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North West knock holders out of Inter-Zone trophy at first hurdle

By David Mason

Published 24/10/2016

North West knocked out holders Mid Ulster with a 53-52 win in the first round of the IIBA Men’s Inter-zone Championship (stock photo)
North West knocked out holders Mid Ulster with a 53-52 win in the first round of the IIBA Men’s Inter-zone Championship (stock photo)

Holders Mid Ulster crashed out of the IIBA Men's Inter-zone Championship in a thrilling first round showdown with North West at Maghera Presbyterian.

The Boomer Cup champs appeared to be surrendering their trophy without a fight as they trailed by a staggering 13 shots at the break. But they turned in a fantastic second half performance and were pipped by only one shot, 53-52.

North West dominated the opening period with Brian Rankin and Marty McNicholl racking up wins against Damien McElroy (11-4) and Danny McStravock (11-5). John Devine just failed to make it a winning treble as he was held 10-10 by Dayne Jordan. However, Mark Wilson registered a 10-7 victory against Leigh Harrison, but it could have been even better for the Mid Ulster man as his final delivery on the last end fell inches short, allowing his opponent to pick up a two.

Alan Paul beat Richard Service 9-6. It was down to the final rink with Mid Ulster's Colm McHugh battling it out with Trevor McIntyre. The home team were one shot ahead overall.

Results: Mid Ulster 52 North West 53 (D McElroy 4 B Ranking 11; D Jordan 10 J Devine 10; D McStravock 5 M McNicholl 11; M Wilson 10 L Harrison 7; C McHugh 14 T McIntyre 7; A Paul 9 R Service 6).

Northern 56 East Antrim 41; Mid Antrim 63 Belfast 56; Monaghan 74 North East 43; Oriel, 80 North Down 30; Foyle 52 Western 55; Armagh 68 South Down 40.

Second round: Oriel v Northern; Monaghan v Mid Antrim; Foyle v North West; Armagh v Mid Down; Meath v Lisburn; Mid Tyrone v Cork; Larne v West Down; South Tyrone v Donegal.

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