Bowls: Ireland youngsters tipped for top
Ireland manager Roy McCune insists his team can hold their heads high in spite of returning empty handed from the weekend's British Isles Under-18 Championship in Dunfermline.
The young Irish squad defied all the odds 12 months ago by winning a triples gold medal and a bronze in the singles discipline, which was always going to be a tough act to follow.
Chloe Watson, Jamie Brown, Connor Prunty and Jamie Watson did battle their way through yesterday's bronze medal play-off against England, but they lost out in straight sets (12-3, 12-4).
"The squad performed admirably against the cream of players from the Home Nations," said McCune. "We punched above our weight last season at Stanley, which heralded medal success.
"It was a big ask to repeat that performance, especially as we lost a couple of our more experienced players. Although we didn't manage to win any medals this time, the group of players will have gained valuable experience from the weekend."
The Irish also just missed out in the pairs with Chloe Watson and Prunty finishing fifth place.
Unfortunately, 14-year-old Reece Millar, who won bronze 12 months ago, finished in last place in the singles discipline.
Millar, Jamie Watson and Brown just avoided a similar fate in the triples by finishing seventh.
St Mark's (Portadown) wrote themselves into the record books by winning the IIBA Club Championship for the first time at the Watson Stadium. They defeated hot favourites and former three-times winners Cookstown Parochial 21-19 in an epic final.