Form man Gary Kelly blasts out title warning in AIIB National Triples

Ireland's Gary Kelly
Ireland's Gary Kelly

Ireland international Gary Kelly sent out of message in intent in the AIIB National Triples Championship at the Watson Stadium on Sunday.

Joined by Alistair Kennedy and Willie McCaw, the Ballybrakes Community Stadium boys blasted their way through to the semi finals of the tournament.

They will now face Mark McPeak, Roy Battersby and Stuart Bennett at Parkgate on January 15.

The other tie will feature Jim Baker, Andy Duncan and Graham McKee (County Antrim) against Trevor Colvin, Nigel Robinson and Gary McCloy (Ballybrakes).

Kelly turned up the heat on his opening match by demolishing the title holders (16-6), Alistair Coleman, Stephen Coleman and Andy Kyle.

And, the Ballymoney trio maintained that consistency in the quarter finals against Sammy Ashwood, Mitchell Albert and Clifford Craig (Belfast), storming to a 16-8 success.

“There is still a long way to go,” said Kelly.

“We played really well in the two matches, but we’ll need that form in the semi final against a very good Belfast side.

It wasn’t a weekend to remember for Kyle. He also defended his Fours title at the Ballybrakes Club on Saturday, but again gleaned little satisfaction.

He teamed up with Andy Duncan, Trevor Robinson and Graham McKee, but they were comprehensively beaten (16-4) at the quarter final stage by Aidan Reid, Stephen Falls, Derek Smith and Ian McClure, who were performing on their home carpet.

The Ballybrakes boys will face Mark Leckey’s Belfast side in the semis. The other tie will feature the rinks skipped by Paul McEwan (Belfast) and Willie McCaw (Ballybrakes).

Meanwhile, Sydenham blasted their way into the semi finals of the IIBA Club Championship, sponsored by Galway Bay Hotel, at the Watson Stadium on Saturday.

They produced a stunning performance, defeating 2nd Donegore and the fancied All Saints, Tullylish, before blowing away the challenge of past masters and title holders, Cookstown Parochial in their section final.

Mattew Crawford and Thomas Carson led the charge with jaw-dropping wins against Damien McElroy (17-1) and Paddy Hanlon (10-1). It meant that Colm McHugh’s 11-2 success against Mark Foster was of little significance.

Sydenham will be joined in the last four by Loughenreagh, who enjoyed a six shots win against 1st Aghoghill.

They negotiated the early rounds with wins against Holm Park and Ardstraw before turning on the power against 1st Aghoghill.

Rink wins by Ian Ross and Alan Irwin handed the initiative to Loughenreagh -- they defeated Andy Morrison (12-8) and David Morrison (10-5). William Morrison tried desperately to keep Aghoghill in the hunt, but his 9-6 win against Alistair Steele was in vain.

Both Sydenham and Loughenreagh will join St Mark’s and St Anthony’s in the semi finals at the Watson Stadium on Friday night.


AIIB National Fours: M Merritt (BIBC) w/o R McCullough (CAIBC); J Martin (BCIBC) 18 M Leckey (BIBC) 22; D Burns (BIBC) 5 I McClure (BCIBC) 20; A Kyle (CAIBC) 15 A Lightbody (BIBC) 14; B Kane 23 S Coleman (CAIBC) 17; P McVeigh (BIBC) 3 P McEwan (BIBC) 28; S Martin (BIBC) 23 A Roberts (BIBC) 10; W McCaw (BCIBC) 15 J Baker (CAIBC) 13.

Quarter finals: Merritt 9 Leckey 14; McClure 16 Kyle 4; Kane 12 McEwan 14; Martin 14 McCaw 16.

Semi finals (Friday, January 15): Leckey v McClure; McEwan v McCaw.

AIIB National Triples: M Nutt (CAIBC) 14 G McKee (CAIBC) 20; U McKeeman (BCIBC) 15 D Burns (BIBC) 14; G McCloy (BCIBC) 13 D Nixon (BIBC) 12; P McEwan (BIBC) 11 J Caldwell (CAIBC) 18; G Kelly (BCIBC) 16 A Kyle (CAIBC) 6; S Martin (BIBC) 10 C Craig (BIBC) 14; M Leckey (BIBC) 3 S Bennett (BIBC) 20; D Mills (BIBC) 7 I McClure (BCIBC) 15.

Quarter finals: McKee 18 McKeeman 10; McCloy 23 Caldwell 8; Kelly 16 Craig 8; Bennett 8 McClure 7.

Semi finals (Friday, January 15): McKee v McCloy; Kelly v Bennett.

IIBA Club Championship, sponsored by Galway Bay Hotel: Section C, first round: Clougherney bye; Michelin 14 Cookstown Parochial 16; Wellington 22 Marian 13; Gortnessey bye; Sydenham bye; Larne Falconos 15 2nd Donegore 24; Benevarden 22 All Saints 28, Ballylennon bye.

Quarter finals: Clougherney 21 Cookstown Parochial 30; Wellington 21 Gortnessey 19; Sydenham 20 2nd Donegore 19; All Saints bye.

Semi finals: Cookstown Parochial 28 Wellington 7; Sydenham 22 All Saints 18.

Final: Sydenham 29 Cookstown Parochial 13.

Section D, first round: Loughenreagh bye; Hillsborough 23 Holm Park 27; Kildress 12 Ardstraw 27; Clontibret bye; Cookstown High bye; Cloughreagh 19 Strabane CC 33; 1st Aghoghill 28 Drumgor 11; St Cancie’s bye.

Quarter finals: Loughenreagh 31 Holm Park 14; Ardstraw 24 Clontibret 21; Cookstown High 5 Strabane CC 29; 1st Aghoghill 21 St Cancie’s 12.

Semi finals: Loughenreagh 29 Ardstraw 17; Strabane cc 21 1st Aghoghill 25.

Final: Loughenreagh 28 1st Aghoghill 22.

Plate competition

Section C, quarter finals: Clougherney 19 Michelin 29; Marian 24 Gortnessey 19; Larne Falcons bye; Benevarden bye.

Semi finals: Michelin 24 Marian 30; Larne Falcons 18 Benevarden 17.

Final: Marian 14 Larne Falcons 222.

Section D, quarter finals: Hillsborough bye; Kildress 22 Clontibret 20; Cookstown High 16 Cloughreagh 20; Drumgor 19 St Cancie’s 20.

Semi finals: Kildress bye; Cloughreagh 31 St Cancie’s 17.

Final: Kildress 11 Cloughreagh 16.