Trophy double provides some solace for Marty McHugh
Marty McHugh may have walked off with two trophies, but he missed out on the one he really wanted in the NIBA Championships at Carrickfergus on Saturday.
The Whitehead man had already written his own little chapter in the history of the tournament, having lifted the singles title a staggering seven times.
But it was his club colleague Stephen McKinley who inflicted the only blemish on that proud record by storming to a jaw-dropping 21-6 victory.
McHugh, joined by Jack Montgomery and JR Wilson, already had the triples title in the locker following a 20-13 win over Bangor's Matthew Hastings, Graham McKee and Robert Hastings.
However, McKinley dominated right from the off in the singles showcase final which earned him the trophy for the first time
"I never got out of the blocks," admitted McHugh, who is the current British champion. "I just couldn't get going. Stephen was tremendous. I've no complaints."
McHugh had the consolation of mounting the winners' rostrum again that evening, along with Barry Browne, after they stormed to a 24-10 win against Bangor's Thomas McClean and Matthew Crawford. Incredibly, it was the Whitehead combination's eighth success in that discipline.
Meanwhile, Mark McPeak is the new NIPGL singles champion. The Belmont man produced a tremendous late rally to pinch the title from under the nose of Ballymena's Alistair Coleman, winning 21-19 in a thrilling contest at Forth Rover.
It's the third time McHugh has paraded the trophy - and possibly his sweetest yet. The Ireland international said: "I knew it would be a battle. The game could have gone either way. Ally opened up a 10-6 lead at one stage and I had to hang in."
Coleman, in fact, moved to within two shots of winning his first title before McPeak conjured up a full house - a count of four - to guarantee him the crown.
Singles: S McKinley (Whitehead) 21 M McHugh (Whitehead) 6.
Under-25 singles: C Dorman (Donaghadee) 21 J Moffett (Banbridge) 15.
Under-18 singles: S Curran (Castle) 5 J Moffett (Banbridge) 21.
Pairs: T McClean, M Crawford (Bangor) 10 B Browne, M McHugh (Whitehead) 24.
Triples: M McHugh (Whitehead) 20 R Hastings (Bangor) 13.
Fours: B Browne (Whitehead)19 R McMullan (Portadown) 14
Senior fours: T Cheevers (Donaghadee) 28 J Marshall (Londonderry Park) 19.
Singles: M McPeak (Belmont) 21 A Coleman (Ballymena) 19
Under-25 singles: S Shields (Ballymena) 21 D Atkinson (Belmont) 13.
Under-18 singles: A McKeown (Mossley) 21 A Coleman (Ballymena) 13.
Pairs: S Kirkwood, M Nutt (Old Bleach) 29 S Trainor, M Trainor (Dunbarton) 14.
Triples: A Duncan (Ballymena) 18 DJ Wilson (Dunbarton) 7.
Fours: S Bennett (Belmont) 19 M Nutt (Old Bleach) 17.
Senior fours: R Horner (Belmont) 21 J Coulter (Ballymena) 12.
NIPBA Senior League: Dunluce 89 (5) Coleraine 77 (2), Letterkenny 81 (6) Cookstown 70 (1), Limavady 96 (5) Ballycastle 83 (2), Ballymoney 93 (6) City of Derry 63 (1), Portrush 102 (6) Portglenone 61 (1).