The NI Private Greens League selectors have 'beefed up' their chances of lifting the IBA Inter-association Championship by handing Alan Paul and Neil Mulholland their debut for Friday night’s opening game against the Provincials at Belmont.
Both players are a welcome addition to the PGL challenge – they haven't had their hands on the IBA title since 2012.
Paul moved to Dunbarton for the new outdoor term from Provincial champions Ballymoney, while Ireland international Mulholland – a Commonwealth Games silver medalist – ended a long association with Lisnagarvey to move to Old Bleach.
Their inclusion came at the best possible time for PGL as long serving Myles Greenfield decided to step down from representative bowls after 20 years’ service.
Paul’s absence is a big blow to the Provincials, who lifted the title by the narrowest of margins – on shot advantage – last season. They will also be missing Colin Hogg and Derek Smith.
IBA Inter-association Championship
Tomorrow night (all games at Belmont): Northern Ireland Bowling Association v Bowling League of Ireland; NI Private Greens League v NI Provincial Bowling Association.
Saturday morning: NIBA v NIPBA; BLI v NIPGL.
Saturday afternoon: NIPGL v NIBA; NIPBA v BLI.
Northern Ireland Women’s Bowling Association Senior League: Ballyholme 1 Holywood 6; Banbridge 2 Dungannon 5; Divis 2 Donaghadee 5; Portadown 6 Lurgan 1; Whitehead 5 Newcastle 2.
Northern Ireland Women’s Bowling Association Junior League: Curran 5 Antrim 0; Castle Park 5 Carrickfergus 0; Gilnahirk 1 Dromore 4; Newry 5 Lagan Valley 0.
Tonight: NIPBA Junior singles, round one: A Stratton (Ballymoney) v L Devenney (Limavady), D Morton (Castlerock) v R McMullan (Limavady), J Austin (City of Derry) v JL Moore (Dunluce), JP Fahy (Portrush) v C Marshall (Limavady), R Harris (Portstewart) v R O’Kane (Letterkenny), R Hutchinson (Castlerock) v J Darragh (Kilrea).
Senior fours, round one: D Culbertson (Dunluce) v W Moore (Limavady), J Martin (Magherafelt) v W McCaw (Ballymoney).