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Bowls: Classy Kelly one of a kind after Open glory


Published 05/09/2007

Ballymoney bowler, Gary Kelly achieved an unique double when he won the youth and open singles at the Irish Bowling Association Championships at Dunbarton last Friday and Saturday.

He has been playing in the youth singles, which was started in 2000, for four years, finishing runner-up last year, but a 21-15 win over D. Green, Ulster Transport, gave him the title this time.

But, no one has ever won the youth and open singles in the same year and young Kelly did it in style, beating Neil Booth 21-18 in the semi-final and following up with a 21-9 final win over Stephen Millane.

The fours final produced the match of the day. Jim Baker was leading N. P. Smyth 16-1 at the fifth, 19-8 at the tenth and 22-15 at 15 ends, but the Leinster rink came back to level 22-22 with an end left. Baker drew the shot, Smyth took it out, Baker hit one of his own bowls and Smyth missed with his last effort to give victory to the Ballymena four.

Amazingly in such an illustrious career Baker has never won the Irish fours title and he certainly did it the hard way.

R. Leonard won the junior singles, Larne eased to a pairs success and McMcKeeman, Dunluce took the triples title.

Bowlers from the Provincial Towns won three titles and the NIBA failed to register a win.

YOUTH SINGLES: semi-finals, G. Pierpoint, Londonderry Park 15, G. Kelly, Ballymoney 21; S. Leonard, St Jame's Gate 20, D. Green, Ulster Transport 21; final, Kelly 21, Green 15.

JUNIOR SINGLES: semi-finals, R. Leonard, St Jame's Gate 21, R. Craig, Balmoral 13; M. Torrington, Ballymena 14, C. Gilmore, Portrush 21; final, Leonard 21, Gilmore 11.

OPEN SINGLES: semi-finals, N. Mulholland, Lisnagarvey 15, S. Millane, St Jame's Gate 21; G. Kelly, Ballymoney 21, N. Booth, Old Bleach 18; final, Kelly 21, Millane 9.

PAIRS: semi-finals, P. Robinson/A. Kyle, Larne 27, D. Doyle/I. D'Arcy, Crumlin 7; M. Fahy/K. Gormley, Brooke Park 14, I. Stewart/S. Moran, Whitehead 24; final, Robinson/Kyle 27, Stewart/Moran 5.

TRIPLES: semi-finals, D. Garvey, R. D'Arcy, B. Vaughan, CYM 17, G. Pierpoint, G. Pierpoint snr, J. Marshall, Londonderry Park 19; D. Copeland, P. McGarrity, M. Merritt, Falls 6, R. Kane, B. Kane, M. McKeeman, Dunluce 18; final, Marshall 11, McKeeman 15.

FOURS: semi-finals, P. Weir, J. Caldwell, S. Moran, B. Browne, Whitehead 15, S. Falls, J. Hodges, N. Robinson, J. Baker, Ballymena 20; A. Paul, H. Paul, M. Wilson, J. Smyth, Cookstown 10, T. Smyth, P. Whelan, T. P. Smyth, N. P. Smyth, Leinster 22; final, Baker 23, Smyth 22.

Belfast Telegraph

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