Belfast Telegraph

Magic McHugh is in fine form ahead of Sherwen challenge

By David Mason

Martin McHugh warmed up for this week's British Isles Singles Championship by helping Whitehead maintain their position at the top of the NIBA's Division One table.

The East Antrim boys returned from Dromore with a 29 shots victory, but will perhaps be slightly disappointed they failed to reel in a full seven points.

Bangor took advantage because they did manage to rake in a full quota of points at home to Donaghadee to cut the gap at the top to only one-and-a-half points.

It was Nathan Haire who pinched the point from Whitehead, having battled out a 22-17 win against Stephen McKinley.

Barry Browne was in super form. He skipped his rink to a 22-12 win against Gavin Clinghan, while James Caldwell and McHugh piled on the agony.

McHugh will now sets his sights on regaining the British singles Llandrindod Wells this week. He will attempt to turn back the clock when he faces England's Ben Sherwen in a preliminary round tie on Thursday morning.

McHugh has already sampled the joys of winning the British singles title. He paraded the trophy on successive years in 2003 and 2004. In fact, he is hoping the omens are good because it was at the same Welsh venue that he first popped the bubbly.

"Hopefully, that little bit of history repeats itself," he said. "I don't know an awful lot about my opponent, but he is the English singles champion, so that tells me enough."

Should McHugh negotiate that tie, it would earn him a semi final slot against Jersey's Michael Rive.

British Isles Championships

Singles: Prelim 1: J Keat (Guernsey) v J Tomlinson (Wales). Prelim 2: M McHugh (Ireland) v B Sherwen (England).

Under-25 singles: Prelim 1: A Barrie (Scotland) v J Barker (England). Prelim 2: C Rabey (Guernsey) v G Walton (Jersey). Semi final: A O'Keeffe (Ireland) v winner Prelim 2.

Under-18 singles: Prelim 1: B Le Feuvre (Jersey) v S Martin (Ireland).

Pairs: Prelim 1: J Amery (England) v J Rihoy (Guernsey). Prelim 2: R Kane, B Kane (Ireland) v M De Sousa (Jersey).

Triples: Prelim 1: D Junior (Scotland) v S Popple (England). Prelim 2: R Weale (Wales) v J Lowery (Jersey). Semi final: G Pierpoint, E Carruth, R Maher (Ireland) v winner Prelim 2.

Fours: Prelim 1: D Crawford (Scotland) v S Batten (Wales). Prelim 2: M D Sousa (Jersey) v M Hastings, T Cannavan, G McKee, R Hastings (Bangor).

Senior fours: Prelim 1: J Nicholl, R Coleman, J Baker, R Torrington (Ireland) v D Bastiste (Guernsey). Prelim 2: D James (Wales) v A Wilton (Scotland).

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