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Kirkwood brothers in Ireland team for Championships


On target: Stephen Kirkwood is in the Irish set-up

On target: Stephen Kirkwood is in the Irish set-up

© Mervyn McClelland/Presseye

On target: Stephen Kirkwood is in the Irish set-up

Manager Roy McCune believes the inclusion of the Kirkwood brothers - Stephen and Robert - in the Ireland team for the 2016 Home Indoor International Championships at Llanelli is another positive step forward.

The Belfast lads are due to make their debut along with County Antrim's Brian Trimble, while the experienced Gary McCloy, from the Ballybrakes Club, has earned a recall.

"It's another statement suggesting the Under-18 and Under-25 system is working with the Kirkwood boys now emerging on the senior scene," said McCune.

"The selectors' hands were forced to a degree due to the fact that we are missing two skips from last season. Andy Kyle will be playing in Australia, while Simon Martin is on holidays.

"It opened the door for Stephen and Robert. Both players have been doing really well. The international team selection is now based on an assessment procedure, that includes three trials.

"The new caps featured very highly on all three. Stephen, of course, brought home a medal from the Junior Commonwealth Games earlier this season.

"So it's a big chance for all of them."

Ireland: Rink one: C Eadie (BIBC), P McEwan (BIBC), D Corkill (BIBC), G Kelly (BCIBC).

Rink two: M McPeak (BIBC), G McCloy (BCIBC), D Smith (BCIBC), I McCliure (BCIBC).

Rink three: JR Nicholl (CAIBC), B Trimble (CAIBC), A Coleman (CAIBC), S Coleman (CAIBC).

Rink four: D Atkinson (BIBC), S Kirkwood (BIBC), N Mulholland (BIBC), B Kane (BCIBC).

Rink five: S Jess (BIBC), J McCullough (BIBC), S Bennett (BIBC), A Duncan (BIBC).

Rink six: P Prunty (BIBC), R Kirkwood (BIBC), M Merritt (BIBC), G McKee (CAIBC).

Reserves: A Kennedy (BCIBC), N Robinson (BCIBC).

Oriel's Gerry O'Hare insists his team face their biggest test of the season in today's IIBA Men's Inter-zone semi-final against North West at Corduff.

"They don't come much tougher than North West," he said. "They know what it takes to win this tournament, having lifted the trophy on three occasions."

Fixtures IIBA Men's Inter-zone semi finals: Oriel v North West; Monaghan v Mid Ulster.

IIBA Men's Plate: Western v Larne; Mid Down v Meath.

Belfast Telegraph