Gary Kelly ready for his triple assault on Provincial Championships

Ballymoney's Gary Kelly
Ballymoney's Gary Kelly

Ballymoney’s Gary Kelly will on Thursday night embark on a triple assault on the Provincial Bowling Association Championships at Portstewart.

The Ireland international will be heavily involved over the next two days, having forged his way through the semi finals in three disciplines - singles, pairs and fours.

He has been down this road on previous occasions. In fact, he’ll be aiming to bridge an eight year gap in the blue riband event - the singles - when he goes head-to-head with his club colleague Martin McAleese on Friday night.

Indeed, there is every possibility of an all Ballymoney final due to the fact that Nicky McCaw will meet Portglenone’s Mark Jones in the other semi.

But Kelly will first focus on the pairs. Joined by Brian Hughes, the Ballymoney duo will on Friday night line out against Dunluce’s Eddie Beverland and Paul Moore (6.30pm).

They’ll be looking to get their hands on a trophy they lifted two years on the bounce back in 2008-09.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up a few Provincial titles over the past few years, so it nice to be involved again at this stage,” said Kelly. “But there are no easy games when you get to the semi finals.

“I’m lucky enough to be contesting a few ties. Basically, you’ve simply got to focus on one game at a time.

“You can take nothing for granted. I’m involved in the fours on Friday afternoon before I go into the semi final of the singles against my Ballymoney team mate later that evening. So it will be a busy few days, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

It should be quite a contest in the fours as Aaron Tennant, Aaron Walker, Alan Paul and Kelly lock horns with a Colerine side still on a ‘high’ following last weekend’s famous IBA Senior Cup quarter final win over Whitehead -- Jordan Dallas, Stephen Brewster, Johnny Calvin and Victor Dallas.

The 26 year old Kelly certainly is a past master when it comes to Provincial titles. He has hoisted every trophy, except the triples, since his breakthrough in the youth singles back in 2004.

Indeed, he went on to write his own little history chapter in the discipline by becoming the only player to lift the trophy on four successive occasions.

Strangely, Ian McClure, who also exploded the Provincial Championships record books last season by becoming the first player to parade the singles on three successive occasions, will play no part in any discipline this time.

In fact, JP Fahy is the only Portrush player involved -- he will face Letterkenny’s Daniel O’Kane in the semi final of the junior singles.

Meanwhile, the NIBA Championships semi finals will reach a conclusion at Carrickfergus tonight.

Young Dale Bodels, who was beaten in the final of the youth singles by Jack Moffett last season, is again back in decider, having defeated his Carrick team mate Jedd Gould 21-12.

The game was rearranged for an earlier date due to the fact that Gould had to attend a wedding in Scotland over the weekend..

Provincial Championships

Thursday night

Pairs: B Hughes, G Kelly (Ballymoney) v E Beverland, P Moore (Dunluce); R Kane, B Kane (Dunluce) v A Tennant, A Paul (Ballymoney).

Senior fours: S Walker, H Paul, T Smith, W McCaw (Ballymoney) v H McCallum, A Robinson, S Brewster, V Dallas (Coleraine); Youth singles: M Williamson (Dunluce) v A Stratton (Ballymoney).

Friday

Singles: N McCaw (Ballymoney) v M Jones (Portglenone); M Mc.Aleese (Ballymoney) v G Kelly (Ballymoney).

Triples, W Service, R Service, K Service (Limavady) v J Shepherd, P Wallace, M Wilson (Cookstown); B Hughes, N McCaw, B McAlary (Ballymoney) v R Miller, D Gaile, J Calvin (Coleraine).

Fours: A Tennant, A Walker, A Paul, G Kelly (Ballymoney) v J Dallas, S Bewster, J Calvin, V Dallas (Coleraine); T Moore, M White, L Jacob, C Mabon (Letterkenny) v P O’Neill, A Irwin, A Davison, I Ross (Coleraine).

Senior fours: G Kerr, L McLaughlin, V Callaghan, J Hutchinson v R Aspinall, T Allen, N Glawgow, D Mitchell.

Youth singles: C Marshall (Limavad) v S Martin (Ballymoney).

Junior singles: C Marshall (Limavady) v J Jacob (Letterkenny); D O’Kane (letterkenny) v JP Fahy Portrush).

NIBA Championships

Tonight: P O’Keefe, A O’Keefe (Banbridge) v J Major, N Hamilton (Banbridge).

Senior fours: T Turkington, S Moore, A Bickerstaff, J Kane (Balmoral) v I Mitchell, M Bunting, A Briggs, A Roberts (Lurgan.

Youth singles: J Gould (Carrick) v D Bodles (Carrick); C Gaw (Donaghadee v R Ruddock (Whitehad).

Results

NIBA Championships

Senior fours: D Ashwood, D McInture, J Stevenson, M Reid (Balmoral) 11 D Tumilty, P O’Keefe, E McCourt, I Gallagher (Banbidge) 24.

Singles: M McHugh (Wh,itehead) 21 M McKeown (Castle) 13.

Triples: K Trainor, S Trainor, D Jordan (Portadown) 12 R Cregan, L Wright, G McGleave (Divis) 21.

Fours: N Large, J Frazer, C Orderly, M Foster (Dundonald) 16 M Whitla, A Corrigan, M Sproule, R McMullan (Portadown) 28.

Junior singles: D Anderson (Carrick) 21 N Haire (Dromore) 10; R McKeown (Whitehead) 15 S Jess (Lisnagarvey) 21.