Congratulations to Aaran O’Keefe on lifting his first Open Singles title at Balmoral this afternoon after an intriguing tussle with Bangor’s Matthew Hastings, (21-11). The Banbridge man has now added the blue ribbon Singles trophy to his already impressive collection, barring the Open Pairs. Aaran commented later that he “over the moon with his victory” and deservingly so.
On a day which forecasted very heavy rain by early afternoon, matches were brought forward, times rescheduled and would you believe it, the sun shone brightly, apart from a 25 minute downpour which interrupted play. However, this didn’t deter the players involved from producing some very closely contested and exciting games for the spectators to appreciate the talent on show.
The Cromie household are tonight celebrating a family ‘double’ of Championships titles, with Adam securing the Youth Singles (U18) and Alex, the Junior Singles (U25). Commiserations to their respective opponents Josh Thompson (Donaghadee) and Sam Wallace (Whitehead), (21-6 and 21-20). Young talent with great prospects in store. Congratulations to all four lads.
In a very close encounter, the Balmoral triple of Stephen Gibson, Mitchell Albert & Annesley Harrison managed the narrowest of margins win over Bangor’s Matthew Hastings, Thomas McClean & Robert Hastings. This game sea-sawed throughout with just 1 shot making the difference, (21-20).
Dundonald celebrate the Open Fours title with Stephen McBride, Noel Large, James Frazer & Mark Foster producing a fine combined team effort against Seamus Skeleton, Peter Haughey, Kyle Blakely & Jack Moffett from Banbridge, (26-16).
The ‘auld’ lads from Bangor, seasiders Rodney McCutcheon, Brian McFall, Gary Scott & Robert Hastings lifted the Senior Fours accolade after an intriguing contest involving the Banbridge four of Paul O’Keefe, Seamus Skeleton, Brendan Davis & Tony Bell, (16-13).
The Open Pairs game was completed on Sunday 8 with Whitehead’s father & son combination, Billy & Barry Browne just pipping Seamus Skeleton & Derek Wright of Banbridge over the final couple of ends to lift the Pairs title, (21-15).
The Competitions Committee wish to extend their sincere gratitude to Balmoral BC for hosting the event all week, to the Umpires & Markers who officiated, and to all the players involved in making the NIBA 2021 Championships Finals such a successful and enjoyable event.
Congratulations to all the winners. Commiserations and very well done to the runners-up and semi finalists.