BOWLS: Ex-champions falter in National Championships

Raymond Stubbs.
Raymond Stubbs.
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There will be no champagne finale for the McHugh or Christie brothers in the IIBA National Pairs Championships this season.

The former champs were a number of casualties in the qualifier at the Watson Stadium on Saturday.

In Section A, Colm and Liam McHugh, from Cookstown Parochal, were beaten 10-9 at the semi final stage by Euguene Morgan and Allan Johnston, from St Michael’s, Dundrum. And, in Section B, Gordon and Peter Christie lost out (6-5) against Largy’s Gary and Stephen Kennedy, who will face Alicia Weir and Eddie Crawford in the April 2 final.

But former title holders, Graham Stubbs, Paul Reid and Raymond Stubbs had better luck as they are on only one game away from regaining the triples crown.

The Ballinderry boys will face the McKeown brothers - Adam, Ryan and Philip - from Mossley. Stubbs defeated James McWhirter’s Killymurris side (9-7) in the semi final, while McKeown racked up an impressive 9-3 victory against the fancied Gerry McCabe, from Cooley.

Results: National Pairs A Section: Semi finals: R Wallace, C Dunwoody (Aughintober) 3 A Weir, E Crawford (Mossley) 11; E Morgan, A Johnston (St Michael’s, Dundrum) 10 C McHugh, L McHugh (Cookstown Paorchial) 9. Final: Crawford 6 Johnston 8.

Section B: G Kennedy, S Kennedy (Largy) 8 J Martin, B McAlary (Marian) 7; L Jacob, PJ Gallagher (Ramelton) 6 G Christie, P Christie (Spa Golf Club) 10. Final: Kennedy 6 Christie 5.

National Triples, semi finals: G Stubbs, P Reid, R Stubbs (Ballinderry) 9 S Dunlop, M McCullough, J McWhirter (Killymurris) 7; A McKeown, R McKeown, P McKeown (Mossley) 9 J Murnaghan, P Hanlon, G McCabe (Cooley) 3.

Ladies singles, semi finals: L Hamilton (Glendermott Presbyterian) 7 L Carleton (Drum) 13; H Arbuthnot (Montre) 7 E Forster (Clogh) 13.Ladies pairs, semi finals: R Gault, A McKillop (Dunluce Presbyterian) 3 M Cassells, P Beattie (St Mark’s Portadown) 15; K McDermott, F McDermott (Drummond) 7 M Howe, L Carleton (Drum) 9).