Larne’s McGarel set to lead ladies’ bowls team for a second time

(l-r) Mandy Cunningham (Ewarts), Sally McGarel (Larne) International team manager, Jennifer Dowds (Ballymena), Donna McCloy (Ballymena), Catherine McMillen (Divis) and Barbara Cameron (Ballymena).
(l-r) Mandy Cunningham (Ewarts), Sally McGarel (Larne) International team manager, Jennifer Dowds (Ballymena), Donna McCloy (Ballymena), Catherine McMillen (Divis) and Barbara Cameron (Ballymena).

Larne Bowling and Lawn Tennis club member Sally McGarel will be participating in the Commonwealth Games as manager of the Northern Ireland Ladies bowls team.

It’s Sally’s second Games, having held the same management position four years ago in Delhi.

Sally was the 2004 Irish Triples champion and British Isles Championship finalist. Since 2006, she has been the Irish ladies’ team manager.

The five players selected for the Northern Ireland team are Barbara Cameron (Ballymena) Jennifer Dowds (Ballymena) Donna McCloy (Ballymena) Mandy Cunningham (Ewarts) and Catherine McMillen (Divis). They will play in four disciplines: Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours.

The squad has vast experience with Cameron and McCloy appearing in their fifth Commonwealth, while Dowds and Cunningham make their second appearances.

With test matches against England, Scotland, Wales and New Zealand and various training sessions it has been a busy year for the players and manager.

Praising the work effort of the squad, McGarel said: “Hopefully their hard work and dedication will produce favourable results.

“It will be difficult for the girls as they will not only be playing against the world’s best but for at least two weeks will be playing two games each day.”

McGarel also said the support received from Sport NI and the NI Commonwealth Games Council has been “a great help in our preparation”.

“We also have received excellent support from Kelley Fay (Sport Psychologist) from the Sports Institute,” she added.