Commonwealth Games: Northern Ireland secure record medal haul of 16

By Michael MorrowBBC Sport NI at Victoria Park
'We can deliver' - men's fours going for gold after making history
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 have secured their best-ever medal haul at a Commonwealth Games as the men's fours won their lawn bowls semi-final to take Team NI's guaranteed tally to 16.

Birmingham 2022 overtakes Edinburgh 1986 as their most successful Games, with the chance of more medals to come.

The men's fours will go for gold against India on Saturday having defeated Wales 18-9 in the semi.

The team includes Martin McHugh and Ian McClure, who won the event in 1998.

Twenty-four years on the experienced duo have joined forced with Sam Barkley and Adam McKeown, neither of whom were born when their team-mates won gold in Kuala Lumpur, to deliver NI's 16th guaranteed medal in Birmingham.

It could get better still with men's singles bowler Gary Kelly in semi-final action on Saturday, with the potential for a gold medal match later in the day.

The men's four's win was delivered courtesy of a dominant final five ends, after Wales led 9-8 through 10.

From then NI took over, winning each of the remaining ends to ultimately run out comfortable winners and set-up a meeting with India, who put out hosts England with the very last bowl of a dramatic game on rink 10 at Victoria Park.

Earlier on Friday NI put out Scotland to advance to the last four, and backed it up with a second straight win over home nations opposition.

"This is one of the best feelings in the world, it really is," reflected Barkley, 23.

"We're not done yet. We're going for gold."

Kelly one win away from gold medal match

It was a successful day for NI in Leamington Spa, with Ballymoney's Kelly earlier booking his place in the men's singles semi-final in emphatic fashion.

He beat South Africa's Jason Evans 21-12 to set up a last four tie against Malaysia's Fairul Izwan Abd Muin on Saturday.

However, the women's pairs team of Megan Devlin and Shauna O'Neill missed out on a semi-final place in a 15-11 defeat by Malaysia.

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