Ireland's sights set on a treble celebration of British Isles joy
Ireland will go on a gold mission in the British Isles Bowls Championships at Ayr Northfield today, but trophy specialist Gary Kelly will not be part of the charge for glory.
The battling Irish will contest three finals, starting this morning with young Colm O'Brien lining out against David Eaton in the Youth Singles (Under-18) decider.
Later in the day, Cameron Gaw will go head-to-head with England's Danny Mills for the Under-25 singles trophy.
At the same time, Terry Crawford and Gary Eaton will battle it out with Jersey's Ross Davis and Malcolm De Sousa for the right to be crowned pairs champions.
It could have been even better for Ireland, but Kelly's rink of Aaron Tennant, James Martin and Brian Smyth suffered a wobble in the latter stages of their semi-final clash with the Scottish rink skipped by James Hogg, losing the singles and a double, which duly cost them the game.
Alastair Steele, Alistair Davison and Willie McCaw also bowed out in the semi-final of the triples, beaten by Wales' Ross Owen.
The Irish boys - they were trailing 18-6 at 12 ends - almost produced a remarkable revival, reeling in eight shots without concession to win the last six ends, but it wasn't enough.
And there was heartbreak for Peter Dew, Ian Ferguson, Alan Briggs and Alan Roberts, who were beaten by a last-end winner by England's Dave Snell in the semi-final of the Senior Fours.
Results: Singles: Preliminary round: S Coleman (Ireland) 19 R Davis (Jersey) 21.
Under-18 singles: Semi-final: C O'Brien (Ireland) 21 E Hughes (Wales) 15.
Under-25 singles: Semi-final: C Gaw (Ireland) 21 K Crocker (Wales) 16.
Pairs: Preliminary round: T Crawford, G Eaton (Ireland) 23 N Williams, S Steel (England) 17. Semi-final: Crawford/Eaton 20 P Dament, R Thomas (Wales) 17.
Triples: Preliminary round: A Steele, A Davison, W McCaw (Ireland) 21 D Lockhart, I Mayne, C Gale (England) 18. Semi-final: Steele/Davison/McCaw 14 D Lockhart, I Mayne, C Gale (England) 18.
Fours: Semi-final: A Tennant, J Martin, B Smyth, G Kelly (Ireland) 15 G Pringle, J Priestley, S Pringle, J Hogg (Scotland) 20.
Senior fours: Preliminary round: P Dew, Ian Ferguson, A Briggs, A Roberts (Ireland) 22 K De La Mare, D Ogier, J Rihoy, N Collins (Guernsey) 18. Semi-final: Dew/Ferguson/Bigggs/Roberts 19 K Embling, G Richards, A Small, D Snell (England) 20.
Today's finals: Singles: K James (Wales) v L Ridout (England).
Under-18 singles: C O'Brien (Ireland) v D Eaton (Scotland).
Under-25 singles: C Gaw (Ireland) v D Mills (England)
Pairs: T Crawford, G Eaton (Ireland) v R Davis, Malcolm D Sousa (Jersey).
Triples: R Owen (Wales) v G Pitschou (Guernsey) or T Greechan (Jersey).
Fours: J Hogg (Scotland) v M Le Ber (Guernsey).
Senior fours: D Snell (England) v J Prunty (Scotland).