TENPIN BOWLING: To celebrate 50 years of ten pin bowling in Ireland, schools from all over the country were invited to try free bowling in their local centres last week. The results were overwhelming with close to 20,000 youngsters getting their first taste of this enjoyable sport.
“The figures were way beyond our expectations and hopefully there are some budding international bowlers amongst them,” says Tom Byrne, secretary of the Irish Ten Pin Bowling Association.
The association will continue working with schools to encourage the next generation of bowlers. “The feedback from the kids and teachers has been great and some are going to add tenpin bowling to their PE sports options.”
Of course, bowling is for not just for kids – all ages and standards are always welcome.For details of a centre near you, see www.bowlingforall.ie.
BADMINTON: Irish No 1 Scott Evans is currently playing for Team Europe at the Axiata Cup with the first of three matches ending tomorrow (Sun) in Surabaya, Indonesia. The competition, with $1m on offer to the winners, resumes in Indonesia on March 29 before moving to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the final round on April 13. At least four nationalities must be included in the All-Star European and Asian teams, with national teams from a number of Asian countries also competing, although China isn’t involved.
Leinster took three of the seven titles at last weekend’s Interprovincial Championships in Baldoyle. At underage level, Leinster won both the U13 and U15 titles and were runners-up to Ulster at U17 level. When it came to the masters, Leinster beat Ulster to win the Over 50 title and were second also to Ulster at Over 40 level. In the premier competition, Ulster came out on top, beating Leinster.
SNOOKER: After a long day’s play, Charlie Sweeney and Andrew Doherty made it through to the final at the third U-19 Cue School held at the Ivy Rooms,Carlow. Sweeney beat Dylan Carey and Aaron Moyles to qualify, while Doherty got the better of Evan O’Leary and Dean Callaghan. With time running out, the final was re-scheduled for next month’s National U-19 Championships.
Taking centre stage this weekend are the U-14 and U-16 Cue Schools.
VOLLEYBALL: With just two rounds to go, UCD could still snatch the men’s premier title from tables toppers Aer Lingus. Assuming they beat Munster Thunder tomorrow (Sun) and drop no more than one set, the students will play Aer Lingus in the final round of matches on April 21 knowing that victory could give them the title. Aer Lingus, beaten in their season opener by Ballymum Patriots, and untroubled since then, face the Ballymun second team tomorrow.
Equally close is the women’s top division, where table-toppers DVC are looking nervously over their shoulders at Santry who could draw level after their match with Naas Cobras today (Sat).
TRIATHLON: After his serious bike accident a few years ago, Bryan Keane proved that he is right back in form by finishing fourth at the first ITU Cup race of the year in Mooloolaba, Australia. Keane was with the main bunch on the swim and cycle, and on the 10km run, battled for second place, only losing out in the sprint for the line. His time of 1 hrs 55 mins 2 secs put him just 30 seconds behind race winner Javier Gomez of Spain.
In the women’s race, Aileen Morrrison Reid was part of the leading group of seven on the swim and kept with them as the gap grew to three minutes on the cycle. She held on for sixth place on the run.
In the USA, Conor Murphy picked up valuable rankings points when he finished fifth in the Pan American Cup in Sarasota with a strong swim and cycle.
Locally the third round of the Naas Duathlon Series takes place at Punchestown tomorrow (Sun). Paul Carroll and Caroline Conway were the winners in the last round.
HOCKEY: UCD is the venue this weekend for the Irish Senior Cup, with two all-Leinster finals taking place later today (Sun). In the women’s semi-finals, UCD beat Ballymoney on penalties and Railway Union swept past Ards. In the men’s final, Pembroke Wanderers play Monkstown; in two close semi-finals, Monkstown narrowly beat Three Rock Rovers 4-3, while Pembroke only made it past Banbridge on penalties. Watch both finals live at www.aertv.ie.