Lisnagarvey B came close to upsetting the form book when they only lost by five shots to Balmoral B, who play in the Division above them, when the pair met in the semi-final of the NIBA Junior Cup at Dromore on Tuesday night.
Ten shots down just after the game started Garvey’s hopes appeared to have foundered, but they dug in and came back to push Balmoral all the way.
Garvey never took the lead throughout the game but they did get close enough to the opposition to raise hopes a shock was on the cards.
In the end Balmoral held the edge to go through to a final with Whitehead B by five shots.
Ken Armstrong led the fight back with a ten shots win and Derek Porter held the Balmoral charge back with a four shots win.
But, there were defeats for Denis Rankin, going down by four shots and Alton Reid failing to keep in touch when losing by 13 shots.
Garvey did lose in the Junior Cup final, just two years ago when falling to Whitehead and in 2008 they won the trophy, beating Lurgan B in the inal.
A. N. Other 25, M. Humperson, R. Simpson, K. Johnston, A. Reid 12; R. Girvan 14, C. McClean, S. McDowell, M. Wilson, K. Armstrong 24; W. Casement 19, J. Reilly, J. Shortt, J. Chapman, D. Porter 23; A. Nixon 19, R. McDowell, R. Lemon, R. McNeill, D. Rankin 13.
A shot in the arm for Garvey B
Lisnagarvey B 71 (5)
Ulster Maple Leaf 70 (2)
Lisnagarvey B had been struggling in NIBA Division 4 after a few narrow defeats had left them bottom of the table, but a single shot win gave them a much-needed boost against Ulster Maple Leaf at Warren Gardens.
Denis Rankin had stayed well in the race but slipped to a four shots defeat over the closing stages.
Ken Armstrong increased his advantage as the game went on and his win kept Garvey in the race and four shots ahead.
Jim Chapman dropped a shot at the last end but still won by seven to leave Garvey three ahead.
In a tense final end Alton Reid dropped two shots but this was enough to give Garvey a one shot win.
Reid was down 5-8 and 9-14 before losing by ten shots.
Armstrong was 11-9 up at the tenth and two threes took him to 18-11 five ends later before winning by eight shots.
Chapman was 6-4 up at the etnth and 11-7 at 15 ends before pulling away to win by seven shots.
Ahead 8-5 at the tenth Denis Rankin added three and four to lead 16-10 at 15 ends but lost by four shots.
A. Smyth, C. McLean, K. Johnston, A. Reid 12, W. Brennan 22; T. Law, S. McDowell, R. Carroll, K. Armstrong 25, D. Doherty 17; G. Riley, B. Maginnis, D. Porter, J. Chapman 17, B. Davidson 10; R. McBride, R. McMullan, A. O’Rourke, D. Rankin 17, P. McAnallen 21.