Eddie Curran has been drafted into the Ireland team for the 2013 Home International Short Mat Series at Coleraine Leisure Centre next month.
Curran, a former double IIBA Champion of Champions singles winner, is joined by Foyle’s Lynn Hamilton, who has also been handed an international debut.
It’s the only two changes to the team that recaptured the title at Potters Leisure Resort last season. Ireland lost the crown to England the previous year for the first time since 2004, having produced one of their most disappointing displays in the history of the tournament.
But pride and order was restored 12 months ago, which prompted the selectors to give the thumbs up to the side that performed so well at Potters, apart from the inclusion of Curran and Hamilton.
Hamilton is drafted in at lead to Kevin Conroy, with Curran playing third in that rink.
Meanwhile, Irish champion, Raymond Stubbs, will carry the responsibility in the British Isles singles.
The Lisburn man lifted the Irish title for the first time last season following a epic one shot win over Foyle’s Mervyn Beattie.
Ireland returned from Potters with the British pairs and triples trophies, courtesy of Leigh Harrison (North West) and Mark Wilson (Mid Ulster).
North Eastern’s Davy Coulter and Stephen McKinley will defend the former, while Donegal’s David Crawford, Eddie Curran and John Quinn is set to contest the triples.
In the remaining discipline, the Northern Eastern rink of Sammy McMath, Tommy Mullan, Barry Kane and Uel McKeeman will feature in the fours.
The International Series and British Championships will be staged on Friday-Saturday, November 15-16.
Meanwhile, Holders Cookstown Parochial, put their title on the line on Saturday when they feature in the IIBA Club Championship at the Watson Stadium.
Their Mid Ulster rivals Cookstown High, have triumphed twice, but their hopes of drawing level hit the buffers last weekend they were dumped out of the tournament by Loughenreagh.
Benvarden and St Mark’s emerged unscathed and will meet in one of the semi finals on Friday, October 11.
Parochial will now look to secure one of the two remaining places, when they face St Mary’s (Aghadowey) in their opening game tomorrow in Section B (1.30pm).
Clontibrett, the 2007 winners, also begin their campaign and will be fancied to progress against Armagh Golf Club.
IIBA Club Championship
Saturday, 10am: Broughshane v Redeemer, Kildress v United Services, Armoy v All Saints, Marian v Ballywalter, St John’s Gilford v Du Pont, Clontibrett v Armagh GC, Downpatrick v Soldierstown, Maghera Presbyterian v Burtonport,
1.30pm: Christ Church v Drumgor, Strabane CC v Ballinderry, Drummond CC v Muckamore, Ballinrees v Ardaghy, St Joseph’s v Whitecross, St Mary’s Killyleagh v Louth, Cookstown Parochial v St Mary’s Aghadowey, Sean McDermott v Cathedral.