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Bowls: Irish Senior Cup race gets underway

Ray McCLean

The race for the Irish Senior Cup gets underway today with 30 teams competing in the opening round.

Holders Dunbarton have made a very successful start to their league campaign and will be warm favourites to triumph at Bray.

The Gilford side have lifted the trophy on seven occasions and team member David Copeland is hopeful they maintain their recent good form. He said:

"The boys have made a great start to the season and we're hopeful of success at Bray although we'll certainly take nothing for granted".

In an all-PGL affair Old Bleach, trophy winners in 2010, will host Pickie while Leinster, the only southern club to have won the cup, will travel to Dundonald.

Balmoral and Bangor have made the perfect start in the race for the NIBA Division One title.

They have each come out on top in their opening three matches and will hope to continue their momentum.

Bangor will start as favourites to triumph at the PBA's Portglenone but Balmoral face a tricky encounter when they visit Portrush.

The opening round of the Irish Junior Cup will also take place tomorrow.

The Senior draw is:

Dungannon v St James' Gate; Portrush v Balmoral; Portglenone v Bangor; Dundonald v Leinster; Dun Laoghaire v Banbridge; Dromore v Limavady; Ewarts v City of Derry; Castle v Lisnagarvey; Old Bleach v Pickie; U Transport v Donaghadee; Ballymena v Portadown; Bray v Dunbarton; Carrick v Aer Lingus; Ballycastle v Divis; Mossley v Markethill.

Meanwhile defending champions the PBA have announced their team for the annual Senior Inter Association series to be played at Belmont on May 27 and 28.

Anyone unavailable should contact Jackie Smyth on 07739153674.

Rink 1: A Tennant (B'money), D McElroy (Cookstown), Nicky McCaw (B'money), B McAlary (do) captain.
Rink 2: J Martin (B'money), A Walker (do), D O'Kane (L'kenny), G Kelly (B'money).
Rink 3: R Kane (Dunluce), M McAleese (B'money), A Davison (Coleraine), B Kane (Dunluce).
Rink 4: B Hughes (B'money), J Quinn (L'kenny), D Gaile (Coleraine), M Wilson (Cookstown).
Rink 5: M Mason (Coleraine), B Smyth (B'money), G McCloy (P'rush), I McClure (do).
Reserves: C Brogan (B'money), M Jones (P'glenone), A Kennedy (Dunluce), S Quinn (Cookstown).

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