PORTADOWN opened the NIBA Division One season in style on Saturday by recording a rare win away to Banbridge.
Victory by 78-77, with 4.5 points in the bag, provided Aidan Corrigan, Stephen McCall and Mark Sproule with early success as Portadown’s latest arrivals.
It also proved the perfect competitive return for Dane Jordan, Martin Trainor and Paul Whittle.
Portadown were 42-20 up after 11 ends thanks to three strong rinks, with the gap helping cover the 10-shot deficit suffered by the remaining quartet.
Banbridge hit back across two but Portadown managed to close the deficit on one rink from 10 to five.
At 19 ends, Banbridge enjoyed a 72-1 advantage but Portadown’s strong finish featured scores of 5-3 and 2-2 to edge home.
Chris Trainor, Maurice Whitla, Derek McCallion and Richard McMullan blasted into a 12-1 lead on rink one.
Banbridge’s determined display then restricted Portadown to just a single from ends nine to 17 and the hosts moved into a 19-13 advantage.
Three shots proved crucial in Portadown’s 20-16 reverse
George Richardson, Errol Whitten, Donald Roe and Aidan Corrigan were left reeling by a 10-1 deficit despite some promising play.
The Banbridge second, on rink two, with over-weighted bowls took the jack back on five occasions.
Portadown managed to close the gap on three twice over 10 winning ends.
Stephen McCall, Robert Hobson, Dane Jordan and Martin Trainor registered what proved to be a vital 26-16 win on rink three.
Success over 13 ends and a battling performance to score 10-2 during Banbridge’s mini-revival combined to wrap up the result.
Paul Whittle, Kieran Trainor, Derek Wright and Mark Sproule moved 9-1 up at five ends and held this gap until the double-figure mark on a 14-6 lead.
The loss of five shots on the 12th took Banbridge to 12-14 but a great draw by Sproule on the final end removed two home bowls for a 19-19 finale.
Portadown A visit Lisnagarvey tomorrow (Saturday). The B players – who recorded a three-shot lead on Saturday over St Stephen’s but managed to win on just one rink – play host next to Lisnagarvey.