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Veteran Corkhill boosts Belmont in return to the great outdoors


By Alex Mills

Belmont stalwart Davy Hamilton has hailed the capture of David Corkill and believes the former international can help beef up the club's Private Greens League Division One title bid this season.

BBC commentator and analyst Corkill has swapped his microphone for a new set of bowls - he is back playing outdoors again after an absence of 16 years.

Although Corkill continued to compete indoors at international level, he packed away his wet-gear after leaving Knock.

Corkill was in the team that got the season off to a wining start last weekend when Belmont banked six points at home to Pickie. And the East Belfast boys will be hoping for something similar - or even better - today when the roll out the welcome mat for Ulster Transport.

"Having Davy and John Boyd, who also returned to the club this season, will certainly strengthen the squad," said Hamilton. "They are great competitors... they are winners. We'll be working off a panel of around 20 players, so the selectors can afford to rotate the squad."

After lifting the league title two years on the bounce, Belmont surrendered their crown to Dunbarton last season. Hamilton believes the league race will be another hotly contested affair.

"There are a few very capable sides involved," he added. "We obviously have a point to prove after losing out last season, but Ballymena and Dunbarton will not be far away, while the likes of Pickie, Old Bleach and Larne are teams that can take points off any side on their day."

The NI Provincial Bowling Association Senior League gets underway today, with title holders Portrush facing a tough opener against neighbours Coleraine at Lodge Road.

Private Greens League Division One: Ewarts v Ballymena, Ards v Falls, Larne v Old Bleach, Pickie v Dunbarton, Belmont v Ulster Transport.

NIBA Division One: Banbridge v Divis, Lisnagarvey v Bangor, Balmoral v Lurgan, Whitehead v Portadown, Donaghadee v Dundonald.

Provincial Bowling Association Division One: Cookstown v Portglenone, Coleraine v Portrush, Limavady v Letterkenny, Dunluce v Ballymoney.

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