Oriel Men involved in nail biter with Larne

The current champions Oriel were involved in a titanic tussle with Larne that not alone came down to the last end but the last bowlAfter cruising past South Tyrone in the last  round, Oriel went into the game with high hopes.  However the question on everyone’s minds was could oriel manage the extremely quick mats.

John Murnaghan began like a house on fire racing into a 9-0 but Larne were counteracting this with leads of 4-1 and 5-1. Things went from bad to worse for Paul and Niall’s rink respectively with Paul 8-1 down and Niall 7-1 down after  5 ends but John was still keeping up the pressure leading 10-3 including an incredible toucher into the ditch for 1. Niall began his comeback with a count of 3 in the 6th end and with an end to spare was 8-8. In the last end he dropped 1 to lose by 1. Paul was having zero luck and everything he played for broke wrong. On another day and better mat he may have won. He did however pick up 2 singles in the last 2 ends to lose by 9. This would be vital later on. John ended up winning by 14-7

Mat 1Mat 1Mat 2Mat 2Mat 3Mat 3
T MartinJ FoxM Savage
S TraynorJ McMahonA Meegan
K Trainor J HandM Hand
J Murnaghan A ThomN HandJ KerrP DuffC Snoody

ht score  Larne 28-25 Oriel

All to play for 2nd half but respect must be given to Larne for their play on the mat in the first half and then arguably the best tea we’ve had

Second half

Oriel needed a quick start but received anything but with Gerry McCabe going 6-1 down and Paddy Hanlon losing by 2. Stephen McMahon however was keeping us in the game leading by 4. The Larne rinks were all playing incredible and every time it looked like Oriel would gain and advantage with a count Larne would reply with their own. 3 times Oriel brought the game to within 4 but Larne pulled away again to double figures. With 3 ends to go on each mat oriel were 11 shots down. Suddenly the oriel team sprung into life and showed their never say die attitude. Stephen picked up 2 shots. Gerry picked up another 2 after popping a toucher in and paddy drew to the line for shot. If anybody went in with nails, they were well gone by now.  Gerry then picked up another 2 stephen 1 and paddy 1 to take the game to within 2 playing the last run of ends. Stephen again picked up 1 to win his game 10-9. Paddy played and incredible last bowl to pick up 2 leaving oriel one shot up playing the final end. Fra Dillon sunk the jack to within 18inches and with the best back bowl looked promising. Darren Witherspoon had a chance with his last bowl for shot but narrowly missed leaving oriel with an extremely hard fought victory.

Mat 1Mat 1Mat 2Mat 2Mat 3Mat 3
N MackinA ReelR Hanlon
S McParlandD McMahonS Hand
S TrainorF DillonC Mackin
S McMahonM PetticrewG McCabeD Witherspoon P HanlonA McClean

Today was an extremely tough test and credit to Larne for putting it to us. On another day they could have taken us but our team dug deap in the last few ends to answer the question posed. An incredible overall team performance by oriel. Nail biting thrilling and incredible bowls played between both teams. How Zone bowls should be played