South Ramsey hosted the Manx Masters on Sunday, one of the highlights of the Manx bowls calendar with four separate competitions once again taking place throughout the day.

The Young Manx Masters was contested by seven players of Primary School age. This competition was played in a round robin format with seven players in the group playing six ends with the last end played as a ‘power’ end with points scored counting double. After a good morning of bowls, it was Evan Leece (Marown) who won the title topping the group with 48 points, with Bailey McMullan (Mooragh Park) finishing in second place on 40 points.

Evan Leece - Young Manx Masters Winner 2021
Young Manx Masters Winner – Evan Leece (Marown)

The Junior Manx Masters was played as a straight knockout for the older and more experienced players with 19 players taking part as a number have moved up into this category this year. The title was won for the first time by 15-year-old Madison McMullan (North Ramsey) who beat 12-year-old Sam Colquitt (Marown) 21-18 in a well contested final, with Madison just edging her semi-final game to beat Grace Gawne (Onchan) 21-20, whilst Sam beat Katie Jacobs (Douglas) 21-13 to take his spot in the final.

Madison McMullan - Junior Manx Masters Winner 2021
Junior Manx Masters Winner – Madison McMullan (Mooragh Park)

The standard of play in both events was excellent and there was a fantastic crowd around the green supporting the future of the game with the numbers steadily increasing throughout, it made for a great morning.

The junior competitions were sponsored by Stonemasons (IOM) Limited for a fifth successive year with the prizes presented by Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly. Everyone who took part received a prize. A huge thanks must go to the coaches – Clare Cooper, Phil Kelly & Colin Kelly who helped the younger players with their games throughout the morning.

Once the Junior competitions came to a conclusion the Felton’s sponsored men’s and ladies events got underway with the ladies event being an invitation of 16 players, whilst the men’s event had 32 invited to play.

In the ladies event losing out at the quarter final stages were Sue Gawne (Onchan) 10-21 to Clare Cooper (Marown), Margie Tasker lost to the same score against Port St Mary team mate Trish Bull, while Rebecca Teare (Marown) lost 16-21 to Jenny Moore (South Ramsey). The closest game of the quarter finals was between Fiona Kennish (South Ramsey) and Janet Monk (Mooragh Park) with the latter winning 21-17.

In the semi-finals Clare Cooper seen off Trish Bull with a 21-15 win, whilst Jenny Moore had things a bit easier with a 21-9 win over Janet Monk to go through to the final.

In the final Cooper won six of the first 10 ends, scoring singles with some good second bowls, while Moore scored four doubles to lead 11-9. Moore stepped up a gear to take four consecutive singles, before finding another gear to finish with three consecutive doubles to see the game out with a 21-9 win over Cooper to take her fourth consecutive ladies Masters title. Moore’s day was almost over before it had started, very nearly going out in the first round finding herself 17-9 down against Debbie Leece (Marown) only to claw her way back into the game on a longer length to win 21-20, showing that a game is never over as she battled back to come through as all top players do.

In the men’s event four of the eight last 16 games were well contested with the player losing out scoring 16 or more. Losing out at the quarter final stage were Tom Kelly (Peel), who lost 8-21 to Kevin Quirk (Onchan), Matthew Quirk (Onchan) had his challenge ended by Wayne Roberts (Port St Mary) 16-21. In the bottom half of the draw Reg Temporaza (Onchan) lost out 17-21 to David Bradford (South Ramsey), while Glynn Hargraves beat South Ramsey team mate Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly 21-16 to progress to the next round.

In the semi-final Quirk took a convincing 21-8 win over Wayne Roberts with the latter reaching his second successive Masters semi-final, whilst in the other semi-final team mates Bradford and Hargraves were finely poised after the first 15 ends with the score at 13-12 it was Bradford who went on to run out with a 21-12 victory to earn his place in the final.

In front of a good crowd who had stayed for the duration, the final started with the light fading quickly, with both players reluctant for the floodlights to go on, this however did not reduce the quality of play from either player. After the early exchanges, with both players trying different marks and lengths Bradford led Quirk by one chalk at 13-12 with 16 ends played. Bradford took four of the next five ends to lead 18-14, with Quirk then scoring singles on three of the next four ends in between a double from Bradford who led 20-17. On the last end Bradford made sure of the win as he played a great last bowl to seal a 21-17 victory over Quirk and claim his third Manx Masters title, following on from his back to back successes in 2014 and 2015.

At the end of the competition the presentation was made by South Ramsey’s Glynn Hargraves, who thanked Alan Moore for his excellent work running the sheet for all four competitions all day, the team involved with the preparation of the green. Chris & Lynnette Perry were then introduced to present the prizes on behalf of the sponsors Felton’s Ironmongers who without their support this event would not be possible.

Upon accepting the trophy Bradford thanked the green keepers for the work that goes into maintaining the green all year round, again thanking Alan Moore for his hard work keeping the competition moving, along with everyone who had helped in any way towards the smooth running of the competitions. A special mention was given to the ladies who once again put on an ever increasing range of superb refreshments throughout the day. It was also great to see such a large crowd stay for to watch a superb final. £1,000 was paid out in prize money on the day.