First of all – Mea Culpa! Mea Culpa!

My humble and abject apologies to some of our Ladies for not congratulating them last month on making the Ladies Irish International  team. It will not happen twice! So – well done to Karen Woodside who gains her first cap, and recalls for Terri McJury and Moya McGuile, and also not to forget those who have been regulars in the team – Christine Young, Vera McCourt, Bridie Donnelly, Vi Luney, and Sandra Bailie.

Staying with the fairer sex : here are the qualifiers for the Ladies Irish National Championships to be played at Ballymoney on the 8/9/10 February, and well done to them all :

Singles:        Anne Pennington and Terri McJury.

Pairs :          Karen Woodside and Christine Young; Moya McGuile and

Sandra Bailie.

Triples :       Mary Hamilton, Kathleen Skeffington and Mary Devine; Terri McJury, Sandra Bailie, Vera McCourt.

Fours :         Anne Pennington, Karen Woodside, Breidge Donnelly,

Christine Young. Terri McJury, Yvonne Ross, June Wilson,

Ellen Gordon.

The qualifiers for the Tyrone Crystal which in itself is the qualifier for World Bowls are : Terri McJury, Christine Young, Anne Pennington, and Anita Stanney.

Moving on the men! The Watson Stadium hosted the AIIB Championships in December and didn’t we do well?!  Our representatives won 5 of the 7 Championships on offer!!

So many congratulations to the following :

Patrick Burns who won the Junior Singles Title.

John Boyd and Clifford Craig who won the Pairs Title.

Davis Copeland and Paul McEwan who won the 2-Bowl pairs.

Nigel Gibson, John Boyd and Clifford Craig for winning the Triples Title against another BIBC Triple skipped by Michael Kelly.

Willie Watson’s rink beat A.Gray’s rink in the Senior Fours.

More congratulations, but this time to our younger male players! Chris McCall, Paul Brennan, Patrick McCafferty, Ryan Craig and Patrick Burns have all been selected to represent Ireland at Under 25level in Southampton on January 12th and 13th. Good luck to them. Results are just in: on Saturday the Irish team lost narrowly to England; drew with Scotland, and the final match lost by only 5 shots to Wales. The team should be congratulated for an excellent performance.

Going to press, no results as yet from New Zealand.

At Senior level, 6 rinks have been selected to represent Ireland in Perth from 14th to 16thMarch. I am pleased to see Watson Stadium representatives in the following : Mark McPeak, David Corkill, Paul Daly, Patrick Burns, John Boyd, Jonathan Ross, Clifford Craig, Paul McEwan, Roy Battersby; Michael Merritt is a reserve.  That is a fantastic representation on the Irish team, and we wish them well in Scotland.

At this point may I strongly recommend all our members to look at our website, which is regularly updated. For those who do not yet know it :


The friendly B Match against the Baker Stadium on Sunday 13th January here - involving our ‘second’ string so to speak, was won (a satisfactory result)

Match in progress (above) – Winning team (below)

On Saturday February 9th we entertain an experienced touring team from Cumbria – so watch the board for the Belfast team.  Talking of team-sheets, the selectors are a little annoyed by the last team-sheet which was covered by childish graffiti and some obnoxious comments about some members – please be adult enough to refrain some such behaviour gentlemen.

In addition to the Results service that we already provide on the internet, it has been decided to provide a ‘draws and results’ service for the A.I.I.B. competitions this year.


The second round of Coaching starts again on Monday 14th January at 6.45pm; if any of you know someone who has just retired in December encourage them to come along. Don’t forget that membership is now half price for the rest of the year.

Note that casual rinks are available for practice and socialising for Beginners and Novices at the following times: Tuesdays 4-6 and Fridays 11.30am to 1.30pm.  It is also intended to try to run a Singles and a Pairs Competition for all Beginners and Novices soon; entry forms are in the Office.

Some people ask me, “Why is the Club losing money?” Now, there are many factors but one stands out at present: in December 2007, 247 matches were postponed, costing the Club £5928.  Was your rink one of those??

January Social scene:

On Saturday 12th we had a Becks Beer night promoting a popular new beer; this is combined with our first Poker Night of the year.

The competition was won by Chris Eadie.

On Saturday 19th we have a Pool Competition - £50 for the winner guaranteed.

On Saturday 26th we have live music from Wired Emotion; so we are looking for a good crowd.

Ken Armstrong