Belfast Telegraph

New faces Simon and Jack earn Ireland calls

 

By Luke Hope

Simon Cavan and Jack Montgomery will make their Ireland debuts in next month's Home International Championship at Belmont in Belfast.

Under new boss Neil Booth, the Irish will be looking to parade the title for the first time since 2009 when they triumphed at the same venue.

Cavan, who will be performing on his home green at the recently revamped east Belfast venue - it benefited from a £200,000 makeover - and Whitehead's Montgomery have been knocking on the international door of late.

They form part of a reshuffled side that also includes the recalled Alan Paul and captain Ian McClure, who was unavailable for last season's Series in Wales, where the Irish finished in third place.

"The team has a good shape about it," said Booth, who is relishing the prospect of leading his troops in front of home supporters.

"In order to take full advantage of playing at home, I've arranged a number of practice days at Belmont for the team and also the players that will be representing our country."

Booth will have his players together on Wednesday, June 21; Sunday, June 25 and Monday June 26. There will also be the official practice before the event.

Ireland's only win last year came in the final outing against Scotland. They'll be hoping for a similar result when the teams clash in the opening game on July 1.

"It's a tough start, but they are all tough," added Booth. "Hopefully, with the backing of the home supporters we can end a disappointing run."

Cavan is drafted in at second in the rink skipped by Stephen Coleman, while Montgomery will play lead for his club colleague Marty McHugh.

Ireland international team: Rink 1: A Tennant (Ballymoney), N Mulholland (Old Bleach), S Bennett (Belmont), G Kelly (Ballymoney).

Rink 2: G Pierpoint (St James's Gate), DJ Wilson (Dunbarton), S Martin (Belmont), A Kyle (Larne).

Rink 3: P Daly (Belmont), S Cavan (Belmont), A Hughes (Dunbarton), S Coleman (Ballymena).

Rink 4: S Jess (Ballymena), R Maher (St James's Gate), B Browne (Whitehead), G McKee (Larne).

Rink 5: D Atkinson (Belmont), A Paul (Dunbarton), M Wilson (Cookstown), I McClure (Portrush).

Rink 6: J Montgomery (Whitehead), S Kirkwood (Old Bleach), B Kane (Dunluce), M McHugh (Whitehead).

Reserves: N Beggs (Whitehead), R Kane (Dunluce), G McCloy (Portrush), R McMullan (Dunbarton).

Today's fixtures: Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Ballywalter v Dunbarton, Falls v Ballymena, Pickie v Larne, Mossley v Belmont, Ewarts v Old Bleach.

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Dundonald v Donaghadee, Portadown v Bangor, Carrickfergus v Divis, Whitehead v Dungannon, Balmoral v Banbridge.

Northern Ireland Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: City of Derry v Letterkenny, Portrush v Limavady, Coleraine v Dunluce, Cookstown v Ballymoney.

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