John Quinn insists it will take a ‘special effort’ to retain the IIBA National Singles title following his epic breakthrough victory last season.
The Ballylennon man produced a brilliant performance to defeat Oriel’s Paul Duff in a nerve tingling final.
It was Quinn’s second national title – he lifted the pairs trophy the previous season, along with his Donegal colleague Eddie Curran.
And, he’s assured of a busy schedule at the Watson Stadium, Belfast, tomorrow because he will also be involved in the national fours.
“It was a tough job winning the singles, but it will be even more daunting this time,” said Quinn.
“You’ve got to play a lot of games to get to this stage, but this is where it really hots up because you are coming up against the respective zone winners.
“I’ll also have the fours to think about, so it could well be a busy day.”
Quinn faces a daunting first round clash against Andrew Leckey, from St Mark’s, Portadown, with winner coming up against either Pauline Beattie (St Mark’s, Portadown) or Gerry Conroy (St Pat’s, Drumquin).
The National singles is branded the ‘blue riband’ event – and this year’s entry certainly does it justice.
Two former champions are back on the prowl.
Spa Golf Club’s Alan Laughlin, who last lifted the crown back in 1990, faces Nigel Todd (All Saints) in his opener, while the 2004 champion, Kevin Conroy, from Redeemer, will line out against Trevor Workman (2nd Kilrea).
Two ex-Champion of Champions singles winners, Raymond Stubbs and Eddie Curran, are also in the mix.
Ballinderry’s Stubbs comes up against ‘young gun’ Jason Hand, from Corduff in what promised to be a thrilling encounter. Curran goes head to head with Dairmiud McMahon (Carrickmacross).