BOWLS: Larne Zone see off South Down in style

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Following years of under-achievement and rebuilding, the Larne Zone now seem to have a team capable of competing with the best.

On Saturday South Down were comprehensively out-bowled as Larne booked their place in the semi-finals of the Plate competition with an emphatic 50+ shot success.

The Kilwaughter mats strategy for home games had proved fruitless last season and for the opening game this year, but finally the whole team looked comfortable and at home on these lightning fast big-swinging surfaces.

Larne effectively won the game in the first half with all three home rinks claiming victory to set up a 34-shot half-time lead.

Simon Bell’s men made the early running to lead 8-0 after three ends. The opposition skip played well but could only keep the scores down as Bell’s Bowling Club rink won by a comfortable nine-shot margin.

Tom Bodles got back to winning ways as his new-look rink finished strongly to win by six. Andy Thom’s men scored heavily in their game, including a maximum count of eight as they ran out 19-shot winners.

With the big guns still to come in the second half, the Larne team was 100 per cent confident of success.

Alan McLean’s rink started slowly but soon took control of the game to record their third success in as many outings.

Nigel Todd’s rink was also looking for its third win of the campaign, but in the spirit of the game decided to afford the opposition one rink win.

Darren Witherspoon’s men were not so charitable, running out 19-0 winners.

The next match, away to Armagh on January 25, will be a huge test for the Larne men.

Rink scores

A Mairs, E Wilson, A Bell and Simon Bell won 14-5

R McCudden, D Montgomery, S. Beggs and T Bodles won 16-10

R Robinson, Stephen Bell, D. McRandal and A Thom won 23-4

G Woods, G Girvan, J Semple and A McLean won 11-4

S Witherspoon, A Rankin, J Burns and N Todd lost 5-14

S Young, S Gingles, M Petticrew and D Witherspoon won 19-0

See this week’s Times for the latest news from the Larne Indoor Bowls League