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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