Barry Kane claims IBA National Singles title at Whitehead

New champ: Dunluce player Barry Kane
New champ: Dunluce player Barry Kane

There was just no stopping Barry Kane at Whitehead on Saturday!

Having come so far, he was determined to get his hands on the IBA National singles title - and he didn’t disappoint his loyal pocket of supporters who made the trip from Bushmills to see him feature in his first showcase final.

The Irish international was simply too hot to handle. He defeated Stephen McKinley - who was performing on his home green - in the semi final before ending the hopes of Mark McPeak.

Kane’s success brought the curtain down on a fantastic outdoor campaign. His latest piece of silverware now accompanies the Provincial singles trophy, that sits proudly on his mantle-piece, along with the British Isles pairs trophy!

“It’s been a great season,” he admits. “I played an enormous amount of matches to get his far, so I was determined to make the most of the opportunity.”

When Irish president Stephen Moran finally handed over the prized trophy to Kane, it sparked scenes of great jubilation among the Provincial gathering.

“It will take a bit of time to sink in,” he added. “It’s definitely up there (with his best moments) in terms of a singles win. It’s on a par with my two World Under-25 singles victories (indoor and outdoor) a few years back.

“I have to say that winning the Provincial and Irish pairs along with my brother Rodney, which culminated in our British Isles victory back in July, was a really special moment.

“I’m really thrilled to have at last got my hands on the Irish singles -- it’s the one that everyone wants . . . it’s been a great season overall.”

Kane was possibly handed the toughest semi final draw. Not only was McKinley playing on his home green, but he was the man that ended the reign of current Irish and British champion following his win over club colleague Marty McHugh in the NIBA singles final last month.

And, the game developed into an intriguing affair, before Kane put his foot on the gas when it mattered to claim a 21-14 victory.

In other other semi final, McPeak eased to a 22-8 victory over Bowling League of Ireland champion Noel Maher.

But once again, Kane dominated the final.

Having built up a healthy 17-10 lead at 17 ends, his opponent threatened a backlash by reeling in a single and a count of four, but that was as good as it got for the Belmont man.

It could have been ever better for Kane, but he was beaten in the final of the fours -- depriving him of a double dose of glory.

IBA National Championships

Singles: M McPeak (Belmont) 22 N Maher (Crumlin) 8; S McKinley (Whitehead) 14 B Kane (Dunluce) 21. Final: McPeak 15 Kane 21.

Under-25 singles: J Byrne (Crumlin) 18 M Gallagher (Letterkenny) 21; C Dorman (Donaghadee) 10 S Shields (Ballymena) 21. Final: Gallagher 11 Shields 21.

Youth singles (Under-18): J Moffett (Banbridge) 13 A McKeown (Mossley) 21; C O’Brien (CYM) 21 R Hutchinson (Castlerock) 12. Final: McKeown 21 O’Brien 4.

Pairs: M Nutt, S Kirkwood (Old Bleach) 25 G Smith, M Wilson (Cookstown) 9; TA Smyth, TP Smyth (Leinster) 19 B Browne, M McHugh (Whitehead) 18.

Final: Kirkwood 20 Smyth 21.

Triples: J Montgomery, JR Wilson, M McHugh (Whitehead) 19 D Duncan, M Torrington, A Duncan (Ballymena) 14; N Roche, TA Smyth, TP Smyth (Leinster) 12 S Martin, N McCaw, B McAlary (Ballymoney) 19. Final: McHugh 25 McAlary 8.

Fours: S Cavan, R Horner, S Martin, S Bennett (Belmont) 19 J Montgomery, W Browne, S McKinley, B Browne (Whitehead) 18; J Faulkner, S Edwards, T Murray, J Dixon (Meath) 7 A Kennedy, U McKeeman, R Kane, B Kane (Dunluce) 41. Final: Bennett 24 Kane 14.

Senor Fours: F Porter, B Dorman, S Dalzell, T Cheevers (Donaghadee) 27 M Kelly, B Vaughan, D McCarthy, F McCarthy (CYM) 21; J McLaney, R Barry, R Battersby, R Horner (Belmont) 19 S Walker, H Paul T Smith, W McCaw (Ballymoney) 18. Final: Horner 21 Cheevers 13.