Belfast Telegraph

Graham rolls back the years for shot at glory in showpiece

By Alex Mills

Noel Graham will attempt to turn back the clock in the Northern Ireland Bowling Association Championships at Carrickfergus today.

The Lisnagarvey man may have called time on his international career a few years back, but he has proved he can still mix it with the best.

Incredibly, Graham is on course for a fourth singles success. He must negotiate one final hurdle in the form of Whitehead's defending champion Stephen McKinley.

Graham lifted the singles trophy for the first time back in 1991. He repeated the feat four years later and went on to complete a triple success, having also triumphed in the Irish Championships before winning the British crown.

And he still wasn't finished because he clocked up a hat-trick of NIBA singles wins back in 2002.

Graham was in superb form in the midweek semi-finals, roaring to an impressive 21-14 win against Banbridge's Aaran O'Keefe, while McKinley defeated Divis' Liam Wright 21-16.

"I'm delighted to be back in the final again," said a modest Graham. "I thought those days of reaching finals were behind me!"

Meanwhile, DJ Wilson will look to bridge a 14 year gap when he features in the final of the Private Greens League Singles Championship at the Old Bleach Club today.

The Dunbarton man, who previously had his hands on the title back in 2000 and 2003, comes up against Belmont's Stuart Bennett.

It's also finals day in the Provincial Bowling Association Championships at the City of Derry Club, with Gary Kelly and Aaron Tennant up against their Ballymoney colleagues Aidan Reid and Bryan Smyth.

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