The Ellan Vannin Fuels Mixed League was brought to a conclusion on Thursday evening.
The competition commenced in early May, with 14 teams entering the competition, the teams were split into four groups playing each team in their group home and away, earning two points for a win on chalks, one for a draw. The winners with the most points from each group then qualified for the semi-finals.
The four group winners were South Ramsey A, Port St Mary A, Marown A, and Onchan A. The draw for the semi-finals put South Ramsey A v Marown A and Port St Mary A v Onchan A. The semi-final fixtures were held on neutral greens. Last year’s winners South Ramsey were disposed of comfortably on Noble’s one by Marown, who had a convincing win by 39 points. The other semi-final was a lot closer with Port St Mary booking their place in the final winning by 10 points to book their place in the final.
The final was held on a fantastic Peel green, who were able to show off their new floodlights, against the backdrop of a stunning sunset.
The final got underway with Matthew Keggen first off for Marown, with a 21-18 win over Paul Skelly in a good quality and entertaining game to watch. Second game off was Phil Kelly who overcame the strong challenge of Chris Price to win 21-14 to extend Marown’s lead to 10 chalks. The third game off was Dan McCabe who had a comfortable 21-12 win over Mary Alderson, to reduce the deficit to one chalk for Port St Mary. This was swiftly followed by Neil Withers who won 21-8 defeating Margaret Tasker to extend Marown’s lead to 14 chalks. The last game of the first blocks on the green went to the wire, with Wayne Roberts just getting home with a 21-20 victory over Philippa Taylor, reducing the deficit to 13 chalks.
The second set of games all became vital, with Jayne Kneen leading 15-6 over Paul Dunn, with Dunn having to dig deep to get back into the game, however Kneen managed to get over the line with a 21-15 win to reduce the deficit to seven points for Port St Mary. Ewan Cooil put in a good performance for his team to turn the match on its head with a 21-5 win over Shirley Whelan to swing the match in favour of Port St Mary for the first time on the night by nine chalks. In the penultimate game, it was a blockbuster of a game with the men currently sat first and second in the division one merit facing off. After a slow start Colin Kelly built a commanding 15-6 lead over Trevor Quayle, with Kelly finishing the game off 21-13 to reduce the deficit to one chalk for Marown. At this point the last game of the evening was finely balanced between Lil Smith and Patricia Bull, with the match score being 4-4 on games only a win for Marown’s Lil Smith would do. The game could so easily have gone either way, however Smith wasn’t to be denied and became the hero of the night for her team, getting over the line 21-19 to secure a win by one chalk for Marown, who in doing so secured their first Mixed League title and are the only fifth team to take the title since its inception in 2005.
At the conclusion of play after what was a thrilling final, the presentation was made by the President of the Men’s Association Clare Cooper, who congratulated Marown on their win, thanked the sponsors Ellan Vannin Fuels for their continued support of the competition, Peel for hosting the final, and the spectators who came to support.