St Mark’s favourites to lift Club Championship

No repeat success for Cookstown Parochial Bowling Club players Paddy Hanlon, Bridgit Davidson John Murnaghan and Liam McHugh as they lost out to Sydenham
No repeat success for Cookstown Parochial Bowling Club players Paddy Hanlon, Bridgit Davidson John Murnaghan and Liam McHugh as they lost out to Sydenham

There could well be a new name inscribed on the IIBA’s Club Championship trophy, sponsored by Galway Bay Hotel, at the Watson Stadium on Friday night.

Most of the ‘big guns’ fell by the wayside in the qualifying heats at the same venue over the past fortnight, leaving Sydenham, Loughenreagh, St Mark’s and St Anthony’s to battle it out in the last four.

St Mark’s hold an advantage on the other three as they are the only surviving side to have had their hands on the silverware before.

That was back in 2013 when they defeated serial winners Cookstown Parochial in the final. It means they’ll take on the favourites’ mantle when they line out against Loughenreagh.

They sent out a message of intent, easing past the challenge of Christchurch (26-20) and St Joseph’s (28-27) to book their slot in the section final against Cranagill where they recorded a four shots victory.

St Anthony’s roared into the semis after an 18 shots win over Rosemount in their section final.

Sydenham have been the surprise package of the campaign. They blasted their way into title contention by defeating 2nd Donegore and the fancied All Saints, Tullylish, before blowing away the challenge of title holders, Cookstown Parochial in their section final.

Their opponents Loughenreagh negotiated the early rounds with wins against Holm Park and Ardstraw before turning on the power against 1st Aghoghill in the decider.

Fixtures

IIBA Club Championship semi finals, sponsored by Galway Bay Hotel: Sydenham v Loughenreagh; St Mark’s v St Anthony’s.

Plate semi finals: Larne Falcons v Kildress; Spa Golf Club v St Coleman’s.