Monthly Archives: September 2013

JMS Veterans Shield

The final, at Marown, had to be delayed an hour on Thursday morning due to inclement weather which as promised cleared to give pleasant playing conditions. With both teams having the same handicap a close match was forecast.

At the half-way point Ballaugh had a 12 point lead but the next game off was Meg Williams with a 21-9 win over Peggy Griffin making the scores level. Lin Ruscoe’s win against Jane Teare gave Noble’s Mixed a lead of 5 points which meant it was down to the last thrilling encounter between Mary Simmonds and Shirley Fargher. The game was nip-and-tuck with three results possible right to the end, But Mary came through 21-15 to give Ballaugh the match by one point.

Janet Shilling thanked Marown for the use of the green, the Marown ladies’ for all their help, and all the supporters who turned up, before presenting the prizes to the two teams.

NOBLE’S MIXED (+15) 116, BALLAUGH (+15) 117: Kath Quick 6, Ann Gale 21; Pat Robertson 17, Maureen Trustham 21; Sonja Lees 21, Ellie Faragher 14; Lin Ruscoe 21, Jane Teare 16; Meg Williams 21, Peggy Griffin 9; Shirley Fargher 21, Mary Simmonds 21.

All to Play For

As we enter by far the most anticipated climax to any bowls season in my memory things are hotting up with every single team in the first division having something to play for, whether it be the title race, the battle for third or the fight to avoid relegation. Nothing has been decided yet and this is beyond exciting, and it is a shame that with the September Bowls festival on this week we have to wait until fixtures resume next week to see how things end.

With Marown A sitting out last week champions Onchan A had the chance to hit the summit and seize the initiative in the season long title race. It is yet to be seen whether their 7-3 win away at Ballaugh A will be enough the help them towards an incredible eleventh straight league title. This result puts them five points clear of Marown who play their game in hand a week tonight against a tenacious South Ramsey A side.

The final games of the season are to be played a week on Wednesday and if Marown come home from Ramsey next Monday with the five points needed to draw level I think they will end the week as Champions. Onchan arguably have the tougher finale, themselves heading to South Ramsey, but as stated in previous reports the Crosby men’s trip to Castletown B is a potential banana skin especially since the southern outfit are now locked in a relegation battle and fighting for their lives.

Whatever happens on Monday the league title race is going down to the final game of the season and the intrigue it has sparked can only be good for our sport. I am going to tip Marown to win the title but only after another twist or two in the tale as I fancy South Ramsey to beat one if not both of the title contenders next week.

As you may have gathered South Ramsey A have on paper the hardest finish to thins league campaign, with the only saving grace being that both games are at home. They have been a revelation this season and with some of their players now playing regular bowls will be a force to be reckoned with next season. They picked up a great 8-2 away win in the local derby with North Ramsey last time out and will be looking to raise a few eyebrows this week as they entertain the who’s who of local bowls. They have slipped down to fourth place, albeit only a point adrift, and whilst I now think third place is beyond them with their tricky end to the season they wont agree so watch this space!

Castletown A have moved into third place and now look odds on favourites to finish there after they picked up a maximum 10-0 win over their B team. This win not only sets the A team up for success but it leaves the B needing their own grandstand finish as they have been plunged into the depths of the relegation zone, now second from bottom in the table. With the visit of Marown looming on the horizon for Wednesday the B realistically need to pick up a win from their trip to Ballaugh A on Monday to give themselves any real chance of survival.

Douglas A have probably the easiest run in of any of the top teams with two home games and will be looking to try and pick up a position if South struggle this week, although they were made to fight for every point last week by a battling Nobles Mixed side. Douglas may have left the park with a 6-4 win but it was Mixed who left the happier with another four points on the board. Mixed only have one game left and that is next Monday at home to Port St Mary A. The home side need at least four points and then they will have to wait and see how the other games pan out midweek.

Port should be safe now whatever happens after their recent run of form and another fine 8-2 win over Peel A has left them mid table ten points above the drop. This result however was not as kind to Frank Watson’s Govags who are now bottom with two games to go. They travel to Castletown A next and any points they can pick up will be a bonus before their must win match against North Ramsey A on Wednesday.

The battle is also well and truly still on for division 2 honours and with both leaders Port Erin A and second placed Port St Mary B picking up respective 7-3 away wins last week, it is all going down to the last two games of the season with only three points separating them. Not only that but next time out they both face off at Port St Mary and if the home side can pick up a surprise 7-3 win or better they will find themselves in pole position going into their final game.

Realistically whatever happens in that game I still see Port Erin as massive favourites to the lift the title as their last match is at home to Castletown D whilst their rivals have the unenviable trip to the fortress that if Finch Hill A.

Castletown C picked up a strong 8-2 win over their D team to leave them with an outside shot at the second promotion place. They need to find seven points on the second placed outfit and will be hoping Port Erin win the top of the table clash well to leave them in with a fighting chance going into the season finale.

Division three is also looking like it will be decided with a top of the table clash as next time out second placed North Ramsey B travel to league leaders Nobles Park A in a match which will most like determine the fate of the championship trophy. Onchan C are the only team who can crash this party and they will be hoping that both teams take points off each other opening the door for them to slip through.

Festival Preview

Monday sees the start of the second of the Islands two annual bowls festivals and as always my mouth is metaphorically watering in anticipation of what should be a great week of bowls. Add to this the unprecedented success that the local contingent had in June and expectations are high. June winner Neil Withers (Marown), and runner up Matthew Quirk (Onchan) are back marked this time out with Neil giving the field a three point start and Matthew having to give away two, so it will be tough for them to make any real headway against most of the top names in the sport, however if they bring their A games even with this handicap who knows what they can achieve?

As always I will analyse the draw in sections to try and work out who will make it off their page and be on the green on finals day come Friday and this time out I have enlisted the help of three of the Islands top bowlers, themselves all festival winners, to help me. When I look at the draw the first 32 is littered with potential winners. Former Tourism winner Mark Hughes (Crossgates) is the first name that jumps off the page for me closely followed by the vivacious Callum Wraight (Castlefields). Despite the presence of Wraight & Hughes two former winners have grabbed the attention of our panel Wayne Ditchfield (St Bernards) and David Bradford (Onchan) are the names that have been put forward. Ditchfield is a prestigious talent and you would be a fool to back against him but Bradford is also a force to be reckoned with and I think it is his time to have another good run in the competition so, looking through my sponsored rose tinted glasses, I am going to tip Bradford to be the first local name through to finals day

The next section for me is a good one for locals, and I hope I haven’t just proved their kiss of death, with all of our panel going for Kevin Quirk (Onchan). Last years winner Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) is also on this page, although giving a 2 point start, so cannot be discounted and would face Quirk third game, if both protagonists make it that far. Andy Kennish (South Ramsey) and Stuart Garret (Douglas) are a couple of locals to watch out for as they both have the potential to raise a few eyebrows.

Colin Kelly (Marown) is the first name on the next page and is always a danger to those around him. He has won the competition and been in the final on numerous occasions and there is no reason why he couldn’t be again. He wont have it all his own way however as former winners Terry Glover (Liverpool Cricket Club) and Andy Farmer (Sheffield) are both in this section. I cant help tipping the Manx man however I think there is plenty of danger around to scupper his chances.

It seems to get harder the further I look down the draw and the number of potential winners on this page is staggering. Martin Gilpin (Kings Arms) always starts as one of the favourites to do well with the bookies as he is frighteningly consistent. There really are too many names tom mention on this page but Dave Jackson (Railway) Neil Withers (Marown) and John Kennish (South Ramsey) have all won festivals and know what it takes to do well. I think their could be some real surprises on this page with the quality of the supporting cash and I cant pick between Martin Gilpin and John Kennish to make it through so I will go as far as to say I think these two will be playing each other Thursday afternoon for a place in the final eight.

I definitely am wearing my rose tinted specs as the next section also looks good from a local point of view to me. Manx Champion Glyyn Hargraves (Onhan) leads the local charge ably supported by Trevor Qualye (Castletown) and Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Douglas). Although when I look a bit closer I see lots of Banana skins with the likes of Mick Leach (Kirkham Cons) and John Colebourne (Old Whittington) around. I think Hargraves can weave his way through the page but I don’t think it will be easy.

This is certainly not getting any easier as I look at the next page of the programme. James Wilcox (Crossgates), John Bailey (Conwy) and Ian Nichoson (Kings Arms) are all visitors who have more than enough to win the sweep. Phil Kelly (Marown) and Matthew Quirk (Onchan) are the best local chances on this page. I never back against Bailey and think he will make it through although he doesn’t like starting with a handicap on the card so if his opponents can get a quick start he might have a lot of work on his hands.

With two men to progress from the final 32 in the draw it doesn’t get much easier although our tipsters have all plumped for the same two men. Rich Goddard (Castlefields) is a strong favourite to make it through his 16 although Robby Fitzpatrick (Tixall BC) will not agree and will be going all out to stop him. The standout name in the bottom 16 is Owen Jackson (St Bernards) I have not seen enough of Jackson myself to comment but the rumour mill from across the water is that he could be one of the favourites to go all the way.

Whatever happens it will be a fantastic week of bowling and as always even though I have mentioned more names than I care to remember in the write up there will be some shock inclusions on finals day, it never goes the way you expect it to but after all that’s bowls.


Phil Kerruish’s tips
Wayne Ditchfield v Kevin Quirk, Terry Glover v Dave Jackson, Mike Leach v John Bailey, Rich Goddard v Owen Jackson

John Kennish’s tips
David Bradford v Kevin Quirk, Colin Kelly v Martin Gilpin, Glynn Hargraves v James Wilcox, Rich Goddard v Owen Jackson

David Bradford’s tips
Wayne Ditchfield v Kevin Quirk, Terry Glover v John Kennish, Glynn Hargraves v John Bailey, Rich Goddard v Owen Jackson

Bowling Green Café Ladies Singles

There was an entry of 46 for the Bowling Green Café Ladies’ singles open played at Castletown on Sunday 1 September. In pleasant weather and the green running well, although a little on the tricky side, there was some interesting bowling.

Quarter-finals:- Veronica Lyon (West Derby Recs.) 21, Joan Jolly (Acregate) 14; Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood )21, Tricia Bull 17; Kath Kinley 21, Denise Tonks (Wrockwardine Wood) 13; Eileen Pye (Acregate ) 16, Jean Radcliffe 21

Semi-finals :- Angela Gaut 21, Veronica Lyon 14; Kath Kinley 21, Jean Radcliffe 16

In a final where the score does not reflect the closeness of the ends, Angela came through to win 21-13.

Club Chairman Ron Williams introduced Rachel Corkish who made the presentation on behalf of the sponsors, the Bowling Green Café.

Thanks went to the sponsors and to all who had helped in the smooth running of the afternoon

Essie Quayle Ladies Singles

There was an entry of 36 for the Essie Quayle ladies’ singles played at Peel on Saturday 31 August. With the weather staying fair and the green running well there were some close and exciting games.

Quarter-finals: Mary Alderson 21, Sue Jones 14 ; Mary Moffatt 21, Joyce Kelly 12 ; Janet Monk 21, Shirley Whelan 13; Lilian Slinger 21, Jean Radcliffe 18

Semi-finals : Mary Moffatt 21, Mary Alderson 19; Lilian Slinger 21, Janet Monk 12

The final was a game of three parts with Lilian taking a lead of 13-7. In the middle section Mary won 6 out of 7 ends to catch up to 14-15.Lilian then took 5 of the final 6 ends to take the game 21-15.

Club captain Heather Horsburgh then thanked everyone for coming, for staying to the end and also thanked the greenkeepers and those who had helped in any way during the afternoon before introducing Ian Davidson, representing Peel Town Commissioners, to make the presentation

Maddrell’s Double Cream Trophy

A strong field turned out to Ballaugh last Sunday to compete in one of the highlights of the mixed doubles season, the Maddrell fours and it was the ad hoc pair of Elaine Moore & Bob Clark who were the crème de la crème with a magnificent 21-15 final victory over Paula Firth & Jordan Cain. It is more usual to see Elaine partnered with Bob’s dad Andy, however the new pair settled well all day and non more son than in the final where they just had the edge.

In the semi finals Moore & Clark were also at the top of their game and they had to be to see of the battling husband and wife pairing of Joyce & Harry Kelly 21-20 in the standout game of the competition. Firth & Can progressed through their Semi with a 21-14 win over another husband and wife combination Kim & Glynn Hargraves.

Thanks must go to Ballaugh for another smoothly run competition, the Maddrell’s for their sponsorship and praise must also go to the green keepers who have been working tirelessly to improve the surface after the effects of the snow fall earlier in the season, and whilst not quite yet back to its glorious best it is evident that all of their hard work is now beginning to pay dividends.