Bowls: Ulster rookies get Irish call-up for U-25 series
IRELAND will have five new faces on show in the 2013 Under-25 Home International Series at Llandrindod Wells, Wales, on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15.
In for their first taste of action at this level come Donaghadee's Chris Dorman, Darren Witherspoon (Larne), Thomas McClean (Sydenham), Kris Matchett (Lurgan) and Crumlin's John Byrne.
"The lads showed up really well in the Junior Inter-association Championship over the weekend," said Irish selector Stephen Moran.
"We lost a few players because of the age restriction, but we are fortunate enough to have many talented kids emerging in all four associations."
Witherspoon and McClean will form a new front end in Robert Kirkwood's combination, while Dorman, Matchett and Byrne have been drafted in at second in the rinks skipped by Andy Duncan, Aaron Patterson and Shane Leonard.
Duncan will again captain the team. Incidentally, all six rinks are entered into the Old Bleach Fours tournament at Randalstown on Sunday, August 25.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Bowling Association produced a dramatic finish which earned them the IBA Inter-association title.
Talisman Gary Kelly held his nerve in the final which inched his team over the finish line.
Duncan celebrated his return from Australia by scooping a double success in the prestigious Belmont Bowls Club's City of Belfast tournament.
The Ballymena player, who has been Down Under for the past six months, won the pairs title, along with Whitehead's Matthew Crawford, and then produced a dazzling performance to walk off with the singles crown.
"It's been a superb week," he said.
It was a different story for Belmont's Simon Cavan, who was beaten in both finals. Joined by his younger brother, Ryan, the Cavans suffered a 25-18 defeat in the pairs.
Andrew was just too hot to handle in the singles. He roared to a 21-16 victory, making it memorable day for the Sky Blues.
Ireland Under-25 team: Rink one: D Atkinson (Belmont), C Dorman (Donaghadee), S Shields (Ballymena), A Duncan (Ballymena). Rink two: C Brogan (Ballymoney), G Carson (Lisnagarvey), T Crawford (Belmont), G Kelly (Ballymoney). Rink three: A Tennant (Ballymoney), D O'Kane (Letterkenny), R Allen (Portrush), S Colvin (Portrush). Rink four: D Witherspoon (Larne), T McClean (Sydenham), A Coleman (Ballymena), R Kirkwood (Hilden). Rink five: J Montgomery (Whitehead), K Matchett (Lurgan), M Crawford (Whitehead), A Patterson (Bangor). Rink six: G Pierpoint (St James's Gate), J Byrne (Crumlin) M Torrington (Ballymena), S Leonard (St James's Gate). Reserves: T Bell (Mossley), M McCracken (Cookstown).
Results: IBA Under-25 Inter-association Championship: NIBA 86 (5) NIPGL 77 (2); NIPBA 92 (7) BLI 79 (0); NIPGL 103 (6) BLI 79 (1); NIPBA 73 (5) NIBA 71 (2); NIBA 99 (7) BLI 61 (0); NIPBA 79 (5) NIPGL 75 (2).
Final positions: 1 NIPBA 17pts; 2 NIBA 14; 3 NIPGL 10; 4 BLI 1.
Belmont Bowls Club's City of Belfast tournament: Men's singles: S Cavan (Belmont) 16 A Duncan (Ballymena) 21. Mens pairs: R Cavan (Pickie), S Cavan (Belmont) 18 M Crawford (Whitehead), A Duncan (Ballymena) 25. Ladies singles: E Woods (Belmont) 21 A Weir (NICS) 19. Ladies pairs: B Liddell, E Woods (Belmont) 17 C Eadie (Knock), P Montgomery (Belmont) 20. Junior singles: S Kirkwood (Hilden) 6 R Kirkwood (Hilden) 21. Plate singles: P Weir (Whitehead) 10 K Matchett (Lurgan) 21. Plate pairs: M Foster, J Fraser (Dundonald) 27 P McEnallen (Belmont), R McKeag (Hilden) 15.
Portrush annual tournament: Men's singles: N Booth (Old Bleach) 21 J Talbot (Old Bleach) 7. Men's pairs: N McCaw, J Martin (Ballymoney) 20 P Wallace, G Scott (Cookstown) 12. Ladies singles: B O'Neill (Portstewart) 21 E McKee (Portrush) 8. Ladies pairs: M Robinson, A Elliott (Dunluce) 20 P Johnston, A McClelland (Dunluce) 14. Mixed rinks: P Johnston, B Logue, J Martin, B McAlary 18 M Campbell, B McIlroy, H Kelly, D McCann (Kilrea) 17.