This season’s IIBA Club Championship will be bigger and better than before, insists tournament organiser Seamus Kyne.
The competition, which boasts a new sponsor in the form of the Galway Bay Hotel, gets under way on Saturday at the Watson Stadium, with no less than 64 clubs on the starting grid for the first round!
Now in its eighth year, the event is established as one of the premier team tournaments on the short mat bowls calendar.
“It initially started with 32 teams before it was increased to 48,” said Kyne. “But the demand for extra entries has been phenomenal, so it has been increased to 64 this season.”
Once again the main threat could come from Mid Ulster with Cookstown Parochial – they have triumphed on three occasions – and two-time winners, Cookstown High, back in the haunt.
Monaghan’s Clontibrett and Hillsborough, from the Lisburn zone, are the only clubs that have managed to gate-crash the Cookstown domination.
“Due to the fact that so many teams are involved, the tournament will be staged over the next two Saturday’s at Shaws Bridge,” added Kyne. “We are also indebted to the Galway Bay Hotel for the very generous sponsorship.”
The finals are penciled in for Friday, October 11.
Saturday: 10am: Ballylennon v Largy; St Mary’s (Desertmartin) v Cullyhanna; Coa v Hillsborough; St Coleman’s v 1st Ahoghill; Tamlaght v Glastry Presbyterian; Washington Bay v Spa; Larne Falcons v Holme Park; St Mark’s v Cooley.
1.30pm: Gortnessey v Longhenreagh; Kinghan v Cookstown High; Benvarden v Carrickmacross; Ramelton v Conlig; Rosslea v Dunloy; St Eunan’s v Wellington; Michelin v Mossley; Kilwaughter v Ardstraw.