Lurgan's Senior Four win the NIBA Championship

Lurgan's Senior Four win the NIBA Championship

Irene Cunningham, Lurgan BC President holding the trophy with Alan Briggs, Alan Roberts, Peter Dew and Ronan Cregan who became 2022 NIBA Senior Fours Champions at the Finals at Balmoral BC, Belfast.

Staff reporter


Staff reporter


Thursday 25 August 2022 7:00

Having beaten Antrim Lawn in the Semi-final earlier in the week, Lurgan’s Senior Four, Alan Briggs, Peter Dew, Ronan Cregan and Alan Roberts played a challenging and entertaining Final match against a strong Banbridge rink skipped by the experienced Tony Bell on the Balmoral Green last Saturday afternoon and won 20-13 to be 2022 NIBA Champions.

Over the first seven ends the two teams were equally matched with the score being even at 7-7 after 5 ends and 5-5 after 9. The 10th end went to a measure that was in the Lurgan Fours favour for them to go 1 shot ahead at 6-5.

On the 11th Bell’s rink went seriously off the boil to bowl loosely for the Lurgan men to take an amazing 7-shot haul and stretch their lead to 13-5.

Banbridge got the shot on the next end but the 13th was another dramatic one for Roberts’ rink with Dew edging the Banbridge lying bowl out and for Roberts to finish the job with a brilliant draw for the Lurgan side to lie two: 15-8.

Suddenly the match started to swing towards the Banbridge Four’s with them taking 4 shots off the 14th and 15th ends to reduce the Lurgan lead to 15-12. The Lurgan team were feeling the heat.

Fearing that the Championship was edging away from them, Robert’s rink settled themselves on the 16th with Dew drawing a fine shot to stay in place throughout and then for Cregan to draw a brilliant second for Lurgan to go ahead by 17-12.

Taking a shot on the 17th Bell’s rink was getting dangerously close and were just 4 shots adrift of Lurgan at 17-13.

All to play for on the last end with Lurgan teams having to get used to cliff-hanger finishes!

Banbridge were lying 2 shots but needed 5 to win the Championship and had 4 bowls about a yard and a half behind the head to be a useful catch if they could lift the jack and their lying bowl.

Dew bowled a super bowl to take out one of the Banbridge lying bowls that left them lying just 1 shot. Realising the danger but try as they will the Lurgan back end could not draw protective bowls to the back of the head.

Bell missed the jack with his first bowl and had to deliver a risky one with his last to take the jack through to his back four for a Championship win. Lifting the jack but marginally on the wrong side, he sent the jack over to the Lurgan trio of bowls – the Lurgan four were Champions!

Paying tribute to Alan Briggs, Peter Dew, Ronan Cregan and Alan Briggs, Irene Cunningham, Lurgan’s Club President said that they displayed great tenacity throughout the match to be worthy NIBA Senior Four Champions and wished them all the very best when they represent NIBA in the Irish Championships at Cookstown on 2nd and 3rd September.

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