Gary Burke has proved that he is still amongst Ireland’s elite bowlers by claiming the World Masters title at last weekend’s Short Mat Players Tour event in Belfast.
Having won four out of four group games on Saturday, Burke returned to Shaw’s Bridge on Sunday knowing another win would leave him top of his qualifying group and therefore qualifying automatically for the main knockout competition. 
He easily dispatched of James Robinson from Armagh zone and that set up a last 64 tie with Wales international Chris McWhinnie. Again, Burke was in fine form and saw off the Welsh mans challenge on a score line of 9 shots to 7.
The Wellington man then won his next three games in a tie break situation when the scores were level at the end of the specified ten ends. Gerry McCabe (Oriel), Trevor Turkington (Mid Ulster) and Kevin Conroy (Oriel) were the players that were accounted for, and this then set up a semi final showdown with Orie’ls Sean Conroy. Again, Gary held his nerve and came out the winner by the slenderest of margins winning 7-6.
The final saw Gary take on another Irish international in Armagh’s Andy Leckey. The Western man took the lead early in the game and lead 8-6 going into the last end. With Leckey lying three shots, Burke held his nerve to draw second shot and claim an 8-7 victory to hand him this year’s title. For results from this weekend’s games please visit 

Dates for the diary: Trory Summer Bowls: starts Thursday, May 5 at 8pm and every Thursday until August 11. Venue: Trory Parish Church Hall.