BOWLS: McClure wins Irish Singles crown again

Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland - 13th September 2008'Mandatory Credit - Photo by Jessica Homer/Presseye.com.'IBA National Championships Finals 2008 at Belmont Bowling Club. 'Winner of the Open Singles Ian McClure from Portrush Bowling Club.
Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland - 13th September 2008'Mandatory Credit - Photo by Jessica Homer/Presseye.com.'IBA National Championships Finals 2008 at Belmont Bowling Club. 'Winner of the Open Singles Ian McClure from Portrush Bowling Club.

LOCAL bowler Ian McClure is celebrating after being crowned the Irish Singles champion again.

The Portrush player hoisted the coveted trophy for a second time on Saturday following a tense 21-17 win over Divis’ Gerard McGleave in the national final at the Blackrock Club in Dublin.

“I am thrilled to get my hands on the Irish title again,” said McClure, who last won the tournament in 2008.

“I knew it would be a difficult afternoon because Gerard is also a former winner, and that’s how it panned out.”

McClure just missed out on making it a double celebration though.

Joined by Jackie Smyth and Derek Smith, the Portrush boys agonisingly lost out in the triples semi final.

They were narrowly beaten 20-19 by Nagor’s Aaron Patterson, Graham McKee and Robert Hastings.

The NIBA boys however, were edged out (15-12) in the final, defeated by Ballymena’s John Nicholl, Stephen Coleman and Andy Kyle.

It was a tough day for Gerard McGleave. The Divis man was not only beaten by McClure in the Singles final, but he also lost out in the pairs showdown on Saturday morning.

McGleave and his Divis team-mate, Brendan Power, lost to a fired up Stephen Shields and Jim Baker who roared to an impressive 21-18 victory.