There was a small field of ten pairs for the IOM Ladies’ Pairs played at Ballaugh on Sunday 15 September. What the entry lacked in quantity it more than made up for in quality, as shown by the standard, and closeness, of many of the matches.
In the preliminary round the experience of Rosie Winckle and Lil Smith showed against their less experienced opponents, Pat Lenton and Maureen Hamilton, the Marown pair going through 21-8. In the other prelim, the new pairing of Lyn Bolton and Joyce Ogden took on the holders, Fiona Kennish and Jenny Moore. Fiona and Jenny had the better of the early skirmishes to hold an 18-9 lead. With six points in the next five ends Lyn and Joyce pulled back to 14-18, but it was too little too late as the South Ramsey pair clinched a 21-15 win.
In the first of the quarter-finals Rosie and Lil came up against Fiona and Jenny, who won the first four ends to lead 10-6. The next three ends closed the score to 9-10. The ends were then shared, but two 3’s allowed the Marowm players to level the score at 15-15. A 4 by the holders was a killer blow as they went on to win 21-15.
Shannon McMullan and Janet Monk faced Elaine Moore and Gill Dixon, who had won the title three times in the past and, despite a sterling effort, after their opponents scored 7 in the first three ends, they were unable to make up the deficit.
Jean Radcliffe and Chris Price lost the first two ends against Lin Ruscoe and Paula Firth before winning the next six ends to lead 15-10. The Nobles’ combo pulled back to 15-15, but could only score one more point before Jean and Chris progressed to the semi-finals 21-16.
Judy Kelly and Helen Caley almost caused the upset of the afternoon against Mary Alderson and Lynda Cadamy, surging to a 15-9 lead. Seven in the next three ends gave Mary and Lynda a 16-15 lead, but this was countered by a pair of 2’s which brought the South Ramsey ladies to 19. A 3 followed by a 2 gave the match to Lynda and Mary 21-19.
The first semi-final was pretty even throughout with Jenny and Fiona leading 14-13 then Elaine and Gill taking the lead at 17-16. The scores were then level at 18-18, before a 2 and a single took Elaine and Gill through to the final 21-18.
The second semi-final was level at 12-12 before Mary and Lynda won the next four ends to lead 18-12. Despite a 2 and a1 on the next two ends Jean and Chris had to bow out 15-21.
A close start to the final saw the score at 11-11 after eight ends. Winning four of the next six ends, including a 4, saw Mary and Lynda in the driving seat 19-14. It was no fluke that Elaine and Gill were already three time winners of the trophy, as they then dug deep, winning the next six ends to take the title, for a fourth time, 21-19.
The presentation was made by Association vice-president, Heather Horsburgh, who thanked those who had entered, the Ballaugh club for the use of their facilities and all those who had helped in the smooth running of the event.