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Graham eyes an end to his pairs drought

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Former Ireland international Noel Graham is back on the glory trail in the IBA National Championships (stock photo)
Former Ireland international Noel Graham is back on the glory trail in the IBA National Championships (stock photo)

By Alex Mills

Former Ireland international Noel Graham is back on the glory trail in the IBA National Championships.

He may have represented his country with distinction at World, Commonwealth and British level for many years, but Graham is still looking for his first Irish pairs title.

One of the most decorated players in Irish bowls, Noel will today aim to put that right when he lines up with Lisnargarvey colleague Philip Cromie for a pairs final showdown against Cookstown's Colin Hogg and Mark Wilson at Newtownards.

They secured their place in the decider yesterday with a commanding 23-12 win over Peter and Brian Trimble.

"It's now down to a one-game shoot-out," said Graham."

"Make no mistake about it, it's going to be a massive challenge against two guys on their top of their game."

IBA National Championships

Open singles: R Leonard (Crumlin) 21 C Gaw (Donaghadee) 18. S Bennett (Belmont) 10 G McCloy (Portrush) 21.

Youth singles: J Whitney (Crumlin) 10 J Kidd (Dunbarton) 21. A Jones (Portglenone) 14 D Donnan (Donaghadee) 21.

Under-25 singles: R Kirkwood (Old Bleach) w/o S Wallace (Whitehead). R McMullan (Limavady) 11 C Gillen (CYM) 21.

Pairs: P Trimble, B Trimble (Old Bleach) 12 P Cromie, N Graham (Lisnagarvey) 23. E Carruth, R Leonard (Crumlin) 17 C Hogg, M Wilson (Cookstown) 21.

Triples: B Smyth (Ballymoney) 7 S Millane (Crumlin) 19. M Nutt (Old Bleach) 17 B Browne (Whitehead) 14

Fours: I Wilson (CYM) 18 G McGleave (Divis) 19. S Martin (Belmont) 21 D Walker (Ballymoney) 11.

Senior fours: P McEwan (Falls) 24 F McCarthy (CYM) 14. W McCaw (Ballymoney) 15 J Caldwell (Whitehead) 21.

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