Belfast Telegraph

Heartbreak as Ireland boys fall at final hurdle


By Alex Mills

Ireland boss Neil Booth admitted he was proud of his team following yesterday's heart-breaking defeat by Scotland in the Under-25 Home International Series at Llandrindod Wells

In a winner takes all affair, the battling Irish went down by only six shots, which deprived them of only their second ever title win.

Following victories over Wales and England on the opening day, the Irish kids looked to be on course to repeat the never to be forgotten day when they hoisted the trophy for the first time on home soil at the City of Derry club back in 2010, only to be pipped at the post.

Even with five new caps on board, Booth's youthful side produced three outstanding performances which had the manager gushing their praises.

"It was a tremendous effort by every one of the boys," said Booth, who was taking charge of the side for the first time.

"We were probably given little chance even before we arrived in Wales, but I knew the quality we had in this team.

"We started tremendously well by claiming a 13 shots win against Wales, but really upped the ante to defeat England, who were the reigning champions, by 25 shots in the afternoon session on Saturday.

"Scotland were also unbeaten going into yesterday's final game, so it was make or break for both teams. They certainly were the most experienced of the two teams, but we matched them right to the final bowl."

Irish skips Aaron Tennant and Terry Crawford ended the Series with an unblemished record, winning all three games, which is a tremendous achievement.

Results: Wales 113 Ireland 126: Owen 26 Atkinson 16, Roff 22 Kirkwood 14, Salmon 18 Boyd 16, Jackson 14 Crawford 27, Thomas 7 Tennant 31, J Davies 26 Kirkwood 22

England 96 Scotland 128: Kitchen 18 C Milne 23, Atkins 17 Banks 18, Cinato 13 Gormley 22, Walton 20 Blair 19, Steel 11 J Fleming jnr 25, Martin 17 Kane jnr 21

Wales 120 Scotland 122: Thomas 29 Fleming jnr 19, Davies 20 Kane jnr 20, Owen 22 Milne 14, Roff 15 Banks 24, Salmon 22 Gormley18, Jackson 12 Blair 27

Ireland 131 England 106 : Tennant 27 Steel 12, Kirkwood 18 Martin 24, Atkinson 30 Kitchen 12, Kirkwood 17 Atkins 12, Boyd 14 Cinato 27, Crawford 25 Walton 19.

Wales 109 England 124: Salmon 16 Cinato 26, Jackson 19 Walton 17, Thomas 25 Steel 24, Davies 17 Martin 20, Owen 19 N Kitchen 17, Roff 13 Atkins 20).

Scotland 116 Ireland 110: Gormley 28 Boyd 11, Blair 15 Crawford 19, Fleming jnr 14 Tennant 15, Kane jnr 17 Kirkwood 25, C Milne 27 D Atkinson 18, J Banks 15 R Kirkwood 22).

Final positions: 1 Scotland 6pts; 2 Ireland 4pts; 3 England 2pts; 4 Wales 0pts.

Belfast Telegraph

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