Yearly Archives: 2013

Weekend of close encounters

There were some very close outcomes and a first win for newcomers Spare Parts over the latest two days of the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter League Bowling Club as they almost avoided the heavy rain that swept across the Island.

Saturday began with players competing in short shirt sleeves in warm dry conditions, but ended in a downpour that no doubt spoilt the session for those still in action.

Just two points separated the teams in both of the opening contests – RBM got the better of Castletown Corkers by 72-70, while Bits n Bobs overcame Beachcombers by 79 points to 77.

Corkers then improved their tally with success over Bits n Bobs; before RBM recorded the highest score of the afternoon with an easier than expected win over Beachcombers.

Sunday’s action began with Incredabowls being held to a three-all on games by Castletown Cannons and even though their points margin was better by 14 they slipped down a position behind Louie’s Angels who themselves romped to an 84-48 success over Spare Parts.

The two victors then went head-to-head, with non-participating leaders Seven-Up being the only winners, as Louie’s Angels and Incredabowls shared a fairly low scoring 69 points apiece, which leaves their rivals with an early advantage.

New side Spare Parts then got the better of the Cannons to record their first success and do enough to sit above their opponents in the average points standings.

Still awaiting a maximum

The second weekend of action in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter League Bowling Club took place over two sunny dry afternoons and although early pacesetters Seven-Up came very close with the highest total to date, the league still awaits their first maximum score.

All teams have now fulfilled at least two fixtures with the final four entering the fray on Saturday and the surprise package of the session was last season’s bottom side, Beachcombers, who came away with an average of 77.5.
They began by pushing Louie’s Angels all the way only to miss out by just three points, before recording a great five games to one success over Castletown Cannons, dropping just six points in the process.

An all-Castletown affair opened proceeding for two southern teams and it was Corkers who came out on top with an 81-60 scoreline; however they couldn’t repeat that success and lost out to Louie’s Angels and suffered the lowest total to date in their second outing.

Sunday’s action began with last year’s champions Incredabowls, taking on Seven-Up, one of the main threats to their crown, and it was the latter who stole the advantage winning by nine points to help establish an early gap of 21 over their rivals.

Also competing were new side Spare Parts, but they missed out in the closest of outcomes against Govags, going down 62-63. Meanwhile the final two fixtures of the weekend saw Incredabowls record a score over 80 to occupy second spot on average behind Seven-Up, who themselves dropped just two points in a comfortable win over Spare Parts.

Wednesday afternoon’s round robin session was interrupted by a heavy hail shower but didn’t stop the 43 entrants completing the first midweek session of the season.

The yellow group was played as triples and was won by Victor Corlett, George Brew and Dee Lewis with second going to Louis Callister, Bernard Thackrah and Sefton Dent; the black jack section was also triples with the victors being Les Halsall, Hazel Hughes and Ann Rooney; ahead of Bob Berry, Terry Moore and Sylvia Kennaugh.

Doubles was the order of the day for the red section and the winners were Doug Allan and Alan Moore, with the runners-up being Voirrey Curphey and Trish Bull. Once again all players are urged to sign-in on time as entries close at 1pm prompt – no exceptions.

Winter League Up and Running

Mixed conditions welcomed members for the opening weekend of the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter League Bowling Club in a season which I believe will be too close to call with a number of changes in a lot of teams.

Eight sides began their campaigns, with no less than 12 newcomers taking part over the two days, including three juniors, two of which headed home with a win apiece.

The participants included one new outfit, Spare Parts, who have replaced Outsiders; also two new names – Incredabowls (formerly High Flyers), the current champions who have lost four players from their squad and RBM who were known as All Time Low last season and have also been forced to make some changes.

One team who I believe will be in contention come next March are Seven-up and they began with the highest tally over the two days, dropping just 13 points with a total of 167, they also had ‘new faces’ in their line-up. They were followed by Incredabowls on 161; next came Parkers 19 adrift and a further five back were Bits n Bobs who recorded an impressive 80 in their opener on Saturday.

Unfortunately the first midweek round robin due to be held on Wednesday succumbed to the rain; meanwhile all members are reminded to sign-in on good time for a 1pm prompt start each week.

JMS Veterans Shield

The final, at Marown, had to be delayed an hour on Thursday morning due to inclement weather which as promised cleared to give pleasant playing conditions. With both teams having the same handicap a close match was forecast.

At the half-way point Ballaugh had a 12 point lead but the next game off was Meg Williams with a 21-9 win over Peggy Griffin making the scores level. Lin Ruscoe’s win against Jane Teare gave Noble’s Mixed a lead of 5 points which meant it was down to the last thrilling encounter between Mary Simmonds and Shirley Fargher. The game was nip-and-tuck with three results possible right to the end, But Mary came through 21-15 to give Ballaugh the match by one point.

Janet Shilling thanked Marown for the use of the green, the Marown ladies’ for all their help, and all the supporters who turned up, before presenting the prizes to the two teams.

NOBLE’S MIXED (+15) 116, BALLAUGH (+15) 117: Kath Quick 6, Ann Gale 21; Pat Robertson 17, Maureen Trustham 21; Sonja Lees 21, Ellie Faragher 14; Lin Ruscoe 21, Jane Teare 16; Meg Williams 21, Peggy Griffin 9; Shirley Fargher 21, Mary Simmonds 21.

All to Play For

As we enter by far the most anticipated climax to any bowls season in my memory things are hotting up with every single team in the first division having something to play for, whether it be the title race, the battle for third or the fight to avoid relegation. Nothing has been decided yet and this is beyond exciting, and it is a shame that with the September Bowls festival on this week we have to wait until fixtures resume next week to see how things end.

With Marown A sitting out last week champions Onchan A had the chance to hit the summit and seize the initiative in the season long title race. It is yet to be seen whether their 7-3 win away at Ballaugh A will be enough the help them towards an incredible eleventh straight league title. This result puts them five points clear of Marown who play their game in hand a week tonight against a tenacious South Ramsey A side.

The final games of the season are to be played a week on Wednesday and if Marown come home from Ramsey next Monday with the five points needed to draw level I think they will end the week as Champions. Onchan arguably have the tougher finale, themselves heading to South Ramsey, but as stated in previous reports the Crosby men’s trip to Castletown B is a potential banana skin especially since the southern outfit are now locked in a relegation battle and fighting for their lives.

Whatever happens on Monday the league title race is going down to the final game of the season and the intrigue it has sparked can only be good for our sport. I am going to tip Marown to win the title but only after another twist or two in the tale as I fancy South Ramsey to beat one if not both of the title contenders next week.

As you may have gathered South Ramsey A have on paper the hardest finish to thins league campaign, with the only saving grace being that both games are at home. They have been a revelation this season and with some of their players now playing regular bowls will be a force to be reckoned with next season. They picked up a great 8-2 away win in the local derby with North Ramsey last time out and will be looking to raise a few eyebrows this week as they entertain the who’s who of local bowls. They have slipped down to fourth place, albeit only a point adrift, and whilst I now think third place is beyond them with their tricky end to the season they wont agree so watch this space!

Castletown A have moved into third place and now look odds on favourites to finish there after they picked up a maximum 10-0 win over their B team. This win not only sets the A team up for success but it leaves the B needing their own grandstand finish as they have been plunged into the depths of the relegation zone, now second from bottom in the table. With the visit of Marown looming on the horizon for Wednesday the B realistically need to pick up a win from their trip to Ballaugh A on Monday to give themselves any real chance of survival.

Douglas A have probably the easiest run in of any of the top teams with two home games and will be looking to try and pick up a position if South struggle this week, although they were made to fight for every point last week by a battling Nobles Mixed side. Douglas may have left the park with a 6-4 win but it was Mixed who left the happier with another four points on the board. Mixed only have one game left and that is next Monday at home to Port St Mary A. The home side need at least four points and then they will have to wait and see how the other games pan out midweek.

Port should be safe now whatever happens after their recent run of form and another fine 8-2 win over Peel A has left them mid table ten points above the drop. This result however was not as kind to Frank Watson’s Govags who are now bottom with two games to go. They travel to Castletown A next and any points they can pick up will be a bonus before their must win match against North Ramsey A on Wednesday.

The battle is also well and truly still on for division 2 honours and with both leaders Port Erin A and second placed Port St Mary B picking up respective 7-3 away wins last week, it is all going down to the last two games of the season with only three points separating them. Not only that but next time out they both face off at Port St Mary and if the home side can pick up a surprise 7-3 win or better they will find themselves in pole position going into their final game.

Realistically whatever happens in that game I still see Port Erin as massive favourites to the lift the title as their last match is at home to Castletown D whilst their rivals have the unenviable trip to the fortress that if Finch Hill A.

Castletown C picked up a strong 8-2 win over their D team to leave them with an outside shot at the second promotion place. They need to find seven points on the second placed outfit and will be hoping Port Erin win the top of the table clash well to leave them in with a fighting chance going into the season finale.

Division three is also looking like it will be decided with a top of the table clash as next time out second placed North Ramsey B travel to league leaders Nobles Park A in a match which will most like determine the fate of the championship trophy. Onchan C are the only team who can crash this party and they will be hoping that both teams take points off each other opening the door for them to slip through.

Festival Preview

Monday sees the start of the second of the Islands two annual bowls festivals and as always my mouth is metaphorically watering in anticipation of what should be a great week of bowls. Add to this the unprecedented success that the local contingent had in June and expectations are high. June winner Neil Withers (Marown), and runner up Matthew Quirk (Onchan) are back marked this time out with Neil giving the field a three point start and Matthew having to give away two, so it will be tough for them to make any real headway against most of the top names in the sport, however if they bring their A games even with this handicap who knows what they can achieve?

As always I will analyse the draw in sections to try and work out who will make it off their page and be on the green on finals day come Friday and this time out I have enlisted the help of three of the Islands top bowlers, themselves all festival winners, to help me. When I look at the draw the first 32 is littered with potential winners. Former Tourism winner Mark Hughes (Crossgates) is the first name that jumps off the page for me closely followed by the vivacious Callum Wraight (Castlefields). Despite the presence of Wraight & Hughes two former winners have grabbed the attention of our panel Wayne Ditchfield (St Bernards) and David Bradford (Onchan) are the names that have been put forward. Ditchfield is a prestigious talent and you would be a fool to back against him but Bradford is also a force to be reckoned with and I think it is his time to have another good run in the competition so, looking through my sponsored rose tinted glasses, I am going to tip Bradford to be the first local name through to finals day

The next section for me is a good one for locals, and I hope I haven’t just proved their kiss of death, with all of our panel going for Kevin Quirk (Onchan). Last years winner Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) is also on this page, although giving a 2 point start, so cannot be discounted and would face Quirk third game, if both protagonists make it that far. Andy Kennish (South Ramsey) and Stuart Garret (Douglas) are a couple of locals to watch out for as they both have the potential to raise a few eyebrows.

Colin Kelly (Marown) is the first name on the next page and is always a danger to those around him. He has won the competition and been in the final on numerous occasions and there is no reason why he couldn’t be again. He wont have it all his own way however as former winners Terry Glover (Liverpool Cricket Club) and Andy Farmer (Sheffield) are both in this section. I cant help tipping the Manx man however I think there is plenty of danger around to scupper his chances.

It seems to get harder the further I look down the draw and the number of potential winners on this page is staggering. Martin Gilpin (Kings Arms) always starts as one of the favourites to do well with the bookies as he is frighteningly consistent. There really are too many names tom mention on this page but Dave Jackson (Railway) Neil Withers (Marown) and John Kennish (South Ramsey) have all won festivals and know what it takes to do well. I think their could be some real surprises on this page with the quality of the supporting cash and I cant pick between Martin Gilpin and John Kennish to make it through so I will go as far as to say I think these two will be playing each other Thursday afternoon for a place in the final eight.

I definitely am wearing my rose tinted specs as the next section also looks good from a local point of view to me. Manx Champion Glyyn Hargraves (Onhan) leads the local charge ably supported by Trevor Qualye (Castletown) and Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Douglas). Although when I look a bit closer I see lots of Banana skins with the likes of Mick Leach (Kirkham Cons) and John Colebourne (Old Whittington) around. I think Hargraves can weave his way through the page but I don’t think it will be easy.

This is certainly not getting any easier as I look at the next page of the programme. James Wilcox (Crossgates), John Bailey (Conwy) and Ian Nichoson (Kings Arms) are all visitors who have more than enough to win the sweep. Phil Kelly (Marown) and Matthew Quirk (Onchan) are the best local chances on this page. I never back against Bailey and think he will make it through although he doesn’t like starting with a handicap on the card so if his opponents can get a quick start he might have a lot of work on his hands.

With two men to progress from the final 32 in the draw it doesn’t get much easier although our tipsters have all plumped for the same two men. Rich Goddard (Castlefields) is a strong favourite to make it through his 16 although Robby Fitzpatrick (Tixall BC) will not agree and will be going all out to stop him. The standout name in the bottom 16 is Owen Jackson (St Bernards) I have not seen enough of Jackson myself to comment but the rumour mill from across the water is that he could be one of the favourites to go all the way.

Whatever happens it will be a fantastic week of bowling and as always even though I have mentioned more names than I care to remember in the write up there will be some shock inclusions on finals day, it never goes the way you expect it to but after all that’s bowls.


Phil Kerruish’s tips
Wayne Ditchfield v Kevin Quirk, Terry Glover v Dave Jackson, Mike Leach v John Bailey, Rich Goddard v Owen Jackson

John Kennish’s tips
David Bradford v Kevin Quirk, Colin Kelly v Martin Gilpin, Glynn Hargraves v James Wilcox, Rich Goddard v Owen Jackson

David Bradford’s tips
Wayne Ditchfield v Kevin Quirk, Terry Glover v John Kennish, Glynn Hargraves v John Bailey, Rich Goddard v Owen Jackson

Bowling Green Café Ladies Singles

There was an entry of 46 for the Bowling Green Café Ladies’ singles open played at Castletown on Sunday 1 September. In pleasant weather and the green running well, although a little on the tricky side, there was some interesting bowling.

Quarter-finals:- Veronica Lyon (West Derby Recs.) 21, Joan Jolly (Acregate) 14; Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood )21, Tricia Bull 17; Kath Kinley 21, Denise Tonks (Wrockwardine Wood) 13; Eileen Pye (Acregate ) 16, Jean Radcliffe 21

Semi-finals :- Angela Gaut 21, Veronica Lyon 14; Kath Kinley 21, Jean Radcliffe 16

In a final where the score does not reflect the closeness of the ends, Angela came through to win 21-13.

Club Chairman Ron Williams introduced Rachel Corkish who made the presentation on behalf of the sponsors, the Bowling Green Café.

Thanks went to the sponsors and to all who had helped in the smooth running of the afternoon

Essie Quayle Ladies Singles

There was an entry of 36 for the Essie Quayle ladies’ singles played at Peel on Saturday 31 August. With the weather staying fair and the green running well there were some close and exciting games.

Quarter-finals: Mary Alderson 21, Sue Jones 14 ; Mary Moffatt 21, Joyce Kelly 12 ; Janet Monk 21, Shirley Whelan 13; Lilian Slinger 21, Jean Radcliffe 18

Semi-finals : Mary Moffatt 21, Mary Alderson 19; Lilian Slinger 21, Janet Monk 12

The final was a game of three parts with Lilian taking a lead of 13-7. In the middle section Mary won 6 out of 7 ends to catch up to 14-15.Lilian then took 5 of the final 6 ends to take the game 21-15.

Club captain Heather Horsburgh then thanked everyone for coming, for staying to the end and also thanked the greenkeepers and those who had helped in any way during the afternoon before introducing Ian Davidson, representing Peel Town Commissioners, to make the presentation

Maddrell’s Double Cream Trophy

A strong field turned out to Ballaugh last Sunday to compete in one of the highlights of the mixed doubles season, the Maddrell fours and it was the ad hoc pair of Elaine Moore & Bob Clark who were the crème de la crème with a magnificent 21-15 final victory over Paula Firth & Jordan Cain. It is more usual to see Elaine partnered with Bob’s dad Andy, however the new pair settled well all day and non more son than in the final where they just had the edge.

In the semi finals Moore & Clark were also at the top of their game and they had to be to see of the battling husband and wife pairing of Joyce & Harry Kelly 21-20 in the standout game of the competition. Firth & Can progressed through their Semi with a 21-14 win over another husband and wife combination Kim & Glynn Hargraves.

Thanks must go to Ballaugh for another smoothly run competition, the Maddrell’s for their sponsorship and praise must also go to the green keepers who have been working tirelessly to improve the surface after the effects of the snow fall earlier in the season, and whilst not quite yet back to its glorious best it is evident that all of their hard work is now beginning to pay dividends.

Two Horse Race Too Close to Call

As we enter the final furlong of a season-long two horse race Marown A just have their nose in front of Oncan A, who have come from behind in recent weeks to be within striking distance going into the closing stages. Both teams have been so evenly matched all season and whilst Marown made all of the running early on Onchan have fought for their lives to be ominously close, just two points adrift with two games to play. Neither team gave and inch last week matching each others results as they both picked up strong 9-1 home wins, with the challengers seeing off Ballaugh A and the perennial champions taking down North Ramsey A.

It is more about what lies ahead than what they have left behind them, and whilst they should not forget about what it has taken to get them here, what’s done is done. They must now focus on finishing off the closest title race for years which is almost certainly going down to the wire to be decided by a photo finish. With no games this week there is a rare chance to catch our breath and look at what lies ahead when we resume a week today.

Onchan have the chance to seize the initiative a week on Monday as they travel away to face Ballaugh A, as Marown sit out. Barring the biggest upset since David beat Goliath they will return to the top and will be looking to heap the pressure onto Marown, prior to sitting out themselves the following week. The Crosby men will then have the unenviable task of a trip to South Ramsey A to try and undo any damage done by Peter Slinger’s side.

These two fixtures are vital and will probably decide the fate of the championship trophy. If Marown can come out of them at worst level I think they should be able to finish off a successful campaign away at Castletown B on the Wednesday, with the champions heading up north to Ramsey to take on South, who are scrapping for the highly coveted third spot. That said Marown’s game will be far from a formality against a tenacious town B side who will be fighting for their top flight survival. It really is too close to call and which ever team ends up on top a week on Wednesday will be worthy champions, and this will without doubt have been the closest title race in over a decade.

South Ramsey still occupy third place but only by a solitary point after they slipped up at home to a fast finishing Castletown A side 7-3. It is a brilliant result for Town and with three games left they will now be odds on favourites to overtake the northerners, who have by far the hardest run in of any team in the league. In fact South will do well to hang onto fourth place as Douglas A found the form that had eluded them in recent weeks to beat Port St Mary A 8-2 and close the gap between themselves and third to just five points.

It is below Douglas where things get interesting with only seven points separating the remaining six teams, and a big slip up by any of them could cost them their first division status. Nobles Mixed had a great result away at Castletown B picking up a 6-4 win, but as the only team in the relegation fight with only two games left I fear it could be a case of too little too late. Just like the top the relegation race is too close to call, but if I had to stick my neck out I think Mixed and Peel A will fall just short of survival.

The battle for second division honours has been just as hard fought all season and Port Erin A put in a breathtaking display to pick up a maximum 10-0 win over Finch Hill B to give themselves some breathing space at the top. Second placed Port St Mary B are only three points behind however after they beat Douglas B 7-3. Port St Mary definitely have the harder run in as they still have to host Port Erin in their penultimate game before a dangerous trip to Finch Hill A, so I think Port Erin A will see the title out, as long as they avoid a large defeat in the looming top of the table clash.

Castletown C, Finch Hill A and Onchan B come next in the table and mathematically they all have a chance of promotion after good wins last week. It will probably take a massive slip up from Port B to open the door for them, but if they keep winning and winning big you just never know. Relegation in this division is not so closely fought with Port St Mary C and Peel C all but down at the bottom as the closest team to them is some 18 points above the drop zone.

The third division is also getting very interesting at the top. League leaders Noble Park A lost 7-3 at home to third place Onchan B but remain at the summit despite second placed North Ramsey B putting in a gargantuan performance to beat Nobles Park B 10-0. This maximum closes North to within just two points of Park and with both teams still to go head to head its still all to play for. Onchan are only five points behind the Ramsey outfit so promotion is not out of the question, however I think it will now prove difficult. I am going to throw it out there and tip North Ramsey B to win the title in the inaugural season in league bowls with Park to finish second.

Report by Mark Kneen