All Saints pairs tournament title heads to north Antrim

Finalists in the All Saints pairs tournament, pictured with David Steele (umpire); Donald Crawford (Club Chairman); Marie Burke (secretary) and Eugene McReynolds (tournament organiser). INBT 41-815H
Finalists in the All Saints pairs tournament, pictured with David Steele (umpire); Donald Crawford (Club Chairman); Marie Burke (secretary) and Eugene McReynolds (tournament organiser). INBT 41-815H

The All Saints, Ballymena, pairs title headed north as the tournament reached its conclusion last week.

Although still relatively new in the tournament calendar, the event - which was being run for the fourth year - attracted a near-capacity entry of around 70 pairs throughout the week.

The title was won by Davy Walker and Aaron Tennant, representing the St Colman’s club in Dervock.

They beat James Burns and Darren Witherspoon (All Saints Larne) in a nail-biting final which went to the final shot before it was decided in the north Antrim duo’s favour.

Defending champion Alan Paul (Cookstown High), who had won the title with different partners in each of the last two years, once again booked his place in Friday’s finals night, however, another commitment prevented him from bidding for a hat-trick of successes in the Cushendall Road clubrooms.

The finals night line-up was also due to include the First Ahoghill pairing of Andy Graham and Tom Morrison but their arrival after the scheduled start time saw them eliminated from the competition.

That left the makeshift pairing of Donal ?????, from the host club, and Jennifer Wilson (Michelin) as the sole Mid-Antrim representatives in the line-up and they reached the semi-final before going down to the Burns/Witherspoon pairing.

The final looked to be heading the way of the Larne duo as they led by three shots with two ends to play but Walker and Tennant - both North Eastern Zone representative players - staged a sterling comeback.

It was capped on the final end when Tennant - an accomplished outdoor bowler who will compete in a tournament in Israel this week - produced a marvellous delivery to claim victory for the St Colman’s duo after one of the best matches seen during the tournament.

Tournament secretary Marie Burke thanked all those who took part, along with tournament sponsors: Sean Hasson Funeral Services; Marie Burke; Robinson Cleaning Services; and Joe Carey Maine Services Contract Maintenance.

She also thanked David Steele, Jimmy McCloy, John Carruthers and Eugene McReynolds, who carried out the umpiring duties efficiently during the week of the tournament.