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On Saturday morning the ladies were at home to Crumlin. This was very low scoring game per the BLI web site 10 – 7 (a cumulative 17 shots after 16 ends). With 12 ends played the scores were level but Railway won 3 of the last 4 ends to win by 3 shots. A great result. Their next game is Saturday the 11th of June away to St James Gate.

On Saturday afternoon the 1st team played Newtownabbey. This was a hard fought, disappointing cup game loss. Newtownabbey skipped happily down the lane an hour before the start and then got even happier as they partook of Brendan’s ales in the bar. This seemed to work for them as they were very relaxed starting the game. The game was played a different paces with Billy’s rink finishing 4 ends before the final rink of Derek’s. low scoring game punctured by heavy rain showers we came away with a 6 – 1 win. The final score was 67 – 62 a 5 shot difference. All rinks won the 21 end with a total of 6 shots earned which highlights how the game could have gone either way. After 10 ends it was looking like a easy win as we were 41 – 21 up but by 15 ends the score had narrowed to 52 – 42. The next 5 ends had the Gate fighting back to leave the overall result in the balance going into the last end. Thankfully all rinks got their act together on the final end and we came away with a hard fought win.

Billy’s rink of Ian, Tim and Carrick were involved in a great tussle with a rink skipped by one of the happier NewtownAbbey players. The game was tight with no team able to pull away from the other. After 19 ends with the overall score looking bad for Railway they were 2 down but got 4 shots on the 20 end to lead by 2 shots. They were 4 ends ahead of the rest going into the last end and it looked like Railway were in a lot of trouble being down 10 shots overall. So a big count was the primary objective. With the skips to bowl we were lying 4 shots and there was a discussion on whether Billy should try for a blocker or go for another shot. The way the overall score looked we decided for another shot. Then it was their happy skippers go and he played a very good shot that trailed the jack and cut our lead down to 1 shot. Then with his final wood he went through a mine field of scattered bowls and drew to 2 inches from the jack a brilliant shot which as things conspired was the winning of the match. Railway won 24 – 23 but looked like it was going to me much better until the last 2 bowls.

Nigel’s rink of Bryan, Viv and Dave sped into a 10 – 1 and we all thought “great Nigel’s crew will carry us home”. but NewtownAbbey had other ideas and bit by bit the clawed themselves back into the game. At 15 – 10 up we were still in control when we lost a 6 and were suddenly 1 down. This was a blow that was never recovered from and the final score was 16 – 25

Fiachra’s rink of John H, Paddy and Jerry seemed to be in control for most of the game but could not shake off the opposition who who came back to 1 shot behind near the end but at the same time as Derek’s ring got 4 shots so did Fiachra rink which helped drag Railway back into the overall game. When they left the green they had won 21 – 17. and Railway were only 4 behind.

Derek’s rink of Paul, Zach and Ultan were in another tight match. But entering the last 6 ends they were struggling to stay with the opposition. Then they got a 4 to catch up. But on the 20th end with everyone else finish and the team down 4 shots it looked all over when Newtownabbey were holding 3 shot when Derek played his last shot. He attacked the jack and trailed it 4 yards into the ditch and were holding 5. The Newtownabbey skip couldn’t save any shots so railway went the last end 1 shot up. The tension got to all bowlers but the newtownabbey number 3 put 2 bowls within 2 feet of the jack o take the tie by 1 shot. Derek’s team ended up winning 22 – 19.

So a 83 shots to 84 shots (1 shot loss). Congratulations to Newtownabbey and good luck to them in the next round.

The next game is on Saturday 11th of June at home to Herbert Park.

On Monday night the second teams match was away to Westmanstown. It was a very tight game overall with the final score of 39 – 43. 1 point to 5. Their next game is on Monday 13th of June away to The Bank.

Pat’s rink of Paul k, David and Joe fought hard at the start but struggled with the large Westmanstown green and were 4 – 7 down after 6 ends. This got worse as they only won 1 end out of the next 6 and found themselves 5 – 16 down after 12. A mini fight back reduced the difference to 10 – 16 after 16 ends. but the oppo won the last 2 ends to win 10 – 20.

Graham’s ring of Tim, Brendan B and Tony were our only winners on the night. It was a tight game for the first half with the score tied after 9 ends at 9 – 9. A 5 on the 10th end gave them breathing space. The last 8 ends were again tight but they did not give away any big scores and won 19 – 14.

Drew’s rink of Brian, Rory and John start slow and were 3 – 10 down after 10 ends before they started to win most of the ends and entering the final end they were only 10 – 11 down. The last end in Drew’s words. Brian played a cracking 1st bowl to lie on the Jack, only to be nudged off, then Rory got it back again only for him to get nudged off. John just missed things, with all our bowls at the back and one eye on the overall score there was no point on drawing the shot, my first one just went a foot wide, I tightened up my 2nd, but over done it, got a rub, to just pass in front of jack, but was not to be.

On Wednesday in the Baird cup Derek, Carrick and Drew played another Dun Laoghaire team. Like most games in the BLI championships this was a hard fought affair. Both teams seemed to score in batches. After 9 ends we were were leading 9 – 4. after 12 ends the score was 9 – 9. We got a 3 and a 4 in the next 3 ends to lead 16 -11. But going into the final end the score was 16 -13. We matched each of their bowls and were lying 1 when their skip played his last wood. He fired heavy into the pack, took the jack back into the ditch but only ended up with 2 shots. So the final score 16 – 15 and into the Quarter finals they go.