Belfast’s Sandra Bailie is desperate to end her depressing sequence of results in the British Isles Championships at Stanley Indoor Bowls Club this week.
The Ireland international has suffered heartbreak in both the triples and pairs disciplines over the past five years - and she is determined to change the trend.
Bailie may have written herself into the Irish record books, becoming the first player to win the triples title for three successive years, but she has yet to parade her first trophy on the British stage.
“It’s the case of so near, yet so far,” admits Bailie. “I was beaten in the pairs final by England’s Carol Pollington back in 2010 . . . they same year I lost in the semi final of the triples. Unfortunately, it’s been a similar story ever year since - right up to last season when Chloe Watson, Cliodhna Eadie and I lost to Wales’ Kelly Packwood in the triples semis and the Welsh combination went on to win the title.”
Bailie will now go on a double mission in the pairs and fours disciplines.
She teams up with Eadie in the former. They face a difficult opener against Scotland’s Carol Stuart and Elizabeth Fraser.Irene Minnis, Karen Woodside, Eadie and Bailie then go into action against Pam Penrise, Ceridwen Davies, Colleen O’Connor and Denise Molan in the fours.
She is not the only player on the hunt for double glory as Chloe Watson will feature in the Senior and Under-25 singles. In fact, due to heavy duplication in the Irish Championships, where Watson walked off with four trophies, it meant there was a late reprieve for Courtney Meneely, Ashleigh Rainey and Sarah Jane Curran who gained a ‘wild card’ entry as beaten triples finalists.
The County Antrim girls face Scotland’s Yvonne, Veith, Mags Thomson and Emma Brown in their semi final tie.
Ireland British Isles Championship fixtures: Singles: J Forrest (Scotland) S Seymour (England) v C Watson (Ireland).
Under-25 singles: C Watson (Ireland) v C Wordingham (England).
Pairs: C Eadie, S Bailie (Ireland) v C Stuart, E Fraser (Scotland).
Triples: C Meneely, A Rainey, SJ Curran (Ireland) v Y Veith, M Thomson, E Brown (Scotland).
Fours: P Penrise, C Davies, C O’Connor, D Molan (Wales) v I Minnis, K Woodside, C Eadie, S Bailie (Ireland).