McKee makes return

Graham McKee
Graham McKee

Graham McKee returns to the NIBA team for the Senior Inter-Association Championship, staged at Belmont on Friday and Saturday, May 27-28.

The Bangor man is one of several changes to the side that was deprived of a hat-trick of titles wins last season by the Provincials.

McKee, who missed out last year for discipline reasons, will be joined on the comeback trail by his Ward Park colleague Mark Shannon; Divis’ Gerard McGleave and Annesley Harrison, from Balmoral.

Bangor’s Matthew Hastings is brought into the team for his debut at lead, joining his dad Robert - they both won an Irish title last season - with Thomas Cannavan and Richard McMullan completing the rink

The NIBA are deprived of the services of Clifford Craig, who retired from representative bowls, Michael Bickerstaff, Drew Donaghy, Mark Sproule and Aidan Corrigan.

“We lost quite a few players that are not playing outdoors this season, but thankfully, we were in a position to draft in a number of experienced players to help soften the blow,” said NIBA official Stephen Moran.

Northern Ireland Bowling Association: Rink one: J Montgomery (Whitehead), C Orderly (Dundonald), A O’Keefe (Banbridge), M McHugh (Whitehead).

Rink two: S Gibson (Balmoral), B Power (Divis), JR Wilson (Whitehead), G McGleave (Divis).

Rink three: S Jess (Lisnagarvey), M Crawford (Bangor), M Shannon (Bangor), G McKee (Bangor).

Rink four: N Beggs (Whitehead), A Harrison (Balmoral), S McKinley (Whitehead), B Browne (Whitehead).

Rink five: M Hastings (Bangor), T Cannavan (Bangor), R McMullan (Portadown), R Hastings (Bangor).

Reserves: M Albert (Balmoral), W Boyd (Donaghadee), A Johnston (Lisnagarvey), T McClean (Bangor).