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World Masters Bowls: McCabe claims short-mat crown

Gerry McCabe added the Short Mat Players' Tour World Masters title to his glittering array of honours in a dramatic late night victory at the Watson Stadium

The Oriel man emerged from a starting field of 252, that included the cream of short mat bowlers, to lift the top prize for the first time – and also enhance Ireland's great reputation in Tour events.

McCabe defeated Lisburn's Paul Reid in an epic final last night and was still trying to come to terms with his victory.

"I'm obviously thrilled, but it will take a bit of time for it all to sink in," beamed McCabe.

"It's been a tough few days. This was a most daunting starting field, with many of the world's best short mat players in the line-up.

"I just concentrated in making the top two in the group before the knockout stages. After that, it was a matter of taking one game at a time – but they were all tough."

McCabe got off to a blistering start in the showcase decider, moving into a 5-0 lead after only three ends, courtesy of a three, two and single.

But Reid gradually came to terms with the occasion by winning the next three.

The big turning point came on the ninth end when McCabe reeled in a two to move 8-5 ahead.

And he wrapped it up with a certain degree of panache by rolling in another two to spark scenes of great celebration.

In the bronze medal play-off Kevin Conroy beat Eddie Crawford 10-6, while Niall Cox edged Mark Petticrew 11-10 in the Plate.

Quarter-finals: G McCabe 12 S Jess 4; K Conroy 10 P Beattie 8; Lee Jacob 4 P Reid 13; E Crawford 11 F Dillon 6. Semi-finals: McCabe 10 Conroy 9; Reid 11 Crawford 9. Final: McCabe 10 Reid 5.

Belfast Telegraph