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Bowls: Ballinderry aim for 21st bowling title

By Harry Allen

Ballinderry can win the Ulster Star Lisburn League this season for the 21st time and the 19th in the past 20 years - a record unparalleled in Irish bowls history.

The only year Ballinderry have lost the title during this run was in 1993/94 to Derryvolgie.

Their run of success started in 1987/88 however they won the title for the first time in 1984/85. They have also won the J. C. Patterson Cup for the past 14 years and 15 times in all.

Lisburn Zone have a good record in Inter-Zone competitions and championships down the years, winning the cup four times in 1973/74, 1980/81, 1988/89 and 1989/90.

The ladies have also won the cup twice, in 1978/79 and 1982/83, while the men lifted the Shield in 2000/01.

The run of championship successes brought five national singles wins - S. Graham, Derriaghy Parish 1963/64; E. T. Cairns, also Derriaghy, 1972/73; E. Robinson, Second Boardmills, 1975/76; and E. Steele, Sloan Street Pres, 1976/77 - but they had to wait until 1992/93 before Alan Leonard, Derryvolgie, won it again.

In the pairs, R. Lyness/W. Just, Lisburn Cathedral, won in 1962/63 and R. Armour/W. Rosbotham, 1st Lisburn, in 1964/65. S. Shimmons/A. Leonard were the 1987/88 winners and, more recently, in 1995/96, Paul Reid and Tommy McGann, Ballinderry, lifted the title before another Ballinderry pair, Gordon and Raymond Stubbs, won last year.

No Lisburn Zone bowler has ever won the triples but in 1988/89 Alan Leonard was again a winner, this time in the fours, and there were successive wins from 2003 for Reid and Raymond Stubbs.

Mrs Armour, 1st Lisburn, is the only ladies singles winner, in 1970/71, and she won the pairs with Mrs McCrone the previous year. In 1982/83, Mrs S. Jess and Mrs L. Stewart, Christ Church, also won the pairs, while in 1985/86 Vera McCourt had a double success, winning the pairs with Mrs E. Ferns in 1985/86 and she was successful again the same season with her Pond Park rink. The most recent success was 2002/03 when Julie McConnell's Ballinderry rink were winners.

Leonard was also successful in the junior singles, winning in 1986/87 and the following season, but it was 1998/99 before D. McAlernon, Aghagallon, won it.

In the Champion of Champions competition, Lisburn won the pairs through J and M. Shannon, Derriaghy, in 1987 and won again the next year when B. Ruddell/E. Marsden, Ballinderry, were successful.

Keith Morrison won two titles with different clubs, lifting the pairs in 2002 with N. Marsden, Ballinderry, having already won the fours with Christ Church in 1987. Leonard won the fours in 1989 and Lisburn now hold the fours title through G. Conroy's Ballinderry rink.

Belfast Telegraph


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