The 2017 Manx Championship takes place over the weekend of Saturday 20 May, with the Nobles green in superb condition, this promises to be a great weekend of bowls. The competition is traditionally played down to the last 16 on the Saturday, then played down to the winner the following day.
Obvious favourites given their previous festival successes on this green are John Kennish (South Ramsey), who will be looking for title number 10, Colin Kelly (Marown) with five wins to his name, and David Bradford (South Ramsey) who will be keen to add to his 2015 win.
Others who have previous Manx Championship successes under their belt over ‘recent’ history, and will be keen to add to their tally are Andy Kennish (3), Kevin Quirk (2), Glynn Hargraves (2), Neil Withers (1), Ewan Cooil (1).
There has been only eight different winners over the past 20 years, however there are players who will be looking for their first championship win, with David Kelly (Peel), Dido Kelly (South Ramsey), Trevor Quayle (Port St Mary), whilst looking at the ‘younger generation’ Matthew Quirk, Jordan Cain and Rob Monk (all Onchan), Paul Dunn, Matthew Keggen and Bob Clark (all Marown), and Paul Skelly (Port St Mary) will all be looking to pick up their first win.
That said it may well be a name not already mentioned that is crowned Manx Champion, with a few capable of beating anyone on their day. What I can guarantee is a few shocks along the way.
Entries close on Thursday 18th May at 2pm. Remember you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Second division outfit Finch Hill A had their day in the sun lad weekend as the defeated first division Peel A by 18 chalks at Marown Bowling Green to win the coveted Rayner plate competition. They didn’t have it all their own way however as Peel fought hard to claw back the 40 handicap points they conceded winning 6-3 on games but falling short, only clawing back 22 points.
Fank Watson’s boys from the sunset City started well picking up wins in all of the first three games to reduce the starting deficit to 22 points and trail 63-85. Just when it looked like momentum was swinging in favour of topflight outfit, Bill Cairn’s Finch Hill men answered the rallying call to win the next 3 and move into an unassailable 41 point lead with just three games remaining.
Billy Wilson did a lot of the damage as he defeated Peel’s Ian Christian 21-9 however for me man of the match for Finch must be Paul Dougherty who put in a monumental effort to beat Tom McMeiiken 21-20 in an epic tussle.
Although Peel regained supremacy and closed out all of the games still on the green it was a case of too little too late as they were not able to claw back enough points to win this highly entertaining closely matched encounter. Thanks must go to Ron Williams for his continued sponsorship of the event and to Marown for their hospitality in hosting the final.
Report by Mark Kneen