There was to be disappointment for Western Men’s team in the Inter-Zone final as they went down to reigning champions Oriel.

All appeared to be going well for Western as they built up a 33-20 lead by the halfway stage but the second half of the game was to belong to Oriel who over-turned the deficit to run out comprehensive 57-42 victors in the end.

In the first half of the game it was a struggle for Karol Bradshaw’s rink of Alan Browne in lead, Trevor Morrison second and Niall Cox in third against a rink skipped by S Traynor with Karol’s rink four shots down after three ends played. In the fourth end Western picked up three shots but over the course of the next four ends they found themselves trailing 11–3 before gaining a single shot in each of the ninth and tenth ends to lose 11–5. Credit is due to Karol’s rink for sticking at it with shots just not going their way. On Mat 2, Ally Graham’s rink with Roly Nixon leading, second Norman Noble, third I McElroy played a rink skipped by S Conroy. Both tied the first end with a no score, in the next end Ally picked up three shots and dropped a single in the third end but in the fourth end a tally of five shots was secured by Ally’s rink to leave the scoreline at 8–1. In the first of the burned ends in this game it was Ally’s rink who got the first tick on the board but after the end was replayed it was Western men who picked up two shots and then another two shots in the sixth end to leave the scoreline at 12–1 in their favour. In the seventh end S Conroy picked up a single and in the following eighth end this was burned three times once by Oriel and twice by Western, with three burned ends against Western three shots then went to S Conroy’s rink in the eighth end. Over the last two ends both rinks picked up a single shot to leave the overall result in Ally’s favour 13–6.

Over on Mat 3, Gary McNabb’s rink of lead William Stevenson, second Gary Brian, third Johnny Breadon found themselves two shots down after the first end although by the end of the fifth end the score was level at 3–3. In the sixth end Gary’s rink secured four shots and then five shots in the seventh end and over the last three ends they picked up three singles to run out winners 15–3 against the rink skipped by P Duff. This left Western leading 33–20 at the halfway stage of the final.

With the start of the second half of the game the tactics of the Oriel men changed completely. Fists were being punched into the air and screaming after every shot delivered.

The onslaught started with Davy Graham’s rink of Derek Gilliland leading, in second was William Harpur, third was Paul Wilson playing a rink skipped by G McCabe. The Oriel men went 3-0 up after two ends before Davy picked up a single in the third end which unfortunately was to be the only score they had on the board. By the fourth end G McCabe’s rink had picked up two shots and over the next five ends they secured a single in each end to lead 9–1. And in the final end the Oriel rink picked up three shots to win 13–1. During this game all that Davy and his men could do was try to keep the score down with the opposition continually ditching the jack.

On the middle game on Mat 2, Jude Morris’s rink of James McCaffrey leading, David Dickson second and Ronnie Stubbs third were playing a rink skipped by K Conroy. The western men were four shots down after two ends played and over the course of the next three ends Jude’s rink picked up three singles to leave the scoreline at 4–3.

In the sixth end K Conroy gained two shots and Jude then picked up two shots in the seventh end and over the next two ends each rink picked up a single shot each to leave the score at 7–6 in Oriel’s favour going into the last end. Unfortunately Jude’s rink dropped three shots to lose 10–6.

Over on Mat 3, Gary Burke’s rink of Daniel Wilson in lead, Ross Armstrong second and Michael McGrade in third found themselves playing a rink skipped by P Hanlon. Hanlon’s rink, with there aggressive approach, ditched the jack at every opportunity, and all Gary could do with Michael was try to keep their scoreline down, which was proving to be difficult with the rink 10–0 after six ends before they got on the board picking up two shots in the seventh end and then dropping two two’s in the eighth and ninth end to lose overall 14–2.

K Bradshaw 5 – 11 S Traynor A Graham 13 - 6 S Conroy G McNabb 15 - 3 P Duff D Graham 1 – G McCabe J Morris 6 – 10 K Conroy G Burke 2 – 14 P Hanlon The final scoreline was Western 42 Oriel 57 who has retained the ‘Boomer Cup’ for a second year in a row. Congratulations to the Western Men’s Zone team on reaching the final and giving their all, the team spirit amongst the men was outstanding and their attitude was a credit to them.