Markethill’s modern history is peppered with close escapes and struggles for consistency - but this season will go down as one to remember.
Championship glory and, as a result, promotion out of NIBA Division Three arrived thanks to record-breaking figures and a return of 100.5 points from 18 fixtures.
The highest tally of shots scored and an away run of wins twice as strong compared to previous campaigns served as evidence of landmark progress. This success has come in stark contrast to past seasons’ setbacks.
“A few years back we would have been relegated but for another club dropping out of the competition,” said Markethill treasurer Roger Gill. “It is hard to explain what has changed this season but it ranks as our greatest in over three decades of bowls at Markethill.
“We have often finished in the bottom four but had a few fresh faces come in towards the end of last season so they were able to play regularly this time around and as settled members of the squad.
“We also opted to shuffle the rinks around and that seemed to work well, with players really working in those different positions.
“Our improved away form played a big part in everything for sure and our return of wins was around double what we previously put up.
“The plan now is to stay up in Division Two but know to expect a big step-up.
“We had a celebration after the final game but at the minute everyone just wants to enjoy the achievement.”