Triples take another crown but pairs lose out

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The Dunbarton triple of Michael Higgins, Tony Bell and Andy Hughes were also crowned Irish champions on Saturday after a semi-final win over Cookstown and a final victory over Bangor.

In their semi final, Andy’s trio faced the Cookstown triple skipped by Damian McElroy. On end four came one of the finest bowls of the championships as skip Andy was in huge trouble with four shots against, only to trail the jack for a count of five with his last bowl.

End thirteen was pivotal as a count of four moved the locals three shots ahead and from then on they never looked back winning by seven shots at the close.

In the final, the Gilford men faced the Bangor triple skipped by Mark Shannon and produced one of the finest displays seen in many years at Irish finals.

From the off, Michael, Tony and Andy decorated the jack and moved 6-0 ahead after three ends. End four was the only one they lost as Andy promptly replied with a count of four and followed it with 2,2,4,1,1,2,3.

Having conceded 19 unanswered in the space of eight ends, Bangor conceded with just 12 ends played with the scoreline 25-3 in favour of the deserving champions.


Conor McCartan and DJ Wilson couldn’t make it a hat-trick as they lost their semi-final to Ballymoney pair Nicky McCaw and Brian McAlary.

After the first third, the Dunbarton pair led by two shots but then the damage was done as the loss of six successive ends saw the locals trailing 8-14.

To their credit, they fought back and with three ends remaining were within three. Ends 19 and 20 were cruel however as skip DJ looked on a perfect track with his last bowl on both ends but a certain two and four resulted in the loss of two singles and their hopes dashed, losing by four.