The Western Ladies have failed to emulate their journey to last year’s Semi Finals by coming unstuck against a determined West Down side in Enniskillen on Saturday.
Despite the sides only being separated by 3 shots at the break, it was the visitors who finished stronger and claimed an unlikely win.
The first half saw three very tight games, with two of these ending all square.
Mat 1 pitted Westerns Janet Brown against Bernie Conlon. This game started in the worst possible manner for the Western rink as they trailed 9-0 after 3 ends. But a count of four shots in the next end got the home rink back into the contest. Despite only winning 3 of the 10 ends, the Western rink managed to come away with a spirited 13-13 draw.
Jean Parkinson had a real nip and tuck affair with Hazel Stevenson on Mat 2. The Western rink trailed by 6 shots to 4 after five ends, but then claimed shots in each of the next four ends to go into the last end ahead by 9 shots to 6. But a loss of three shots in the final end meant that Western had to settle for another tied game, 9-9.
The final game of the half saw Caroline Scott taking on Evelyn Robb on Mat 3. Again, this was another close game with the 2 rinks locked at 5 shots each at the half way mark. The sixth end was the difference though, as the West Down rink picked up 5 shots. Despite winning two out of the last three ends, Caroline was unable to make up the deficit and went down by 12 shots to 9.
The visitors held a slender advantage at the break, leading by 34 shots to 31.
The second half started just as Western would have hoped for. Esther Forster took on Patricia Martin on Mat 1, and dominated from start to finish. With the visitors struggling to come to terms with the mat, Western took full advantage and raced to a 17-7 victory.
Unfortunately for Western, this is as good as it got. Mat 2 saw Jean Carson taking on Angela Cannaway. The West Down rink was in top form and had the Western four in trouble in the majority of ends. Despite their best efforts, the Western rink was to go down by 12 shots to 5.With the game still in the balance it was down to Ellen Brogan’s game against Ann Polin on Mat 3. Unfortunately for Western, Ellen came up against a rink in top form and was unable to get any kind of foothold in the game. The West Down rink scored on 7 out of the 10 ends and recorded a dominant 20-4 victory.
Overall it was to be disappointment for Western who had been hoping to improve on last year’s Semi Final spot. Despite the defeat, there were a number of positive to take, in particular the emergence of some of our junior team who have made the step up to zone bowls with minimal fuss.