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Beattie returns to top of world rankings after win in Europe

Bowls Beattie

STRABANE bowler Mark Beattie is back at the top of the world rankings after lifting his second Short Mat Players’ Tour title.

The Ireland international produced a stunning display to win the European Open, defeating fellow country man Joe Beattie – no relation – in the final.

It has not been an easy year for the Strabane Cricket Club player, having lost his UK Open title to England’s Robert Mann in August before being pipped to gold in the Swedish Open by namesake Joe Beattie.

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Revenge though is sweet and so it was on Sunday when Mark Beattie swept to victory in Belgium to return to the world number one spot.

“It feels great,” Mark said yesterday.

“You never expect to do these things but when you win, it’s a big boost and I’m delighted.”

The Strabane man will spend Christmas at the pinnacle of the world rankings before returning to action early in the new year.

“The next one on the tour will be in Sweden in January and with me doing so well, I intend to go to that as well.

“If you want to be competitive you have to be out maybe three or four nights in the week and it does involve a fair bit of travelling.

“But I’m still very much a part of the Strabane Cricket Club team and I’m down there most Thursday nights,” Mark added.

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