BOWLS: British Singles shot for Martin McHugh
The Ireland international, who hails from Larne and plays for Whitehead, has been down this road before, having already popped the bubbly in this discipline. He begins his assault in a preliminary round tie against England’s Ben Sherwen.
McHugh has paraded the trophy on two occasions - in successive years, 2003 and 2004. He is hoping the omens are good because it was at the same Welsh venue that he first cracked open the champagne.
“Hopefully, that little bit of history repeats itself,” quipped the big Ireland international. “Our success in the British Championships hasn’t been so good in recent years.
“I don’t know an awful lot about my opponent, but he is the English singles champion, so that tells me enough.”
Should McHugh negotiate that opener, it would earn him a semi-final slot against Jersey’s Michael Rive.
The Irish haven’t had their hands on the British Fours title since 2001 when the Old Bleach side, Michael Nutt, Sammy Hall, James Talbot and Neil Booth, mounted the winning rostrum.
The responsibility now falls on the Robert Hasting’s Bangor rink. Joined by his son, Matthew, Thomas Cannavan and Graham McKee, Hastings has been handed a difficult preliminary round tie against Jersey’s Malcolm De Sousa.
Wales v Ireland (J Tomlinson v G Kelly, S Harris v A Kyle, R Weale v S Coleman, K James v G McKee, M Wyatt v B McAlary, T Taylor v McHugh).
England v Scotland (R Newman v B Mellors, S Farish v C Walker, J Walker v G Logan, R Catton v I McLean, D Bolt v R Grant, S Tolchard v N Speirs).
Wales v Scotland (M Wyatt v R Grant, P Taylor v N Speirs, J Tomlinson v B Mellors, S Harris v C Walker, R Weale v G Logan, K Games v I McLean).
Ireland v England (B McAlary v D Bolt, M McHugh v S Tolchard, G Kelly v R Newman, A Kyle v S Farish, S Coleman v J Walker, G McKee v R Catton).
Wales v England (R Weale v J Walker, K James v R Catton, M Wyatt v D Bolt, P Tayloir v S Tolchard, J Tomlinson v R Newman, S Harris v S Farish).
Ireland v Scotland (S Coleman v G Logan, G McKee v I McLean, B McAlary v R Grant, M McHugh v N Spiers, G Kelly v B Mellors, A Kyle v C Walker).