Hat-trick for Kennish
There was a bumper entry of 65 in this years Canada Life International sponsored Manx Championship held at Port St Mary on Saturday with the green running well and proving difficult to master.
The game of the first round on paper had 2017 champion John Kennish taking on Jordan Cain (Onchan). After a shaky start by both players Kennish pulled away to take a big lead to go 20-7 up before Cain replied with an eight point run to get back to 15-20 and was lying one until Kennish took out Cain’s counting bowl to win 21-15.
Home greener Paul Skelly had his work cut out to beat Jimmy Sansom 21-18 to book his place in the second round.
Peel man Gary Smith performed well to dispose of two South Ramsey players defeating Stefan Kelly 21-10 and Glynn Hargraves 21-16 to earn his place in the finals day.
Saturday’s theme seemed to be a tale of comebacks with Sam Clague (Castletown) holding a huge lead on Frank Watson (Peel) before letting it slip losing 21-19 to show the importance of having the jack on a tricky green.
Glenn Boland (Noble’s) was 11-2 down against Dave McCabe (Port Erin) then took 18 consecutive points to go 20-11 up. McCabe got two more points then Boland finished the game off taking a 21-13 victory.
In the second round Peel captain Stevie Kelly was 13-3, 14-7 and then 18-11 up on Onchan captain Peter Slinger who doesn’t know when he is beaten with Slinger just managing to earn his place in the last 16 with a 21-20 win.
Neil Withers (Marown) was 13-18 down to Stuart Garrett (Douglas) to then take four consecutive doubles to win 21-18. John Kennish was pushed even harder in his second game against Frank Watson with a similar story to the first game in that Kennish had a big lead of 17-8 before Watson started to claw his way back into the game. Kennish got over the line 21-17 in the end.
Dan McCabe (Port St Mary) had a fantastic 21-6 win over Tommy McMeiken (Peel). Home greener Wayne Roberts was another victim of letting a lead slip after going 20-16 up before losing out 20-21 to Rob Monk.
David Proctor performed well despite getting a walkover in the first round to beat Peel team mate Tom Kelly to win 21-9 to book his place in finals day.
Last 16 Line Up
Paul Skelly v Gary Smith
Peter Slinger v Neil Withers
Dan McCabe v John Kennish
Reginald Temporaza v David Bradford
David Proctor v Matthew Keggen
Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly v Rob Monk
Trevor Quayle v Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly
Colin Kelly v Paul Dunn
Paul Skelly got the action underway on Sunday in front of a good turnout for finals day and kept the home crowds dream of a home greener victory alive by ending the challenge of Gary Smith with a 21-13 win. Peter Slinger had to dig in once again to see off Neil Withers with a hard fought 21-18 victory. Port St Mary man Dan McCabe started well with John Kennish, then Kennish found his groove to book his quarter final spot with a 21-10 win. Noble’s Reg Temporaza’s challenge was ended by David Bradford (South Ramsey) who won comfortably 21-9.
In the second half of games Matthew Keggen (Marown) also had a comfortable win over David Proctor, whilst Onchan’s Rob Monk performed brilliantly to end the challenge of Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly for another year also winning 21-9. Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly played as well as anyone to see off Port St Mary captain Trevor Quayle with a 21-13 win. In the final game it was two Marown team mates pitted against each other with Colin Kelly holding off Paul Dunn with a 21-12 win.
In the first quarter final Paul Skelly got the applause of the home crowd with a 21-20 win over Peter Slinger after letting an 18-13 lead slip to book his place in the semi-final thanks to a good two to finish on the last end.
In the second quarter final it was another battle between team mates with John Kennish taking on his men’s doubles partner David Bradford with Bradford 13-3, 15-8 and 19-15 up with Kennish clawing his way back constantly throughout the game with Kennish getting over the line thanks to a double and four singles to win 21-19.
In the third quarter final Rob Monk took on Matthew Keggen with Monk taking a commanding 19-13 lead with Keggen chipping away at the lead to get back to 18-20 before Monk played a good first bowl to end Keggen’s hopes of a win on his former home green.
In the last quarter final Dido Kelly made a good start to go 11-4 up on Colin Kelly with Dido not sending his jack far enough which allowed Colin the opportunity to set the mark in the corners, which he took full advantage of, to then take a 14-13 lead. Dido responded with a double to re-take the lead 15-14. Colin then managed to see the game out taking a 21-15 win to book his place in the semi-final.
In the first semi-final John Kennish faced local favourite Paul Skelly with Kennish making a strong start going 15-3 up, before seeing the game out to win 21-13.
In the other semi-final Rob Monk started well taking a 7-2 lead with Colin Kelly responding with 12 consecutive points to take a 14-7 lead before Monk took a single and a double. Kelly responded with another run to book his place in the final with a 21-10 win.
The final started with a rematch from 2016 between the top two ranked players on the Island with Kennish making an assured start going 7-0 and then 16-3 up. Kelly started to work his way back into the game pulling the score back to 8-16 and then 11-17. Kennish then took three singles to stand just one point away from victory. Kelly scored two singles to hold Kennish off and then led a good lead before Kennish tapped the jack to lie one for game. Kelly played his last bowl and just missed taking out the counting bowl to hand Kennish his third successive Manx Championship and 11th in total to further etch his name into the history books.
Thanks must go to Port St Mary for the condition of the green, the excellent catering and club members who were on hand to help throughout the weekend.