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Bowls: Time to get tough, says Ireland boss


 Big moment: Courtney Meneely is set for Ireland debut

Big moment: Courtney Meneely is set for Ireland debut

Big moment: Courtney Meneely is set for Ireland debut

IRELAND boss Coleen Cochrane insists her team must adopt a "mental toughness" ahead of the Home International Series at Stanley Indoor Bowls Club.

The Irish ladies have failed to register a victory over any of the Home Nations for five years, which prompted the selectors to sweep the boards for the showcase event from March 7 to 9.

Co Antrim's Courtney Meneely is handed a debut, along with Belfast duo Sharyn Jess and Pat Horner, while six players are recalled – Meta Kyles, Ashleigh Rainey, Donna Meneely, Ada Pauley, Vi Luney and Maisie Stewart.

"We've got into a habit of losing, which isn't good," Cochrane stressed. "I reckon we have to be mentally tougher on the green.

"Sometimes we can just be too nice. The other nations have a will to win, which is something we lack. The selectors' hand was forced on this occasion due to the fact that quite a few of last year's team were unavailable.

"But changes were needed. We now have three new caps and six players recalled to the side. It's all about attitude.

"The players have performed exceptionally well in the build-up to the international series so hopefully they can maintain that form next month."

Courtney Meneely, Kyles and Rainey form a new rink for Sarah Jane Coleman. Donna Meneely – Courtney's mum – comes in at two for Dessa Baird, while Luney is handed the role of skip.

Jess and Horner are due to feature in the rink skipped by Ann Craig, with Stewart and Pauley forming a new front end for Jennifer Dowds.

Belfast Telegraph