McClure closing in on Provincial singles title

Portrush’s Ian McClure puts his Provincial singles title on the line tonight when he lines out against Ballymoney’s Willie McCaw in the quarter-finals at Ramore Head.

The Ireland international defeated Limavady’s Wilfie Moore – the 2005 champion – last time out and now has his sights set on a slot in the last four.

McClure has had his hands on the trophy on four previous occasions, the first way back in 1995. He regained the title in 2008 before savouring back-to-back successes over the past two years.

But McCaw has also been down this road on previous occasions, having lifted the title back in 2009. He’ll be determined to improve on that.

There are a number of other mouth-watering ties down for decision with Letterkenny’s John Quinn facing Dunluces’ Uel McKeeman, while Mervyn McKeeman meeting club colleague Barry Kane.

Meanwhile, Gary Kelly defends his Under-25 singles title tomorrow night when he has home advantage over Letterkenny’s Johnny Jacob.

Kelly not only won the Provincial crown last season, but we went on to lift the Irish and British Isles titles - the latter only a fortnight ago when he defeated Jersey’s Greg Davis 21-8 in the showcase decider.

Another former Provincial winner, Aaron Tennant, who made his Ireland debut in the recent Home International Series at Leamington Spa, will line out against his Ballymoney team mate Conor Brogan.

Provincial singles, quarter finals (tonight): J Quinn (Letterkenny) v U McKeeman (Dunluce); W McCaw (Ballymoney) v I McClure (Portrush); P Kennedy (Portrush) v D Gaile (Coleraine), B Kane (Dunluce) v M McKeeman (Dunluce).

Under-25 singles quarter finals (tomorrow night): M Mason (Coleraine) v S Martin (Ballymoney); G Kelly (Ballymoney) v J Jacob (Letterkenny); M McCracken (Cookstown) v D O’Kane (Letterkenny); A Tennant (Ballymoney) v C Brogan (Ballymoney).