Former champs Marty McHugh and Barry Brown suffer defeat in semi-finals of British Isles Fours Championship

Marty McHugh
Marty McHugh
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Former champs Marty McHugh and Barry Brown suffered an agonising defeat in the semi final of the British Isles Fours Championship at Ireland’s British Isles Championship at Eddlewood Bowls Club, Scotland.

The Ireland international duo shot themselves in the foot over the final two ends and were sent spinning out of the tournament by Scotland’s John Anderson and Jackie McLean.

They recovered from a 15-9 deficit at 16 ends to claw within two shots of their opponents before disaster struck. They lost at count of five of the 20th and dropped a three on the final end.

“We did well to hang in because we never led at any stage,” said McHugh. “We were really in with a shout, only two shots behind, but I was left with little option but to drive at the head and it didn’t work out.

“That was the end that really killed us off.”

There was also heartbreak for Lisnagarvey’s Neil Mulholland and Shane Leonard, from St James’s Gate, in the singles and Under-25 singles respectively.

After a preliminary round win against England’s Lee Williamson, Mulholland succumbed to Jersey’s John Lowry in the semis.

Leonard was dumped out of the junior singles, beaten by Jersey’s Malcolm De Sousa.

However, Michael Higgins, Andy Hughes, DJ Wilson and Myles Greenfield help lift Irish morale in the fours discipline.

The Dunbarton boys had to rely on all their battling qualities before booking a slot in the showcase decider. But it was a real tight finish in an epic semi final struggle against a Jersey rink skipped by Matthew Le Ber, who lost out by only one shot.

The Irish boys earlier edged over the finish line also by the odd shot (18-17) in a battle against Scotlands Mike McGowan – after trailing 11-2 at the start!

But the victory against the Channel Islands side even eclipsed that. They finished with a flourish to claim a 17-16 win.

Ireland will also contest the senior fours final today, while Higgins, Tony Bell and Andy Hughes will also feature in the triples semi final against Jersey.

Ireland’s British Isles Championship results

Singles: Prelim 1: L Williamson (England) 15 N Mulholland (Ireland) 21. Semi final: Mulholland 17 J Lowery (Jersey) 21.

Under-25 singles: Prelim 2: M De Sousa (Jersey) 21 S Leonard (Ireland) 13.

Pairs: Semi final: J Anderson, J McLean (Scotland) 23 M McHugh, B Browne (Ireland) 13.

Fours: Prelim 2: M Higgins, A Hughes, DJ Wilson, M Greenfield (Ireland) 18 S Scott, M Pellegrini, S Lowrie, M McGowan (Scotland) 17.

Semi final: M Higgins, A Hughes, DJ Wilson, M Greenfield (Ireland) 17 L Le Ber, M Solway, G Pitschou, M Le Ber (Guernsey) 16

Senior fours: Prelim 1: J McLainey, R Barr, R Battersby, R Horner (Ireland) 22 L Davies, J Smith, V Llewelyn, W Letman (Wales) 4.

Friday

Triples: Semi final: P De Long, B Le Feuvre, M Rive (Jersey) v M Higgins, T Bell, A Hughes (Ireland)

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

Senior fours semi final: J McLainey, R Barr, R Battersby, R Horner (Ireland) v P Dixon, N Ridley, I Riches, D Bolt (England).