The finals of the U18 Junior Zone championship were held in Ballybrakes Stadium, Ballymoney on Saturday 3rd March.
The competition is open to all zones within the IIBA for a 12-person team all under the age of 18. The four teams who qualified for the finals progressed from their qualifying round-robins played earlier in February.
The spectators were treated to a great days bowling with an array of young talent on show. There was no show of nerves with everyone playing to the best of their ability. This is a title that many young bowlers never get the opportunity to have on their bowling cv.
Many of the teams are coached throughout the year and this was evident from the all players with great front end play by the leads and seconds with the backend players reading heads and selecting shots to gain maximum impact for their rinks and overall team result.
The teams included children of some of Ireland’s most recognised short-mat bowlers, such as Matthew and Curtis Hastings, children of Robert and Elaine Hastings and Caitlin O’Neill, daughter of the current British Isles Pairs champion Ryan O’Neill. It is good to know that the short mat game is in good hands with these youngsters. The results are as follows.
Armagh and Nort Down made it through to the final after wins over Western and North West respectively in the semi finals.
North West secured third place with a 39-21 win over Western. And North Down were crowned champions following their 39-19 win over Armagh in the final.
Home International and British Isles Series
The joint Ladies and Men’s Home International and British Isles Series is being held in Stanley, England from 8th – 16th March.
The following players from the Ballybrakes Club have been selected onto the respective teams.
Ladies: Ann McClelland, Ann McKillop, Pat Calvin, Jennifer Dowds, Penney Johnston, Alice Elliott and Dessa Baird and they will play from 8th – 10th.
Men: Gary Kelly, Gary McCloy, Barry Kane, Stephen Falls, Alistair Kennedy, Ian McClure and Derek Smith and they play from 14th – 16th.
The club is also represented in the British Isles Championships by Trevor Colvin, Robert Allen, Simon Colvin and Gary McCloy in the men’s rinks play from 11 th - 13th March. The club wish all its players good luck in the series.