Mandy Cunningham defies the odds to win British Isles title

Mandy Cunningham
Mandy Cunningham

Ireland’s Mandy Cunningham admitted she was still ‘on cloud none’ following her astonishing success in the British Isles Women’s Championships at the Lex Creux club in Jersey.

The Ewarts player paraded the coveted singles trophy for the first time, following her victory over Scotland’s Lorna Smith.

“I’m still trying to come to terms with the win,” said Cunningham, who also celebrated her 50th birthday last Wednesday.

“I’ve played for Ireland on many occasions and played in most of the top tournaments, but this is the highlight.”

Cunningham had to do it the hard way as she featured in a preliminary tie which would guarantee here a place in the semi finals, but she was up to the test, defeating Wales’ Lisa Forey 21-12.

She then roared to victory over England’s Amy Truran (21-17) before taking out Smith, who established herself as one of the world’s best when she played in South Africa, but who now resides in Scotland.

Cunningham led 5-0 at five ends and 10-7 at 10.

She opened up a 16-9 lead at 16 before putting her foot on the gas.

The Belfast women reeled in a count of three on the 17th to put her within touching distance of the crown and, even though she duly dropped a three on the next, Cunninghan held her nerve, when lying two, to draw the shot with her final bowl, which won her the title.

Results: British Isles Women’s Championships: Singles: M Cunningham (Ireland) 21 L Smith (Scotland) 14.

Pairs: Leanne Baillie, Lauren Baillie (Scotland) 19 S Dingle, H Greechan (Jersey) 23.

Triples: K Bowe, E Gass, N Bowe (England) 11 F La Mottee, O Crowhurst, A Carnacho (Jersey) 17.

Fours: M Morton, M Johnston, L O’Neill, A Gilmour (Scotland) 19 D Noon, J Le Quesne, C Grimes, G O’Neil (Jersey) 18.