Belfast Telegraph

Gerry McMahon and Dairmuid McCabe dig deep to clinch IIBA Masters title

By David Mason

Gerry McCabe and Dairmuid McMahon became only the second winners of the IIBA Masters Pairs title at the Watson Stadium on Saturday.

The Carrickmacross boys were a cut above the rest as the cream of the country's short mat bowlers battled it out for the prestigious crown.

They snaked their way through the group stage and clinched a hard-fought 7-4 win against Alan Paul and John Quinn in the final.

"It was tough going," said McMahon. "It was particularly difficult, especially in the knock-out phase, which was littered with international players.

"It was mentally and physically draining, but we are thrilled to bring the title to Carrickmacross for the first time."

After booking their slot in the last 32, McCabe and McMahon maintained their high level of consistency by beating Jenny Nesbitt and Ann Polin (8-5).

But they had to call on all their battling qualities against Marty and Sean Trainor, who were pipped by only one shot (7-6) in their next outing.

Lisa Douglas and William Morrison buckled (9-4) at the quarter final stage before Nick and Nathan Haire were nudged aside, beaten 8-4 in the semis.

Paul and Quinn had just no answer in the final.

"They played the big shots better than we did, that's what won it for them," said Paul.

Results: IIBA Masters Pairs, Last 16: N Haire, N Haire 11 A McKee 4; J Beattie, P Beattie 7 A Sayers, J McWhirter 9; M Trainor, S Trainor 6 G McCabe, D McMahon 7; L Douglas, W Morrison 7 J Newell, P Canning 3; G Moore, M Beattie 16 S Finlay, V Witherow 2; D Witherspoon, N Todd 4 A Paul, J Quinn 9; G Smith, D McElroy 8 I Craig, T Morrison 7; B Davidson, S Quinn 8 G Tanner, A Tanner 9.

Quarter-finals: Haire 11 McWhirter 2; McMahon 9 Morrison 4; Beattie 5 Quinn 9; McElroy 7 Tanner 10.

Semi-finals: Haire 4 McMahon 8; Quinn 7 Tanner 6.

Final: Quinn 4 McMahon 7.

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