Bray Bowling News - June 2024

A somewhat depleted Bray Premier team took the coach to Randalstown, Co. Antrim, for their IBA Senior Cup match against Old Bleach. Bray travelled more in hope than expectation and the result was a comprehensive win for the home side. On the day only one of the six entrants from the Republic won their tie - CYM 'A' away at NI Civil Service (NICS) of East Belfast.

Summer was proving itself to be as elusive a concept as ever, mostly due to persistent cold winds from the North Atlantic. Nor was the rain absent either and three vets matches had to be abandoned one Thursday when greenkeeper, Pat Crinnion, declared the green waterlogged (as well as most of the bowlers!).

At the half-way stage in the Premier division, Bray sat in the middle of the table with four teams above them and four below. The Saturday Division 1 team were unfortunately propping up their league though with the nearest three teams within 3.5 points. The mostly ladies of Wednesday Division 2 lay fifth out of ten teams with half their matches played.

Bray's Monday evening crew made it through to the last four of the Shott Cup when they beat Kenilworth at their Rathmines home. They earned themselves a meeting with North Kildare in Blackrock in July. The club also had competitors in Quarter-Final stages of 6 ILB championships.

Sarah Kelly of Crumlin Bowling Club won the British Isles Singles Championship at Leamington Spa in Warwickshire. In the final she beat Stef Branfield of England 21 - 17. Also there was clubmate, Shane Leonard, who was the only ILB bowler to be part of the team to represent Ireland at the British Isles International Series over the final weekend of June. Ireland played each other country twice, with one game comprising singles and fours and the return game, pairs and triples. Shane featured prominently and helped his country to finish third behind winners, England, and Wales, but above Scotland and Jersey.

Patrick Brosnan.

Bray Bowling News - IBA Senior Cup, June 1st 2024

Bray had not one but two bowler-reporters on this year's coach North for the IBA Cup.

Frank Devlin writes:

Bray BC regularly enter the IBA Senior Cup which is contested by clubs from all four associations affiliated to the IBA. In 2024 Bray were drawn away to Old Bleach from the NIPGL. Old Bleach, who won the cup in 2022, are based in Randalstown, Co. Antrim. This was a tough draw as Old Bleach count among their number a number of current Irish Internations including Adam McKeown, Stephen Kirkwood and Martin McHugh as well as numerous players who have won IBA Championships either in singles, pairs or triples.

Bray decided to travel by bus and left the club at 8.30am. We stopped for breakfast just north of the border and we arrived in Randalstown just after noon where our hosts provided us with vegetable soup to die for!!

The match was an experience as the bowling on display from the host club was top class. We put up a good show early on but the hosts pulled away to win comfortably. Afterwards we were entertained in their fabulous club house and we were well fed before heading back to Bray with our tail between our legs. We arrived back to Bray at 8.45pm tired but well versed in what is required to compete at the highest level.

Did I mention that both Martin McHugh and Adam McKeown were part of the Northern Ireland team who won Commonwealth Gold in 2022 in the 4's !!! Ah yes, an experience indeed.

And Philip Bredin adds:

Bray travelled more in hope than expectation to play Old Bleach in the IBA Senior Cup. The result was a comprehensive win for the home side. The standard of bowls is much higher in N Irl. The facilities were very impressive with plans on display for major expansion. The sport is heavily subsidised and most of their team were very young. Even though they have 120+ members, they only field 3 competitive teams…this makes for strong competition for places!

We were made very welcome and enjoyed food and beverage post-match. For me it was a most enjoyable experience..the result was not what we wanted, but overall a great day.

Bray Bowling Club.

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Getting Started

Club welcome sign.

The club is open all year round with our all-weather green and new members are very welcome.

We cater for beginners or more experienced bowlers. People of all ages and abilities are welcome. Lawn bowls can be a team or singles sport and is a great way of enjoying the company of others. It is a competitive sport, most of our members played other sports such as soccer, gaelic football, hurling, tennis, golf etc before taking up bowls. They are aged from their late teens to late eighties. Bowls is a sport for all people - the club has both Ladies' and Men's Sections. To get started phone Niall on 087 629 6494 or Bernedette on 086 384 2709.

Want to see kids learning bowls? Watch this Irish Federation video.

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