Travis McClintic, Stephen Wallington, Jerod Putnam and Clifton Colebank, four of the best Irish Road Bowlers in West Virginia and in the United States, met Nov. 6 at Stonewall Resort near Weston to determine the first-ever Single's League Champion.
Irish Road Bowling is one of the oldest sports in the world. An iron and steel small cannonball is thrown for distance over a one- to two-mile-road, fewest throws to the finish line wins the match.
Putnam, a resident of Ireland and one of the founders of road bowling in West Virginia, played in the first-ever match in March 1995. West Virginia State Champion in 2002 and 2006, Putnam has competed in several national tournaments and made trips to Ireland to see the world's best players. Formerly a football player at Glenville State College, Putnam throws with plenty of speed and has returned to winning form in 2011 after drastically changing his throwing style.
McClintic, from Lewisburg, was a member of the first USA team to compete in the World Championships of Bowl Playing in Dinkelland, Holland, in 2010. McClintic defeated a two-time All Ireland Champion in the national tournament in West Virginia in 2009. He throws with a hard charging sprint that puts terrific speed on the bowl. McClintic was a West Virginia University football player and currently is a professional bull rider.
Wallington, from Culloden, throws with a classic Irish run-up and throwing style which allows him to generate speed yet maintain accuracy. A former AAA high school baseball pitcher, Wallington has transferred baseball skills to road bowling and quickly has become one of the best in West Virginia.
Colebank, from Morgantown, is also new to the sport and uses only a two or three step approach. However with center-line accuracy and a deft touch on the bowl, Colebank generates long shots that stay in the road. Colebank brought home a Runner-Up trophy from the 2011 national tournament in Boston in August.