Bowls: Cookstown advance in Irish Senior Cup

The tension mounts as Cookstown bowlers Colin Hogg and Mark Wilson check out this end
The tension mounts as Cookstown bowlers Colin Hogg and Mark Wilson check out this end

Cookstown 91-63 St James’ Gate-

Cookstown produced a sensational display of bowling to knock Dublin side St James Gate out of the Irish Cup.

On rink 2 for Cookstown Damien McElroy, Sean Quinn, Michael Trimby and Chris McKnight faced the Gate rink skipped by R Maher. McElroy and his rink got off to a fine start taking an early 5-1 lead and in early control of the match.

Cookstown's Mark Wilson.

Cookstown's Mark Wilson.

Though as the Cookies held another count of three, Gate skip Maher knicked the jack with a fortunate bowl to gain a count of two.

Gate changed the jack length and this seemed to benefit the Dublin side. With Gate holding five shots Cookstown skip McElroy played a world class bowl to get the shot and the Cookies never looked back and sailed to a 30-17 win.

On rink for Cookstown Liam McHugh, Eric Sands, Barry Brannigan and Ashley Wright where drawn to play International player Shane Leonard. Gate skip Leonard had his rink in fine voice with some fine play in the early exchanges in this match.

The experienced Cookstown skip kept his rink focused, and even though they narrowly lost this match played some great bowls to keep the overall score in the Cookies favour.

Cookstown’s own international Mark Wilson and his rink, Thomas McAleavey, William Lennox and Jonathan Shepard locked horns with Richard Leonard.

This rink match stayed close throughout with a fine array bowling on offer. Gate rallied late in this match though Mark and his rink gained a two in the last end to narrowly lose by two shots.

On Rink 6 Colin Hogg, Trevor Vance, Damien McCracken and Marc McCracken faced Gate skip S Millane’s rink.

Hogg and his rink started relativity slow in this match but where only building up steam in what turned out to be a master class that seemed to dazzle the Dublin team.

Father and son duo Marc and Damien McCracken always produced great front end play and when called upon Trevor Vance and Colin Hogg added further misery to the Gate rink and romped to a fantastic 28-9 victory.

This was a great team performance against a heavily fancied St James’ Gate team who where gracious in defeat and accepted on the day that they where heavily outclassed.The draw for the next round of the Irish Cup to be played on the 20th June, gets no easier for Cookstown, as they are on their travels to Belfast to face Belmont.