Lisnagarvey have it all to do in the NIBA Senior Cup final on Thursday night, 6pm, when they clash with Whitehead, the NIBA in-form team this season.
Whitehead won the “rehersal” recently but the outcome was not as straightforward as it appeared and Garvey can take some positives from it.
Whitehead top Division 1 and are still in the IBA Senior Cup quarter finals and these facts leave them as favourites to win on Thursday night.
But, Garvey’s Cup record would suggest they will be no push over for the seaside team and they will surely be up for it in the final.
Garvey last won the NIBA Senior Cup in 2009 when they beat Portadown in the final and have won the competition six times in all.
Garvey beat Donaghadee in 1986, Banbridge in 1989 and Londonderry Park in 1991. They won against Portadown in 1995 and probably their most notable success came in 1997 when they beat favourites, Bangor. There was a 12-year gap before Garvey got their last win over Portadown.
Possibly it is worth noting that Garvey have only lost twice in a final - going down to Bangor in 1978 and again finding Bangor their bogey team in 1997. Surely the fact Bangor are the only team to beat Garvey at the final stage must give them the impetus to keep that record going.
On the other hand Whitehead have only won the Cup three times, beating Banbridge in 1976, Kilkeel in 2002 and Dungannon in 2006. They lost a final four times, Bangor 2005, Balmoral 2007, Divis 2008 and Balmoral 2011.
Studying these records it may not be as easy for Whiehead as many believe and Garvey have the capabilities to upset the odds.
Route to the final:
Lisnagarvey: 1st round, away Carrick; 2nd round, away Lurgan; quarter final, away Castle; semi-final, Dromore.
Whitehead: 1st round, home Bangor; 2nd round, home Cloughey; quarter final, home Sydenham; semi-final, Banbridge.
How local teams are performing at the holiday break
After losing a number of players in the close season it was always likely to be an uphill struggle for Lisnagarvey in NIBA Division 1.
But, at present they are placed around mid table, out of the immediate relegation fight, but not pushing at the top.
However, they have had NIBA Cup success, reaching the final at the end of this month against Whitehead. They also lost narrowly to Larne in the Irish Cup.
The B team were promoted to Division 3 of the NIBA last season, but suffered the knock-on effects of the senior team losing players and have struggled.
They are currently in the bottom regions of the Division and relegation is certainly a real prospect.
Hilden brought in a few new players and were hoping to more than hold their own in Private Greens Division 2.
But, it has not quite worked out at present and they will need a good finishing run to achieve their ambitions.
However they have reached the quarter final stage of the new IBA Intermediate Cup and shown their potential along the way. They will hope to progress here, against Sydenham.
The B team are doing very well in Private Greens Division 5 and are comfortably in the top half, but there are a few of the teams who are stronger in the re-vamped PGL set-up
Dromore are one of four teams battling it out at the top of NIBA Division 2 and can gain promotion to the top flight.
They have also had a good run in the NIBA Senior Cup, reaching the semi-final stage before losing out to local rivals, Lisnagarvey.
They also did well in the IBA Senior Cup, beating two southern teams before losing to Ballymena in the third round.
The B team are having mixed fortunes, but in a competitive NIBA Division 5 they could still mount a promotion challenge.
Following a terrible start to the season Lagan Valley have come back well in NIBA Division 5 and their home form appears to cancel out some away performances.
They reached the semi-final stage of the NIBA Intermediate Cup with a couple of good wins before losing to Antrim in the semi-final.
They should be capable of moving up the League table by the end of the season.
Finaghy are certainly enjoying their bowls in NIBA Division 4, where the competition is quite hot with little to separate top from bottom.
They were unfortunate in the NIBA Junior Cup when losing by a shot at home to Holywood in the quarter final.
They had just beaten Holywood in the League a few weeks earlier, which underlines the competition in this Division.
Malone have been unfortunate in the Private Greens League re-organisation, when they ended up in Division 4.
There are a number of good reserve teams in this group and Malone have made little headway, though they did tie with Belfast recently.
Hilden Tournament has started
The annual Hilden Open Rinks Tournament started this week and will continue from Monday, July 20 and throughout next week at the Llwellyn Avenue green.
Play starts at 6pm each evening and hopefully the event will also get a large number of spectators throughout.
Anyone wishing to enquire about entries should contact Raymond Gourley 92682467 (home), 92667070 (work) or mobile 07895868806 as soon as possible.
Dromore B take two points
Lurgan B 77 (5)
Dromore B 66 (2)
Dromore B took two points from a re-arranged NIBA Division 5 match when they lost by 11 shots at Lurgan Park on Wednesday night.
Tommy Wilson was 8-10 down at the tenth and 11-15 at 15 ends but lifted a five at the last end to win by two shots.
Ahead 11-7 at the tenth and 15-11 at 15 ends Tom Sudlow went on to win by a shot.
Down 5-8 at the tenth and 7-15 at 15 ends Alan Sudlow lost by nine shots.
It was 7-7 at the tenth and 11-11 at 15 ends, but Sammy Malcolmson lost by five shots.
A. Bunting 18, A. Shaw, K. Dickson, D. Graham, T. Wilson 20; W. McCullough 19, K. Black, R. Bolton, H. Maxwell, T. Sudlow 20; S. Neill 21, J. Cunningham, T. Brown, I. Houston, A. Sudlow 12; E. Quinn 19, T. Ogle, R. Malcolmson, K. Aiken, S. Malcolmson 14.
Seymour Street end
another successful year
Seymour Street Methodist Indoor Bowling Club ended another successful year of Summer Tournaments last Monday night.
They wish to thank those who came along regularly to join in the fun and they hope to see everyone again next Summer.
There were weekly attendances of around 40 and the last winners of the season were Jean Hewitt and Andrew Harvey.
Matches resume tomorrow (Saturday) following the short break. All start at 2pm.
Lisnagarvey and Dromore have no matches due to the British Junior Internationals in which Scott Jess and Nathan Haire are involved.
NIBA: DIVISION 3: Lisnagarvey B v St Stephen’s.
DIVISION 4: Finaghy v Portadown B.
DIVISION 5: Dromore B v Glengormley, Castle B v Lagan Valley.
PRIVATE GREENS DIVISION 2: Forth River v Hilden.
DIVISION 4: Falls B v Malone.
DIVISION 5: Hilden B v Shaftesbury B.
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 6pm:
NIBA DIVISION 1: Banbridge v Lisnagarvey.
DIVISION 2: Bessbrook v Dromore.
PRIVATE GREENS DIVISION 4: Malone v Ballymena C.
DIVISION 5: Ards B v Hilden B.