Northern Zone Championship Finals night held in Ballybrakes Stadium

Thursday, 12 January 2017

THE Northern Zone held their Championship finals last Friday in Ballybrakes Stadium with the large crowd of spectators treated to an evening of nail biting deciders.
In the Ladies' Triples 2nd Kilrea took on Finvoy Presbyterian. This was a good game with the scores inter-changing end after end. After seven ends the score was five-four in Finvoy's favour.
They then picked up a further three shots in the next end which left 2nd. Kilrea too big a hill to climb, leaving Finvoy (Amy Young, Elizabeth McAuley and Jacquelin Jones) the winners.
The Open Triples was no less entertaining with Loughanreagh taking on Ballyrashane Prebyterian. Loughanreagh's superiority was seen early on and they raced into a six-one lead.
Ballyrashane however began to settle and after eight ends they led by a shot. They also added another shot in the final end to win 10 shots to eight shots.
The final of the fours saw the Marian take on Loughanreagh. On paper this looked a close one to call but in the end the Marian proved the steadier outfit and although they lost the first end they came back to win the next six ends to take a 10 shots to two shot lead which Loughanreagh were unable to eat into and so it was Aidan Reid, Chris Brogan, Terrance McGarry and William McCaw (Marian) who go on to represent the Northern Zone at the Championships in April.
The Ladies' Pairs was also very intense with Finvoy Presbyterian up against Burnside. Burnside won the first two ends but back came Finvoy to level the match after five ends.
Again, Burnside gained a small advantage only to see their opponents come back at them. Going into the last end Burnside led by three shots and although Finvoy won the last end it was not enough to knock Burnside of the pedestal. Winners' Patricia Williamson/Tanya Everett (Burnside).
The Open Pairs (Section One) was contested between two pairs from Finvoy Presbyterian. This was a real ding-dong game with no quarter asked or no quarter given. There was never any more than a single shot separating the teams and playing the final end Stephen Young and Mark Jones led Adam Hunter and Joe Moore eight shots to seven. In the final end with his final bowl big Joe turned out the lying opponent's bowl to pick up three shots and the match.
In Section Two of the Open Pairs, St. Mary's were up against Loughanreagh. Edwin Irwin and Nigel Gamble (Loughanreagh) showed their dominance early on and at eight ends many thought the game was over. Kevin McNamee and Declann McCann (St. Mary's) had other ideas for they won 5 shots in the last two ends to clinch the game.
Then came the "old boys" which saw Harold Williamson and John Nicholl (Burnside) playing Ivan Smyth and Nicky McCaw (2nd. KIlrea) in the over 55's competition.
The Kilrea pair went into an early lead and after five ends they were four shots in front. Then Burnside won the next three ends to go into the final end only one shot down. But Smyth and McCaw held their nerve and picked up a further 2 shots to see them safely through.


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