Bowler Andi lands Irish junior title

THIS year’s Irish Championships took place at Carrickfergus Bowling Club last Friday and Saturday.

On Friday Ballymena’s Andi Duncan took on Aaron Tennant (Ballymoney) in the Junior Singles (Under 25) and in a close match the Ballymena man made it through to the final on Saturday.

In the Youth Singles (Under 18) Stephen Coleman made it two out of two when he beat Mark Jones (Portglenone) to book his place in the finals.

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Stephen Coleman took to the green at 2.00 pm where he took on Kristopher Matchett (Lurgan). Stephen started well and after 7 ends he had built up a 3 shot lead but the next 3 ends proved to be the turning point of the game as Matchett scored successive counts of 3 and this was followed by a maximum count of 4 to leave the young Ballymena man trailing by 14 shots to 7.

Coleman then reduced the arrears to 3 shots over the next 2 ends and this was still the margin 4 ends later with the Lurgan man leading by 17 shots to 14.

The next end proved to be the last as Matchett took full advantage of some loose bowling by young Coleman with the Lurgan man picking up his second maximum count of the day to record a 21-14 victory.

Andrew Duncan had a 3.30pm start for his game against Shane Leonard (St James Gate, Dublin) and it was the young man from Dublin who made the better start when he picked up 4 shots over the first 2 ends.

Duncan hit right back and lifted a maximum count of 4 shots on the next end to level the game. Leonard then scored 2 singles but Duncan took the lead for the first time when the collected 3 shots on the next end.

The young Kells man was growing in confidence and although the game was close it was Duncan who was playing the better bowls.

After 14 ends Duncan lead by a single shot but he collected 5 shots over the next 2 ends to lead by 19 shots to 13.

Leonard scored 2 shots on the next end but this just prolonged the inevitable result as Duncan trailed the jack for 3 shots on the next end to claim the title for the first time.

It’s not the end of Duncan’s success story as he has been named captain of the Ireland team for the British Isles Junior International Series in Worthing this weekend.

Duncan’s Ballymena team-mates Steven Shields and David Torrington are also in the team, while Jim Baker will also travel with the team in his role as Team Manager.