Sports

Traditional big two lead way at Christmas break

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

THE half way stage has been reached in the Mid-Ulster Bowling League with current holders Cookstown Parochial A just ahead of local rivals Cookstown High.

Both clubs met this week in a game which, while never going to decide the outcome of the league, would have a bearing on what the new year might bring.

Victory for the High would have put them in a strong position especially as they have not been dropping as many points as Parochial A in games they should win with some comfort, while a Parochial win would mean all was to play for in the new year.

As it turned out, it was Parochial who came out on top with a 42-39 win, picking up eight of the 11 points on offer.

Elsewhere in Section 1, the other clubs play to avoid the relegation places, such is the dominance of the two Cookstown clubs.

Just 10 points separate six clubs, with a gap developing to the bottom two clubs.

Moortown currently occupy third spot, largely as a result of a good home record and will certainly not be a relegation contender.

St Mary's also have impressive home form and, having been promoted this season, have made a good start, but their defeat at Lisnagleer stopped them moving into a solid third spot.

Lafarge after a very poor start to the season have strung together three successive wins to help their position, with the latest being an impressive 10 point victory at Kildress.

Lisnagleer are another side who are strong at home and have made a good start in trying to secure top flight status. Derryloran have perhaps been the surprise package, starting the season well again with distinct home advantage but their defeats in their last three games have pushed them down the table and they will do well to stay above the relegation places.

The surprising performances have been with Kildress, traditionally fighting out for third or fourth place. This has been a disappointing season for them, but it is difficult to believe that they will not pick up form in the new year and move up the table.

The bottom 2 places are filled by Parochial B and 1st Magherafelt.

Parochial made a decent start to the season but three defeats in their last four games has put their top flight status in danger, while 1st Magherafelt, promoted this season, have recorded their first win to keep within striking distance of safety.

In Section 2, St Joseph's, relegated last season, are marching towards a return to the top section, having won all their games comfortably.

Little separates RBL, Tamlaght and St Swithin's for the other spot. The difficulty is that some of these clubs are not particularly keen on promotion where promoted sides more often than not fail to make an impression and some heavy defeats can demoralise the players concerned.

Section 2 is a less competitive league than Section 1 and those clubs in that section put enjoyment of the game ahead of points.

It is good to see that more players from this section are now becoming more involved in National championships and zone competitions and this experience can only benefit them.

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