Holders out as Belfast teams take command
Holders Stephen Falls, Derek Smith and Ian McClure yesterday crashed out of the AIIB National triples on their home carpet at Ballybrakes Community Indoor Stadium.
They lost out 11-7 in a marathon tie against their club colleagues Alistair Kennedy, Willie McCaw and Gary Kelly.
"We are desperately disappointed," admitted McClure. "It's a big job getting your hands on any national title, but it's even more daunting trying to retain it."
To make matters worse, Kelly's combination were then dumped out at the quarter-final stage, meaning the Ballybrakes club will not be involved in the semi-finals in January.
County Antrim put the skids on Belfast's attempt to fill all semi-finals slots. Alistair Coleman, Stephen Coleman Sr and Andy Kyle stormed to an impressive 19-11 victory over Jim McGetterick's Shaw's Bridge side to claim their spot in the last four.
They will be joined by former holders Stephen Gibson, John McCullough and Mike Merritt, who booked their passage with a thumping 18-8 success against County Antrim's James Caldwell. They will now face Coleman early in the New Year
Mark McPeak, Roy Battersby and Stuartie Bennett will feature in the other tie against Stephen Kirkwood, Chris Eadie and David Nixon, who claimed a one-shot win over Kelly.