News: Winter League

Junior members shine

The final four teams made their first appearance of the campaign in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowls League on Saturday, with three of them notching up a win, whilst one leapt straight into second spot in the table. 

Both sides in the opening clash had new faces in their ranks, however it was last season’s runners-up, Mooragh Lakers, who were triumphant over Castletown Cannons. 

Some new members also took part in the next fixture, with one of them helping his new team, Bowl Rollers, to a five games to one victory over Erin Porters. 

After missing out on the title last season by just 13 points, Lakers will aim to go one better this time around and they began their challenge with an average of 119.5 after their second success of the day, when they beat Bowl Rollers. 

Erin Porters recovered well from their earlier defeat to go within two chalks of a full-house in an outing against Cannons who themselves averaged 98 points for the session. 

It was a good afternoon for the junior members in attendance, with all three of them recording a victory – Charlotte Peach (Cannons), Dylan Marsh (Porters) and Shannon McMullan (Lakers) all performed brilliantly. 

Results for Saturday, October 12: Castletown Cannons 90 (2), Mooragh Lakers 117 (4); Bowl Rollers 115 (5), Erin Porters 92 (1); Mooragh Lakers 122 (5), Bowl Rollers 102 (1); Erin Porters 124 (4), Castletown Cannons 106 (2). 

Sunday’s programme only went ahead after a discussion between the captains and officials, unfortunately the constant rain made for some tricky conditions, which obviously suited some players, but not others. 

Louie’s Angels took to the conditions like a duck to water and opened their session with a five games to one success over Parkers, dropping just six points along the way. 

Next up were Castletown Corkers and they will have been pleased to have taken one game off opponents Seven-Up who added 116 points to their overall tally. 

Fixture 15 on the list should have been a close battle between two teams capable of challenging at the top; however the Angels romped to victory over Seven-Up by a margin of 39 points. 

This result saw the winners leap from eighth to third, whilst the losers went in the opposite direction and slipped down to seventh position. 

The defeated sides in the first two fixtures then went head to head to complete the afternoon and it was Parkers who emerged as clear winners to leave their southern opponents at the foot of the table. 

There was only one junior competing on Sunday and Aalish Moore can be very proud of her contribution to the final totals for Castletown Corkers on a very wet green.  

Results for Sunday, October 13: Louie’s Angels 120 (5), Parkers 82 (1); Castletown Corkers 89 (1), Seven-Up 116 (5); Seven-Up 81 (1), Louie’s Angels 120 (5); Parkers 121 (5), Castletown Corkers 79 (1). 

The midweek round robin was played with an entry of 40 and they were split into three groups, two of which were triples, the other doubles. 

Sid McKnight and Lil Smith won their group ahead of Gill Jopson and Bryan Corner; whilst Peter Kelly, Alan Moore and Margaret Tasker triumphed by just one chalk; with their closest challengers being David Clucas, Bernie McPhee and Andy Sykes. 

The other victorious  trio were Elaine Moore, Shirley Whelan and George Brew, who pipped second placed Sue Gawne, Kevin Firth and Tricia Bull. 

Bits end losing streak

Without a victory during the previous two seasons, Bits n Bobs made up for that in great style when they kicked off their campaign in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowls League with a maximum score to add to the 100 points recorded earlier in the afternoon.

They took full advantage of the fact that players can compete up to three times for any team, before choosing who they play for in their remaining 19 fixtures. A number of sides had to call upon reserves due to some members missing – either playing bowls at a competition in England or perhaps on holiday.

Game number one saw Bits n Bobs put up a good fight against Louie’s Angels, before going down by five games to one, with a score of 100-121; this while former champions Guns For Hire cruised to the first maximum win of the season against Castletown Corkers.

The two winners then went head to head with Guns For Hire almost having a perfect start after they recorded a five games to one success over the Angels and dropped just one point in the process.

Last outing of the afternoon saw Bits n Bobs halt a losing run of 55 fixtures, which spanned over four seasons and they did so in great style with a full-house of wins in their clash with Corkers.

Results for Saturday, October 5: Bits n Bobs 100 (1) Louie’s Angels 121 (5), Guns For Hire 126 (6) Castletown Corkers 67 (0), Louie’s Angels 95 (1) Guns For Hire 125 (5), Castletown Corkers 96 (0) Bits n Bobs 126 (6).

Sunday’s gang had two of last season’s top three competing, with third placed Seven-Up leaving with the best points tally, which was helped by a six chalks victory over champions Outsiders.

Outsiders began the defence of their title with a win over Parkers; whilst Seven-Up drafted in three replacement players, who helped them hit a good total of 124 points against Govags.

The two successful teams then battled out a three-all draw on games, with Seven-Up taking the vital chalks win to leave them with a 12 points advantage on the day over rivals Outsiders.

To complete the session Parkers and Govags fought hard in the closest fixture of the weekend, which ended in a share of the games and a win for Parkers, by a margin of only three points.

Results for Sunday, October 6: Outsiders 119 (5) Parkers 82 (1), Govags 86 (2) Seven-Up 124 (4), Seven-Up 113 (3) Outsiders 107 (3), Parkers 109 (3) Govags 106 (3).

A round robin took place on the Wednesday prior to the league commencing and 21 players competed in one group of triples.

Allan Kennaugh, Bernard Thackrah and Caroline Corlett emerged as winners, ahead of Gill Jopson, Terry Bates and Sue Gawne in second, with Andy Sykes, Ken Karran and Bryan Corner in third.

Moore is three-time champion

Twice former winner, Alan Moore was triumphant again in the delayed Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter League Bowling club championship, which took place on Sunday, beating Phil Kerruish who himself had won the title back in 2005.

A 24 hour delay due to the weather didn’t deter most of those who had entered and from the 38 who competed on the day, two former champions fought out a closely contested final, having earlier seen a number of potential winners go out in their opening games.

Kerruish began his afternoon with victory in the prelims, before a repeat of the 2005 final against Margaret Tasker saw him through to the second round, where he was pushed all the way in a 21-20 result by Cliff Clague.

Moore meanwhile, got through his opening encounter by just three chalks, before a repeat of the 2017 final when he defeated Frank Watson.

The only junior member in the competition, Shannon McMullan, was successful in her first game, before losing out on 19 in her second to Derek Allen, who then went down in the quarters 21-20 to Kerruish.

Also missing out at this stage were Steve Parker, beaten to 19 by Edward Carlyle; Tony Hart who fell short on a score of 18 against Reg Temporaza and Tricia Bull, the last lady entrant who went out to the eventual winner.

The four semi-finalists who had endured a tough afternoon in the cold wind, took to the green in front of a dwindling crowd of spectators, Kerruish knocking out Carlyle and Temporaza losing to Moore, both results 21-12.

The final had no more than two points between the opponents at any point of the game, then at 16 across Kerruish took the next two ends to lead 19-16, but Moore fought back with three singles and a double to take the title he had won previously in 2016 and 2017.

Moore remains as only the third player to have won this honour more than once, following Kevin Quirk on five titles and John Kennish on four; keeping it at only nine different winners over 18 seasons.

Results – quarter-finals: Edward Carlyle 21, Steve Parker 19; Phil Kerruish 21, Derek Allen 20; Tony Hart 18, Reg Temporaza 21; Tricia Bull 12, Alan Moore 21. Semi-finals: Carlyle 12, Kerruish 21; Temporaza 12, Moore 21. Final: Kerruish 19, Moore 21.

Just a few days earlier the midweek round robin had a relatively small gang of 25 split into two sections, with the trio of Kevin Firth, Mark Kelly and Tricia Bull romping to victory ahead of Sefton Dent, Dougie Allan and Jeff Wilson. 

Things were closer in the doubles group with the eventual winners being Ken Karran and Maureen Payne, with second spot going to Peter Karran and Peter Kelly.

This weekend will see the final two days of the winter season, beginning with a round robin on Saturday, followed 24 hours later by the Best versus Rest event and prize presentations for which raffle prizes would be very much appreciated.

Proceedings begin at 1pm and taking part in Sunday’s contest will be league champions, Outsiders, supported by double merit winner, Helen Martin; junior merit champ, Austin Hart and newly crowned club champion, Alan Moore who will make up the Best team.

The individual team merit winners, or representatives, will form the Rest and turning out for the challengers will be Steve Parker (Mooragh Lakers); Mark Kelly (Seven-Up); Stefan Kelly (A-Team); Matthew Keggen (Louie’s Angels); Terry Moore or Colin Spence (Parkers); Derek Allen (Erin Porters); Bryan Corner (Govags); Lil Smith (Bowl Rollers); Sam Aherne or Nathan Hamilton (Castletown Corkers); Alan Phair (Castletown Cannons) and Franz ten-Donkelaar (Bits n Bobs).

League prizes will be awarded down to fifth position; from the quarter-finals onwards in the club championship and the finalists in the J&M Lee memorial doubles, which was held back in December, so if those concerned can be in attendance to collect their awards it would be very helpful.

Rain stops play

Unfortunately the weather makes the headlines again this week as the wet stuff put paid to the latest three sessions planned by the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter League Bowling Club, so let’s hope for better conditions this Saturday when the club championship takes place with an entry of over 40.

Things will get underway at 12noon prompt, however those attending must be aware that there will be parking restrictions in Nobles with the car park being closed from 2-5pm and with a lot of games to get through in daylight it will be a busy afternoon.

The eventual winner could possibly make it into the Best team, which will be competing against the Rest when the two sides meet at the season finale on Sunday, March 24, starting at 1pm; the prize presentations to all award winners throughout the season will also take place that afternoon.

League champions Outsiders will make up the majority of the Best and although captain Ben Dugdale is still out of action, the remainder of his squad – Tony Dugdale, Mike Alexander, Frank Watson, Steve Cook, Kevin Firth, Elaine Moore, Jenny Moore and James Teare will be included.

Double merit winner, Helen Martin and two other representatives will support this eight; one of which could be the club champion if they have not already qualified.

Their challengers will be a player from each of the 11 remaining teams and subject to confirmation they will be Steve Parker (Mooragh Lakers rep); Mark Kelly (Seven-Up); Alan Moore (A-Team rep); Matthew Keggen (Louie’s Angels); Terry Moore (Parkers); Wayne Roberts (Erin Porters); Bryan Corner (Govags); Lil Smith (Bowl Rollers); Sam Aherne (Corkers); Alan Phair (Cannons) and Franz ten Donkelaar (Bits n Bobs).

In last week’s report we covered the top 10 league players in the overall merit, so here follows the next 15: 11. Bernard Thackrah (Porters), 12. Dougie Allan (Govags), 13. Jenny Moore (Outsiders), 14. Terry Moore (Parkers), 15. Rob Monk (Lakers), 16. Frank Watson (Outsiders), 17. Brian Kelly (Lakers), 18. Mark Kelly (Seven-Up), 19. Alison Keggen (Angels), 20. Lil Smith (Rollers), 21. Mike Thomas (Parkers), 22. Colin Spence (Parkers), 23. Janet Monk (Lakers), 24. Margaret Tasker (Angels), 25. Paula Firth (Seven-Up).

Some winter club facts – the winning margin between the top two in the league last year was 85, this time the leading five were separated by less than that, with the margin from first to fifth places being just 83 points.

Mooragh Lakers have been pretty consistent over the past three seasons with averages of 117.3, 117.4 and 117.1; the 135 fixtures were completed on schedule for the first time in a number of years. 

All fixtures were played with no byes recorded, perhaps testament to the rule that members could play for more than one team (on no more than six occasions); 22 people took advantage of this and turned out for more than one side, with one competing for six different teams and another for five.

The same four teams have occupied positions six to nine in the league table for the past four seasons – but not in the same order – they are Parkers, Erin Porters, Govags and Bowl Rollers.

My apologies go to Glynn Hargraves who I mentioned last week as a twice winner of the Individual merit, when in fact he is a three-time winner having also won this award back in 2004 whilst playing for league champions Cruisers.

Merit titles for Martin

The weather did its best to spoil the final weekend of fixtures in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League, when all outstanding issues were settled, including Lakers’ Helen Martin winning the two main merit titles.

Needing to match her closest rival’s total, or at worst dropping just one point, two victories in extremely tough conditions on a wet Sunday afternoon, were enough to see Martin become only the second player to win both the Derek Killey and Geoff Osborn memorial trophies in the same season.

This following in the footsteps of club president Marg Tasker (Louie’s Angels) who achieved the same double in the 2011-12 campaign.

Twice winner in 2013/16, runner-up in 2014/18 and with two third places in 2015/17, Glynn Hargraves (A-Team) was just two points adrift of the leader going into the weekend and in turn he was five ahead of last year’s winner Matthew Keggen (Louie’s Angels), with fourth placed Brian Corner (Govags) close behind.

Hargraves and Corner both won their games to leave Martin a target of 41 points or better, which was achieved in relative comfort and a sense of relief on a very wet playing surface.

Keggen also recorded maximum points to finish third, with fifth and sixth places going to his opponents on Sunday – Steve Parker (Lakers) and Wayne Roberts (Erin Porters).

Club treasurer Tricia Bull (Angels) is next on the list, just pipping Kevin Firth (Outsiders); with ninth and tenth places being taken by players who both missed two games – Alan Moore (A-Team) and Mike Alexander (Outsiders).

Although he hasn’t been able to play in the last two outings due to an ankle injury, Austin Hart (A-Team) had already done enough in the junior merit ahead of Sam Aherne and Shannon McMullan, both Castletown Corkers.

Saturday’s action had former champions A-Team needing to score enough points to lift them back above Angels in the table, a target they hit with the help of their fifth and the campaign’s 27th maximum win.

They also recorded a total of 120 against Govags, the only team participating over the weekend whose final position was already confirmed and who had earlier beaten Corkers; however the southern outfit racked enough chalks to finish above their stablemates Castletown Cannons.

Results for Saturday, March 2: Govags 106 (3), Castletown Corkers 94 (3); Castletown Corkers 65 (0), A-Team 126 (6); A-Team 120 (5), Govags 80 (1).

The three outfits competing on Sunday afternoon were all fighting to retain or improve their league positions – Lakers recorded two wins to secure second, Angels failed in their attempt to move back into fourth and Erin Porters slipped out of the top six, being replaced by Parkers.

Results for Sunday, March 3: Erin Porters 89 (1), Mooragh Lakers 121 (5); Mooragh Lakers 124 (5), Louie’s Angels 91 (1); Louie’s Angels 112 (4), Erin Porters 98 (2).

Helen Martin will now represent the Best team on Sunday, March 24, whilst more names have been added to the Rest squad; they are Matthew Keggen, Brian Corner, Wayne Roberts, Alan Moore (A-Team, in the absence of Glynn Hargraves) and Sam Aherne; whilst Steve Parker will be Lakers representative.

Entries for the club championship on Saturday, March 16 close this Sunday; the winner of this competition will also be included in the Best team, which will take on the Rest at the Club’s prize presentation afternoon on Sunday, March 24.

A gang of 42 were split into three groups at the latest midweek round robin with the winners being Derek Allen, Bernie McPhee and Pauline Worrall; Geoff Mayles, Elaine Moore and Lynda Wilson; Julie Reilly and Mark Kelly.

Outsiders win title

After an action packed Saturday afternoon involving the top three teams, Outsiders racked up enough chalks in both fixtures to win the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League title.

The session also saw defeats for the leading two players in the individual merit – Helen Martin (Mooragh Lakers) dropped three points, whilst Glynn Hargraves (A-Team) scored 19 to move a little closer; both have two left to play with a gap of just two chalks.

Waiting for any slip-ups are Matthew Keggen (Louie’s Angels) who is seven adrift of the leader and eight behind is Brian Corner (Govags).

Moving back to the action, things began with leaders Outsiders easing to success against 2018 champions A-Team, although the 13 points dropped by the victors must have given the watching Mooragh Lakers a little glimmer of hope.

Lakers then joined the fray, as the weather took a turn for the worse and they sneaked home by just two chalks over A-Team, but also dropped the same amount of points as Outsiders, so the gap was back to where they started earlier.

The pair then went head to head with Lakers needing a similar performance to that from a few weeks previous when they won by nine against the same opponents; however Outsiders were in no mood to let this chance slip and recorded a 14 point advantage win to take one of the hottest contested titles in the club’s history.

Unfortunately Outsiders captain Ben Dugdale has not been able to play recently due to a back problem, but this is not the first time he will have had his hands on the shield, after he won with New Found Glory back in 2011.

The winning margin that year was 12 points, whereas just one year earlier his team, then named Angry Mob, missed out by only two to the Chancers. The next closest ending was in 2017 when Lakers pipped Seven-Up by the slender advantage of seven.

Results for Saturday, February 23: Outsiders 113 (5), A-Team 96 (1); A-Team 111 (3), Mooragh Lakers 113 (3); Mooragh Lakers 106 (3), Outsiders 120 (3).

Sunday’s opening fixture featured third placed Seven-Up and began on a foggy afternoon, with them needing as many points as possible – firstly to put some pressure on Lakers who are second on average and also to keep Louie’s Angels at bay as they were only nine behind at the start of play.

Finally to fend off A-Team who were keen to climb back up the table after slipping down two places just the day before.

Surprisingly they dropped 11 points in their opener against basement side Bits n Bobs, before they let another two slip when they played Castletown Corkers; however they did enough to remain above A-Team, but will have to wait for their final position to be decided.

The last outcome of the session saw Corkers just miss out on a full-house when they inflicted the twenty-second defeat of the campaign on Bits n Bobs and need to score just 126 points from their final outing to finish above their stablemates.

So all in all there are still nine league positions to be settled over the one weekend of fixtures yet to play, along with seven team merit winners.

Results for Sunday, February 24: Bits n Bobs 90 (2), Seven-Up 115 (4); Seven-Up 124 (5), Castletown Corkers 96 (1); Castletown Corkers 124 (5), Bits n Bobs 88 (1).

An entry of 24 took part in the midweek round robin, with one group having the top four separated by just one point at the end of play and after a roll-up it went in favour of David Clucas and Bernie McPhee, ahead of Allan Kennaugh and Marg Tasker.

The other section had Brian Kelly and Sefton Dent as clear winners, with second spot being taken by Frances Radcliffe and Ken Karran.

Two more names have been added to the team, which will take on the league champions in the end of season finale, they are Mark Kelly (Seven-Up) and Franz ten Donkelaar (Bits n Bobs).

The club heads into its final month with the league schedule almost complete and two major dates yet to come – the championship, for which entries are still being taken, will take place on Saturday, March 16 (and Sunday 17 if required), with the prize presentations afternoon the following Sunday, for which raffle prizes would be much appreciated.

All to play for at top

The battle for places really warmed up on Saturday in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League with one of the contenders dropping vital points, whilst another proved they are not settling for fifth spot.

Let’s look at how the weekend’s one set of fixtures went, before I analyse the possible outcomes over the few sessions remaining.

Third placed Seven-Up took on Erin Porters who are sixth and this was a formality last time these two teams met, with a maximum in favour of Sevens and they only allowed their opponents to score 69.

This time the southern outfit almost reached 100 points and managed to take one game, but more importantly five chalks from the title contenders.

Seven-Up lost one of their regular players through illness just 24 hours or so prior to the session, when Derek Clarke withdrew, so once again the team of super-subs came to the rescue.

Louie’s Angels meanwhile had a similar problem, when Rebecca Teare, who was second in merit table, also took ill; this however did not stop Angels from recording their fifth full-house with a comfortable victory over Castletown Corkers – we wish both players a speedy recovery.

Next up Erin Porters got their quest to hold onto a top six spot back on track with success over Corkers, although both teams now have lower averages and are therefore closer to the sides directly behind them.

The final clash saw Angels revenge an earlier in the season heavy defeat against Seven-Up, with the victors dropping only three chalks on this occasion in a five games to one result, whereas the losers finished on a total of 102 and slipped down a place.

Results for Saturday, February 16: Seven-Up 121 (5), Erin Porters 97 (1); Castletown Corkers 74 (0), Louie’s Angels 126 (6); Erin Porters 115 (4), Castletown Corkers 98 (2); Louie’s Angels 123 (5), Seven-Up 102 (1).

With just four sessions remaining the top seven positions are yet to be decided – Outsiders occupy top spot and need to score nine points more than second-placed Mooragh Lakers in their last visit to finish ahead of them.

Next in line is A-Team – they can also still catch the leaders, but if they score 16 chalks less than Outsiders, then it is all over for them as current champions.

Things may be a bit clearer after they all compete in a three-team battle this Saturday – but waiting in the wings are two more ‘outsiders’.

Fourth-placed Seven-Up are still licking their wounds from last weekend and will need the leaders to drop over 40 points to be in with a chance; they now also have Angels just nine chalks behind and waiting for any slip ups.

Previous league winners are holding the top three positions, whilst the next two have yet to finish on that top step.

As for the next two positions in the table, Erin Porters are currently sixth and need to score 208 points or more to hold off Parkers who have played all their games.

Two round robins to catch up with, the first of which had 33 compete in a midweek session; Allan Kennaugh, Marg Tasker and Maureen Hamilton took one triples group, whilst Steph Swift, Carole Kaye and Mark Kelly won the other.

There was also a gathering on Sunday when 17 took part and had Nathan Hamilton partnered by Cliff Clague win one gang, along with Steve Parker, Lil Smith and Tony Hart victorious in the other.

Questions yet to be answered

There are still a lot of questions to be answered over the final three weekends of fixtures in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League, both from a team and individual perspective.

The latest batch of games saw defeats for the league’s top team and leader in the merit, along with three sides bringing their winter experience to a close.

Storm Erik was beginning to subside when leaders Outsiders began the afternoon with a comfortable victory over Govags and they dropped just three chalks along the way.

Next followed the first clash between the top two sides, but things did not start well for Outsiders, as they trailed Mooragh Lakers 42 points to 16 after the first two results on the card.

They dug deep in the remaining four games, to reduce the deficit at the end, to just nine chalks; with the highlight for them being Mike Alexander’s 21-17 win over merit leader, Helen Martin.

So after the opening two fixtures, Lakers had reduced the gap, but they needed to keep the momentum going when Govags made their way back into the action.

The westerners will have been disappointed with their Saturday on Nobles 3 green after they lost out 83 to 120 – well apart from one of their players, following Brian Corner’s victories against two top opponents to see him sit fourth on average in the merit table.

So at the end Lakers had closed the margin to Outsiders by just six chalks, but will that be enough, and has the fairly low scoring encounter given the third and fourth placed contenders a chance of taking the title?

If for instance the four teams score similar to the first time round, in the games they have remaining, things are about to change, but as we know this can be an unpredictable game.

Results for Saturday, February 9: Govags 89 (1), Outsiders 123 (5); Outsiders 100 (4), Mooragh Lakers 109 (2); Mooragh Lakers 120 (5), Govags 83 (1).

Sunday had three of the four participants finishing their league programme for the season, with Parkers going out on a high after they dropped just four chalks.

I think it is fair to say that Parkers and Bowl Rollers have not had a great campaign by their usual standards, however a victorious Parkers recorded a double maximum against their rivals, who had one loser reaching 20.

Southern outfit Castletown Cannons took their winning tally up to four with a 113 to 82 success over basement side Bits n Bobs.

Parkers next brought their winter to an end with a comfortable win over Bits n Bobs and moved up onto an average of 106.5, which is very close to Erin Porters who are just above them in the standings with four to play on 106.8.

Rollers meanwhile completed their league outings in the final encounter when they also took their winning total to four, with success against Cannons.

Results for Sunday, February 10: Castletown Cannons 113 (4), Bits n Bobs 82 (2); Parkers 126 (6), Bowl Rollers 87 (0); Bits n Bobs 75 (1), Parkers 122 (5); Bowl Rollers 117 (4), Castletown Cannons 98 (2).

Three team merit winners are known at this stage, with Terry Moore (Parkers), Lil Smith (Bowl Rollers) and Alan Phair (Castletown Cannons) qualifying for the best versus rest section of the prize presentations afternoon on Sunday, March 24.

With the league schedule up to date, a round robin session will be held this Sunday; whilst a good entry took part in last week’s midweek gathering when 38 players were divided into groups of triples and doubles.

Strongest in the black jacks were Steve Parker, Lil Smith and Steve Crampton; while second was settled by a roll-up in favour of Carol Kaye, Caroline Corlett and Peter Karran who just pipped Rita Callister, Bernie McPhee and Mark Kelly.

The pairs group was a bit closer with second and third also being decided by a roll-up, winners Jackie Elliott and Marg Tasker completed the afternoon ahead of Jeff Wilson and David Clucas, and Pauline Worrall and Peter Kelly fell just short in third.

The club championship will be held on Saturday, March 16, entries for which are now being taken at Nobles 3.

Seven-Up into third

Two positional changes took place after results over the latest two days of action in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League, one of them seeing the nine-time champions slip down to fourth spot.

The playing surface during Saturday’s session was frozen hard in places with the remainder just thawed out enough to leave it damp on top, however things kicked off in glorious sunshine with Seven-Up falling just short of their fourth full-house of the season whilst playing Govags.

Straight back into the fray, the westerners then welcomed third placed A-Team on to the green, but lost out in a close encounter, which saw the victors drop down a place, having let slip a 15-point advantage.

With just one chalk separating them, the two winners went head to head in a clash that saw them both drop valuable points in the battle for the league title.

The fixture ended three-all on games; with Seven-Up doubling their slender lead in the table to two points and in turn recorded their first success against any of the three rivals at the top.

Seven-Up now trail leaders Outsiders by 44 chalks, with four fixtures each left to play and with the top two taking each other this coming weekend, the chasing pair in third and fourth will be keeping a close eye on the outcome.

Results for Saturday, February 2: Seven-Up 124 (4), Govags 102 (2); Govags 102 (2), A-Team 108 (4); A-Team 109 (3), Seven-Up 110 (3).

Sunday’s weather took a turn for the worse, with light rain on top of the frozen green, making conditions a little tricky; however this did not stop Erin Porters from recording their first maximum at the expense of Castletown Cannons.

Also in action were Louie’s Angels who came out on top by a margin of 10 against a Parkers outfit who were directly behind them in the standings and fighting to hold onto sixth spot.

Next up was the biggest clash of the session with seventh-placed Erin Porters recording a great 118 to 84 victory over Parkers to swap places with them and move two points clear on average.

Angels fell just one short of their fifth and the campaign’s 25th maximum when Cannon’s Peter Curtis won his side’s one game of the afternoon and it now looks like the southerners will have to settle for a position below their stablemates Corkers.

Results for Sunday, February 3: Erin Porters 126 (6), Castletown Cannons 80 (0); Louie’s Angels 118 (3), Parkers 108 (3); Parkers 84 (1), Erin Porters 118 (5); Castletown Cannons 85 (1), Louie’s Angels 125 (5).

A good entry of 33 participated in the round robin on a cold Wednesday afternoon and after being split into two groups of triples, the yellow jack winners were Sue Gawne, Bernie McPhee and Tricia Bull, with second going to Jeff Wilson, Alan Phair and Rita Callister.

It was a much closer finish in the black jack gang where Caroline Corlett, Brian Corner and Mark Kelly came out on top just ahead of Ken Karran, Derek Allen and Gill Jopson.

Looking ahead, the club championship will be held on Saturday, March 16, entries for which are now being taken at Nobles No. 3.

Outsiders increase gap

The weather played its part in the latest three sessions planned for the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter League Bowling Club – one cancelled due to a frozen green and another due to rain – but one held in very strong winds.

A cold spell overnight on Tuesday put paid to the midweek round robin and the gathering scheduled for Saturday was a wash out, however Sunday’s league fixtures produced some interesting results.

The group contained the leading two sides – Outsiders and Mooragh Lakers – who were separated on average by less than a point, with current champions A-Team in third spot, waiting in the wings for a slip up.

Castletown Cannons, who are having a battle near the bottom with their stablemates, were first up for Outsiders; whilst it was Parkers against Lakers in a fixture that was perhaps not truly reflected in the final totals.

I am sure Outsiders would have been happy with dropping just three chalks, which left them on an average of 118.1; whereas Lakers were ecstatic with their third maximum of the campaign to close that gap and sit on 117.7.

Cannons or Parkers were not about to let the top duo have things all their own way in the next two fixtures – the southerners winning one game, which more importantly took eight points from Lakers, so they remained on the same average at the end of the day.

Outsiders meanwhile were out to revenge their one and only defeat of the season, but were pushed very hard by opponents Parkers, who although they didn’t win a game, lost on a high total of 109, with their worst loser reaching 16.

Looking back at these same fixtures earlier in the campaign, Cannons also won just two games – one by Sue Peach and the other for husband George; who also won both his outings this time round.

Results for Sunday, January 27: Castletown Cannons 85 (1), Outsiders 123 (5); Parkers 90 (0), Mooragh Lakers 126 (6); Outsiders 126 (6), Parkers 109 (0); Mooragh Lakers 118 (5), Castletown Cannons 79 (1).

After this latest batch of games, Outsiders are top on an average of 118.6 with four fixtures left to play and are followed by Lakers on 117.8; third are A-Team 13 points behind on 116.9 and in fourth spot are Seven-Up, a further 15 chalks adrift on 116, these three all have six to play.

There are some big clashes yet to come over the next six weeks or so, including first versus second – twice, as they have yet to play one another.

Entries are now being taken for the Club Championships, which will be held in March.