The draws for this seasons championships, sponsored by Crawfords Accident Repairs, were made by members of the GP Committee last week and as always they threw up many intriguing first round ties.
This year sees a change to the traditional structure with Singles (Monday) and Pairs (Friday) being played down to the last four first. The Triples (Monday) and Rinks (Friday) will take centre stage in early June. This should hopefully reduce fixture congestion in the early weeks and ensure we all have something to look forward to mid season.
The Youth Singles threw up one great clash of the “J”’s when Jayden Kyle (Larne) entertains Jaran O’Neill (Cliftonville).
The Junior Singles was packed with great ties with the pick being D Breen (Dunbarton) v D Mills ( Pickie), holder R Cavan (Belmont) v S Millar (Ballymena), a Pickie Derby between R Dornan & J Watson and last years Youth Champion Adam McKeown (now with Ballymena) v J Kyle (Larne).
The Singles Champion DJ Wilson (Dunbarton) welcomes W McCandless (Ballymena) to Guildford where J Moffat v M Nutt (Old Bleach) and C Trainor v A Kyle (Larne) will also entertain the supporters.
A McKean (Larne) v S Martin (Belmont), s Cavan (Belmont) v M Trainor (Dunbarton) and a Ballymena Derby between A Morrison and S Coleman also catch the eye.
In the Pairs the holders C McCartan / DJ Wilson (Dunbarton) get their defence underway against O’Neill / McCrudden (Cliftonville) at home while two Belmont ties look interesting as DS Corkill returns to outdoor action and partners J Boyd against S & M Trainor (Dunbarton) while P Daly / S Martin clash with C & K Trainor (Dunbarton)
Finally for now the Senior Rinks preliminary round would not have disappointed as the Semi Finals as M Murphy (Larne) plays former winners R Torrington (Ballymena) and D Smith (Shaftesbury) entertain holders M Morgan (Falls).