Ballybrakes Community Indoor Bowling Club Christmas short-mat tournament

Ballybrakes Community Indoor Bowling Club held their annual Christmas Short-mat tournament, for the first time since Covid restrictions, on December 27 and 28.

This year the tournament was a run as a pairs competition only with 93 entries. The competition was played off in sections on a round robin basis with the winners of each section progressing to a knockout, with four qualifiers from each day’s play progressing to the finals on the Wednesday evening.

Tuesday’s qualifiers were D McCann/K McNamee, A McLean/P Canning, A Morrison/D Morrison, N Alexander/D Bonner and Wednesday’s qualifiers were R O’Neill/C Dillon, S and K Conroy, D McAlister/C McHugh, C Hill/A Paul.

The final was contested between, father and son, Sean and Kevin Conroy and, lifelong friends, Clarke Hill and Alan Paul. Spectators were treated to a feast of excellent bowling.

Donna McCloy with the finalists

The Conroys lifted a full house on the first end but their opponents fought back to see the game tied at 6 all going into the last end. Clark and Alan held their nerve and lifted a single on the last end to win.

Clarke is now a permanent resident in New Zealand and was home for Christmas when Alan asked him to play. It is some seven years since they last played a tournament together, but they gelled together as well as ever to win the tournament.

Thank you to Tommy Smith for once again running the tournament in his very efficient manner. He has the unenviable job of compiling the entries and producing the draw. With the short-mat game in decline along with many short-mat tournaments, it is hoped to hold the tournament again next year.

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