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Bowls: Victorious McKee is straight back into action

By David Mason

Published 16/07/2012

Graham McKee admits he’s had little time to savour his pairs success in the Bangor Bowls tournament at the weekend.

The Ireland international today goes back into action in the prestigious City of Belfast competition, organised by Belmont Bowls Club.

It’s been a hectic week for the Newtownards taxi driver, which culminated in that pairs victory, along with Pickie’s Mark Bailie.

“We’ve both won the pairs title on previous occasions, oddly with the same partner, Rodney McCutcheon,” said McKee. “Mark has returned to the game this year after giving up his post as manager of Abbey Villa Football Club. He’s playing really well and we are thrilled with the victory in the Bangor comeptition.

“Unfortunately, Mark's not available to participate at Belmont, due to work commitments, so I’ll be partnering my Bangor team mate Thomas Carson in the pairs.

“However, I face a really difficult opener against Ulster Transport’s Robin Gray in the first round of the singles.”

Bailie and McKee were certainly too hot to handle at Ward Park, beating Whitehead’s Matthew Crawford (20-6) at the quarter final stage before defeating the father and son team of Matt and Simon Martin (Bangor) 16-9 in the semis. Thomas Canavan (Bangor) and Paul Canning (Pickie) clocked up an impressive 18-3 success over the unattached Keith Taylor and Keith Wright in the other tie.

However, it was Bailie and McKee who stormed from the blocks in the decider before romping home 17-10.

Meanwhile, Terry Crawford picked up the singles trophy.

The Belmont player sent out a message of intent in his 18-17 semi-final win over Pickie’s Ryan Cavan and, come the final, opponent Neil Belch (Pickie), managed to prise only six shots from the new champion, who went on to clock up a 19-6 success.

Results: Singles semi finals: T Crawford (Belmont) 18 R Cavan (Pickie) 7. N Belch (Pickie) 29 D Cavan (Pickie) 9. Final: Crawford 19 Belch 16.

Under-18 singles semi-finals: J Watson (Comber) 10 C Burns (Salisbury) 14. K Matchett (Lurgan) 20 C Watson (Comber) 3. Final: Watson 11 Matchett 12.

Pairs semi-finals: K Taylor, K Wright (Unattached) 3 T Canavan (Bangor), P Canning (Pickie) 18. M Martin, S Martin (Bangor) 9 M Bailie (Pickie), G McKee (Bangor), M Bailie (Pickie) 16. Final: Canning 10 McKee 17.

Triples semi-finals: M Wilson (Cookstown) 17 S Denley (Pickie) 10. K Taylor (Unattached) 19 M Crawford (Whitehead) 15. Final: Wilson 9 Taylor 17.

Fours semi-finals: D Millar (Lurgan) 12 T Canavan (Bangor) 11. B Magrath (Old Bleach) 7 N Belch (Pickie) 18. Final: Millar 8 Belch 15.

Mixed pairs semi-finals: R Hastings (Bangor), E Hastings (Ballywalter) 21 J Watson, C Anderson (Pickie) 11. W Ross (Belmont), D Burns (Dundonald) 28 D Kane (Ward Park), W Brown (Donaghadee) 13. Final: Hastings 19 Burns 12.

Belfast Telegraph

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