News: Mens Over 60’s
After the break for the June Bowling Festival the Teams in the Tower Insurance Over 60’s Men’s League were all raring to go on a beautiful warm Tuesday.
League leaders Castletown A hosted Finch Hill A and this resulted in a 7-1 win for the ‘Town’ with the only winner for Finch Hill being Tony Epifani. The Castletown B Team travelled West to play the Peel Sunset B Team and it was the Westerners who took a 6-2 win with John Alderson and the ever steady Peter Curtis getting the wins for Castletown.
With second placed Peel Sunset A sitting it out the most intriguing match of the day was at Crosby where Marown hosted Douglas A on an extremely quick Green. In an encounter which Marown won 6-2 there were some very close games and at the end only 6 chalks divided the teams and the winners for Douglas A were Andy Kennish and Stuey Garrett.
Douglas B Team hosted North Ramsey A and the men from Ramsey showed no sympathy as they despatched the Douglas side 8-0 on a quick Villa Green.
Nobles A travelled to Onchan Park to play Onchan A and despite having only 6 players they managed to take a 4-4 draw while the Nobles B side hosted Port St Mary B at Nobles Park where the side from the South took a 5-3 win.
Ballaugh A took a trip to the Mooragh Park to play North Ramsey B where there was a tight game which ended in a 4-4 draw after a good performance from the Ramsey players. Ballaugh B hosted the other Ramsey side in South Ramsey with this game also resulting in a 4-4 draw.
And finally Port Erin took the short trip to play Port St Mary A with the Port St Mary men taking a 7-1 win with Derek Allen being the only winner for Port Erin.
So with the second batch of games on Thursday we has Castletown A again putting up a strong performance as they beat Onchan B 6-2 at the Park with the two winners for Onchan being Ken Clarke and Brian Woodall with the latter beating Peter Oates who was in contention for the Individual Merit.
The second placed team Peel Sunset A also put up a strong performance as they defeated Ballaugh B 7-1 with John Bolton being the only Ballaugh B winner.
After their good win over Douglas A on Tuesday Marown went down 5-3 to Nobles Park A in Nobles Park while Onchan A took a 7-1 away win at Finch Hill.
Ballaugh A welcomed Peel Sunset C to sunny Ballaugh and they were too strong for their visitors as they defeated them 8-0 while Peel Sunset B travelled even further North to South Ramsey where they were beaten 6-2 with Jimmy Corlett and Phillip Clarke being the winners for the Peel side.
North Ramsey A had a 7-1 win over Port St Mary A with Mike Ware being the only man to score points for the Southerners while North Ramsey B had a 4-3 win over Port Erin with both teams being one player short.
Douglas A took advantage of their ‘quick’ Green at the Villa to beat Nobles B 6-2 and Douglas B travelled to Port St Mary B where the Southerners won 7-1 with Tony Creer winning for the men from the ‘Villa’.
So Castletown A maintain their lead over Peel Sunset A by one point and it is difficult to predict who will win the League although in previous years Castletown A have proved that once they get to the top it is difficult to get past them.
The Individual Merit is currently being led by Andy Kennish of Douglas A and our best wishes go out to Andy as he represents the Isle of Man in the J and J Isherwood Vet’s Merit in Shropshire on Wednesday 4th July.
The Over 60’s Tower Insurance League saw some close matches and interesting results with good weather bringing out good bowling with the top teams trying to maintain their positions before the T.T Week break.
Peel Sunset A were given a tough match by Finch Hill A but in the end it was the Westerners that came through to take a 5-3 victory. Peel Sunset B Team travelled to Crosby to play Marown and found the home team too strong with Marown winning 6-2 with Eddie Convery and Paul Baker being the winners for Peel. It was however a very tough day for Peel Sunset C who went down 8-0 to Port St Mary A.
Douglas A hosted Nobles A with a strong performance from the home side
seeing them come out as 6-2 winners over the Nobles side who struggled to get to grips with the ‘Villa Green’ which was quicker than they usually compete on. The Douglas B Team travelled just up the road to Nobles Park where they shared the honours 4-4 with Nobles B.
At the Mooragh Park we saw North Ramsey A do well to get a 5-3 victory from a strong Ballaugh A side while the North Ramsey B men lost 6-2 to Ballaugh B.
Onchan B played South Ramsey at Onchan Park and this ended 5-3 to the Onchan men while finally Port St Mary B hosted Port Erin and this resulted in a 6-2 home win.
Thursday saw a Southern Derby between League Leaders Castletown A and Port St Mary A and after a close battle this ended ‘honours even’ with a 4-4 draw which was duplicated by the B Teams with Castletown B and Port St Mary B drawing 4-4 also.
Peel Sunset A went to the South to play Port Erin and with a dominant display the Westerners took an 8-0 victory while back in the West Peel Sunset B beat their C Team 6-2 with Bert Quayle and Leslie Halsall getting the C Team wins.
Finch Hill A hosted Douglas A and they made the men from the Villa fight hard to take a 5-3 win while Douglas B suffered a 7-1 loss to Marown with Ray Osborne getting the one victory for Douglas B.
Onchan A took a 7-1 win from Nobles B at the ‘Park’ with Terry Bates getting the only Nobles B win. Meanwhile back at Nobles Park the Nobles A men took a 6-2 victory over Onchan B with Moore Kelly and Ken Clarke getting the wins for Onchan B.
At Ballaugh we saw the meeting of Ballaugh A and B with the A Team taking a 7-1 win and John Bolton was the only winner for the B Team.
South Ramsey hosted North Ramsey A in a match that ended 6-2 to North Ramsey A with Chas Grills and Robert Callister taking the South Ramsey wins.
So as we come to the T.T break the leading positions in the League are as follows; Castletown A with 31 points.
Peel Sunset A with 31 points.
Douglas A with 28 points.
Onchan A with 28 points.
Marown with 27 points.
All the above have played 17 games.
As we came to the start of another week of Over 60’s Men’s Bowls with Game 15 it was beginning to look as if Castletown A may well go unbeaten for the entire season and they reinforced this theory with an impressive 8-0 win over North Ramsey A. The Castletown B team however were on the receiving end of a 7-1 defeat by Port St Mary A in the deep South of the Island.
Second placed Peel Sunset A had a good 7-1 win over Nobles B while the Peel Sunset B team hosted Douglas A with the men from the Villa taking a 6-2 away win and Peel Sunset C picked up their first win of the season with a 6-2 win over Finch Hill A.
Port Erin travelled to Onchan Park where they were beaten 7-1 by Onchan A while Onchan B travelled to the Mooragh Park where they took a 5-3 v[ctory over North Ramsey B.
Ballaugh B hosted Nobles A and it was the Douglas side that took a 5-3 win while Ballaugh A had an impressive trip to Crosby to take a 5-3 win over a strong Marown side.
South Ramsey A had a trip to the ‘big smoke’ to play Douglas B and the Northerners went back over the mountain with a 7-1 win under their belts.
Game 16 started with Castletown A travelling to the Villa to play Douglas A and a tough but friendly battle ended all square at 4-4 with the Castletown side dropping what was only their second point of the season. The Southerners may well have dropped both points but for Peter Oates playing a ‘Captains game’ and squeezing a 21-20 victory from Jimmy Sansom.
Peel Sunset A fought out a 4-4 draw with Port St Mary A in the ‘Sunset City’
with Peel Sunset B travelling to Finch Hill A and also playing out a 4-4 draw and finally for the Westerners their C Team travelled to Castletown and were beaten 7-1 by Castletown B with ‘Bert the Bowler’ Quayle being the worthy winner for the Peel team.
Ballaugh A had a 7-1 home win over Douglas B with Arthur Ashcroft being the only winner for the men from the Villa while Ballaugh B travelled Onchan Park where they were beaten 5-3 by Onchan B with Onchan A taking a 6-2 away win at Port St Mary B with the winners for the Southerners being Andy Sykes and Derek Kneen.
North Ramsey hosted Marown at the Mooragh Park and this resulted in a 5-3 win for the local side, North Ramsey B travelled across the Town to play South Ramsey and also ran out 5-3 winners.
Port Erin hosted Nobles B and this ended with a 5-3 win for Port Erin although it could easily have been a draw with the match between Stuart Gale and Tony Birch ending 21-20 to the Southerner.
So after an interesting week in Over 60’s Bowls we have the top five as follows,
Castletown A played 15 for 28 points.
Peel Sunset A played 15 for 27 points.
Onchan A played 16 for 26 points.
Douglas A played 15 for 24 points.
Ballaugh A played 16 for 24 points.
Thursday 3rd October saw the Castletown A side maintain their run to win theTower Insurance Men’s Over 60’s League with a convincing 7-1 home win overBallaugh B with Paul Bradford being the only winner for the Ballaugh side. In the reverse fixture of this the Castletown B side travelled to Ballaugh and were on the receiving end of a similar 7-1 defeat with the only Castletown B winner being Dave Ali.
Marown maintained their good form with an 8-0 defeat of Nobles B while Nobles A defeated the Finch Hill team 7-1 at Nobles Park.
In the picturesque Mooragh Park the North Ramsey A Team beat Port St Mary B 7-1 with the consistent Brian Lowe being the only winner for Port St Mary B. Meanwhile in Port St Mary the North Ramsey B side were beaten 6-2 by the Southerners A Team with the only winners for the men from the Mooragh being Bryan Corner and David Lacey.
At the ‘Villa’ it was Douglas A who beat their own B Team 8-0 while in the sunny North of the Island it was South Ramsey who ran out 5-3 winners over the Port Erin team.
Peel Sunset A travelled to Onchan Park to play Onchan B and went cheerfully back to Peel with a 7-1 victory ‘under their belts’ with Roger Payne being the only winner for Onchan B. The Peel Sunset B Team hosted a strong Onchan A Team and it was the Onchan side that won 5-3.
So as we came to Game 11 on Tuesday 8th May the question was who would be the first to ‘slip up’, would it be League Leaders Castletown A or chasers Peel Sunset A?
Castletown A soon showed that they ‘were not for slipping up’ as they took an 8-0 victory over Nobles B and Peel Sunset A travelled to Ballaugh for a tricky fixture with the Ballaugh A side and it was the Ballaugh men who took the victory 5-3 therefore giving Castletown A a clear lead in the League.
In a tight match at Nobles Park the Nobles A side drew 4-4 with Castletown B while a little further down in Douglas Finch Hill ran out 6-2 winners over Port Erin.
In a an equally close match at the Mooragh Park, North Ramsey A and Douglas A fought out a close battle that resulted in a 4-4 draw while back in Douglas the North Ramsey B side won the match without losing a game.
Peel Sunset B took a 7-1 home win from Balaugh B with Bobby Clayton taking the only win for Ballaugh B while at Onchan Park the Onchan B Team were beaten 6-2 by their A Team.
And finally South Ramsey beat Port St Mary B Team 6-2 with Brian Lowe and Ashley Qualtrough being the winners for Port St Mary B.
So at the conclusion of play on 8th May we see Castletown A still in the lead having played 11 games for 22 points followed by Peel Sunset A with 18 points from 10 games and Marown with 16 points from 9 games and in fourth place Ballaugh A with 16 points from 11 games.
Game 7 on Tuesday 24th April once more saw wet weather clothing being almost as important as the woods themselves this season with persistent rain through most of the afternoon.
This did not dampen the spirits of League Leaders Castletown A though as they travelled to Douglas B and came away with an 8-0 win. The Castletown B side hosted Douglas A and it was the Douglas side that got off to a great start and were 4-0 up after the first half but the Southerners fought back and the game ended in a 5-3 victory for the men from the ‘Villa’.
Peel Sunset A travelled to Port St Mary B and achieved a 6-2 success with Brian Lowe and Chris Oates taking the wins for the Port St Mary side. Meanwhile back in Peel the Peel Sunset B team lost 5-3 to a strong Port St Mary A side and Peel Sunset C travelled to Onchan Park where they lost 6-2 to Onchan A with Leslie Halsall and Brian Lindsey taking the two wins for the Westerners.
Ballaugh A had a very successful ‘day out’ in Douglas where they beat Nobles Park A 5-3 while the Ballaugh B Team stayed at home and had a 6-2 win over Nobles B with Terry Bates and Brian Atherton being the two winners for the Nobles Park men.
Finch Hill A found the visiting North Ramsey A side too strong as the Northerners beat them 6-2 but the North Ramsey B side went down 7-1 to Marown at Crosby with David Thompson being the only winner for the North Ramsey B Team.
And finally at Port Erin there was a close battle between the home side and Onchan B which resulted in a 4-4 draw with some close hard fought games.
Game 8 on Thursday 26th April saw the Castletown A Team being pushed very hard by a strong Onchan A side at Castletown but the home men ran out 5-3 winners in a match that could quite easily have gone either way as there were some very close games. The Castletown B side travelled to Onchan Park where they were beaten 5-3 by the Onchan B Team also in a close match which could easily have gone either way.
Peel Sunset A who are the second placed team in the League played their own B Team and it was the A Team who ran out 7-1 winners with Phillip Clarke being the only winner for the B Team. Peel Sunset C meanwhile held North Ramsey B to a 4-4 draw in a match that saw the Westerners score their first point of the season.
Douglas A took a good 7-1 win from Port St Mary A at the Villa with Team Captain Colin Leece being the only winner for the Southerners. Douglas B travelled South to play Port St Mary B and this time the scores were reversed with Bob Banning being the only winner for Douglas B defeating Mike Skelly 21-16.
Ballaugh A showed great form beating Finch Hill A 8-0 at Ballaugh with the Finch Hill Team scoring only 70 chalks but unfortunately for Ballaugh their B Team were beaten 7-1 by Marown at Crosby with Ray Parry being the only
Nobles A hosted South Ramsey and it was the home side that took a 7-1 win with the only winner for South Ramsey being Chas Grills.
In the South of the Island Port Erin hosted North Ramsey A in a match that ended in a 4-4 draw.
So as Game 8 drew to an end we still had Castletown A topping the League having played 8 games for 16 points closely followed by Peel Sunset A who have played 7 games for 14 points. In third place are Marown who have played 8 games for 14 points and in fourth are Douglas A who have played 7 games for 12 points and in fifth place are Port St Mary A who have played 8 games for 12 points.
The qualifier for the Vet’s Merit (Jack and Jean Isherwood Trophy) was played at Douglas Bowling Club on Wednesday 25th April and saw some excellent bowls from the Over 60’s taking part in this Mixed Singles Competition.
In the Quarter Finals we saw one of the great games of the day with Stuart Garrett and Janet Monk both playing excellent bowls and Stuey built up an early lead only to be overhauled by Janet in the later stages with Janet winning 21-18.
Frank Watson ran out 21-9 winner over Lil Smith and Phillipa Taylor lost 21-12 to Jimmy Sansom.
In the remaining Quarter Final Andy Kennish showed good form and Ron Williams who did little wrong lost out 21-13 to Andy.
In the Semi Finals we once more saw Andy play well to beat Frank Watson 21-15 and Janet Monk showing that the Ladies can play as well as the Men battled hard in the game with some great bowls but eventually Jimmy Sansom won 21-17.
So Andy and Jimmy promised to be a great Final but Andy got on his ‘mark’ and no matter how hard Jimmy tried he couldn’t match him so Andy won 21-10 and will now go on to represent the ‘Island’ in the Final Stages of this Competition in Shropshire.
As we came to Game 5 on Tuesday 17th April we were asking ourselves whether or not Castletown A could maintain their early season form as they travelled to South Ramsey and their 6-2 win in the North of the Island showed us that they certainly could. The two winners for the South Ramsey side were Chas Grills and Robert Callister.
The Castletown B side hosted Onchan A and it was only fitting that in a match with a number of very close games that the end result would be a 4-4 draw.
Ballaugh A had a visit from Peel Sunset B and after a strong attempt from the men from the Sunset City to take the honours it ended in another 4-4 draw.
Douglas A hosted Port St Mary A at the ‘Villa’ and this resulted in a 7-1 win for the home side but it has to be said that the Southerners made them battle for every game with some very close results. In what could only be described as an epic game Stuart Garrett eventually managed to pip Bernard Thackrah 21-20 and Pat O’Donohue also had a 21-20 win over Ken Karran.
The Douglas B side travelled the short distance to Nobles Park to play a strong Nobles A team and it was the Nobles side who took the points here with a 6-2 victory with the winners for the Douglas B side being Bob Banning and Arthur Ashcroft.
Finch Hill A had a 6-2 home win over Nobles B with Brian Atherton and Chris Duggan being the winners for the Nobles B side in a match that also had some close battles with John Harris for the home side edging Tony Jones 21-18 and Peter Woods and Brian Cain of Nobles B also just going down 21-18.
Onchan B hosted a good Marown side and it was the Crosby men who took the honours 5-3 at Onchan Park in what appears to have been a competitive match.
Port Erin had a visit from Ballaugh B in what would seem to have been a really tough match with some close results and at the end it was the home side that run out as 5-3 winners.
North Ramsey B travelled to Port St Mary B and the Southerners won this 6-2 with the winners for North Ramsey B being David Lacey and David Thompson.
Game 6 saw Castletown A once more putting on a good show in beating Ballaugh A 7-1 at Castletown. Bob Unsworth being the only Ballaugh A winner in this one as he beat George Peach 21-16. The Castletown B side who are currently only three places behind the A Team in the League also managed a good win beating Nobles B 5-3 at Nobles Park.
Peel Sunset A who are serious challengers for the ‘League’ this season travelled to Onchan Park and came away with a good 5-3 win over Onchan A which keeps them in contention for a high League position. The Peel Sunset B Team also had a good 5-3 win over North Ramsey A in the Sunset City while the Peel Sunset C men lost 6-2 to Douglas A.
Port St Mary A got back to winning ways with a 6-2 win over Finch Hill A with Billy Long and Arthur Halsall picking up wins for the Finch Hill side. Port St Mary B travelled to Ballaugh where the home side took a 6-2 win with Colin Leece and Brian Lowe picking up wins for the Southerners.
Douglas B hosted Onchan B at the ‘Villa’ and despite good wins from David Galbraith and the consistent Bob Banning the Douglas men lost 6-2.
In a close match at Crosby South Ramsey put up a spirited fight but lost out 5-3 to a good Marown side.
So at the end of another week of Over 60’s Bowls we have Castletown A holding the lead with 12 points but Peel Sunset A who have a game in hand are only 2 points behind them and are level on points with Marown on 10 poiints. Only 1 point separate’s the next five Teams which in order are Castletown B, Nobles A, Douglas A, Onchan A and Port St Mary A.
Tuesday 10th April saw the third series of Over 60’s Games again troubled by very heavy rain which again led to some postponements.
Castletown B hosted Ballaugh B and the home side took a 7-1 victory with Bobby Clayton being the only winner for the Ballaugh squad with a good 21-14 win over Mark Saunders.
Douglas A welcomed Onchan A to the Villa with a slightly delayed start time which had been agreed to allow one corner of the Green to drain after some severely heavy rain. It proved to be quite a battle with some very close games but Onchan A eventually ran out 6-2 winners with Douglas A actually gaining the most chalks which goes to show how close the Match was.
Castletown A got permission from the Fairies to cross the Fairy Bridge to travel to Nobles Park A and the Southerners proved to be too strong for the Nobles A side with a 6-2 win. Stewart Cubbon and Kevin Firth were the two winners for the home side.
Peel Sunset A played North Ramsey B in the West of the Island and it was the home side who ran out 6-2 winners but once more it was a shame to see that the Northerners were unable to field a full team.
Port Erin hosted Douglas B in the scenic South of the Island and it was a close match which ended in a 4-4 draw.
Marown travelled from the Central Valley to the South to play Port St Mary B in a match that produced some close games but it was the Marown side that were 7-1 winners with Andy Sykes being the only winner for the Port St Mary Team as he beat Arnie Withers 21-18.
North Ramsey made a worthwhile trip to Douglas to take a 5-3 win from Nobles B although this Nobles side is proving to be a tough one to beat and certainly gave the North Ramsey side a good game.
Onchan B had a good home win over Peel Sunset B with a 6-2 win with only John Lightfoot and Phillip Clarke getting the required 21 chalks for the Westerners.
South Ramsey beat Peel Sunset C 6-2 with Lesley Halsall and Michael Callin getting the Peel wins in this one.
Castletown A still look a formidable team and on this occasion they beat Onchan B 6-2 with Gary Lee and Peter Wallis picking up the wins for the men from Onchan.
Port Erin hosted North Ramsey B and despite the Northerners being three players short on the day they still managed a 4-4 draw.
Onchan A took a 7-1 victory in their match against Finch Hill A with the one Finch Hill win going to Arthur Halsall 21-17.
Douglas A went just up the hill to play Nobles B in what proved a tough match with the Douglas A side taking a 5-3 win and it was nice to see old campaigner Roy Williams playing his first game for some time and coming away with a 21-12 win over Peter Woods.
Port St Mary A hosted North Ramsey A and a strong performance from the Northerners saw them take a 6-2 win with only Ron Maycox and Doug McFarlane picking up wins for the home side.
Port St Mary B meanwhile travelled to the Villa to play Douglas B and here it was the Southerners who took a 6-2 win with the home team winners being Bob Banning and Tony Creer.
At Crosby there was a very tight match between Marown and Nobles A and in a match where there were three 21-20 scores the Marown side managed to take the honours 5-3.
Finally Peel Sunset B battled out a 4-4 draw with South Ramsey and Peel Sunset A tok a 7-1 win from Ballaugh B with Ray Parry being the only winner for the Ballaugh side.
So after the first four matches of the Season Peel Sunset A lead the League from Castletown A but with both being on 8 points. It is however early days yet and I am sure that there will be many twists and turns and changes before the end of the Season.
GAME ONE, The talking point of the opening day of the 2018 Over 60’s Men’s Crown Green Bowling Season was undoubtedly the weather with heavy rain causing a lot of cancellations.
Those games that were played however failed to provide any surprises with all going to form and we start with Castletown B who had a good 6-2 win over Douglas B at Castletown. The highlight of this match was a great battle between Castletown’s Terry Jackson and Tony Creer with the latter man taking the win 20-21.
In a match at the Villa where the Home Green was running superbly well despite all the rain Douglas A took a 7-1 win over Ballaugh B in a match played in great spirit and in warm sunshine which we hope will continue for the Season.
Onchan B hosted Port St Mary A at Onchan Park and here it was the visitors who came away with a 5-3 win despite a spirited effort from the Onchan side who had Gary Lee and Kelvin McNicholl showing good early season form.
Last Season’s League Champions Castletown A travelled just down the road to Port Erin and immediately posted ‘a statement of intent’ as they came away with a convincing 6-2 win with perhaps the performance of the day being the 21-7 win by Derek Allen over Mike Hargraves.
South Ramsey who have gained some new players this season had a 5-3 win over Nobles B in a match that saw some very close games.
Nobles A hosted Peel Sunset C and this resulted in an easy 8-0 win for the men from Nobles Park.
Because of the weather the Ballaugh A match against Onchan A took place on Friday 6th April and this was a tough battle which ended with a 4-4 scoreline.
GAME TWO. The second fixtures of the new season started in much better weather with the players enjoying bright sunshine .
Castletown A continued their good opening form with a 7-1 home win over Port St Mary B with the only winner for the Port St Mary side being Brian Lowe who beat Derek Lewney 21-19. The Castletown B side also had success with a 5-3 victory over North Ramsey B in a strange match where the North Ramsey side actually won one more game than Castletown B but then had to give away three walkovers because of a shortage of players for the Ramsey side.
Douglas B hosted Peel Sunset A and it was the Westerners who showed that they will be a force to reckon with this season as they came away with a 7-1 win. Bob Banning was the only winner for Douglas B with a fine performance in his 21-9 defeat of Alec Taylor.
Marown played Port Erin at Crosby and showed fine form in a 5-3 defeat of Port Erin and I feel that the Marown Team could well be in the mix for the League Title this time.
Ballaugh A, a team that I think could cause a few surprises this season travelled into Douglas to play Nobles Park B and returned home with a 5-3 victory after a playing a good Nobles B team.
Onchan A hosted North Ramsey A in what promised to be a very close match and although the home side ran out 6-2 winners the scoreline could be regarded as being a little deceptive as their were some very close games which could have gone either way.
Peel Sunset B lost 3-5 to Nobles A in the Sunset City despite a very spirited effort and some close games and the Peel Sunset C side went down 7-1 to Onchan B with Eddie McAvoy being the only winner for the Westerners.
South Ramsey had one of the longest treks in Manx Bowls as they travelled to play Port St Mary A and it was the Port St Mary side that won 6-2 with Robert Callister being the only winners for the Northerners.
So after the opening week of the 2018 Season there have been no great shocks and although some Teams have only played one match the League Table does not give a true picture but of those who have played two we still have four unbeaten with those being, Castletown A, Nobles A, Castletown B and Port St Mary A.
Tuesday 3rd April sees the start of the Men’s Over 60’s Season with last years Champions Castletown A opening with a short trip to Port Erin which could see them having to dig deep to come away with a win. At this time of the year all Greens will be slightly slow and with Port Erin never being the quickest the Castletown men may find themselves under pressure from the home team.
Last seasons runners up Port St Mary A may find themselves with the same difficulties in their trip to Onchan B, again on a Green which is not the quickest and may suit the home team although I do expect the Southerners to come away with a win.
Onchan A travel to Ballaugh A for what could be a very close game and with Ballaugh having a couple of new players I will tip this one for a draw.
Peel Sunset A host Marown A and again I anticipate a tight match here but would expect home advantage to swing things in Peel’s favour but I wouldn’t be confident enough to bet on it.
Nobles A host Peel Sunset C and although the Westerners finished bottom of the table last year I expect them to do much better this term although on this occasion I would expect Nobles to get the win.
Douglas A host Ballaugh B at the ‘Villa’ and although the Douglas side look favourites on paper I think the men from Ballaugh will give them a tough battle.
Castletown B have a home match against Douglas B and again on paper the Castletown Team should be favourites. I expect the Douglas lads will be looking to improve on last years position and will give them a close game.
Port St Mary B host Peel Sunset B which will once again be a tough match and here we have two teams who are used to playing on a challenging Green so this will add to the interest and I am going to sit on the Fence and predict a draw here.
South Ramsey have a visit from Nobles B and I am not sure of the strength of either of these teams this season but will go for South Ramsey to use home advantage and take the points.
Finch Hill A see North Ramsey B coming into Douglas for a game which once again it is difficult to predict because although it is rumoured that Finch Hill have a number of new players we will have to wait and see who turns out on the day.
The last match of the opening Day will actually be played on the Wednesday as the North Ramsey Club are having to play all of April’s matches away from home due to difficulties with their Green at the Mooragh Park. This then sees North Ramsey A travelling to Finch Hill B and I really can’t see the home side being strong enough to beat the Northerners although I am sure that they will give it their best shot.
So that covers the first day of the new season which I think will see an intriguing battle for the League Championship and I think that this time Castletown A may well struggle to hold of the challenge that will be put up by a number of other teams.
I see a much closer battle with Port St Mary A, Peel Sunset A, Onchan A and North Ramsey A all being capable of posing a tough challenge to Castletown A.
Time will tell as to how bad my predictions are so for now polish up your bowls, pray for sunshine and enjoy your bowling.