Bowls: England show of force has Irish reeling

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England began their Home International Indoor Championship campaign with a comprehensive 126-102 win against Ireland in Ballymoney last night.

The score was tied at 51-51 at the close of the 10th end, but England picked up 47 shots for the loss of just 14 over the next five ends to lead 98-65.

David Ward and Andy Thompson laid the victory foundations with seven shot wins over Noel Graham and Jim Baker and Gary R Smith recovered from 6-9 down at the half-way point to beat David Corkill 21-16. Gary A Smith also hit back from 0-8 down at five ends to beat Stevie Adamson 20-17 and the world outdoor champion, Tony Allcock, battled to a 25-23 win over the Irish captain, Roy McCune.

Wales also made an excellent start, beating the defending champions, Scotland, 120-112.