Commonwealth Games: NI's men's fours win gold with thumping final win in Birmingham

By Michael MorrowBBC Sport NI at Victoria Park
Northern Ireland proved far too strong for India as they claimed a thumping 18-5 win in the final
2022 Commonwealth Games
Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV with extra streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; live text and clips online.

Northern Ireland's lawn bowlers won gold in the men's fours with an emphatic 18-5 final win over India at the Commonwealth Games.

The team of Sam Barkley, Adam McKeown, Ian McClure and Martin McHugh stormed to an early lead and never looked back.

It is NI's second gold medal of Birmingham 2022 after Para-swimmer Bethany Firth's win on Wednesday.

In the men's singles Ballymoney's Gary Kelly took silver after defeat by Australian Aidan Wilson in the final.

The men's fours win is made more remarkable by the fact that it comes 24 years after McClure and McHugh formed part of the team that claimed gold in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Their two 2022 team-mates Barkley and McKeown, who were not born when they accomplished that feat, joined forces with the experienced duo to claim a magnificent, thumping win at a sun-kissed Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa.

NI were 7-0 up after four ends and were able to control the contest from there with India never to come within five of their dominant opposition.

Kelly claims NI's 17th medal but misses out on gold

Kelly advanced to the gold medal match of the men's singles with a 21-15 semi-final win over Malaysia at the Commonwealth Games, in doing so guaranteeing NI's 17th medal of a record-breaking Games.

However he came up against an inspired final opponent in Australia's Wilson, who completely dominated the gold medal match to take a resounding 21-3 win in just over an hour.

Wilson was the clear standout player in the men's singles draw having earlier dispatched of Scotland's Iain McLean in similar fashion.

But McLean went on to take bronze after a brilliant display of control and poise against Fairul Izwan Abd Muin of Malaysia saw him run out the 21-11 winner.

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