Belfast Telegraph

Commonwealth Games: It's a day of mixed fortunes for bowls boss Baker

By David Mason

Northern Ireland bowls boss Jim Baker hailed the performances of Paul Daly, Neil Mulholland and Neil Booth, who yesterday got their Commonwealth Games triples challenge off to the best possible start at Kelvingrove

They claimed wins over Kenya (21-13) and Cook Islands (17-15), leaving them in a healthy state ahead of today's clash with Fiji.

"It was a great start," said Baker.

"The guys were really solid in both matches.

"It's good to get a couple of early wins under the belt to help build confidence."

Unfortunately, Marty McHugh and Ian McClure, who carried medal winning hopes into the tournament, suffered two early defeats which means they are now playing catch-up.

Both players have been decorated at previous Games, but they were out of touch on this occasion, falling to a two-shots defeat to Malta (18-16) before going down to Malaysia last night (22-14).

"It was a tough start for the lads," added Baker.

"But they are two experienced players and they have got what it takes to recover from the shaky start, there is no question about that."

Meanwhile, it was a mixed day for Northern Ireland's Catherine McMillen in the ladies singles.

She got her campaign off to a great start by defeating Miaram Ndungu, of Kenya (21-7), but the Divis player then lost out (21-12) to Jersey's Lindsey Greechan, who is tipped to be among the medals next week.

Meanwhile, the ladies fours perished in the scorching Glasgow heat.

Mandy Cunningham, Donna McCloy, Barbara Cameron, who was featuring in her fifth Commonwealth Games, and Jennifer Dowds, fell to an embarrassing 18-4 defeat to Fiji.

They must now attempt to pick up the pieces today when they come up against Niuniue Island and Malaysia.

Results: Ladies singles: Northern Ireland (C McMillen) 21 Kenya (M Ndungu) 7. Jersey (L Greechan) Northern Ireland 12 Jersey (L Greechan) 21.

Ladies fours: Fiji 18 Northern Ireland (M Cunningham, D McCloy, B Cameron, J Dowds) 4.

Men's pairs: Northern Ireland (M McHugh, I McClure)16 Malta 18. Malaysia 22 Northern Ireland 14.

Men's triples: Northern Ireland (P Daly, N Mulholland, N Booth) 18 Cook Islands 16. Northern Ireland 17 Cook Islands 15.

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