COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Gareth Mcauley wins bronze medal

Local man Gareth McAuley, who won a bronze medal for Skeet shooting at the Commonwealth Games in Australia on Monday.
Local man Gareth McAuley, who won a bronze medal for Skeet shooting at the Commonwealth Games in Australia on Monday.

Local man Gareth McAuley said it was ‘a dream come true’ after he won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.

He was competing in the Skeet Shooting for Northern Ireland on the Gold Coast.

McAuley, 25, hit 45 out of his 50 targets to finish third behind winner Georgios Achilleos of Cyprus and silver medallist Ben Llewellin from Wales.

Speaking on social media after the event McAuley said it was ‘unbelievable’.

“It’s unbelievable,” he told the NI Commonwealth Games Facebook page.

“I never expected to win a medal. It’s beyond words - a dream come true.

“To say that you’re a Commonwealth Games medallist is unreal.

“To wake up tomorrow morning with a medal round my neck will be unbelievable.

“That’s two medals Northern Ireland have won but the more the merrier and hopefully this is the start of something special.”

It completes a fantastic few days for Northern Ireland.

It’s the third medal in the Gold Coast following gymnast Rhys McClenaghan’s gold and boxer Kristina O’Hara’s progress to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s disappointing bowls campaign in Gold Coast continued as local men’s pair Ian McClure and Gary Kelly exited following a 21-8 defeat by Wales and women’s single Catherine Beattie also bowed out.

Beattie needed to beat world number one and gold medal favourite Karen Murphy to keep her hopes alive but the Australian clinched a 21-17 victory.

The Men’s triples and women’s fours earned wins but their hopes of qualification for the knockout stages had already been extinguished.

Simon Martin, Martin McHugh and Andrew Kyle beat Scotland 16-14 with the women’s four edging out England 15-14 for their only win in the group stage.

“It’s disappointing to bow out, but we have to look again at next week now,” said McClure. “The bowling side are five very good bowlers.

“It’s a case of going away now and regrouping ahead of next week. We are all capable of performing really well.

“When you’re playing you need to get the breaks at the key times, I feel this week we didn’t get those breaks. Hopefully things might even out.”

Kelly added: “We have a couple of days to get away from it and reflect on what has happened. We need to refresh, regroup and go again.

“I’m looking forward to next week, hopefully things go well for the whole team and we can put a few good performances together and qualify out of the group.”