BOWLS: Chlose Watson sets sights on more title success

Young Chloe Watson is back on the title trail in the Irish Women’s Indoor Bowling Association’s National Championships at the Watson Stadium over the weekend.

The 17-year-old has already enjoyed an enormous off success this season, winning a gold medal in the British Mixed pairs championship before becoming the first Irish girl to taste victory in the WIBC Under-25 singles championship in Wales.

Watson is now guaranteed a busy schedule over the next three days because she will be deployed in four of the five disciplines up for grabs.

The Belfast player will go on the hunt for a singles double, starting with the Under-25s. She comes up against Erin Smith tonight in the semi finals.

But first up, Watson joins Cliodhna Eadie and Sandra Bailie for a triples semi final against Maureen Robinson, Pat Calvin an Alice Elliott, from the Ballybrakes Club.

Then, tomorrow, Chloe will line out against Ann McKillop (Ballybrakes) in the blue riband event - the open singles. The winner of that games will face County Antrim’s Ann Craig in the decider.

And, just for good measure, Watson, Karen Woodside, Eadie and Bailie will contest the fours final. They await the winner of the semi final which will feature the rinks skipped by Dessa Baird (Ballybrakes) and Sarah Jane Curran (County Antrim).

“I’ll will be a busy few days, but it a matter of taking one game at a time,” said Watson. “We start off in the triples on Friday afternoon, I’ll be looking no further than that game.”

IWIBA semi finals

Today: Fours: N Graham, P Johnston, A McKillop, D Baird (BCIBC) v C Meneely, E Smith, A Rainey, SJ Curran (CAIBC).

Triples: C Watson, C Eadie, S Bailie (BIBC) v M Robinson, P Calvin, A Elliott (BCIBC).

Under-25 singles: C Watson (BIBC) v E Smith (CAIBC).

Tomorrow:

Pairs: M Robinson, A Elliott (BCIBC) v C Eadie, S Bailie (BIBC).

Singles: C Watson (BIBC) v A McKillop (BCIBC).

Fours final: winner of Baird/Curran v C Watson, K Woodside, C Eadie, S Bailie (BIBC)

Sunday:

Singles final: Winner of Watson/McKillop v A Craig (CAIBC).

Pairs final: Winner of Elliott/Bailie v S McAuley, B Cameron (CAIBC).

Triples final: winner of Bailie/Elliott v C Meneely, A Rainey, SJ Curran (CAIBC)

o Aaron Ward won the Irish Short Mat Players’ Tour singles title at Cookstown Leisure Centre last week.

He became only the third player to pick up the title, following on from Sean Trainor and Colm McHugh.

Ward, from Cookstown Parochial emerged unscathed from a starting field of 64 players, which climaxed in a tense 12-7 victory over William Morrison, from 1st Ahoghill, in the final.

“It was another tremendous tournament,” said ISMPT official Seamus Kyne. “We had four nights of qualifying, so it was tough going. Aaron played some fantastic bowls over the course of the week.”

Ward received a first round by before easing past the challenge of Robert Allen (United Services), winning 8-3. Aaron O’Keefe, from Whitecross was next to fall, losing 12-3 before the Cookstown man roared into the semi finals following a 10-5 win against Robert Kidd, from Armagh Golf Club.

Ward was then pushed to the wire by Oriel’s Michael Hand, but he held his nerve when it mattered to chalk up a one shot victory (8-7) before he claimed the title with the success over Morrison, who defeated Hillsborough’s Nathan Haire 9-3 at the semi final stage.

*Robert Kirkwood stormed into the semi finals of the Marcus Craig Memorial Trophy at the County Antrim Stadium.

The tournament, which is one of the most popular on the Parkgate club’s calendar, is a two-bowl handicapped triples competition, once again sponsored by C & H Electrical with a prize fund exceeding £1000.

Kirkwood will face Andy Kyle in the semis on January 21, with Brian Trimble and Alex Robinson meeting in the other tie.

“We had a great response for the competition this season,” said County Antrim’s Rod Coleman. “The handicapped system works really well.

“It’s now set up with two great semi finals in prospect.”

Semi-Finals: R Kirkwood v A Kyle; B Trimble v A Robinson.

Plate semi finals: G Kelly v M McCord; S Coleman v D Dempsey.