BOWLS: Reece Millar leads way for Ireland in Aberdeen

Reece Millar will represent Ireland in the singles.
Reece Millar will represent Ireland in the singles.

Reece Millar has been handed the responsibility of competing in the singles discipline in the British Under-18 Mixed Championships at Aberdeen Indoor Bowls Club over the weekend.

Millar is joined in the Ireland side by Shauna O’Neill, Adam McKeown, Johnny Hedley and Sam Barkley.

The team is under the managerial reins of Rod Coleman this season and he is confident his young charges can make an impact on the tournament.

“They have prepared really well,” said Coleman. “They are learning all the time and competing in an international tournament at this level will give them great experience.”

Millar has been handed a tough opener as he comes up against England’s Aaron Johnston in his first match. O’Neill and McKeown will feature in the pairs. They have been pitched in with Scotland’s Carla Banks and Stephen Lowrie for a quarter final clash.

Hedley, Millar and Barkley also were pulled out of the hat for a triples showdown against Scotland’s Megan Kivlin, Craig Mackintosh and Jack MacNab.

And, in the fours, O’Neill, Hedley, Barkley and McKeown will face Wales’ Fifion Haf Jones, Luke Iles, Ethan Humphreys and Ryan Davies.

“We travel to Scotland full of optimism,” added Coleman. “But I’ll be looking at the level of performance over the two days. It’s very much a learning curve for the players."

Ireland: Singles: R Millar (BIBC); Pairs: S O’Neill (BCIBC), A McKeown (CAIBC); Triples: J Hedley (BIBC), R Millar (BIBC), S Barkley (CAIBC); Fours: S O’Neill (BCIB), J Hedley (BIBC), S Barkley (CAIBC), A McKeown (CAIBC).

Meanwhile, John Quinn will be out to rewrite the record books in the IIBA’s Champion of Champions singles tournament at the Watson Stadium on Saturday.

The Ballylennon man has already been down this road before. In fact, he is now eyeing up his fourth title success.

Quinn first paraded the trophy in 2007, but has followed up that success with further victories in 2012 and 2014.

It’s not only the singles trophy up for grabs, but also a place in the 2018 World Short Mat Bowls, which are scheduled for Sweden for the first time. But Quinn will certainly be put to the test as the 2004 singles winner Alan Paul is also on the scent of victory along with Raymond Stubbs, who lifted the title back in 1998.

Champion of Champions singles: C Turtle (2nd Broughshane Presbyterian), D McCullough (Co Antrim IBC), M Cairns (Ballylennon), J Quinn (Ballylennon), PJ Gallagher (Burtonpoint), D McMahon (Carrickmacross), R Stubbs (Christchurch), G Moen (Clontibret), M White (Conwal), A Paul (Cookstown High), S Hand (Corduff), J Hand (Corduff), C Nutt (Comber Presbyterian), B Rankin (Derramore), D Scott (Garvaghey Presbyterian), M Gallagher (Gortahork), O Gallagher (Gortahork), A Steele (Greenbank), G Kennedy (Largy), F Dillon (Redeemer), T Daly (Rockcorry), B Murphy (St Joseph’s, Poyntzpass), C Dillon (St Joseph’s, Poyntzpass), P Dorgan (The Hut), R O’Neill (United Services).

Triples (skips only): S McSorley (Ardstraw Presbyterian), Ray Stubbs (Ballinderry), E Marsden (Ballinderry), E Currran (Ballylennon), T Workman (Boveedy), S McMahon (Carrickmacross), S Magennis (Clontibret), A Tanner (Conna), J Murnaghan (Cooley), M Hand (Corduff), I Hobson (Dungannon), A McIvor (Killyman), J McKay (Maghera Presbyterian), P Christie (Spa Golf Club), J Beattie (St Mark’s, Portadown), D McStravock (St Mary’s, Desertmartin),N Brown (St Mary’s Killyleagh), V Witherow (Strabane CC), L Conlon (Watergrasshill), D Graham (Wellington).

Fours (skips only): D Morrison (1st Ahoghill Presbyterian), C McHugh (Cookstown Parochial), P Hanlon (Cooley), C Middleton (Crosshaven), G Conroy (Fintona Pearses), N Haire (Hillsborough Social), G Clingan (Holm Park), C Mearns (Largy), G Blakely (Rathfriland), G McCloskey (Salisbury), A Leckey (St Mark’s, Portadown), M Beatttie (Strabane CC), G Burke (Wellington).