Stephen Gibson, John McCullough and Mike Merritt will defend an unbeaten record in the AIIB National Triples qualifier at the County Antrim Indoor Bowls Club on Sunday.
The Belfast boys have written then own little success chapter in this tournament, having won the title for the past three years!
In fact, the Watson Stadium triple have never been defeated on these shores, which is a staggering statistic.
It certainly will add a bit of extra pressure when the title holders oppose Alistair Kennedy, Willie McCaw and Gary Kelly, from the Ballybrakes Community Stadium, in their opening game.
“I suppose it’s a big act to live up to,” said McCullough.
“Stephen, Mike and I only got together the first year we won the title.
“We’ve enjoyed a great run in the tournament, having successfully defended the trophy on two occasions.
“The only disappointment is the fact that we haven’t fared too well in the British Isles Series. On our first appearance we were beaten by a fluke final bowl by a Scottish triple.
“We then lost out by only two shots to England the follow year and last season we were beaten by five shots by a Welsh side.”
McCullough insists any thoughts of another appearance in the British semi finals at Stanley in March have been shelved, with full focus on Sunday’s qualifier.
“We face a really difficult opener against Gary Kelly’s Ballybrakes triples,” added McCullough.
“The last time we met was in the semi finals back in 2010.
“We go into the tournament as title holders and, with an unbeaten record, so we’ll be public enemy number one. Everyone will be out to knock us off our perch.
“There are no easy games when you reach this stage. You just have to take one game at a time and hope for a little rub of the green along the way.”
Paul Prunty, David Corkill and Paul McEwan will also have an added incentive because they been beaten by their Belfast colleagues in the past two triples finals.
They also have a difficult start against County Antrim’s John Nicholl, Michael Nutt and Trevor Robinson.