Belfast Telegraph

Baker baffled at Ireland's stale finish

By David Mason

Ireland manager Jim Baker admitted he was 'puzzled' how his team turned in such an inept showing in their final game in the 2014 Home International Championships at Leamington Spa.

Even though the Irish produced two battling performances in their pervious two matches, losing by only 17 shots against title holders England before being edged out by Wales in a tense finish, going to down by five shots, they were totally out-gunned by a rampant Scotland outfit, who were eventually crowned champions.

"We looked like a different team from the previous day," said Baker.

"Although we lost to both England and Wales on Saturday, I really couldn't fault the boys.

"We were particularly unfortunate to lose against the Welsh. In fact, it was a heavy defeat consumed by one rink that did the damage against England and Wales. But there were no excuses for the display against Scotland."

Ian McClure's rink can certainly hold their heads high. He had two new caps in his combination in the form of Ballymoney's Aaron Tennant and Belmont's Stuart Bennett and they both produced over the three matches.

The Portrush man, finished the two-day event with an unblemished record – racking up wins over England's Stephen Farish, Jason Greenslade (Wales) and finished the job with an eye-catching result over Scotland's Thomas Mann.

Home Internationals: Ireland 98 England 115, Wales 107 Scotland 117, Wales 104 Ireland 99, England 103 Scotland 134, Scotland 142 Ireland 98, Wales 112 England 114 . Final spots: 1 Scotland 6pts, 2 England 4pts, 3 Wales 2pts, 4 Ireland 0pts.

Belfast Telegraph

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