Belfast Telegraph

Ambitious Gary Kelly eyes up Festive bowling triumphs

by david mason

GARY Kelly admits he faces a hectic schedule in the lead up to the Festive period, starting with an appearance in the AIIB National Under-25 Singles qualifier at the County Antrim Indoor Bowls Club on Sunday (10am).

The Ireland international also has a date in the National Singles and Fours before he heads off in the New Year to Potters Resort for the World Indoor Singles.

Kelly's immediate focus will be on the junior singles, but he faces a daunting opener in reigning champion Alistair Coleman, appearing on his home carpet.

"It's all happening – one big game after another," said Kelly, who has already claimed a place in the semi-final of the Irish triples, scheduled for January 17.

"I'll be totally focused on the junior singles this weekend, but what a tough draw against Ali. I'll need to be at my best.

"After that it's the National Fours and then the National Singles a week later. I'm then off to Potters before the Irish Championships, so it's a busy time.

"I qualified for both the Irish junior and open singles last year, but had to pull out because of a back injury."

Donegal's Fred Aicken believes complacency will not be an issue even though his team will be hot favourites to book a spot in round three of the IIBA Women's Inter-zone Championship at the expense of South Tyrone at Raphoe tomorrow (2pm).

Having hoisted the McIlroy Cup for the first time back in 2012, Donegal again looked equipped to go the distance.

"We'll be taking nothing for granted," said Aicken.

AIIB National Under-25 singles qualifier: M Jones (BCIBC) v J Watson (BIBC), D Atkinson (CAIBC) v Stuart Coleman (CAIBC), M Hedley (BIBC) v Stephen Coleman jnr (CAIBC), K Matchett (BIBC) v S Kirkwood (BIBC), A Coleman (CAIBC) v G Kelly (BCIBC), S Colvin (BCIBC) v T Crawford (BIBC), S Jess (BIBC) v C Prunty (BIBC), M Mason (BCIBC) v R Millar (BIBC).

IIBA Women's Inter-zone, second round: West Down v Mid Ulster, North West v Mid Tyrone, East Antrim v Armagh, Western v Lisburn, North Eastern v Mid Down, Monaghan v Cork, Donegal v South Tyrone, South & East Belfast v Foyle.

IIBA Women's Plate tournament: Northern v North Down, South Down v Oriel.

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