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Booth inspires NIPGL to end six years of hurt

The Private Greens League at last popped the bubbly in the IBA Inter-Association Championship at the City of Derry Club.

Their victory in the showcase event ended six years of agony. They laid down a marker by beating the 2009 champions, Bowling League of Ireland, in their opening game and literally blitz their way through the remainder of the campaign.

Irish international Neil Booth was the tormentor in chief, skipping his rink to three crucial wins which was pivotal to his team's overall success.

"We got off to a great start which generated a lot of confidence," said Booth. "We carried that into our next game against the NIBA finished really well by beating the reigning champions, the Provincial Bowling Association.

"It's been a long wait in terms of winning the title, so we aim to enjoy the occasion."

The PGL pocketed seven points from that opener - Booth scoring a 21-19 win over John Leonard. Robin Horner and Brendan Thompson also made vital contributions with victories against Eamon Carruth (23-14) and Blair Somers (28-14).

Booth continued his impressive form against the NIBA. His 25-13 success against Robert Hastings was overshadowed by Alan Montgomery's 27-8 win over Noel Graham.

Thompson guaranteed the PGL seven points with a 20-15 victory over Marty McHugh.

It meant the PGL approached the final game of the series against the reigning champions, with a five-and-a-half point cushion over the NIBA.

They certainly were in no mood to toss away their advantage. Not surprisingly, it was Booth who led the charge with an eye catching 26-16 victory over his international colleague Gary McCloy.

Horner and Thompson also chipped in with victories over Barry Kane (24-17) and Colin Hogg (27-16) - the seven points taking the PGL past the winning post.

Results: NIPBA 78 (2.5) NIBA (6.5): I McClure 20 N Graham 18; C Hogg 15 C Craig 15; M McKeeman 20 R Hastings 15; B Kane 13 B Browne 21; G McCloy 10 M McHugh 33.

NIPGL 108 (7) BLI 92 (2): M Greenfield 20 S Millane 23; R Horner 23 E Carruth 14; B Thompson 28 B Somers 14; N Booth 21 J Leonard 19; A Montgomery 16 R Leonard 22.

NIPBA 115 (8) BLI 84 (1): C Hogg 24 R Leonard 16; G McCloy 19 B Somers 19; M McKeeman 20 S Millane 20; B Kane 20 J Leonard 19; I McClure 34 E Carruth 12.

NIBA 84 (2) NIPGL 95 (7): M McHugh 15 B Thompson 20; N Graham 8 A Montgomery 27; B Browne 25 R Horner 15; R Hastings 13 N Booth 25; C Craig 23 M Greenfield 8.

NIPBA 89 (2) NIPGL 110 (7): M McKeeman 20 M Greenfield 18; I McClure 19 A Montgomery 17; G McCloy 16 N Booth 24; C Hogg 16 B Thompson 27; B Kane 17 R Horner 24.

BLI 74 (1) NIBA 121 (8): B Somers 16 M McHugh 20; E Carruth 27 B Browne 17; S Millane 12 N Graham 23; R Leonard 8 C Craig 33; J Leonard 11 R Hastings 28.

Final placings: 1, NIPGL 21pts; 2, NIBA 16.5; 3, NIPBA 12.5; 4, BLI 4.

Belfast Telegraph