McHugh falls at the final hurdle – twice
Ireland's Martin McHugh suffered a double dose of agony in the British Isles Championships at Leamington Spa.
The Whitehead man forged his way into the final of the singles and pairs, but was beaten in both.
Ballymoney's Gary Kelly helped lift the gloom by winning the under-25 singles, but the Irish rink, skipped by Richard Leonard, also lost in the final of the fours.
"The guys did very well to reach the final of four of the five disciplines and they are disappointed they didn't manage to finish the job," said Irish boss Jim Baker.
"Gary won the junior singles title, which he thoroughly deserved. He produced three outstanding performances. It was heartbreaking for Marty to be beaten in two finals. It was a case of so near, yet so far."
McHugh roared past Guernsey's Gary Pitschou (21-9) and England's Andrew Walters (21-18) to reach the singles final against Dave Kingdon of Wales.
Kingdon finished in style, picking up two singles and a three to ease him over the line (21-13).
Earlier, McHugh and his Whitehead team-mate Barry Browne lost to Andrew Kennedy and Billy Mellors (Scotland) 23-16 in the final of the pairs.
Kelly did give the Irish something to celebrate, turning in an outstanding performance, beating England's Jamie Walker (21-17) and Gary Robertson, of Scotland (21-18) before romping to a 21-8 victory over Jersey's Greg Davis in a final that lasted only 17 ends.
Results: British Isles Championship finals: Singles: M McHugh (Ireland) 13 D Kingdon (Wales) 21.
Under-25 singles: G Kelly (Ireland) 21 G Davis (Jersey) 8.
Pairs: M McHugh, B Browne (Ireland) 16 A Kennedy, B Mellors (Scotland) 23.
Triples: T Pettigrew, R Crawford, W Hogg (Scotland) 21 M Rowling, L Greenslade, P Taylor (Wales) 18.
Fours: B Thomas, L Daniels, D Wilkins, J Wilkins (Wales) 19 G Pierpoint, A Hoey, S Leonard, R Leonard (Ireland) 14.