Larne welcomed NIBA Division Two side Donaghadee on Saturday in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup.
International Andy Kyle was up for a run in the cup and gave his team-mates a few words of encouragement which seemed to do the trick. The Larne men got off to a great start and had the game in the bag from the opening ends.
Michael Murphy’s quartet raced into a commanding 12-2 lead after 10 ends and they went on to win comfortably, 22-13.
Alan McLean missed the pre-game team talk, and more significantly his talismanic lead, but was well in touch trailing 8-10 after 10. The second half belonged to the visitors as they put McLean in trouble and he eventually succumbed to a 13-22 defeat.
Kyle’s four were inspired through the first half of their game and had built up a massive 19-2 lead.
Nigel Todd and Simon Bell decorated the jack with yellow and blue bowls, while their strong backend of Paul Robinson and Kyle consolidated.
The visiting skip saved a count of eight on the 11th end and produced a brilliant personal performance thereafter to reduce his deficit to nine. The Larne rink can be very pleased with their 23-14 success.
David McRandal, ably assisted by Brian Smyth, Chris Snoddy and Gavin Johnston, led 12-4 after 10.
The opposition lead peppered the jack continuously in the second half, only to be outdone by Snoddy, who gave a master-class of aggressive bowling from second. McRandal’s men again gelled well for a 23-13 success but the plaudits must go to Larne’s youngest player.
Larne progressed with a 19-shot success, but will face a tougher challenge against NIBA Division One team Lisnagarvey in the next round.
This Saturday Larne are on the road for a league game against champions Dunbarton.
The Private Greens Senior Trials take place on Thursday with five Larne players involved: Andy Kyle, Darren Witherspoon, Michael Murphy, Alan McLean and Chris Snoddy. Simon Bell makes his first venture as a PGL selector, when he will be aiming to help find the winning combinations for a successful Inter-Association Series.