Western Juniors had previously won the Junior Interzone title twice in 1999 and 2008 and lost out to Oriel zone in the final in 2011 while in 2013 and 2014 they were beaten in the semi final stages of the competition.

The Junior Interzone team travelled to Ballybrakes Stadium, Belfast with two of their squad members missing, Matthew Moore having broken his arm on Friday and Sean Cadden crying off sick. The juniors and their supporters left the Forum Car Park with high hopes and confidence of doing well in the ‘Bellbowl’ Interzone Competition’, as they looked to go one better this year.

The Western juniors had a later time of starting due to Larne zone pulling out of the competition and Oriel zone were taken out of the Western Group (D) and put into the group which was missing Larne. This left all the four sections even with three zones in each.

In the first game played in group D North West Blue played Northern which Northern won 4–1, Western then played North West which Western won 5-0. The rink skipped by Hannah Ferguson won 15–4 against R Cochrane, Matthew Ferguson’s rink beat C O’Neill 13–8 and finally Brandon Power’s rink won 7–6 against K Nelson.

The next game up for Western was against Northern which our Juniors knew they had to win to reach the semi final stages. The team got off to a good start with Brandon’s rink winning 10–6 against M Williamson. Unfortunately Hannah’s rink went down 11–2 to J Daragh but Matthew’s rink got a massive win against A Stratton 17–3 which put Western into the semi final against Monaghan zone. In the other semi final it was South Tyrone against reigning champions North West.

The rink skipped by Brandon with Nathan Nixon in lead, second Blaine Bradshaw and third William Parkinson won their game 13–4 against a rink skipped by Mark Hamilton. Lead Lewis Nixon, second Rebecca Gilroy, third Catherine Scott with Matthew won their game 18–3 against C Nulty’s rink and finally Emma Scott in lead with Lauren Ferguson second, Stephen Graham third for Hannah played D McDonald’s rink winning 9–4. The final scoreline was Western 40 Monaghan 11. The semi final between North West and South Tyrone was won by North West 45–7.

After the first end had been played in the final over the three mats, Western found themselves 10-0 down. Then Hannah picked up six shots in the second end with Brandon dropping a four and Matthew losing a single to leave the scoreline at 15–6 down. Over the course of the next two ends Hannah’s rink were leading 8–5 against J Caskey, Matthew’s rink was losing 7–1 to A Rankin and Brandon’s rink was 12–0 down to G Kennedy. Over the remaining five ends on Brandon’s mat he had picked up two two’s and a three but unfortunately had dropped a single and a four to lose their game overall 7–17. On Hannah’s mat, after leading 9–7 up to the sixth end they dropped a total of eight shots to lose 15–9 and Matthew’s rink hadn’t faired any better with only gaining another single shot and losing a total of nine shots to lose 16–2.

The Western Juniors had come up against a very strong North West team but they had played their heart out after four long games and were a credit to the zone and their selectors. The selector’s wishes to thank the parents for their support over the numerous practice nights and the halls that were provided for the junior practices.