BOWLS: Graham McKee primed for International Open test

Graham McKee.
Graham McKee.

Graham McKee will next week take his place in the star-studded Co-operative Funeralcare International Open at the Newtown Hall Club, Blackpool.

The Ireland international secured his place by winning the PBA qualifier at the Belfast Stadium earlier this year.

McKee will face England’s Mark Dawes in his opening match, with the prospect of a second round clash with former world indoor singles title holder, from Scotland, Darren Burnett or England’s Billy Jackson.

It will be a big ask for the County Antrim player as his opponent his nudged his way into the world’s top 16.

McKee’s former Ireland international team mate Jonathan Ross, who now wears the blue of Scotland, will also hope to reel in enough ranking points to keep him up among the elite.

Ross, seeded at 11, should have enough in the tank to see off the challenge from New Zealand’s Murray Glassey, who like McKee, qualified for the event.

Should Ross negotiate that hurdle, he may well come up against former world singles title holder, England’s Andy Thomson, who will almost certainly send Hong Kong’s Dick Li sliding through the exit door.

Internatonal Open: N Brett (England) v G Smith (England); G Harlow (England) v R Chisholm (Wales); J Greenslade (Wales) v R Stadynk (Canada); M King (England) v M Cheesemen (England); D Gourlay (Scotland) v S Allen (Scotland); W Hogg (Scotland) v K Hadar (Israel); M Royal (England) v S Halmai (Australia); R Paxton (England) v N Furman (USA); A Marshall (Scotland) v B Twist (Australia); S Andderson (Scotland) v S Irwin (England); J Ross (Scotland) v M Glassey (New Zealand); A Thomson (England) v K Li (Hong Kong); D Burnett (Scotland) v B Jackson (England); M Dawes (England) v G McKee (Ireland); L Gillett (England) v J Chestney (England); P Foster (Scotland) v J Fleming (England).