Dunbarton triple land first ever British title

Left to right: Andy Hughes, Michael Higgins and Tony Bell with their British Isles trophy, the first in Dunbarton Bowling Club's history.
Left to right: Andy Hughes, Michael Higgins and Tony Bell with their British Isles trophy, the first in Dunbarton Bowling Club's history.
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Michael Higgins, Andy Hughes and Tony Bell are the new heroes of Dunbarton Bowling Club.

The tremendous triple have secured the club’s maiden British Isles title with a nerve-jangling 17-14 victory over hosts Scotland in the final.

They had made light work of semi-final opponents Jersey, cruising to a 21-8 victory to set up Friday’s crunch decider.

In between those two ties, Andy and Michael suffered a crushing 19-18 defeat to England in the Fours final alongside club-mates DJ WIlson and Myles Greenfield.

That loss threatened to cause a hangover in the Triples final but the pair’s team-mate Tony Bell wasn’t going to let that happen.

“The lads looked to have the Fours in the bag but they lost it at the last end, which was really heartbreaking for them,” he said.

“They were shattered mentally after that so at the start of the final, we didn’t play well at all. The lads were very tired but we knew we had to get our act together.

“It had been such a long road to get there so I had to say to them that I understood how disappointed they were after the fours but the way we were playing, it was going to be double heart-break for them.”

After 11 ends, the Irish lads found themselves 11-8 behind having failed to score in four consecutive ends but a single on end 12 steadied the ship and then they really found their form.

“We managed to get ourselves ahead by three with just two ends to go but we lost two on the penultimate end,” said Tony.

“It was so tight but the final end was a brilliant one for us. Michael played a couple of brilliant bowls and then they hit the jack away. I played two good shots and then they smashed it away agin but Andy followed up with another couple of brilliant bowls to win it.

“Normally, if you get two players bowling well on an end you’re doing well so to have all three of us playing good shots was fantastic. It was great to be able to play like that when it really mattered.

“It was absolutely brilliant to win because we have been working hard for it for two years. I was so delighted for the two lads because if they had suffered double heartbreak, it might have been difficult to come back from.”

DJ Wilson and Conor McCartan were then in action for Ireland, who secured a win over Wales but were beaten by England and Scotland.