POV 4 – The start of the Cups

 

PG Cup Review

Only one shock with Cavehill from Division 3 beating a shorthanded Cliftonville from Division 2. That means Ards, Ballymena A, Dunbarton, Ballywalter, Hilden, Ewarts, Pickie, Salisbury and Belmont all won. Shaftesbury beat Shorts by 15 shots in the all Division 3 clash while Willowfield will be delighted to progress after sneaking through by 3 shots at Transport.

IBA Cup Review

No great shocks in the Senior IBA Cup with Belmont, Pickie, Larne, Mossley, Old Bleach and Ballymena winning. Unfortunately that means U Transport, Ards, Falls and Forth River couldn’t create an upset against teams from other associations.

The Junior Cup saw Willowfield, Pickie, Falls and Ewarts win but Larne, Mossley and Comber lose.

Division 1

Review

Old Bleach recorded an emphatic 22 shot win over local rivals Ballymena, in large part due to Michael Nutt’s 27 shot win over Nigel Robinson. Ards and Transport fought out a draw that neither will be completely happy with. Dunbarton added to Willowfield’s tough start by taking 5.5 from their trip to Cregagh. Larne hosted Pickie and took the majority of the points mostly due to a 13 shot win by McLean’s men. Belmont travelled to Ewarts and left with a good 6 points. With 3 matches played and Ewarts, Transport, Ards and Willowfield yet to record a win it looks like it will be a scrap at the bottom.

Pickie v Belmont

Dunbarton v Larne

U Transport v Willowfield

Ballymena v Ards

Old Bleach v Ewarts

Preview

Pickie will need to be on their game with Belmont coming to Broadway. Dunbarton should be too good for Larne in the longest trip of the week. Ballymena will be looking to bounce back with a big win against Ards. Willowfield will be hoping to repeat the success of their recent visit to Jordanstown in the PG Cup when they won by 3 shots. Old Bleach will want to build on their fine win over Ballymena when Ewarts visit.

Division 2

Review

In the battle at the top Ballywalter left Fruithill with 5 points and were joined at the summit by Mossley who won comfortably against Comber. Hilden recorded a 6 point 40 shot win over Forth River to jump to 4th in the table. Cliftonville made the short trip to Castleton and took 5 points. Salisbury recorded an excellent win over NICS with only JJ Leonards’s rink denying a maximum 7 points. I’m just glad I don’t play there more than once a season.

Cliftonville v NICS

Comber v Castleton

Ballywalter v Mossley

Forth River v Falls

Hilden v Salisbury

Preview

NICS travel to Cliftonville and need to bounce back from a heavy loss. Comber against Castleton is a battle to avoid being bottom. Ballywalter and Mossley are the only 2 unbeaten teams in the league but only one will remain so on Saturday night. Forth River v Falls was a Senior 1 fixture last year and both have tasted defeat in Division 2 this year. Hilden have won both home matches and Salisbury have lost their only away fixture.

Division 3

Review

Knock finally got a rink win but unfortunately for them Shorts won the match 5-2. Gallaher took all 7 off PSNI. Cavehill beat Shaftesbury by 40 shots and took 6 points. Ballymena B beat Saintfield in the match of the week with R Torrington’s 14 shot win being the main difference in an otherwise tight match. North Belfast thrashed Belmont B by 38 shots but the visitors still left with a point.

Saintfield v Belmont B

Shaftesbury v Ballymena B

PSNI v Cavehill

Shorts v Gallaher

Knock v North Belfast

Preview

Saintfield should bounce back from their loss last week to beat Belmont B. Shaftesbury have the unenviable task of trying to beat Ballymena B this week. PSNI host Cavehill and I think the visitors sneak a win. Shorts host Gallaher and I think home advantage will be the difference. Knock will hope this week sees them get a win when North Belfast come across town.

Division 4

Review

Downpatrick made the long trip to Ballymena and the journey was worthwhile as they left with 5 points. Malone sneaked past Falls despite Pat Butler being outstanding for the last few ends (the otherwise shy and retiring Pat told me so himself!). Larne will be delighted with a win at Broadway.

Downpatrick v Pickie B

Larne B v Dunbarton B

Willowfield B v Malone

Falls B v Ballymena C

Belfast v Old Bleach B

Belmont C have a bye

Preview

Pickie have a big challenge this weekend with a trip to the early pace setters Downpatrick. Larne have a chance to make it 3 from 3 but Dunbarton may have different ideas. Willowfield will be hoping for a big win when Malone visit. Falls against Ballymena is a tough game to call. Belfast will need to make home advantage count when Old Bleach come calling.

Division 5

Review

4 teams remain unbeaten after 3 matches, Ards, Ewarts, Hilden and Mossley though the last 2 had close calls this week against Forth River and Shaftesbury respectively. Comber not only managed to field a team this week but beat Cavehill. Albert Foundry went to Cliftonville and recorded an 11 shot win.

Mossley B v Cliftonville B

A Foundry v Comber B

Cavehill B v U Transport B

Ards B v Forth River B

Ewarts B v Hilden B

Belmont D v Shaftesbury B

Preview

Mossley and Ards are aiming for 4 in a row this week while the game of the week is Ewarts v Hilden and I’m not brave enough to call it. Albert Foundry have an excellent chance to make it a treble when Comber visit. Cavehill and Transport will be fighting for their first win and Shaftesbury will be seeking the same at Belmont.