Un’B’lievable Performance by Douglas
The much anticipated first set of fixtures of the new Ellan Vannin Fuels men’s league got underway on Monday evening, and it more than lived up to the billing of an exciting new era for the local game.
The performance of Douglas B was on par with the exciting new partnership the Grown Green Bowls Association is forging with Ellan Vannin Fuels as the firm have agreed sponsorship support which will help promote and further the domestic game as the sport strives to reach unparalleled heights.
This ground breaking sponsorship agreement sees the Peel firm put their name to three of the associations premiere competitions in the shape of the Ellan Vannin Fuels Men’s League, Ellan Vannin Fuels Mixed League and Ellan Vannin Fuels Isle of Man Junior Championships. All of these competitions are vital for future development across all levels of our sport and we look to a fruitful partnership which I am sure will flourish for all involved.
Douglas B hosted reigning champions Onchan A, in their first game in the top flight since securing promotion last season, and there were a couple of questions on everyone’s lips. Do the champions have enough fire power in their arsenal to defend their title after a couple of changes in personnel and will the newly promoted side have what it takes to avoid the dreaded drop?
Whilst last weeks match does not give us definitive answers the Villa Men’s staggering victory must at least raise a few eyebrows of everyone else in the league and the signs look good as they set sail in the unchartered territory of the first division. Douglas B should be really proud of what was a magnificent team performance as it is the win on aggregate which is truly remarkable with every single point making a difference. Similarly, an under par Onchan A will hope to put this behind them and bounce back this week as they entertain Ballaugh A.
Douglas A didn’t share the good fortune of their B team and travelled to the highly fancied South Ramsey A team who were just too strong for them on the night. South will hope to pile the pressure on early doors to show the other teams around them that they mean business and are here to stay. It really wouldn’t surprise me if we see their name on the trophy come the end of the season.
Early leaders Marown A will be hoping to put a stop to that sort of talk and their 9-1 win away from home at Ballaugh A will go some way to doing that. Marown have a settled side and are course and distance men. If Onchan don’t bounce back quickly they could be the team with the staying power required to lift a trophy.
Port St Mary A are another team that will hope to do well this season and last year’s third placed outfit were made to fight all the way for a 7-3 home victory over division 2 champions South Ramsey B.
Port Erin A will be delighted to have got off to a winning start and a 7-3 victory over Nobles A is a good performance. They have nicely balanced team this year which will make Breagle Glen a difficult place to visit this year.
There was a thriller at Finch Hill in the final first division fixture of the round with the home side taking the win on games 5-3 but losing out by one point on aggregate 146-147 for Castletown A to seal the extra points and a 5-5 draw overall.
Castletown B got off to a flyer on their return to division two and were just too strong for Ballaugh B running out 9-1 winners at the Crofts. If they want to bounce straight back up to division one results like this will do their chances no harm at all.
Peel A won the Sunset City derby beating their B team 7-3 in a close match. Peel A are another team with aspirations of promotion and picking up points in their home games will be vital to their cause.
The Onchan derby finished in a similar fashion with the B team sealing a solid 7-3 victory over their C team. Onchan B will be there or there about in the shakeup at the end of the season and they will be hoping to bring this form with them this week on their travels to Port St Mary C.
There were some big performances in the third division but none more notable than at the memorial playing fields in Crosby where the newly formed Marown C picked up a magnificent 8-2 win over Peel D, with all but 1 of their players making their competitive debuts.
It is wonderful to see a team littered with new players making an immediate impact on proceedings and it is a testament to the growth and development at Marown in recent years as only a few years ago they had to drop their B team due to a shortage of players. How times change. I wish the C team and the club every success with this initiative and I get the feeling this plucky band of newbies may turn a few heads as the season progresses.
Port Erin B and Douglas C wont let them have things their own way though and both picked up impressive 8-2 wins of their own, with Douglas topping the tree on aggregate. This has been the most exciting division in recent memory and I expect this season to be no different with the lead swapping hands more than the baton in a relay competition at the Olympics.