Larne bowler Andrew Kyle has returned home from the World Cup Singles in Australia with a silver medal for his efforts in the World Cup Singles.
In the final, held at Warilla Bowling Club, Sydney, Kyle came up against Portrush native Jeremy Henry, who now lives in and represents Australia.
Kyle, who first became a member of Larne Bowling Club at the age of 14, boasts an impressive list of achievments in the game, but had never played on a world stage. The 37-year-old performed magnificently to reach the showpiece match but Henry was in imperious form, winning two sets to nil (6-8, 3-9)
“I’ve had a fantastic week,” Kyle told the News Letter. “My form was great leading to the final... I couldn’t have asked for any better. But Jeremy was awesome... I just couldn’t live with him. He was unstoppable.
“In fact, no one would have beaten him on that form ... he was just too hot. I’m delighted with the silver medal. I give it my best shot, but he was unbeatable... simply super.”
In the first set of Kyle trailed 1-3 but added two doubles to hold a 5-3 advantage after six ends. On the 7th and 8th ends whilst lying, his opponent played two excellent bowls to garner 3 and 2 shots to win the first set. It was a massive swing both in score and momentum.
Kyle played well throughout the final but Henry delivered a devastating display to become the first player to lift the coveted crown for the fourth time.
In his group games, he won nine with a solitary defeat. Incredibly, this only got him second place in his group and he had to play-off against Spain for a place in the semi-final. He overcame this hurdle, setting up a last-four clash against New Zealander, Shannon McIlroy.
He blitzed the Kiwi in the first set to ease into the lead. McIlroy fought back to level and force a tie-break. Victory, and a place in the final was assured with a forehand draw, resulting in a back toucher that could not be bettered.