Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton and Horner make it day to remember for Belmont

bowls

Robin Horner
Robin Horner

By Alex Mills

Belmont's Davy Hamilton and Robin Horner are becoming accustomed to popping the bubbly on IBA Senior Cup final day.

They were at it again at Banbridge on Saturday when the East Belfast club celebrated its 10th Irish Cup success.

Incredibly, it was the ninth time Hamilton and Horner had mounted the winners' rostrum. Even though they have been involved in some monumental scraps and last gasp finishes, they picked up their medal this time without breaking sweat.

CYM arrived at the Co Down venue full of optimism and determined to become the first Bowling League of Ireland side to lift the game's top knock prize since Kenilworth's victory back in 1961.

Their confidence was boosted by an impressive cup run in which they accounted for Sydenham, Ballymena, Whitehead and ironically, Banbridge.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for CYM as they were totally blown out of the water by a rampant Belmont, who roared to a 46-shots win - after the teams' shook hands after only 17 ends.

Even though it was a special day for the club and, particularly Hamilton and Horner, they are still one medal short of club colleague Chris Mulholland, who has racked up a staggering 10 cup final wins - with different clubs, of course.

Mulholland now plays his bowls with the Belmont B team. And, in an ironic twist, he was again on a winning team, this time in the IBA Intermediate Cup final against Ballywalter at Newtownards - his first medal at that level.

"It was a special day for the club," said Hamilton, who played second in the victorious rink skipped by Raymond Barr. "We went into the game as favourites, so it was important we didn't let any complacency creep in. "We've been down this road on many occasions, so we know what is required. It was all new to CYM and I suppose the occasion got to them."

It was the rink skipped by Stuart Bennett that applied most of the damage. The Ireland international racked up an impressive 30-10 win against Derick McCarthy.

But there were no failures in a slick, well-oiled Belmont machine.

Roy Battersby and Simon Martin enjoyed wins against Ian Gillen (22-8) and Kevin McCarthy, while Raymond Barr completed the job with a 20-17 win over Shane Leonard, the hero of his team's semi-final win against Banbridge.

So, there was quite a celebration at their Belmont headquarters when both sides arrived back to crack open the bubbly.

There were similar scenes down Gilford way after Dunbarton B defeated Coleraine B 86-72, which earned them the IBA Junior Cup.

Results: IBA Senior Cup final: Belmont 91 CYM 45: R Battersby 22 I Gillen 8, S Martin 19 K McCarthy 13, S Bennett 30 D McCarthy 10, R Barry 20 S Leonard 17.

IBA Intermediate Cup final: Ballywalter 69 Belmont B 84: S Cavan 12 G McTasney 27, D Palmer 20 J McBride 20, K Massey 22 D Bintley 18, A Davidson 15 A Sloan 19.

IBA Junior Cup final: Dunbarton B 86 Coleraine B 72: S Breen 25 N Vauls 13, J Magennis 18 J Logan 20, D Breen 25 D Reilly 15, M Adamson 18 J O'Neill 24.

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