Alicia Weir and Stephen McKinley stole the show in the Ballymena Bowls Club’s short mat pairs tournament.
They emerged unscathed from four nights of qualifying games to grab a slot in the quarter finals, where they were paired with McMaster brothers, Michael and Thomas, from 1st Aghoghill, in the open draw.
Even though the McMasters won six of the nine ends – all by a single shot margin – their opponents scored two two’s and a full house (count of four), to edge home 8-6.
That earned Weir and McKinley a semi final test against saw Leslie Barr and John McFall (Golf Club/BIBC), which developed into an intriguing match.
The scores were level (6-6) at the finish, but was was Weir and McKinley who held their nerve to grab the all important winner on the extra end.
In other semi final, Noel Graham and Phil Dennison from Loughagherry, beat Stuart McSorley and Lisa Douglas (Ardstraw) 8-7, courtesy of a last end winner.
Following a cagy opening five ends in the final – played over 10 ends –the score stood at 4-4. But it was the Loughaghery duo who then took up the initiative, reeling in four shots over the next two ends.
Weir and McKinley bounced back to level at nine ends before grabbing the winner with practically the last bowl.
“We are indebted to everyone who took part in the tournament, which was an enormous success,” Ballymena’s Graham Wilson. “We are also grateful for the excellent backing we received from our sponsors – Smallcost Carpets, Fyffes and Smith’s Engineering.”
Quarter finals: S McSorley, L Douglas (Ardstraw) 7 A McCombe, WJ McAloran (BPFA) 3; L Barr, J McFall (Golf Club/BIBC) 9 N Hamilton, D McCauley (Hillsborough) 8; N Graham, P Dennison (Loughagherry) 8 D Boal, T Cheevers (Donaghadee) 2; A Weir, S McKinley (Mossley/Ulster Transport) 8 M McMaster, T McMaster (1st Ahoghill) 6.
Semi finals: Graham/Dennison 8 McSorley’Douglas 7; Weir/McKinley 7 Barr/McAlonan 6.
Final: Graham/Dennison 8 Weir/McKinley 9.
ENTRIES are invited for the Donaghadee Community triples tournament.
The competition will get under way on Monday, February 25 and will continue on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, March 1. Finals are scheduled for the following evening.
The tournament is sponsored by Helen Kane Nursing Services, Donaghadee. Entries are restricted to 16 triples per night, so get in early.
For full details, contact: Simon Cavan (07792 740698) or Eric Kennedy (07545 861148).