Cumbria Duo Take Top Prizes
The top prizes in the Isle of Man June Bowls Festival went to two Cumbria players.
In the Men’s competition it was Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) from Cumbria who picked up his first June Festival win and the winners cheque for £3,000. Gilpin had to overcome the challenge of Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) in a thrilling final on a tricky green. Kelly was quickest out of the blocks taking a 13-6 lead, then 16-9 and 17-13. From there Gilpin chipped away at the lead to draw level with his opponent. At 19-19 Gilpin sent the jack out which was less than a yard from the edge, however he was unable to keep his first bowl on the green. Kelly played a yard short bowl which Gilpin was unable to beat with his second, and Kelly missed the opportunity to make two for game. At 20-19 up Kelly led a bowl two foot to the side of the jack with Gilpin putting one a similar distance the other side of the jack. Kelly made sure he was counting by glancing the jack towards his side bowl to lie two and within touching distance of his first Festival win. Gilpin had other ideas, ensuring he reached to sit on Kelly’s back bowl to count one to leave the score tied at 20-20. Gilpin headed for a longer length mark and left his bowl just under a yard away, which Kelly was unable to beat which gave Gilpin the title. Kelly had the blow softened receiving a cheque for £1,000.
Gilpin reached the final courtesy of a 21-10 win over Colin Price (Dukinfield Central), whilst Kelly booked his place in the final defeating Thongsbridge team mate Craig Gant 21-9.
All the quarter finals in the Men’s tournament were the closest games I can recall with Onchan’s Matthew Quirk losing 19-21 to Price. Quirk received the George Craine trophy for the furthest Manxman. Phil Lee (Wallasey) just lost out 20-21 to Gilpin, whilst Gant ended the challenge of Nigel Briggs (Brighouse) 21-19. Finishing off the close games Kelly played another Thongsbridge team mate Jack Dyson with this also going to the wire with Kelly winning 21-19.
In the Ladies main competition it was another player from Cumbria Angela Athersmith (Ulverston Cons) who won the Ladies title and a cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-19 win over Caroline Hall (Cleveleys WM) with the final being nip and tuck all the way through with neither player able to take control of the game. Hall received a cheque for £600 as runner up.
The semi-finals were close with Hall defeating Rachel Quirk (Crossgates) 21-17 to reach the final, whilst Athersmith was pushed harder by Diane Harrison (Lune Road) 21-19.
Furthest local player reaching the quarter finals was South Ramsey’s Elaine Moore who received the Visit IOM.com trophy. Moore’s challenge was ended by Hall 13-21. Joyce Foxcroft (Lune Road) lost 10-21 to Quirk, whilst one of the favourites Sarah Fox (Woodlands) lost 20-21 to Harrison. Karen Hill (Ossett Flying Horse) lost 10-21 to Athersmith.
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1 with James Wilcox (Crossgates) following up on his June Festival win in 2017 with the Tourism title defeating Callum Wraight (Castlefields) 21-18 in an entertaining final.
Losing semi-finalists were Phil Lee 18-21 (Wallasey) to Wilcox, whilst Paul Bailey (Meersbrook) lost out 12-21 to Wraight.
The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green with another entertaining final it was Sarah Fox (Woodlands) who held her nerve to bowl a winner at 20-20 which after being measured in this was enough to earn the Tourism title with a 21-20 win over Jackie Butterworth (Knutsford BC).
Fox earned her place in the final following a hard fought 21-20 semi-final win over Debbie Leece (Noble’s) after coming back from 16-20 down. In the other semi-final Butterworth had a comfortable 21-10 win over Mary Alderson (Marown) to book her place in the final.
The Men’s consolation was won by Melvyn Byron (Marton Institute) who beat Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 21-17 in a close final. The Ladies consolation was won by a regular visitor to the Island with Joyce Jones (Syke BC) defeating Amanda Nicholson (Gresford Colliery) 21-16.
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Callum Wraight (Castlefields) who had a 9-3 win over Martyn Watkin (Cortonwood), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) who beat Craig Ramell (Rishton) 21-15.
In the doubles competitions the Open Doubles was won by Joshua Mordue (Pudsey) and Joseph Cranston (Crossgates) with a 11-8 win over Conor Chamberlain (Stretton Anglesey) and Stevie Kelly (Peel Sunset) in a close final.
The Men’s doubles was won by Joseph Cranston (Crossgates) and David Gwilliam (Nursery Inn) who beat Alex Power (Bar Lane) and Dean Butler (Rishton) 11-6 in the final.
The Ladies pairs was won 11-8 by Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) and Shelley Kennish (South Ramsey) who beat Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Ossett Flying Horse) and Diane Harrison (Lune Road)
The Mixed pairs had local representation with Edward Carlyle (Onchan) and Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) just losing out 7-9 to Lee Longland (Rishton) and Sarah Edmondson (Rishton).