Shannon Crowned Junior Manx Champion
14 year old Shannon McMullan realised an ambition watched on by her proud parents and younger sisters by winning the Ellan Vannin Fuels Junior Manx Championship for the first time.
A product of the Manx Youth Games which was in only its second year in 2014, Shannon first took up the game at the tender age of nine. Today was also a proud day for her team mates, some of who were her MYG coaches. Shannon is now a regular fixture in the Ladies night league team at Mooragh Park, who are finally starting to reap the rewards of the hours of effort they have put in to coaching their junior players. Shannon has put a great amount of time and effort into her bowls and her improvement over the past year is clear for everyone to see.
Shannon certainly did it the hard way seeing off the up and coming Patrick Grant (Ballaugh) in her first round game recovering from a 17-19 deficit to pick up four singles to take a 21-19 win.
In the quarter finals Shannon was up against 2017 winner Marown B team captain Harry Barton with this year’s competition being the last time Barton was eligible to enter. Shannon took a 14-3 lead before Barton started to chip away at the lead, however the deficit proved too big with Shannon winning 21-14.
In the semi-finals home greener Austin Hart was up against Victoria Johnson (Mooragh Park) with Hart performing well to book his spot in the final with a 21-8 win. In the second semi-final Shannon was up against the current champion Glenn Boland (Noble’s) with Shannon starting well taking the lead 11-4. Boland hit back to edge ahead 12-11, with Shannon once again going on a good run to go 18-15 ahead then 20-17 only for Boland to score two to lie just one point behind with the score at 20-19 to Shannon. Boland played along the edge of the green putting up a lead six inches away from the jack, with Shannon’s first bowl just 18 inches away Boland couldn’t quite get a second counting bowl in. With her last bowl Shannon played a great bowl under pressure to trail the jack to take a fantastic 21-19 victory to reach the final.
In the final Shannon started strongly taking a 7-2 lead over 16 year old Austin, then extended the lead further still to 16-8. Shannon kept her composure well and her level of concentration was beyond her years, which helped to see the game out with a 21-12 win to take the title in what was a stunning performance.
The presentation was made by Association press officer Glynn Hargraves who thanked all the juniors for taking part, Association Secretary Alan Moore for running the competition, South Ramsey for providing the refreshments and putting on a BBQ with meat provided by Ballakelly Farm. It was also commented on that it was great to see the winner was someone who prior to 2014 had no family link to crown green bowls, which really demonstrated the great work done by those involved when crown green bowls became part of the Manx Youth Games for the first time in 2013.
Both Shannon and Austin will go on to represent the IOM at Netherfield BC, Kendal, Cumbria on Saturday 17th August.