Simm & Bailey Take Festival Titles
The top prizes in the Isle of Man September Bowls Festival went to two visitors.
In the Men’s competition it was John Bailey (Castlefields) who picked up his second September Festival following on from his 2017 victory taking the winners cheque for £3,000. Bailey had to overcome the challenge of Matty Worden (Broughton).
The final started with 2018 BCGBA Junior Champion Worden taking four of the first five ends to build a 12-6 lead on a shorter length. Bailey then took the next three ends favouring a longer length to sit one chalk behind at 11-12. Worden then scored a double and a single with Bailey taking a chalk in between for Worden to lead 15-13. Bailey then took control scoring five chalks in three ends to lead 18-15, only for a determined Worden to hit back once more to level the game at 18-18. With the final reaching a crucial point Worden led a good bowl approximately six inches from the jack, with Bailey responding by playing a front toucher which was not beaten. Bailey wisely chose not to play his second bowl with plenty of danger had he opted to play his bowl. With Bailey now leading 19-18 he played two good bowls to lie game. Worden played a reaching bowl to give himself a chance of saving game or playing a winner only to flick his first bowl onto one of Bailey’s bowls which connected with the jack but couldn’t prevent Bailey from taking the two chalks he needed to secure a 21-18 victory in a fantastic final. Worden could take consolation in the runners up cheque for £1,000, with his reputation in the game growing with each performance.
Bailey reached the final courtesy of a comfortable 21-13 win over David Bradford (South Ramsey), whilst Worden booked his place in the final defeating the current holder John Kennish in a thrilling game with no more than three chalks between them throughout the entire game. With the score tied at 19-19 Worden played up to the crown and was lying one only for Kennish to play a great second bowl to lead 20-19. Kennish had no other option than to play into the corner from the middle of the green and led a bowl a foot past the jack, Worden played his first bowl slightly further away, with Kennish putting his second a foot short of the jack to leave Worden with no option other than to reach. Worden connected with Kennish’ short bowl which pushed it onto his first bowl to take both bowls out to secure chalks to secure a 21-20 victory with a bowl that was both brilliant and somewhat fortuitous. Kennish will have been cursing his luck and the handicap with having to give his opponent a two start due to his previous festival success.
The quarter finals had two games that were closely contested with Kennish seeing off Billy Speed (Alexander Park) with a hard fought 21-18 win. The closest game of the quarters was between Bradford and Callum Wraight (Castlefields) with Wraight still searching for his first festival title despite having won some of the biggest titles in the UK. Bradford fought back from a 10-14 deficit, and a 17-20 deficit, however Bradford had to rely on his striking ability to pull him through by taking the jack off three times in the final six ends to stay in the game, taking two doubles in between another dead end to secure a 21-20 victory. In the other two quarter finals Bailey ended the challenge of James Higgins (Meersbrook) with a 21-15 win, whilst Worden progressed thanks to a 21-10 win over Craig Richardson (Castlefields).
In the Ladies main event it was Gill Simm (Lune Road) who went one better than last year to win the Ladies title and the cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-20 win over Molly Sullivan (St Georges). Simm was quickest out of the blocks taking the lead 11-7, before Sullivan took the next four ends to lead 13-11. It was nip and tuck from there, however Simm did manage to edge 19-18 ahead and was lying two for game with Sullivan getting a huge slice of luck sitting out her opponent’s furthest bowl to save game. On the next end Sullivan took a double to tie the score at 20-20, with Simm starting to wonder if she would suffer the same fate as last year. On the final end the left handed Sullivan perhaps trying to catch out her opponent played off the edge of the crown, however was unable to put up a good lead which Simm punished to play a good bowl. Sullivan was unable to beat the bowl of Simm, which ensured Simm picked up a chalk to secure a 21-20 victory in what was a great final.
In the semi-finals Simm booked her place in the final with a hard fought 21-19 win over Sharon Gadd (Shipley), whilst Sullivan took a straightforward 21-14 over Jenny Moore (South Ramsey).
Simm started her day with a 21-15 win over Mary Alderson (Marown), whilst Gadd took a 21-19 victory over Carleen Doody-Millington (St Georges). Moore defeated Alison Cotton (St Georges) 21-14, whilst Sullivan ended the challenge of Fiona Kennish (South Ramsey) with a 21-12 win.
Local awards went to John Kennish who received the Chris Quayle trophy for the furthest Manx Man, whilst Jenny Moore received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady.
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1, and it was Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) who performed well to see off Callum Wraight (Castlefields) to take the Tourism title with a 21-14 win, with it has to be noted Wraight not enjoying his usual success when striking.
Both semi-finals were well contested with Gilmore booking his place in the final with a hard fought 21-18 win over Ben Phillips (Lloyd Hotel), whilst Wraight had to dig deep to see off Stuart Mort (Kirkham) 21-19.
The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green it was local success for Lyn Bolton (South Ramsey) who had a successful week taking a 21-14 victory over Alison Cotton (St Georges) in the final.
Bolton booked her placed in the final with a superb 21-12 win over Sarah Fox (Woodlands Park), whilst Cotton ended the challenge of Tracy Ryan (St Georges) with a 21-11 win.
The Men’s consolation was won by Martin Gilpin (Kendal Victoria) who beat Gaz Lally (Crossgates) 21-11. The Ladies consolation was won by Veronica Lyon (Unison) defeating Lynn Bennett (Orrell Rovers) 21-16.
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Robert Whyatt (Packhouse) who had a 9-2 win over David Jackson (Knutsford), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Wayne Usher (Gaghills) who beat Peter Shallis (Lune Road) 21-20 in another close final.
In the doubles competitions the open doubles was won by the Kendal Victoria pairing Martin Gilpin and Ian Nicholson with a 11-10 win over Crossgates duo Joseph Cranston and Gaz Lally.
The Men’s doubles was won by Alan Davis (St Bernards) and David Platt (Levens) defeating Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) and Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 11-7 in the final.
The Ladies pairs was won by Elaine Moore (South Ramsey) Amanda Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) defeating Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood) and Sharon Gadd (Shipley) 11-6 in the final.
The Mixed pairs was won by Andy Mailer (Meersbrook BC) and Grace Hubbert (Stalmine BC) defeating Frank Jolly (Canberra) and Joan Moran (James North’s) 9-8.