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Duo just one game from new title


To the four: Stephen McKinley is closing in on fours crown

To the four: Stephen McKinley is closing in on fours crown

© Mervyn McClelland/Presseye

To the four: Stephen McKinley is closing in on fours crown

Davy Coulter and Stephen McKinley may have recently lost their IIBA National pairs title, but they are now only one game away from capturing the fours trophy for the first time.

The Ulster Transport duo teamed up with Rodney Fiddis and Billy Johnston to produce a devastating spell in last weekend's qualifiers to book their spot in tomorrow's showcase decider against Leigh Harrison's United Services rink, featuring Nishy Logue, John Devine and Ryan O'Neill, at the Richhill Recreation Centre (1pm).

"Hopefully, it's the case of losing one national title and gaining another," said McKinley, who was a singles winner back in 2005.

"It will be another big test for us against a very experienced rink."

O'Neill will be on a double mission as he will also contest the singles final against Salisbury's Terry Crawford – a first for both.

Meanwhile, Pauline Beattie is on track to win her sixth ladies singles championship in a repeat of the 2011 final against Cookstown Parochial's Bridgid Davidson.

IIBA National Championships

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Singles: R O'Neill (United Services) v T Crawford (Salisbury).

Pairs: D Jordan, M Wilson (Cookstown High School) v M McAleese, D Walker (St Coleman's, Dervock).

Triples: A Reilly, Nathan Haire, Nicky Haire (Hillsborough Social Club) v P Whittle, T Mulholland, M Sproule (Cranagill).

Fours: N Logue, J Devine, R O'Neill, L Harrison (United Services) v R Fiddis, B Johnston, D Coulter, S McKinley (Ulster Transport).

Ladies singles: P Beattie (St Mark's, Portadown) v B Davidson (Cookstown Parochial).

Ladies pairs: J Wilson, M Wilson (Michelin) v E Hastings, G Blair (Ballywalter).

Junior singles: S Hand (Corduff) v D Davidson (Cookstown Parochial).

Junior pairs: C Hastings, M Hastings (Ballywalter) v B Whittle (Cranagill), S Breen (St Anthony's).

Over-55 pairs: S Bell, G Bell (St Johnston Presbyterian) v B Taffe, S Conroy (Redeemer).

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