Bowling duo are best of British

BALLYMENA'S Sarah Jane Coleman and Erin Smith claimed the British Isles Under 25's Pairs Championships at Worthing last weekend.

This is the second time that Coleman has claimed the pairs title which she also won for the first time two years ago when she partnered Ashleigh Rainey from Ewarts.

The Ballymena pair defeated Vicky Room and Charlene Tirple in straight sets in the semi final (7-5 and 7-5), while in the other semi final Natalie Williams and Rebecca Campbell from Scotland defeated Kerry Packwood and Rebecca Shore from Wales.

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The final was a very close affair. Coleman and Smith won the first set 8-6 and in the second set they lay game on the last end only for the Scottish skip to draw the shot and force the final in to a 3-end tie break.

First blood went to the Ballymena duo who scored 2 shots on the first end, but they conceded a similar score on the next end to set up a 'winner takes all' final end.

Smith, who had had an excellent game at lead throughout drew 2 close bowls and when the leads had finished it was the Ballymena pair who lay game.

The Ballymena skip continued to do what she had done all day by playing two good positional bowls and in the end the Scottish skip was unable to change the head to leave the Ballymena pair British Isles Under-25 Pairs Champions for 2010.

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The British Isles Home International Series also took place last week end and it was a very young Irish team which went to Worthing to compete in the British Isles Championships with no less that 10 of the Irish panel of 18 players under the age of 18 years of age.

Coleman and Smith were joined by their Ballymena team mate Megan Wilson for the team event but unfortunately for the Irish they finished up with the wooden spoon with three straight defeats.

It should however be remembered that the other 3 associations pick their teams from hundreds of players while the Irish have approximately 24 players to pick from and the other associations fielded teams where all players were 18 years of age or over.

On the Sunday morning the Ireland team took on England, however they fell to a heavy 70 shot defeat.

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On Sunday afternoon the Irish took on Wales and put in their best performance of the weekend with the two rinks, one skipped by Sarah Jane, recording narrow victories, but it was not enough to stop the Welsh claiming an overall 26 shot victory.

Monday morning saw the Irish team take on Scotland, however three games in the space of 36 hours proved too much for the young Irish team as they suffered another heavy defeat by 71 shots, however Sarah Jane did skip her rink to a very commendable 27-27 draw.

It is to their credit that the Irish continue to compete at this level as hopefully some of the young ladies who gain experience in the Under 25s will go on and represent Ireland at full international level in the future and this has already been proven by the fact that both Sarah Jane and Erin have already played bowls at full international level.

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