Hastings going for Bangor glory on three fronts
Robert Hastings is primed for a medal mission in the Bangor Bowls Tournament that reaches a climax at Ward Park today.
Playing on his home green, the former Ireland international will be involved in three disciplines.
Tournament organisers have had to cope with a record numer of entries for the popular event.
And with the event now in its 75th year, a new name will be scribbled on to the coveted singles trophy. Salisbury's Gary Eaton will go head to head with Banbridge's Derek Wright in the semis, with Thomas McClean, from Bangor, meeting Jim Corry, of Castle, in the other tie.
It was Thomas Cannavan who popped the bubbly last year as he clinched both the singles and the triples. This time he will focus on the pairs.
There should be a packed house at the North Down venue when Jackie Erskine lines out against the husband and wife combination of Elaine and Robert Hastings this morning.
And there is another formidable Bangor combination in the other semi-final, with Rodney McCutcheon and Keith Taylor facing the father and son duo Michael and Sam Curran.
The Hastings are no strangers to the winning rostrum at Bangor. They set a new record last year by winning the mixed pair competition for an astonishing ninth time.
They must see off the challenge of Maisie Nelson and Sam Curran to earn a semi-final shot at Irene and Matt Stevenson.
Robert Hastings and Stevenson could become very familiar with each others games, with both due to clash in the semi-final of the fours as well.
"We've had another great response from bowlers from all over the country," said tournament organiser Henry McFarland.
"This is the 75th year of the tournament and it is already proving to be one of the best.
"We were delighted to have welcomed Lady Sylvia Hermon down to open the tournemant, accompanied by presidents from all four associations.
"There should be some cracking finals in store to climax what has been a great week."
Open singles semi-finals: G Eaton (Salisbury) v D Wright (Banbridge), J Corry (Castle) v T McClean (Bangor).
Under-25 singles semi-finals: S Lennon (Salisbury) v W Orr (Comber), D Bodels (Carrickfergus) v I McMenamin (Whitehead).
Open pairs semi-finals: M Curran, S Curran (BETS/Bangor) v R McCutcheon, K Taylor (Bangor), J Erskine, T Cannavan (Bangor) v E Hastings, R Hastings (Ballywalter/Bangor).
Open triples final: K Taylor (Bangor) v W Thompson (Willowfield).
Open fours semi-finals: Open fours: A Stewart (Bangor) v A Hughes (Dunbarton), R Hastings (Bangor) v M Stevenson (Castle).
Mixed pairs semi-finals: I Stevenson, M Stevenson (Ballyholme/Bangor) v M Nelson, S Curran (Bangor) or E Hastings, R Hastings (Ballywalter/Bangor), A Morris, G McKee (NICS/Ards) v V Stevenson, J Erskine (Larne/Castle).