Monthly Archives: June 2014

June Festival Preview

The first round of the Main June Festival kicks off today (Tuesday) and as always there is a host of local and visiting bowlers all vying to put their name on the coveted trophy.

Mark Hughes (Crossgates) has been in brilliant form in recent festivals and he will be hoping he can add the main crown to his tourism title. If he wants to progress though he will have to beat former winner Phil Kerruish (Onchan) in a very tricky opener. Fellow locals Rob Monk (North Ramsey) and Dave Hughes (South Ramsey) will be hoping to make a name for themselves and book a place in the last 8. This will be easier said than done with perennial favourite Ian Nicholson (Victoria) and a host of other talented visitors in the section.

There are more potential winners than I care to mention in the next 32 with Tommy King (Kirkham), Andrew Spragg (Calow BC), Danny Sillitoe (Maltby MW), Paul Bailey (Meersbrook) and Nigel Hughes (Wirral) all visitors with the class to go all the way. Stuart Garrett (Douglas) is the pick of the locals in this section and he can overcome the mammoth test of Bailey in the opener who knows how far he could go.

The next page has locals Colin Kelly (Marown), Peter Slinger (Onchan) and Trevor Quayle (Castletown) all hoping to go all the way and clinch the main crown. It wont be easy however with names such as Jack Dyson (Meersbrook BC), Mike Tunstall (Wirral) and Martin Gilpin (Victoria) in close company.

John Bailey (Llanrwst BC), Dave Jackson (Railway) and Callum Wraight (WEM USC) are three names that jump of the page to me in this section but when you look a lot closer there are a host of other players who could go a long way. Charlie Priestly (Goerge & Dragon) Mark Bramhall (Kirkham) and Kevin Quirk (Onchan) are all more than capable of booing a place in the last 8 if they hit their form.

Ballacashtal finalists John Kennish (South Ramsey) and Matthew Keggen (Onchan) lead the charge for the locals in the next 32 of the draw however they certainly won’t have things all their own way. Wayne ‘The Beast’ Ditchfield will be bookies favourite to get out of the section unscathed however there are plenty of talented giant slayers around in the form of Jack Hargreaves (George & Dragon), Kez Smith (Crossgates) and Chris Barton (Wirral).

Matt Gilmore (Wirral) and Barry Booth (Victoria) is an interesting first round match with the winner potentially going a long way. Matthew Kelly-Walley (Strettor) is no stranger to doing well in festivals and will be hoping this is his year. Glynn Hargraves (Onchan) and Phil Kelly (Marown) have both performed will in recent years and will be hoping that one of them is still alive and kicking come Friday.

Last years winner Neil Withers (Marown) will be hoping to emulate his 2013 success however he has the unenviable task of giving the field a 2 point start so progress to the latter stages, whilst not impossible, will be extremely tricky. Jordan Cain (Onchan) is in a rich vein of form at the moment and if he carries this with him into Festival week could certainly raise a few eyebrows. Robbie Fitzpatrick (Morton House) is just one of the many visitors who will by trying to halt the Manx march.

David Bradford (Onchan) is another local who could go a long way but like Withers is backed marked 2 chalks for his September success. Bradford is joined in the section by this Onchan team mate Matthew Quirk who fell at the final hurdle last year. Just like in all the other sections the last one is no different with too many potential winners to name but watch out for the ever present Richie Goddard (WEM USC) who always seems to bring his A game to the Isle of Man.

Keggen is King of The Castle

Matthew Keggen (Onchan) produced the display of his life to win the Ballacashtal Cup. Keggen overcame a stellar line up of 86 bowlers, the majority visitors to for the Isle of Man Bowls Festival, capping it off with a 21-20 final win over 8 times Manx Champion John Kennish (South Ramsey).

The final was of the highest quality and nip and tuck all the way with honours even at 12-12 after 10 ends. Kennish then found his usual mid game surge to move into what looked like a commanding 19-16 lead but Keggen had other ideas and clawed his way back to 20-18 behind.

He held his nerve brilliantly the next end and lying game down produced a wonder bowl to trail the jack for 2 and make it all but across. A brilliant lead was all he needed to seal the biggest win of his career.

Keggen booked his final berth with a brilliant 21-10 over former festival winner Robbie Fitzpatrick (Morton House) whilst Kennish fought his way past Mick Burns (Rishton) to book his place in the final.

Fallers at the quarter final stage were Nigel Hughes (Wirral), James Fitzpatrick (Morton House), Gaz Lalley (Crossgates) and Wayne Jevons (Wirral).

At the conclusion of the competition Castletown Chairman Ron Williams introduced Dave Mousley, Director of competition sponsors Veros Digital (IOM) Limited to present the prizes.

Kelly’s Kernan

Colin Kelly (Marown) was in imperious form as he won the coveted Jim Kernan trophy at South Ramsey on Saturday. Kelly, who had been in devastating form all day, saved his best for the final where he beat visiting bowler Matt Gilmore (Wirral).

Both players were on top form in the final however Kelly just hit a devastating length from the off and it always looked like it was going to be his day.

Neither player had it easy in the semi final either with Kelly battling his way past Dave ‘Dido; Kelly (South Ramsey) whilst Gilmore got the better of David Bradford (Onchan).

A fantastic entry of 61 players were treated to one of the best yet tricky playing surfaces around and the green keepers should be congratulated for doing an immaculate job. Thanks also go to George Brew for his continued sponsorship of the competition.

George Brew (Sponsor) & Colin Kelly
George Brew (Sponsor) & Colin Kelly

Ladies’ over 60’s Thursday 12 June


Thursday 12 June


With the Douglas match against Castletown being postponed to 24 June there were only five matches played on Thursday 12 June.


After their break on Tuesday the Port St Mary A team returned refreshed to clock up yet another maximum to increase their lead at the top of the table. Villa were left shell-shocked with four of their players just moving into double figures. Mooragh Park kept the leaders in their sights as they dropped just 2 points to Onchan B, Eileen Thomas being the lone winner for the visitors. Noble’s Mixed proved too strong for Peel Sunset, winning 4-2 on games with Lin Ruscoe winning to single figures, Joyce Kelly and Heather Horsburgh being the westerner’s two winners. Although Port Erin drew on games with Port St Mary B, wins to single figures by Sylvia Shelbourne and Jen Thackrah gave them a comfortable points advantage. Pearl Quinn and Audrey Gardner went all the way with Pearl just edging the game 21-20.With Phyllis Gelling and Lynda Clarke winning to single figures Onchan A had the better of Ballaugh, whose two winners were Jenny Maddrell and Jane Teare, by a margin of 22 points.


Marown Top after Toppling Onchan

Double weeks can seriously shape a bowls season and last week was no different as Champions Marown A climbed to the top of the tree.

They began the week with a treacherous trip away to then leaders, and closest rivals, Onchan A and must have started the match as underdogs. Whilst many may have written off Marown, you only achieve what you believe – and the Crosby men believed!

A string of brilliant performances helped them overturn a deficit to take the match 7-3, and whilst there was a string of breathtaking performances man of the match must be Phil Kelly who came from 20-11 behind to win 21-20, and help his side to the aggregate points.

They followed this up on Wednesday with a simply stunning 10-0 thrashing of Castletown C, allowing their opponents to amass a miserly 64 points in the process, to move above Onchan. The champions are now showing all of their championship credentials.

Onchan didn’t have long licking their wounds with a midweek match away at Port St Mary A on the cards, and they had to use all of their experience and ability to come out the right side of a 7-3 win. Many expect Onchan to regain the title they lost to Marown last year, and whilst they still might, they will have to do it the hard way from here on in.

Third placed South Ramsey A are making that position their own as of late, and a great week sees them stay in contention to make a move should the top two slim up. They started off with a solid 8-2 win away at Port Erin and followed this up with a 9-1 home win over Peel A. to match Marown;s impressive 17 points for the week.

Douglas A have managed to hang on to 4th spot despite losing out 6-4 at home to Port St Mary A after leading 3-1 at the half way stage. Port showed great fighting qualities to see out the win. The men from the Villa bounced straight back though with a very impressive 8-2 win away at North Ramsey A to put momentum back in their season.

Castletown A restored order at the Crofts with wins over their C team on Monday and their second string on Wednesday to move into 5th in the table and go above their B team for the first time this season.

Finch Hill A still leas the way in Division 2 after a mixed bag last week. They began with a stong 7-3 win over Douglas B however dropped points on Wednesday as they were beaten 6-4 by third placed Onchan B. Onchan preceded this victory with another win this time taking out Nobles Part A 7-3.

Peel B are the surprise package in second place after a couple of very impressive displays beginning with a 6-4 win over Nobles Mixed before travelling to Ballaugh B and leaving 7-3 victors.

In division three its Arnie Withers’ young starlets at Marown B who are shining brightest and a simply magnificent week has not only seen them move top but open up a 5 point gap at the top. They kicked off with an 8-2 win away at MooraghPark over North Ramsey C before their best result of the season so far as they brushed aside title favourites South Ramsey B 8-2 at the memorial playing fields.

Ladies’ over 60’s 10 June

After a fortnight off play resumed in the Trend sponsored over 60’s ladies’ league on Tuesday 10 June. Onchan A were top scorers winning five games the only fly in their ointment being Brenda Williams who took a game off them to prevent the full house. The Villa girls all reached double figures to give them a respectable score. Onchan B had a closer encounter with Douglas ending level on games and winning by just 2 points. The outstanding game of the match being Wendy Cowin’s 21-20 win against Joyce Gardiner. It was just as close at Peel where Sunset had a 2 point advantage over Marown in a lower scoring match. Noble’s Mixed had a good win, 4-2 on games with Lin Ruscoe and Josie Harding winning to single figures, with Pearl Quinn and Roma Ware being the winners for the home side, while Mooragh Park also won 4-2 at Ballaugh. Good wins by Ann Gale and Jenny Maddrell for the visitors kept the home team’s score down. The other game of the morning saw a 4-2 victory for Castletown, with Marie Ashurst winning to single figures as did the two winners, Gwen Tuck and Voirrey Curphey for Port Erin. By contrast Sue Peach was taken all the way by Sylvia Shelbourne before coming through 21-20.

Team of the Week – Game 7

Division 1

South Ramsey A and Marown A were both in ruthless form in the rain recording maximum 10-0 wins and their players make up a large section of our team this week. Dave Hughes and Dido Kelly both make it for South Ramsey as they were winning in the rain to single figures at Ballaugh and they are joined by the inform Mark Moorley from Marown, who has been the one to watch in recent weeks. Frank Watson led his team from the front away at Castletown A and a 21-10 win for the Govag over Michael Collister sees him earn his place. He is joined by Town’s Nathan Cooil who recorded an unbelievable 21-1 win over Harry Kelly. Douglas may have beat Castletown C at the Villa but it was the breath taking performance of Aaron Richardson from Town that caught my eye as he was simply brilliant beating Stuart Garrett 21-7. Clive McGreal of the Villa won the battle of the flat greeners as he handled the conditions admirable to beat high flying Phil Smith 21-4. There were several contenders from the rearranged game between Port St Mary A and Castletown B with super sub Wayne Roberts making for battling home 21-20 against George Foy.

Dave Hughes & Dido Kelly (South Ramsey A), Mark Moorley (Marown A), Frank Watson (Peel A), Nathan Cooil (Castletown A), Aaron Richardson (Castletown C), Clive McGreal (Douglas A) and Wayne Roberts (PSM A)

Division 2

Finch Hill A recorded a whitewash over their B team with Mervin Sayle and Keith Fearnley leading the way and earning respective places in our team for their single figures wins. Matthew Shanahan of Castletwon D helped his side to a good 8-2 victory over Ballaugh B and his 21-10 win over Bert Quayle sees him make the team for the second time this season. North Ramsey B had a great win over Nobles Mixed and Jimmy Moffatt’s single figures win over Geoff Mayles set them on their way, however there is a consolation for Mixed as David Pease was in imperious form to defeat Stephen Gill 21-9. Douglas B had to fight for everything to defeat Onchan B and team talisman Andy Cannell was again on fire with a 21-4 win over Mike Alexander. Dougie Allen of Peel B was the man of the moment against Nobles Park A and his 21-1 win sees him book a berth in our team. The final place in the team comes from the Port St Mary derby with Ray Shooter of the B making it for his 21-8 win over Peter Collins.

Mervin Sayle & Keaith Fearnley (Finch Hill A), Matthew Shanahan (Castletown D), Jimmy Moffaty (North Ramsey B), David Pease (Nobles Mixed), Andy Cannell (Douglas B), Dougie Allen (Peel B) and Ray Shooter (PSM B)

Division 3

Marown B are full of talented youngsters and starlet Harry Barton earns his first place in our team with a 21-19 win, this is particularly impressive when you realise that he had the wherewithal from 11-0 down to see out the win. He is joined by team mate Eric Kelly who is leaving a trail of devastation in his wake with devastating 21-3 win. Nobles Park B and Ballaugh C had a great match with Tony Quine form the northerners making it for his 21-8 win away from home. North Ramsey C and Peel C are both full of up and coming start with one player a piece making it with impressive wins. Paul Allison makes it for the Ramsey Men with a 21-8 win over Ray Kelly and Gordan Corrin is in for the Govags with a 21-6 win away from home. South Ramsey B are another team bursting with young talent however they were led home on this occasion by the evergreen George Brew who showed the new gaurd how it is done with a 21-6 win. Port Erin B are going well and David McCabe grabs a place in our line up with a 21-6 win against Onchan C, however although they only picked up 2 wins Onchan’s Les McLellan was man of the match with a 21-2 win.

Harry Barton & Eric Kelly (Marown B), Tony Quine (Ballaugh C), Paul Allison (Noth Ramsy C), Gordon Corrin (Peel C), George Brew (South Ramsey B), David McCabe (Port Erin B) and Les McLellan (Onchan C)

Tony Brown Charity Mixed Doubles

Alan Moore and Hilary Kermode were not in a charitable mood as they fought their way through the field of 29 pairs to the Tony Brown Doubles title.

They were on their game all competition crowning a tremendous day with a 21-14 final win over Jordan Cain and Paula Firth.

The ad hoc pair of Moore & Kermode showed all the experience and tenacity of an established team which was no more evident than in their epic semi-final tussle with Neil Wilthers and Hannah Kermode, Hilary’s daughter, in which they edged home by the narrowest of margins winning 21-20. Firth and Cain were also on top form at the put out home greeners Peter and Ann Oates at the same stage.

Castletown should be commended on a great competition which raised £266 for Tony Brown’s nominated charity which this year is the Castletown Endowment Committee.

Marown Post Second Maximum

Torrential conditions could not do anything to halt the charge of Champions Marown A whose 10-0 win was as unforgiving as the rain.
They have now narrowed the gap to leaders Onchan A to just 5 points as they picked up a maximum over Port Erin A. They have been firing on all cylinders recently and it will be interesting to see what happens when they face of against their fiercest rivals next time out.

Onchan themselves have been in good form and wont be disappointed to have left North Ramsey A with 8 points on the board. If both teams keep picking up good points it really is going to come down to who comes out of their head to heads on top, and with the first scheduled to take place on 9th June we wont have to wait long to find out.
South Ramsey A have made third place their own with a stunning 10-0 whitewash of Ballaugh A away from home. They have some real quality in their ranks and whilst they are capable of beating anyone, including the top 2, on their day they need to show some more consistency if they want to challenge for silverware.

Douglas A find themselves in a lofty 4th position and if they keep putting points on the board like their 8-2 win over Castletown C it would not be a surprise if they stayed there.
With the match between Port St Mary A and Castletown B postponed until this week the final game in Division One saw Castletown A get the better of Peel A 7-3. Peel are moving along nicely in 6th place whilst Town who were fancied to challenge for a top 3 finish have not yet hit top gear.

Division Two leaders Finch Hill A turned on the style against their B team taking all 10 points to widen the gap at the top to 6 points.
Peel B are now their closest rivals thanks to a solid 8-2 win over Nobles Park A. Both these teams are performing extremely well and whilst neither were really tipped for top honours if they keep hammering out result like this who knows?
Douglas B have now got the pendulum of momentum swinging their way and another solid display saw them defeat Onchan B 7-3 away from home.
This slip up by Onchan B has allowed Port St Mary B to move into 4th spot thanks to an 8-2 win over their C team.

South Ramsey B are now in control at the top of division 3 and an 8-2 win away at Peel D has done their championship credentials no harm at all.
Marown B are now snapping on their heals though thanks to a superb 9-1 win over Port St Mary D where they missed out on the maximum by just two chalks.
Port Erin B are still in the hunt though and another solid display in beating Onchan B 8-2 has left them only a point behind Marown.