BOWLS: Ian McClure bags hat-trick of provincial titles

Divis v Bangor
Divis v Bangor

Portrush’s Ian McClure was once again on the winners’ rostrum in the Provincial Championships at Portglenone, picking up the singles title for the fifth time.

It climaxed an emotional two weeks for the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games player, whose father Alderman James McClure, passed away on his return from Glasgow.

McClure became the first player to lift the Provincial crown three years on the bounce, climaxed by a runaway 21-6 win over Coleraine’s David Gaille.

“I’m obviously delighted, but the win was tinged with sadness,” he said.

“It’s frightening to think that my first victory was 15 years ago!

“I had to wait until 2008 to get my hands on the trophy again and now I’ve managed to win it three times in a row.”

It was a day that saw other title holders tumbled to defeat. Gary Kelly lost his Under-25 singles crown -- beaten 21-18 by Letterkenny’s Daniel O’Kane in an epic duel.

But O’Kane’s club colleagues, who wrote themselves into the record books last year by becoming the first Letterkenny representatives to life a national title, were beaten in the fours final.

Skipped by Colin Mabon, they lost out (27-19) to Nicky McCaw’s Ballymoney rink.

And, Dunluce’s Rodney Kane, Mervyn McKeeman and Barry Kane surrendered their triples trophy, losing 18-15 against Cookstown’s Damien McElroy.

Results: Singles: I McClure (Portrush) 21 D Gaille (Coleraine) 6.

Junior singles: G Kelly (Ballymoney) 18 D O’Kane (Letterkenny) 21.

Youth singles: S Martin (Ballymoney) 11 A Clyde (Dunluce) 21.

Pairs: N McCaw, B McAlary (Ballymoney) 22 A Steele, W McCaw (Ballymoney) 16.

Triples: R Kane, M McKeeman, B Kane (Dunluce) 15 E Sands, L McHugh, D McElroy (Cookstown) 18.

Fours: T Moore, M White, M Ryan, C Mabon (Letterkenny) 19 B Hughes, C Brogan, B McAlary, N McCaw (Ballymoney) 27.

Senior fours: J Duncan, L Brennan, J O’Neill, B Kennedy (Coleraine) 21 O Caulfield, G Kerry, V Callaghan, J Hutchinson (Castlerock) 8.