Roberts & Ryan Win September Festival

Welsh wizard Leighton Roberts (Cunliffe) picked up his first ever Isle of Man Main Men’s Bowls Festival title last week at the second time of asking.

​After falling at the final hurdle in June last year, Roberts was in no mood to let this final slip through his fingers against former Champion, and festival stalwart, Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic).

​That said he didn’t have things his own way and despite leading 14-10 found himself level at 15-15 and then again at 17-17 as Gilpin, the master tactician from Cumbria, tried to use all his experience to outfox the youngster and add another festival title to his long list of honours.

​Conditions on finals day deteriorated with every bowl sent, but not even the foul weather could stop Roberts who dug deep, and when some thought he might falter due to nerves he found the composure of a true champion. as he managed to seal the win 21-18.

​Champion Roberts booked his final birth thanks to a 21-12 win over James Wilcox (Crossgates) and a nail biting 21-20 win over Neil Slattery (Nimble Nook), in which he came from behind with some brilliant bowls to edge to victory.

​Gilpin was on song in the semi-finals where he eliminated bookies favourite, close friend and Kendal Vic stable mate Ian Nicholson 21-15 after starting the day with a 21-9 win over Graham Higgins (Lower Hopton).

Marown’s Colin Kelly was the furthest local in the men’s main competition losing out in the last eight to James Wilcox.​It was a much better showing for Manxmen in general as in June they failed to get a single player to the last 32 of the competition and this time around eight of our own made it to the same stage.

​Tracy Ryan (Meole Brace) bagged the ladies title with a dominant finals day display which never really saw her threatened. She lifted the trophy after a 21-16 final victory over Olwen Edwards (Llanfair Pwll).

Ryan was control from the off and after going 11-6 up managed to ensure Edwards never closed the gap moving to 19-14 up before the latter rallied but could never get back on terms.

​Janet Monk (Mooragh Park) was the furthest local lady in the competition as she did exceptionally well to make the semi-finals before going down to Ryan 21-10.
​Monk wasn’t the only Manx player in finals day and was in good company as Lyn Bolton and Elaine Moore (both South Ramsey) made the last eight. In fact Monk played Bolton winning 21-14 to make the semis whilst Moore fell 21-18 after a highly entertaining affair against Carleen Doody-Millington (Meole Brace).

​Thursday morning saw the final stages of the Mens and Ladies Tourism Competitions and there was some good local presence and some brilliant performances as both Glynn Hargraves and Christine Price made it to the finals of their respective competitions.

​Hargraves eventually lost out 21-11 to Ian Nicholson after battling hard in his two previous matches, beating Paul Beer (Meole Brace) 21-20 in his first match of the morning and David Halstead (Kirkham) 21-16 next time out. It was a good week for Glynn who showed some of his best form throughout the week, as he also made the last 32 of the main competition and he should be very proud of his efforts.

South Ramsey team mate John Kennish was also in fine fettle to make the last eight before being eliminated by eventual winner Ian Nicholson 21-16 in the quarter-finals.
​It was a similar story for Price who won well in her first two games before going down after a fight 21-17 to Sarah Fox (Woodlands Park). In her semi-final she beat Julie Pearce (Meole Brace) 21-12 after taking down Doody-Millington 21-15 in the quarters. Again Christine should be really proud of her efforts as she really did give a great showing in the competition.

​In the Men’s consolation competition Peter Yates (Kirkham) took the win with a 21-15 result over Merseyside’s Danny Barwise. Hazel Borrowdale (Nether Field) won the ladies competition with a win by the same score-line over Joyce Jones (Syke BC)

​The last chance Mixed Final saw one of the main competitions pre-tournament favourites Chris Slater (Colwyn Bay Legion) produce a good display to beat Martin Middleton (Meole Brace) 21-14.

​The final singles competition of the week, the flyer, saw two locals battling out with Alec Taylor (Peel Sunset) handling the conditions better to defeat Edward Carlyle 7-0. Congratulations to Alex on his win.

​As always the doubles competitions provided a lot of entertainment and another chance of success for visiting and local bowlers alike. The main open doubles was won by Dave & Ben Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) who were on song winning 11-2 against Leighton Roberts & Nick Hughes (Cunliffe).

In the men’s event Bob Whyatt & Steve Baskerville took the title with an 11-1 victory over Mel Hobson & Andrew Moore. Jimmy Samson (Douglas) was the furthest of the locals losing out with visitor Stuart Marshall 11-8 to the eventual winners at the semi final stage.

​In the ladies competition there was a Manx victor as June festival champion Jenny Moore (South Ramsey) took the crown with Patricia Lonsdale (Morecambe Bay Mixed) as they beat Dawn Bray and Janet Cropper 11-5.

​Elaine Moore just missed out on a mixed doubles win as her and partner Tony Parsons went down 9-5 to Paul Drabble & Nicola Gilmore.

Thanks as always goes to the Department of Economic Development for their continued support of what is without doubt one of the premier events on the bowling calendar.

It was also great to see quite a lot of new faces, as well as regular ones, which is a good indicator that Steve Moore and his team are continuing to do a fantastic job in both promoting and running both the June and September Bowls Festivals.