Ryan, 18, makes Mossley history

Ryan McKeown made history for Mossley BC in the IBA Under-18 final. INLT 36-960-CON
Ryan McKeown made history for Mossley BC in the IBA Under-18 final. INLT 36-960-CON

TEENAGER Ryan McKeown became Mossley Bowling Club’s first representative in an IBA final when he lost narrowly to reigning champion Kris Matchett at the weekend.

The 18-year-old (pictured) has already proved himself to be the best under-18 in the Private Greens League this year and earned his place in Saturday’s final at Blackrock, Dublin, last Friday morning when he comfortably beat Andy Jackson of the Railway Union Club, 21-8.

However, recent form deserted the first Mossley player in the 85-year history of the club to play in an IBA final and Kris, from Lurgan, weathered an opening onslaught to come from 6-10 behind to win the tie 21-15.

The game was played on a tricky, tight rink on which it proved very difficult to draw or drive, resulting in both players struggling to deliver consistent bowls. Ultimately, it was the loss of two fours in three ends by Ryan when leading 11-9 that turned the game.

More disappointment followed for Mossley on Saturday afternoon when the Junior Team were defeated 6-1 (68-79) by Knock BC in their promotion shoot-out.

With league leaders Ewarts BC also winning comfortably at Ards, the two results condemned Mossley Juniors to another season in Division 2, despite having topped the league standings for the majority of the season.

Only the rink skipped by Ronnie Templeton finished ahead of their opponents – by 20 shots – but it was not enough to prevent Knock securing second place and promotion behind champions Ewarts with an 11-shot victory.

Rink scores - Ronnie Templeton 28 C Costley 8; Sammy Saulters 15 T Gallaher 25; John Montgomery 16 C Bailie 17;, Jim Kelly 9 S Curran 29.

The 2012 bowling season was scheduled to end on Tuesday night, when the mid-week team were due to visit Larne BC for a weather-delayed relegation shoot-out, with Mossley requiring two points to avoid relegation to Division 2.

In all, this season has been a very successful one for Mossley, whose Seniors won PGL Senior Division 2 by 11.5pts; the club also won its first PGL Championship title since 1984; and the ladies reached the final of the NIWPGL pairs championships.

The club is most grateful to sponsors City Blinds and Lindsay Cars of Mallusk for their assistance in contributing to this success.