NIBA ring changes for inter-association battle

Lisnagarvey's Neil Mulholland
Lisnagarvey's Neil Mulholland

NIBA selectors have handed a debut to Banbridge’s Aaron O’Keefe for next week’s IBA Inter-association Championship.

O’Keefe is one of four changes to the team that will go into action against the Provincial Bowling Association at Whitehead on Friday, May 30.

International trio, Martin McHugh (Whitehead), Michael Bickerstaff (Balmoral) and Lisnagarvey’s Neil Mulholland also come back into the squad that last season picked up the title for the first time since 2006.

The NIBA have also drafted in Dundonald duo Mark Foster and Colin Orderly, along with Portadown’s Aidan Corrigan, who are named as three of the four reserves for the first time.

“We at last got back on the winners’ rostrum last season for the first in quite a few years,” said NIBA selector Stephen Moran.

“It’s a strong group of players and the boys that are back in the squad will certainly beef up our challenge.”

Following their opening test against the Provincials, the NIBA will face the Private Greens League in the Saturday morning game before lining out against the Bowling League of Ireland in the final session -- all matches staged at Whitehead.

All players are requested to confirm availability to attend to Stephen Moran, via telephone: 07967 805752 (text or call) or e-mail to

NIBA team: Rink one: S Gibson (Balmoral), A O’Keefe (Banbridge), N Mulholland (Lisnagarvey) C Craig (Balmoral).

Rink two: N Beggs (Whitehead), B Power (Divis), S McKinley (Whitehead), B Browne (Whitehead).

Rink three: M Crawford (Bangor), R McMullan (Portadown), S Martin (Bangor), R Hastings (Bangor).

Rink four: J Montgomery (Whitehead), P Cromie (Lisnagarvey), G McGleave (Divis), N Graham (Lisnagarvey).

Rink five: M Bickerstafff (Balmoral), JR Wilson (Whitehead), G McKee (Bangor), M McHugh (Whitehead).

Reserves: A Corrigan (Portadown), R Cregan (Divis), M Foster (Dundonald), C Orderly (Dundonald).