Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Commonwealth Games: Bowler Gary Kelly claims bronze after late heartache

Bowler Gary Kelly won a bronze medal for Northern Ireland in the men’s singles yesterday after just missing out on a place in the final.

The 22-year-old Ballymoney man lost his semi to Leif Selby, the world number two from Australia, 1.5-0.5.

The first set was tied 9-9 when Kelly scored a four on the final end but he lost the second 9-7.

“Yeah, I was disappointed. I played some big bowls in the first set and came from five behind in the second [set]. It was a tight game,” he explained.

Kelly then had to pick himself up for the bronze medal battle against England’s Sam Tolchard.

“I played against Sam when we were here in Delhi in April so I knew he was a tough opponent.”

Kelly lost the first set but overcame an early deficit in the next to win it 8-7 and force the tie-break over three extra ends. He eventually won 3-2.

“It’s a great feeling to come here and win a Commonwealth Games medal — it means a lot for me to represent Northern Ireland. It gives me confidence for the future.”

Welshman Rob Weale won the gold, beating Selby in the final.

In cycling, Wendy Houvenaghel finished in a very creditable sixth place in the women’s 29km time trial along the Noida Expressway just outside of the Indian capital yesterday morning.

The Upperlands rider had focused her preparations entirely on the track individual pursuit in which she won a silver medal last week but showed she is a competent road time triallist as well.

Starting sixth last, she produced a time of 39:34.97, just over 35 seconds behind winner Tara Whitten of Canada.

Heather Wilson was 15th in 42:48.77 almost four minutes adrift.

The men’s event over a longer course of 40km saw Michael Hutchinson repeat his performance of four years ago and finish fourth, 2:14 behind winner David Millar from Scotland.

Hutchinson said: “These are my third Commonwealth Games and I was closest to the medals than I've ever been. It's a tough field here, so there's only so much you can do.

“I thought I went a wee-bit conservative, so I really picked it up in the final five kilometres.

“It was very, very, very hot. There was no shade at all. The heat, the wind, the dust, there was rubbish blowing across the road. There were no spectators. It was all rather bleak. It was just you and the road.”

David McCann struggled, especially after his exertions in finishing fifth in the road race on Sunday, and withdrew after halfway.

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