Ireland title holder, John McCullough, admits he faces a big test in the World Indoor Bowls Council’s singles championship in Jersey next week.
McCullough, who hoisted the Irish crown for the first time back in January - beating his Belfast club mate Mark McPeak in an epic final - has been pitched into a difficult group, containing Scotland’s Iain McLean, Canada’s Raymond Cheung and Thomas Greechan, from Jersey.
“It’s a big ask, but I’m looking forward to it,” said McCullough.
“It was a big thrill winning the Irish title and this is another step up. There are some great players involved.”
McCullough is joined by Ballybrakes Community player Barry Kane.
The Irish international must contend with England’s Mark Dawes, Damien Doubler, from Wales and Andy Doctor (Netherlands) in his section.
Incidentally, County Antrim’s Stephen Moran is the only Irish player to have had his hands on the trophy, that was back in 2003 when the tournament was staged at the Watson Stadium.
Irish ladies singles champion Dessa Baird has managed to avoid the current WIBC title holder, Julie Forrest.
But the Ballybrakes player will go head to head with Lindsey Greechan (Jersey), Scotland’s Lynn Stein and Annie Van Belzen, from the Netherlands.
Baird is joined by County Antrim’s Ann Craig. She goes in with Katherine Hawes (England), Muriel Cain (Isle of Man) and Marion Purcell (Wales).
The tournament gets under way on Tuesday morning.