Travis Craig, Ireland, WV, and Travis McClintic, Lewisburg, lead a team of eight of the best players in West Virginia, in four grades, facing top bowlers from Irish communities of New York and Boston, in the North American Region Finals (national championship), Aug. 7, 8 and 9, on Turkey Run Road, Buckhannon. Winners in the North American Region Finals will advance to the ultimate competition, the All Ireland Finals in the Country of Ireland, Sept. 12, 13, Drogheda Co Louth.
Several All Ireland Champions will be on hand in Buckhannon, including top ranked USA player Adrian Lappin, New York and Con O’Callaghan and Roger O’Riordan, Boston. These bowlers throw “savage” bowls that roll 250-300 yards on a narrow country road. It is amazing to see. The tournament is free and open to the public, spectators will see and learn from the best players in the USA.
The nonprofit West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Association (WVIRBA) is hosting the event. Headquarters Bicentennial Inn at 304-472-5000, with Celtic music by “Emerald Hills” for an Irish Craic Friday and Saturday nights.
The West Virginia team will be Novice 1, Stephen Wallington, Huntington and Ken McClintic, Hacker Valley; Novice 2, Travis Craig and Travis McClintic; Novice 3, Eric Bee, Buckhannon and Wayne Marrs, West Union; Novice 4, Stephen Holmes II, Buckhannon and Ken Baun, Buckhannon. Seven of the eight WVIRBA bowlers have experience competing in national finals, only Ken Baun in Novice 4 is a newcomer.
Irish Road Bowling is an ancient sport from rural Ireland older than golf. It combines the excitement of throws rolling 250 yards or more, with the quiet ambience of a leisurely walk down a West Virginia country road. It falls between bowling and golf, with a touch of the geometry of billiards thrown in (stone walls, curbs and bridge abutments). The WVIRBA hosts 19 tournaments at state parks, festivals and county fairs in all regions of West Virginia from March to November. This sport gets young and old outdoors and walking, hurling a tennis-ball-sized iron and steel cannonball, a West Virginia roll and stroll. Ladies Longshot Sunday afternoon is open to public.
For information contact David Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202- 387-1680; Bicentennial Inn at 304-472-5000 or www.wvirishroadbowling.com or www.wvirb.org.