Local fours are the best in Ireland

DJ Wilson, Michael Higgins, Myles Geenfield and Andrew Hughes winners of the Irish Fours. Edward Byrne Photography INBL1436-245EB
DJ Wilson, Michael Higgins, Myles Geenfield and Andrew Hughes winners of the Irish Fours. Edward Byrne Photography INBL1436-245EB

Dunbarton fours claimed the Irish title for the third time in five years on Saturday, “not bad for a wee country club” according to DJ Wilson.

The win came after thrilling victories over Lisnagarvey in the semi-final on an extra end and Ballymoney in the final with an end to spare.

The semi against a Garvey rink skipped by Noel Graham was won only in an extra end after Graham gave shot away at the death of the final end.

It was on the extra end that skip Myles Greenfield produced his best performance of the day to drive the closest Garvey bowl away with his first delivery and then turn the jack to two Dunbarton bowls with his second and secure a win.

Waiting in the final was the Ballymoney rink skipped by Nicky McCaw, who had produced a sparkling performance the day before to defeat the reigning champions from St James’ Gate club in Dublin. The back end of the Ballymoney rink was Brian McAlary and Nicky McCaw. who had defeated DJ and his pairs partner Conor McCartan two days earlier so DJ in particular was hoping for revenge.

The Gilford quartet moved into pole position over the ends 10-14 when they scored seven shots and conceded one to storm ahead 15-8.

However, ends 15 and 16 ruined all their good work. Eight were conceded and suddenly it was the Ballymoney bowlers who had their tails up.

The four Dunbarton bowlers have all represented their country and their experience shone through as second Andy Hughes produced some telling deliveries to help his rink score a treble and single and on end 19 in form skip Myles played a terrific shot to turn the jack for two shots and the Gilford men were five clear with two to play.

Both Andy and DJ drew important bowls into the head and the drama of an amazing 24 hours was concluded when the closest Ballymoney bowl which was lying on it’s edge, fell, essentially leaving Dunbarton lying two shots. And when McCaw’s final bowl missed the head, the North Coast bowlers conceded and the celebrations began.