Kyle’s team talk does trick against Donaghadee men


Larne welcomed NIBA Division Two side Donaghadee on Saturday in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup.

International Andy Kyle was up for a run in the cup and gave his team-mates a few words of encouragement which seemed to do the trick. The Larne men got off to a great start and had the game in the bag from the opening ends.

Michael Murphy’s quartet raced into a commanding 12-2 lead after 10 ends and they went on to win comfortably, 22-13.

Alan McLean missed the pre-game team talk, and more significantly his talismanic lead, but was well in touch trailing 8-10 after 10. The second half belonged to the visitors as they put McLean in trouble and he eventually succumbed to a 13-22 defeat.

Kyle’s four were inspired through the first half of their game and had built up a massive 19-2 lead.

Nigel Todd and Simon Bell decorated the jack with yellow and blue bowls, while their strong backend of Paul Robinson and Kyle consolidated.

The visiting skip saved a count of eight on the 11th end and produced a brilliant personal performance thereafter to reduce his deficit to nine. The Larne rink can be very pleased with their 23-14 success.

David McRandal, ably assisted by Brian Smyth, Chris Snoddy and Gavin Johnston, led 12-4 after 10.

The opposition lead peppered the jack continuously in the second half, only to be outdone by Snoddy, who gave a master-class of aggressive bowling from second. McRandal’s men again gelled well for a 23-13 success but the plaudits must go to Larne’s youngest player.

Larne progressed with a 19-shot success, but will face a tougher challenge against NIBA Division One team Lisnagarvey in the next round.

This Saturday Larne are on the road for a league game against champions Dunbarton.

The Private Greens Senior Trials take place on Thursday with five Larne players involved: Andy Kyle, Darren Witherspoon, Michael Murphy, Alan McLean and Chris Snoddy. Simon Bell makes his first venture as a PGL selector, when he will be aiming to help find the winning combinations for a successful Inter-Association Series.