Another Thriller At The Villa

The final of the Rayner Plate was won by Noble’s A following a brilliant comeback to win 185-175, winning by just 10 points in a thrilling final against third division side South Ramsey D. The handicaps were set with Noble’s A on +40 and South Ramsey D on +76, giving the Ramsey men a start of 36. The rain throughout the day had taken the electric pace out of the Villa green, unfortunately the green became quite heavy despite the puddles managing to clear before play took place.

Things were looking good for the D Team with Richard Davies turning in a stunning performance to see off the ever improving Glenn Boland to win 21-7 extending the lead to 50 points. Next off for South Ramsey was third division merit leader Ian Moore, turning in a fine performance to see off the experienced Dave Pease to record a fine 21-12 win to extend the lead to 59 points. Noble’s responded as expected with Reginald Temporaza and David Quayle both performing well to both win 21-9 against Franz ten Donkelaar and Martin Caley respectively. At the halfway stage Noble’s had clawed just one point back, however they had a good back four to go on with it all to do.

First game off in the second half was the wily Tommy Collister, who took a 15-1 lead against Matthew Corkill, with Corkill doing well to dig in playing some excellent bowls before eventually losing 13-21. Next game off was between the two captains with Kevin Firth leading the way for his Noble’s team with a strong 21-9 win against James Moore. This pulled the deficit for Noble’s back to just 15 points. Mark ‘Postie’ Quinn was the next game off against 10 year old Ryan Hargraves who was competing in his first major final, giving a good account of himself throughout the game for the way he played and conducted himself throughout the game. Young Ryan started in style with a six inch bowl and a two foot bowl with Quinn bowling a good second to save one. From there Quinn played well, with Ryan chipping in with the odd point. At lying game down Ryan hit a great strike to take the jack off the green, which had the crowd cheering. Quinn finished the game off next end beating a good bowl, which Ryan just missed when playing up for Quinn to record a 21-7 win. This reduced the deficit to just one point with the last game on the green it was another experienced Noble’s player John Ruscoe needing to win his game against Jay Moore to secure the victory and a great comeback for Noble’s. Ruscoe wasted no time in doing this with an assured 21-10 win.

This South Ramsey team can take great pride in their performance in their first major final against a team that are looking favourites to be playing first division bowls next season, and they have players who can only improve in the future. All credit to the Noble’s players who performed brilliantly to turn around a huge deficit to record their first Rayner Plate win. Before Noble’s Park and Noble’s Mixed merged a few years ago to create Noble’s, Noble’s Mixed A won the Rayner Plate in 2006.

The presentation was made by Association Chairman Neil Withers who congratulated both teams on their performance, Douglas for the use of the green and the refreshments, Steve Moore for running the sheet and the supporters who turned up for what was an entertaining final, with good support for both teams around the green.