John McCullough will be hoping to maintain his winning trend when he features in the AIIB National Pairs qualifier at the Watson Stadium on Sunday.
The Belfast player has already forged his way through to the semi finals off the national pairs and triples -- and he still has the singles to come next week!
But his immediate focus is on the fours. He teams up with Mark McPeak, Stuart Bennett and Simon Martin for an opening clash against the young Belfast side, Jamie Brown, Stephen Kirkwood, Jamie Watson and 14 year old Reece Millar.
“It’s a tough start,” insisted McCullough. “But there are no easy games when you reach the last 16 . . . everyone is there on merit.”
If McCullough and company are to book a spot in next month’s semi finals, they will certainly have earned it because should they negotiate their first round hurdle, they will come up against a rink skipped by either Barry Kane (Ballybrakes Commuinty) Jim Baker (County Antrim) -- he is expected to replace the injured Brendan Thompson -- in the quarter finals.
Incidentally, John Nicholl, Rod Coleman, Michael Nutt and Baker were beaten in last season’s final.
There some other tasty ties down on offer, including County Antrim’s Steohen Coleman against Gary Kelly (Ballybrakes Community), while Belfast’s Clifford Craig will go head to head with County Antrim’s Andy Kyle.
AIIB National Fours qualifier: A Walker, T Mullan, U McKeeman, B Kane (BCIBC) v JR Nicholl, R Coleman, M Nutt, J Baker (CAIBC), M McPeak, J McCullough, S Bennett, S Martin (BIBC) v J Brown, S Kirkwood, J Watson, R Millar (BIBC) v S Moore, J Martin, M Leckey, P McVeigh (BIBC) v A Reid, M Mason, A Kennedy, H Elliott (BCIBC), S Gibson, S Hedley, N Mulholland, C Craig (BIBC) v S Shields, N Booth, G McKee, A Kyle (CAIBC), A Smyth, J McGetterick, P Prunty, P McEwan (BIBC) v B Daly, J Kerr, P Prunty, A Robinson (BIBC), B Hughes, C Brogan, W McCaw, G Kelly (BCIBC) v D Atkinson, S Coleman jnr, A Coleman, S Coleman sen (CAIBC), S Falls, N Robinson, D Smith, I McClure (BCIBC) v C Eadie, T Crawford, D Nixon, M Merritt (BIBC), J Potts, K Matchett, A Briggs, A Roberts (BIBC) w/o.