AN inspired performance from Andrew Leckey helped St Mark’s, Portadown, clinch the IIBA Club Championship, sponsored by the Galway Bay Hotel, for the first time.
St Mark’s defeated hot favourites and title holders Cookstown Parochial by four shots in an epic final at the Watson Stadium.
Having dominated the tournament since its inaugural year back in 2005, Parochial had their sights firmly fixed on their fourth overall success.
But the Portadown side had other ideas. They roared through last week’s qualifying heats to book a semi final slot against Benevarden.
And, they again flexed their title credential by clocking up a 26-18 victory. In the other semi final tie, Parochial had little difficulty snuffing out the challenge off Redeemer, winning by 10 shots.
The final certainly lived up to all expectations. Parochial’s Colm McHugh defeated Alan Roberts 8-6, while Damien McElroy finished level with Gary Cuthbert.
It was left to Leckey to haul St Mark’s over the finish line following an impressive 9-3 victory over Paddy Hanlon.
“The tournament was another big success,” said organiser Seamus Kyne.
“There was some fantastic bowling in both the qualifiers and the finals night.
“We are indebted to our new sponsors, the Galway Bay Hotel, for the valued backing.”