both rinks in this match, with McHugh and Sands loving the pace of the fast green and Wright and Brannigan playing good front end bowls.

Belmont’s skip took the jack into the ditch in the latter stages of the match when initially going for another shot. His wee bit of luck was enough for Belmont to narrowly win this match by two shots.

Damien McElroy, Sean Quinn, Philip Wallace and Chris McKnight came up against Terry Mulholland. Cookstown lifted a two in the first end though it was the end of their scoring for a while as Belmont ran into a 10-2 lead after nine ends.

McElroy and his rink always had bowls in the area though Belmont where far sharper on the pace of their green and always had a reply to most Cookstown heads that they had built. Belmont picked up a four in the last end to win by eleven shots.

Stand out rink for Cookstown was the rink of Colin Hogg, Trevor Vance, Damien McCracken and Tommy Johnston.

Front end play in every rink is crucial and Johnston and McCracken where certainly putting in a superb shift of bowling.

Trevor Vance and Colin when called upon added more bowls to the count. Credit to this rink who won by 18 shots and one stage with their heavy scoring had reduced the overall deficit across the rinks to ten shots.

Though it was Belmont’s day and fully deserved their win by 16 shots who now face Ballymena away in the quarter final.