All to play for at top

The battle for places really warmed up on Saturday in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League with one of the contenders dropping vital points, whilst another proved they are not settling for fifth spot.

Let’s look at how the weekend’s one set of fixtures went, before I analyse the possible outcomes over the few sessions remaining.

Third placed Seven-Up took on Erin Porters who are sixth and this was a formality last time these two teams met, with a maximum in favour of Sevens and they only allowed their opponents to score 69.

This time the southern outfit almost reached 100 points and managed to take one game, but more importantly five chalks from the title contenders.

Seven-Up lost one of their regular players through illness just 24 hours or so prior to the session, when Derek Clarke withdrew, so once again the team of super-subs came to the rescue.

Louie’s Angels meanwhile had a similar problem, when Rebecca Teare, who was second in merit table, also took ill; this however did not stop Angels from recording their fifth full-house with a comfortable victory over Castletown Corkers – we wish both players a speedy recovery.

Next up Erin Porters got their quest to hold onto a top six spot back on track with success over Corkers, although both teams now have lower averages and are therefore closer to the sides directly behind them.

The final clash saw Angels revenge an earlier in the season heavy defeat against Seven-Up, with the victors dropping only three chalks on this occasion in a five games to one result, whereas the losers finished on a total of 102 and slipped down a place.

Results for Saturday, February 16: Seven-Up 121 (5), Erin Porters 97 (1); Castletown Corkers 74 (0), Louie’s Angels 126 (6); Erin Porters 115 (4), Castletown Corkers 98 (2); Louie’s Angels 123 (5), Seven-Up 102 (1).

With just four sessions remaining the top seven positions are yet to be decided – Outsiders occupy top spot and need to score nine points more than second-placed Mooragh Lakers in their last visit to finish ahead of them.

Next in line is A-Team – they can also still catch the leaders, but if they score 16 chalks less than Outsiders, then it is all over for them as current champions.

Things may be a bit clearer after they all compete in a three-team battle this Saturday – but waiting in the wings are two more ‘outsiders’.

Fourth-placed Seven-Up are still licking their wounds from last weekend and will need the leaders to drop over 40 points to be in with a chance; they now also have Angels just nine chalks behind and waiting for any slip ups.

Previous league winners are holding the top three positions, whilst the next two have yet to finish on that top step.

As for the next two positions in the table, Erin Porters are currently sixth and need to score 208 points or more to hold off Parkers who have played all their games.

Two round robins to catch up with, the first of which had 33 compete in a midweek session; Allan Kennaugh, Marg Tasker and Maureen Hamilton took one triples group, whilst Steph Swift, Carole Kaye and Mark Kelly won the other.

There was also a gathering on Sunday when 17 took part and had Nathan Hamilton partnered by Cliff Clague win one gang, along with Steve Parker, Lil Smith and Tony Hart victorious in the other.