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McHugh and Wilson sparkle with National title glory


By Alex Mills

Whitehead's Marty McHugh ended the outdoor bowls season in a blaze of glory. The Ireland international last week was on the winners' rostrum after his team retained the NIBA Division One title, pipping rivals Bangor.

And, on Saturday, McHugh was popping the champagne yet again, this time in the Irish Bowling Association National Championships at Stormont.

Joined by Jack Moffett and JR Wilson, McHugh retained the triples title, which punched his ticket to next season's British Isles Championships.

"It's been a fantastic end to the season," said McHugh. "We retained the league title which was brilliant - our third title win on the spin.

"We actually went through the season unbeaten which was a great achievement, and retaining the triples title really was the icing on the cake for us."

McHugh, however, diced with danger in the semi-final against the Portrush side, skipped by Simon Colvin. The Whitehead boys trailed 17-15 going into the last end, but incredibly picked up a count of three to edge them over the finish line.

But McHugh and his colleagues had it a little bit easier in the final against the Crumlin's John D'Arcy in the final, coasting home 28-15.

Meanwhile, Mark Wilson wrote himself into the record books after lifting the singles title.

The Ireland international defeated Noel Graham, grabbing a last end winner in a gripping final. Wilson became the first Cookstown player to have hoisted the trophy.

Wilson certainly deserved his victory charge. He produced a wonderful performance in the semi final to defeat Dunbarton's DJ Wilson before claiming that brilliant 21-20 win over Graham.

Irish Bowling Association Championships semi finals:

Singles: N Graham (Lisnagarvey) 20; M Wilson (Cookstown) 21.

Under-25 singles: J Byrne (Crumlin) 21 R McKeown (Whitehead) 3.

Under-18 singles: A McKeown (Mossley) 16; J Moffett (Banbridge) 21.

Pairs: C McCartan, DJ Wilson (Dunbarton) 15 A Tennant, G Kelly (Ballymoney) 23.

Triples: N Maher, J Byrne, J D'Arcy (Crumlin) 15 J Montgomery, JR Wilson, M McHugh (Whitehead) 28.

Fours: J Shepherd, P Wallace, C Hogg, M Wilson (Cookstown) 11 R Beattie, J Erskine, K Taylor, S Denley (Bangor) 22.

Final: Wilson 11 Denley 22.

Senior fours: P Lillis, J Kerr, J McGetterick, M Morgan (Falls) 19 T Johnston, W Lennox, E Sands, C Hogg (Cookstown) 26.

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