In Canada Life International Division One it was a double week for all night league teams with clubs’ floodlights being put to good use as the nights draw in. It is three weeks since league fixtures last took place, as we reach the business end of the season.
South Ramsey A started their week with a visit down south to take on Port Erin A. The visitors came away with a strong 1-9 victory, with Bernie Durcan preventing the whitewash as he put in a good performance to win 21-12 against Peter Collister who suffered only his third league defeat of the season. Winning to single figures for the visitors were David Bradford, John Kennish, Bob Clark, Stefan Kelly and Glynn Hargraves. James Teare managed to hold off Steve Durcan 21-16, while Jordan Cain recovered from a 10-16 deficit against Alan Crebbin to win 21-16.
On Friday evening South Ramsey A took on third placed Onchan A who have been in good form of late, however the Ramsey men made home advantage count as they won 8-2. Winning for the visitors were Reg Temporaza who beat Glynn Hargraves 21-17, while Matthew Quirk won 21-16 against Stefan Kelly in a good quality game. Two wins to single figures from Bob Clark and Peter Collister helped with the two points for the aggregate (159-119). John Kennish won 21-16 against Kevin Quirk after leading 15-3. Jordan Cain was always in control with his 21-13 win over Phil Kerruish, while David Bradford won 21-15 against Neil Dunwell. A big comeback from James Teare who trailed Will Penhallurick 5-15 and then 11-19 could prove crucial at the end of the season as the former won 21-20 to secure his side an extra point.
Marown A were looking to bounce back from their disastrous 6-4 defeat away to lowly Peel B. This time out they took on Peel A at Crosby with a solid 8-2 win with Neil Withers once again heavily defeating Dean Kinley 21-3, Colin Kelly beat Gary Smith 21-5, while Phil Kelly put in a great performance to win 21-7 against Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly. Marown captain Paul Dunn had a comfortable 21-10 win against Tommy McMeiken, Paul Kelly beat George Gadsby 21-9 with the game of the night being won by Harry Barton who beat Stevie Kelly 21-20, with the former recovering from a 12-19 deficit to lead 20-19, only for Kelly to break the run and go level at 20-20. On the deciding end a good bowl from Barton settled the game to pick up Marown’s fifth win of the night. Winning for the visitors were Peter Greenlees who was level with Peter Jones at 15-15 and ran out from there to win 21-15, while Tom Kelly put in a fine performance to beat Dean Kipling 21-5.
On Friday evening Marown A took on their B Team, with a number of the B Team players looking to prove they have what it takes to play for the higher ranked team next season, with four of their players in the top 32 of the individual merit as the B team continue to fly high and on course to finish in fourth place. The A team won the fixture 7-3 but will have been hoping for a better result as they looked to pile the pressure on the league leaders going in to the last game of the season. Winning for the B Team were Glenn Boland who beat Harry Barton 21-12, Jerome Surridge won 21-16 against Phil Kelly, while Matthew Keggen caused the biggest upset of the night as he took on A Team captain Paul Dunn, with the scores level at 9-9, Keggen went on a 12 point scoring streak to run out with a 21-9 victory as he presses his claim for a recall to the A Team next season. For the A Team Neil Withers was the best winner as he beat John Gelling 21-7.
South Ramsey A are now three points ahead of the Crosby men and have an away fixture against Castletown A at the Crofts, whilst Marown A travel to Breagle Glen to take on Port Erin A in the deciding fixtures. A 7-3 win for South Ramsey should be enough to ensure they retain the title, however could there be one more twist to follow in a highly unpredictable season? South Ramsey were predicted to run away with it this year, however that has not been the case.
Relegation has now been confirmed for the bottom two sides Port Erin A 31 points from safety on 48 points, while Onchan B are second from bottom with 65 points. Peel B are in 10th place as they have picked up 16 points in three fixtures to secure their top flight status. A good last result of the season for Peel B at home to Onchan B, and a heavy defeat for North Ramsey A could see the Peel men leapfrog the Mooragh Park men.
South Ramsey B Tie Up Division Two
In Division Two South Ramsey B maintained their 17-point lead at the top and officially secured their place as Division Two Champions following a 9-1 home win over Finch Hill A on Monday with Les Brookes preventing the whitewash with a 21-20 win over Sid Bolton. This result was followed up as they overcame their C Team on Thursday night with an 8-2 win. The only real upset of the week was for Tony Dugdale who suffered a defeat at the hands of James Evans 19-21 to slip to second place in the individual merit with team mate Alan Moore going above Dugdale. Lee Dawson was the other winner for the C Team as he inflicted a second defeat of the week on Sid Bolton. The northern men look well placed to hold their own in Division One next season as most teams that get promoted do so by the skin of their teeth, however they have gone on to build a good lead as the season has gone on.
Marown C have their destiny in their own hands as they went seven points clear of third placed Ballaugh A, enjoying an excellent week with a 9-1 away win against Ballaugh B, they then took Peel C apart at Crosby 10-0, with both teams they faced this week failing to score 100 chalks. Whilst Marown wouldn’t be the first club to have three teams in the same division it does show their strength in depth, is also a great story with most of the team starting around the same time and improving together as they show a little ambition can go a long way, as they look to go into the top division of Manx bowls to test themselves against the best week in week out.
Ballaugh A whilst picking up two wins this week did drop six points to Marown’s one point in a pivotal week for both clubs. A hard fought 4-6 away win over Onchan C by 15 chalks (134-149) was followed up with an 8-2 win over their lower ranked B Team, the result could have been even worse as Philip Quayle and Gordie Moore both won 21-20 against Mike Buckeridge and Dicky Watson respectively.
Marown C go on to finish their season with an away fixture against Noble’s A, while Ballaugh A are at home to Finch Hill A who are notoriously bad travellers on the road.
Sitting joint bottom in Division Two are Port St Mary B and Ballaugh B on 62 points. Both teams need a minor miracle of pulling off big wins to give one of them the chance to get out of trouble with Port at home to Douglas B, while Ballaugh host Peel C. Onchan C are the only other team in danger of the drop, they are third from bottom on 67 points as they welcome South Ramsey C to the Park on Tuesday evening with the bottom two teams relying on a heavy defeat for Onchan to stand a chance of one of them staying up.
North Ramsey B Stay on Course for Division Three
In Division Three Jay Waters cannot be caught in the race for the individual merit despite suffering his one and only defeat of the season to Andrew Cover 17-21 as the team won 3-7 away to Peel. His week did start off a bit better as his team won 9-1 at home to Douglas C, with Waters winning 21-17 against Greg Tomlinson.
League leaders North Ramsey B will be crowned league champions barring a disaster as they are three points ahead of Noble’s B and seven points ahead of Marown D, as they take on Douglas D in their final fixture of the season. The Mooragh Park men only played one fixture this week as they won 3-7 away to Ballaugh C.
Noble’s B will have been pleased with their weeks work as they bettered Marown D this week to ensure they went four points clear of the Crosby men as they beat Castletown C 2-8 at the Crofts, then beat Finch Hill B 9-1 at home.
The deciding fixture of the season sees Marown D take on Noble’s B on Tuesday night at Crosby with only an 8-2 win for the home team being good enough to ensure they finish in second place and go ahead of Noble’s B.