Donegal Ladies were hopeful of a win in the first round of the McIlroy Cup as we had home advantage but East Antrim Ladies came over the Glenshane Pass on a mission and fulfilled their objective, winning by 50 shots to 41 shots.
In the first half, on mat one, Jean Buchanan, Lisa O’Kane, Donna Hegarty and Ruth Crawford were locked in a tight battle with East Antrim’s G Peel’s rink and after five ends were adrift by four shots. However they upped their game to draw eight shots each. On mat two, Dorothy Montgomery, Ruby Graham, Mary McClintock and Margaret Montgomery won by 10 shots to 6 shots, with Margaret playing some great bowls to secure the victory. On mat three, Ann Hume, Sylvia Bell, Paula Friel and Audrey Gilfillan had a great game to win by 10 shots to 4 shots.
With a lead of 28 shots to 18 shots going into the interval, Donegal were quite comfortable. However, East Antrim came out fully determined to overcome the deficit and after five ends, they had drawn level at 32 shots each. East Antrim Ladies were on a roll, pressed home their advantage and Donegal saw multiple counts and good positions disappearing with well executed shots by the opposition.
Kathleen Lynch, Martina Brogan, Isobel Duncan and Elizabeth Doherty lost 11 shots to 2 shots, Phyllis Lyttle, Lila Finlay, Kathleen Duggan and Vera Patterson lost by 11 shots to 5 shots and Pat Devenney, Barbara Aicken, Vanessa McHugh and Rachel McDonnell lost by 10 shots to 6 shots.
East Antrim Ladies played well, deserved their victory and we wish them well in their coming matches. Donegal will now be in the Shield with their first match away against North Eastern on 3rd December