Mark McCracken primed for Provincial debut

Action from Saturday's game between Pickie and Belmont
Action from Saturday's game between Pickie and Belmont

Mark McCracken has been handed his Provincial debut in next week’s IBA Inter-association Championship.

The Cookstown man is the only new face on board, although Letterkenny’s Colin Mabon and Daniel O’Kane are listed among the reserves for the first them along with Chris Brogan (Ballymoney).

McCracken is named at lead in the rink skipped by his Cookstown team mate Colin Hogg. It also includes Bryan Smyth and Ally Davison.

The Provincials, who will act as hosts with the two-day event staged at Coleraine and Portstewart, will open their title assault against the Bowling League of Ireland on Friday, May 29.

They will face the Private Greens League on Saturday morning before lining out against the NIBA, current champions, in the afternoon session.

“It’s important to make home advantage count,” said Provincial selector Tommy Smith.

“We had a great little run in the tournament, winning the title three times in a four-year period.

“However, we haven’t had our name on the trophy since 2010, so it would be great to change that on our home greens.”

Provincial team: Rink one: A Tennant (Ballymoney), D McElroy (Cookstown), M Wilson (Cookstown), B McAlary (Ballymoney).

Rink two: J Martin (Ballymoney), S Colvin (Portrush), R Allen (Limavady), G Kelly (Ballymoney).

Rink three: R Kane (Dunluce), M McAleese (Ballymoney), A Paul (Ballymoney), B Kane (Dunluce).

Rink four: M McCracken (Cookstown), B Smyth (Ballymoney), A Davison (Coleraine), C Hogg (Cookstown).

Rink five: M Mason (Coleraine), D Smith (Portrush), G McCloy (Portrush), I McClure (Portrush).

Reserves: A Kennedy (Dunluce), D O’Kane (Letterkenny), C Brogan (Ballymoney), C Mabon (Letterkenny).