BOWLS: Jal Richardson shines on world stage with Pairs triumph

New SMPT World Pairs champions Jal Richardson and Lisa Douglas
New SMPT World Pairs champions Jal Richardson and Lisa Douglas
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Jal Richardson has again made his mark on the Short Mat Players’ Tour by picking up the World Pairs title trophy.

He was a member of the rink that captured the world fours crown 12 months ago and, even though Richardson surrendered that title this season, he returned from Bromsgrove with the pairs trophy this time.

Ireland representatives have a proud standing on the SMPT. Richardson and Lisa Douglas helped enhance the country’s reputation with their win.

They registered an 11-7 victory over England’s Ryan Knight and Ollie Hipkiss in the final.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Richardson. “Lisa and I were part of the rink that won the world fours last season.

“We were disappointed to lose out at the quarter final stage his time, it was a close game.

“But, thankfully, we were able to put that behind us and we played really well throughout the pairs tournament.”

In the fours, Mick Ivings,Paul Pomeroy, James Trott and James Smith lifted the title for the first time following an gut-churning 8-7 win over Bronagh Toleman, Martin Simcock, John Manely and Lee Toleman.

In fact, it was Smith’s rink that defeated, Marty Trainor, Gary Culbert, Douglas and Richardson in the quarter final.

“They picked up a two on the last end to win the game in 11-10, we were gutted,” said Richardson.

SMPT Director Phil Mills stressed it was another fantastic two days of bowling.

“Once again the tournament was booked out,” he said. “There were some brilliant performances and, not surprisingly Northern Ireland representatives played a major role.

“We now have a little break before our next SMPT tournament, the Swedish Masters next month, but that is already booked out,”

Meanwhile, Darren Atkinson will be hoping to make home advantage count when he features in the AIIB Under-25 Junior Singles qualifier at the Watson Stadium on Saturday.

Atkinson comes up against Stuart Coleman, from the County Antrim club, in one of the top ties when the final 16 players go into action.

There is another appetiser in the form of Mitchell Albert and Jamie Watson, who will be both performing on their home carpet.

The AIIB Senior Fours will also be played on Saturday at the Ballybrakes Community Indoor Club at Ballymoney.

Irish indoor boss Roy McCune will skip his County Antrim combination in a quarter final showdown against Belfast’s Alan Briggs, while Harry Elliott, from the host club, is due to take on Belfast’s Davy Hamilton.

Fixtures

AIIB Junior singles: S Barkley (CAIBC) v C Prunty (BIBC); S Millar (BCIBC) v S Martin (BCIBC); A Coleman (CAIBC) v S Beggs (CAIBC); M Albert (BIBC) v J Watson (BIBC); R Millar (BIBC) v S Vance (BIBC); JP Fahy (BCIBC) v S Jess (BIBC); S Kirkwood (BIBC) v J Millar (BC(BC); D Atkinson (BIBC) v S Coleman (CAIBC).

AIIB Senior Fours, quarter finals: S Elliman (BIBC) v T Gill (BIBC); A Briggs (BIBC) v R McCune (CAIBC); H Elliott (BCIBC) v D Hamilton (BIBC); M McCullough (BIBC) v G Hall (CAIBC).

Holders, Donegal, made it through to the quarter finals of the IIBA Women’s Inter-zone Championship but were pushed right to the wire by a battling Monaghan side last weekend.

Donegal squeezed through by only two shots to earn home advantage against Oriel on January 16.

North West turned on the power to ease past the challenge from Lisburn, but now face the long trek to Cork next time out.

Meanwhile, Oriel maintained Ireland’s excellent record in the British Top Team Challenge at Newry Leisure Centre.

Gerry O’Hare’s boys were simply too hot to handle over the two-day event and they finished 21 points ahead of English champions, Hampshire.

Pembrokeshire, the Welsh representatives, finished in third place, having only gained 17 points.

Results

IIBA Women’s Inter-zone Championship, second round: Western 81 North Eastern 27; West Down 60 South Tyrone 35; Monaghan 44 Donegal 46; Cork 56 Foyle 42; Lisburn 41 North West 67; Mid Ulster 53 Mid Tyrone 58; Armagh 69 Mid Antrim 59.

Quarter final draw: Western v West Down; Donegal v Oriel; Cork v North West; Mid Tyrone v Armagh.

Entries are now invited for the 1st Donegore (Parkgate) Presbyterian Indoor Bowls Club’s Annual Rinks Tournament. It will be staged from Monday-Thursday, January 4-7, with the finals being held on Friday 8.

For full details, contact: Jackie Douglas on 02893 344254 or 07739813459.

And entries are still being accepted for the Ballybrakes Community Indoor Bowls Club’s Annual Short Mat Christmas tournament.

It will get under way on Monday, December 28 and run until Friday, January 1, with finals night on Saturday, January 2.

Entries can be forwarded to Donna McCloy, 48 Millbrooke Manor, Ballymoney. Alternatively Donna can be contacted on 07764 469006, or by e-mail secretary.ballybrakescibc@gmail.com, or to our Ballybrakes CIBC Facebook page.

Singles £4: Monday (28th) evening; Tuesday (29th) evening; Friday (1st) afternoon. Pairs £6: Monday (28th) afternoon; Wednesday (30th) evening; Friday(st) January evening. Entries close Friday, December 18