BOWLS: Ireland savour double success at British Isles Championships at Eddlewood Bowls Club

Michael Higgins, Andy Hughes and Tony Bell
Michael Higgins, Andy Hughes and Tony Bell

Ireland toasted double success in the British Isles Championships at Eddlewood Bowls Club, Scotland on Friday

Michael Higgings, Tony Bell and Andy Hughes punched the air in delight after winning the triples, while the Belmont rink of Joe McLainey, Raymond Barr, Roy Battersby and Robin Horner wrote themselves into the record books by becoming the first Irish side to lift the Senior Fours crown.

But it could have been even better for the battling Irish. Higgins, Hughes, DJ Wilson and Myles Greenfield appeared odds-on to win the fours title, but somehow managed to toss away all their good work over the final two ends.

However, Higgins and Hughes managed to shrug off that disappointment when they took to the green late afternoon in the triples against the Scottish combination skipped by Stuart Hogg.

It was an intriguing contest that with the scores level (11-11) at 13 ends. The Scots nudged one shot ahead before Hughes retaliated with a count of three and a single.

Although Hogg came back with a two, Hughes gobbled up a two on the final end to ignite scenes of great jubilation.

McLainey, Barr, Battersby and Horner produced a fantastic display to defeat Scotland’s Beattie 23-15.

They roared 9-0 ahead after only five ends and literally never looked back.

Even though the Scots battled back to get within three shots of the Irish boys, Horner finished in style with two twos and a single.

However, Ireland will have nightmares after tossing away a great opportunity of bring back the fours trophy for the first time since 2001.

The Dunbarton rink of Higgins, Hughes, DJ Wilson and Myles Greenfield totally dominated the final against the England combination skipped by David Bolt.

And, the Irish ribbons were being prepared to be draped on the silverware having built up a healthy 17-9 lead at 15 ends.

Even though the English boys cut the deficit to four shots (17-13) at the 18th, Greenfield replied with a single on the next end.

But disaster struck on the final two ends. The Irish boys lost a two on the 20th and incredibly somehow surrendered a count four to not only give away the game, but also the title!

Meanwhile, Ireland begin their assault in the Home International Championship on Saturday morning, facing Wales in their opening match in the two day event.

Jim Baker’s boys will then go head to head with England in the second session before lining out against title holders Scotland on Sunday morning.

British Isles results

Singles final: J Greenslade (Wales) 21 J Lowery (Jersey) 10.

Under-25 singles final: J Williams (Wales) 21 M De Sousa (Jersey) 18.

Pairs final: J Anderson, J McLean (Scotland) 14 C Carter, T Millership (England) 21.

Triples: Semi final: P De Long, B Le Feuvre, M Rive (Jersey) 8 M Higgins, T Bell, A Hughes (Ireland) 21. Final: D Couper, P McAteer, S Hogg (Scotland) 14 Ireland 17.

Fours final: P Dixon, N Ridley, I Riches, D Bolt (England) 19 M Higgins, A Hughes, DJ Wilson, M Greenfield (Ireland) 18.

Senior fours semi final: J McLainey, R Barr, R Battersby, R Horner (Ireland) 23 K Laine, D Ogier, N Collins, L Le Ber (Guernsey) 11. Final: Ireland 23 A Kennedy, K Campbell, D Whyte, D Beattie (Scotland) 15.