Town triples defeated in a close fought NIBA final

Alan Briggs delivers a wood in the triples final. INLM32-226
Alan Briggs delivers a wood in the triples final. INLM32-226
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The Lurgan triples team were beaten last Saturday in the final of the NIBA competition.

The Carrickfergus green was the scene for a tense final between the Lurgan rink of Alan Briggs, skip, Mansel Montgomery and Ivor Mitchell and the Banbridge finalists Aaron O’Keefe, skip, Brendan Davis and Seamus Skelton, a former Lurgan bowler.

The nervous Lurgan triple soon settled down and were three shots ahead after the fourth end but O’Keefe’s triple were not fazed and gradually took control to lead by five shots after the 12th end.

Briggs and his men stuck to the task and made a steady comeback by winning the next four ends to square the match at 12–12.

O’Keefe fired at the head on the 13th end and succeeded in claiming the shot to take his triple into a one shot lead. Briggs’s triple reversed the Banbridge lead by taking three shots off the next two ends and things were looking good for them going into the 15th end.

O’Keefe’s triple took the three shots back on the next end to square the match again at 15–15 aided by a slight rain shower changing the green conditions which proved difficult for the Lurgan men. They struggled during the 17th end and dropped another crucial four shots to trail 19-15 going into the last end.

However it was the setting for a dramatic finish which kept the supporters on edge. In an effort to get four shots and take the match to a decider tie end Briggs sensationally took the jack off the rink twice but O’Keefe kept his cool to trail the jack with his last bowl to win the third reset end by two shots and the match 21–15.

The club members congratulate the Lurgan triple on reaching the final having beaten tough opposition on their way to it.

Congratulations also go to young Reece Millar who did so well in the earlier rounds but unfortunately lost out in the NIBA Junior Singles Championship semi-finals.