The long awaited return of the Isle of Man September Bowls Festival took place last week, with a lot having happened over the two years that have passed, it was great to meet up with old friends and new, whilst also remembering those that are no longer with us. The Festival is now in its 100th year having first been played for in 1921.
In the Men’s event it was Callum Wraight (Castlefields) who picked up his first ever Festival win, having previously lost in the June 2016 final to Kez Smith (Crossgates). Wraight made no mistake this time round as he took the winners cheque for £3,000 as he finally got his hands on the famous trophy. Wraight had to overcome the challenge of another regular visitor, a two-time winner from 2005 and 2007 Paul Bailey (Thongsbridge).
The final started with Wraight taking seven of the first eight ends to build a 14-6 lead playing his customary short length. Bailey responded with two doubles only to concede a two himself, then scored a single as he sprung the jack to his back bowl to sit 11-16 behind. A double and a single got Bailey to within four chalks at 14-18. Wraight took two of the next three ends to take a 20-15 lead, only for Bailey to play another great running bowl to trail the jack through for two to set up a tense ending to the game with the score at 17-20.
Bailey left his first bowl 18 inches from the jack, which Wraight didn’t beat with his first. With the former just failing to improve with his second Wraight shrugged off any hint of pressure and changed his peg, stalking his last bowl to tap the jack to claim a magnificent win letting out a roar of sheer delight and throwing the mat up in the air in front of a good crowd who gave a brilliant round of applause in appreciation of a great final with Bailey hanging in throughout against a formidable opponent. Bailey could take consolation in the runners up cheque for £1,000.
Wraight reached the final courtesy of a nervy 21-20 win over Danny Barwise (Birchley St Mary’s), with the former recovering from a 14-18 deficit to lead for the first time in the game at 20-18. On the following end Wraight pushed his jack to the edge only for his first bowl to fly off the green, with Barwise not punishing this Callum watched his second bowl just trickle off the green to allow Danny to carry up his second bowl and tie the score at 20-20. On the deciding end the counting bowl changed with each bowl sent and it was Wraight who played a great last bowl under tremendous pressure to take his place in the final.
In the other semi-final the local player who had progressed the furthest and received the Chris Quayle Memorial trophy for the furthest Manx Man was David Bradford (South Ramsey) who was playing superbly to go into a 14-8 lead against Paul Bailey and was counting for one and upon trying to make two Bradford went into the back of his opponents bowl to allow Bailey a free shot to take out the counting bowl, which he duly did in a huge turning point in the game to count for two, then scored another double followed by a single to pull the score back to 13-14. From there Bailey took eight of the next 11 ends scoring singles to see the game out 21-18 in another excellent game for the spectators.
The quarter finals were all fairly comfortable for the winners with Bradford ending the hopes of previous winner Ian Nicholson (Hale) with a 21-13 win, Paul Bailey seen off Callum Briddon (Fairfield) with a 21-15 victory. In the bottom half of the draw Wraight also won 21-15 against Anthony Rukin (Hopwood), whilst Danny Barwise progressed to the semi-finals courtesy of his 21-12 win over 2008 winner Colin Kelly (Marown).
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1, and it was John Bailey (Castlefields) who performed well to see off Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge) to take the Tourism title with a 21-16 victory, with Bailey recovering from an 8-14 deficit to take nine of the last 10 ends.
Both semi-finals were well contested with Bailey edging home 21-18 against Chris Bly (Hopwood). Dyson booked his place in the final with a hard fought 21-17 win over Callum Wraight (Castlefields).
In the quarter finals Bly progressed with a 21-19 win over Mike Tunstall (Cradley Sports & Social), Bailey won 21-12 against Ben Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) with Wraight winning to the same score against Dave Allsop (Marehay), while Dyson beat James Fitzpatrick (West Kirby Victoria) with a 21-11 win to progress to the next round.
The Men’s consolation was won by Dave McDermott (Tixall) who beat Andy Sorsby (Thongsbridge) 21-14. The Ladies consolation was won by local Lynda Cadamy (Marown) defeating Jane Glaister(Windermere) 21-17.
The Visit.Com Flyer title also went to Callum Wraight (Castlefields) who had a 9-2 win over Debbie Davis (Pudsey BC), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Robert Whyatt (Packhorse) who beat Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 21-17 in another close final.
In the doubles competitions the open doubles were won by Conor Chamberlain (Stretton Anglesey) and Brad Bayliss (Castlefields) with a 11-8 win over Ross Meese (Meersbrook BC) and Katie Morgan (Maltby BC).
The Men’s doubles were won by father and son pairing Dave and Ben Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) who went one better than September 2019 as they beat Neil Rigden (New Longton) and Steve McCall (Kirkham) 11-7 in the final.
The Ladies pairs was won by Jane Glaister (Windermere) and Gill Simm (Lune Road) defeating Onchan pair Paula Firth and Jo Smith 11-5 in the final.
The Mixed pairs was won by Paul Kissock (Lindal BC) and Grace Hubbert (Stalmine) with Hubbert retaining the title she won in 2019 with Andy Mailer, as Kissock and Hubbert won 9-5 against Mark Hinchcliffe (Penwortham) and Elizabeth Bennett (Penwortham Sports).
The presentation of the prizes was made by former CEO of the British Crown Green Bowling Association John Crowther. Upon accepting the trophy and the winners cheque for £3,000 Callum thanked the organisers for all their hard work, then went on to commiserate his opponent who is a good friend who he has the upmost respect for and that the win meant everything to him. Callum also said it was great to have his Grandmother, Mother and Stepdad Richie there to see him win it.
The 34-year-old Shropshire man has been coming to the Island on a regular basis for 17 years, since the age of 17, having suffered more heartache than most reaching six semi-finals and losing out in the final five years ago. I recall a conversation Callum had with a local bowler two or three years ago when he said that while he had won everything there was to win in the U.K. the Isle of Man Festival was the one that he wanted to win.
His mother Tracy could not have been prouder, with Callum’s dedication to play bowls to the best of his ability shining through every time he steps on the green. Callum is a highly respected bowler and person on and off the green, with this having been instilled in him at a young age.
Wraight has won all of the games biggest prizes, was the bookies favourite before a bowl had even been sent and no doubt his next challenge will be to get his name on the June trophy to become one of a select few to win both the June and September Festivals.
In the Ladies main event it was a family affair as South Ramsey’s Jenny Moore took on her mother Elaine Moore. With both having one Festival title to their name, it was a case of who would have the family bragging rights with one going ahead of the other. Jenny’s previous win was in June 2016, whilst Elaine’s win was more recent in September 2018.
It proved to be Jenny’s day as none of her opponents could get near her, with Jenny following up on her recent achievement when she won the British Senior Merit as she came through a top field in Manchester to prove she is one of the games leading ladies.
With the green having changed pace in the two hours since they had been on the green for the semi-finals Jenny crucially won the toss and played a round peg mark off the edge of the crowd winning the first eight ends to punish Elaine to full effect as she scored four doubles to take an almost unassailable 17-5 lead. Jenny performed brilliantly leading well and even when Elaine did count with her first bowl Jenny would respond to beat her mother’s bowl.
When Elaine did get in there was an ironic cheer, with Elaine heading for the corners it could have been game on if Elaine could win a few consecutive ends to plant a seed of doubt in her daughters’ mind, however Jenny only lost two further ends to win 21-8 and won in style with an excellent second bowl which Elaine just failed to beat. At the end mother and daughter embraced, whilst Elaine would no doubt be disappointed she would also have been a proud mother. The pair have met on finals day before in 2018 with Elaine having come through against Jenny 21-20 at the semi-final stage, with Elaine then going on to win the final against Gill Simm.
In addition to taking her first September win, and second festival win overall along with the winners cheque for £1,000 Jenny received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady, while Elaine took the runners up prize for £600.
In the semi-finals Jenny booked her place in the final with a comfortable 21-11 win over team mate Lyn Bolton (South Ramsey), whilst Mother Elaine had a fight on her hands to reach the final as she trailed 7-14, then 13-17 against Sharon Gadd (Cononley) to win six of the last eight ends finishing with two doubles to take her place in the final with a 21-19 win.
Jenny started her day with a 21-11 win over Paula Firth (Onchan), Bolton had a tough game against Helen Withers (Marown) with the latter making her first appearance in the Festival as she progressed with a 21-17 win. In the bottom half of the draw Elaine seen off local Janet Monk (Mooragh Park) 21-12, while Gadd made sure of her place in the next round with a 21-18 win over Louise Cotton (Wrockwardine Wood).
The Ladies Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green it was Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood) who had a successful week taking a 21-17 victory over Louise Cotton (Wrockwardine Wood) in the final.
Gaut booked her placed in the final with a solid 21-12 win over Tracy Wraight (Windermere BC), whilst Cotton ended the challenge of Sarah Weaver (Wrockwardine Wood) with a 21-15 win.
In the quarter finals Gaut progressed with a 21-18 win over Kaye Coulthard (Cradley Sports & Social), Wraight beat Sharon Gadd (Cononley) 21-19. In the other half of the draw Cotton beat Rebecca Teare (Marown) 21-6, while Weaver ended the challenge of Philippa Taylor (Marown) with a 21-18 win.
The Isle of Man Bowls Festival gets underway next week with a host of top names from across the game hoping to be the lucky winner who gets their name on the trophy and the winners cheque for £3,000. The event is being held for the first time since September 2019, with three festivals not taken place since then due to the pandemic and border restrictions.
On the first page of the draw five-time winner local man John Kennish is in the draw but unlikely to be taking part, whilst three-time winner Ian Nicholson (Hale) will be looking forward to his return to the island as he goes for win number four.
In the next section is David Jackson (Houghton) who won the coveted trophy in 1998, whilst South Ramsey’s David Bradford was a teenage winner in September 2002, soon after the finals moved from the Villa to Noble’s will be in the mix.
Paul Bailey (Thongsbridge) winner in 2007 and current holder John Bailey (Castlefields) who has two wins to his name from 2017 and 2019 are the stand out names on the next page with a potential match up in the fifth round providing they navigate their way safely through the early rounds.
Alan Gilpin (Hale) won the Festival as far back as 2004 whilst Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge) won more recently in 2019 could face each other in their 2nd round game
The following page is littered with previous winners and big hitters with two-time winner Martin Gilpin (Hale), Callum Wraight (Castlefields) is seeking his first festival win, 1990 winner Kevan Shaw (Red Lion) and Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Peel Sunset) whose success came in June 2000 are likely to face off throughout the week.
Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) is the only previous winner in his section of the draw, but there are several names who are more than capable of causing an upset.
Marown’s Neil Withers won the June Festival in 2013, whilst you have to go back a lot further for Onchan’s Phil Kerruish win which was back in 1991, with the two local men possibly facing each other in the 3rd round.
Colin Kelly, who won the Champion of Champions at the famous Waterloo Bowling Green in Blackpool in late September 2019, won the Festival in 2008 and is one of the unlucky few to be in the preliminary round.
Aside from those already mentioned there are some top names from the game, who have won some of the biggest competitions across, whilst others are capable of raising their game to cause an upset.
With six greens in use and several different competitions throughout the week, there is plenty of bowls for everyone it should make for a great week of bowls.
Have a great week!
The top prizes in the Isle of Man September Bowls Festival went to two visitors.
In the Men’s competition it was John Bailey (Castlefields) who picked up his second September Festival following on from his 2017 victory taking the winners cheque for £3,000. Bailey had to overcome the challenge of Matty Worden (Broughton).
The final started with 2018 BCGBA Junior Champion Worden taking four of the first five ends to build a 12-6 lead on a shorter length. Bailey then took the next three ends favouring a longer length to sit one chalk behind at 11-12. Worden then scored a double and a single with Bailey taking a chalk in between for Worden to lead 15-13. Bailey then took control scoring five chalks in three ends to lead 18-15, only for a determined Worden to hit back once more to level the game at 18-18. With the final reaching a crucial point Worden led a good bowl approximately six inches from the jack, with Bailey responding by playing a front toucher which was not beaten. Bailey wisely chose not to play his second bowl with plenty of danger had he opted to play his bowl. With Bailey now leading 19-18 he played two good bowls to lie game. Worden played a reaching bowl to give himself a chance of saving game or playing a winner only to flick his first bowl onto one of Bailey’s bowls which connected with the jack but couldn’t prevent Bailey from taking the two chalks he needed to secure a 21-18 victory in a fantastic final. Worden could take consolation in the runners up cheque for £1,000, with his reputation in the game growing with each performance.
Bailey reached the final courtesy of a comfortable 21-13 win over David Bradford (South Ramsey), whilst Worden booked his place in the final defeating the current holder John Kennish in a thrilling game with no more than three chalks between them throughout the entire game. With the score tied at 19-19 Worden played up to the crown and was lying one only for Kennish to play a great second bowl to lead 20-19. Kennish had no other option than to play into the corner from the middle of the green and led a bowl a foot past the jack, Worden played his first bowl slightly further away, with Kennish putting his second a foot short of the jack to leave Worden with no option other than to reach. Worden connected with Kennish’ short bowl which pushed it onto his first bowl to take both bowls out to secure chalks to secure a 21-20 victory with a bowl that was both brilliant and somewhat fortuitous. Kennish will have been cursing his luck and the handicap with having to give his opponent a two start due to his previous festival success.
The quarter finals had two games that were closely contested with Kennish seeing off Billy Speed (Alexander Park) with a hard fought 21-18 win. The closest game of the quarters was between Bradford and Callum Wraight (Castlefields) with Wraight still searching for his first festival title despite having won some of the biggest titles in the UK. Bradford fought back from a 10-14 deficit, and a 17-20 deficit, however Bradford had to rely on his striking ability to pull him through by taking the jack off three times in the final six ends to stay in the game, taking two doubles in between another dead end to secure a 21-20 victory. In the other two quarter finals Bailey ended the challenge of James Higgins (Meersbrook) with a 21-15 win, whilst Worden progressed thanks to a 21-10 win over Craig Richardson (Castlefields).
In the Ladies main event it was Gill Simm (Lune Road) who went one better than last year to win the Ladies title and the cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-20 win over Molly Sullivan (St Georges). Simm was quickest out of the blocks taking the lead 11-7, before Sullivan took the next four ends to lead 13-11. It was nip and tuck from there, however Simm did manage to edge 19-18 ahead and was lying two for game with Sullivan getting a huge slice of luck sitting out her opponent’s furthest bowl to save game. On the next end Sullivan took a double to tie the score at 20-20, with Simm starting to wonder if she would suffer the same fate as last year. On the final end the left handed Sullivan perhaps trying to catch out her opponent played off the edge of the crown, however was unable to put up a good lead which Simm punished to play a good bowl. Sullivan was unable to beat the bowl of Simm, which ensured Simm picked up a chalk to secure a 21-20 victory in what was a great final.
In the semi-finals Simm booked her place in the final with a hard fought 21-19 win over Sharon Gadd (Shipley), whilst Sullivan took a straightforward 21-14 over Jenny Moore (South Ramsey).
Simm started her day with a 21-15 win over Mary Alderson (Marown), whilst Gadd took a 21-19 victory over Carleen Doody-Millington (St Georges). Moore defeated Alison Cotton (St Georges) 21-14, whilst Sullivan ended the challenge of Fiona Kennish (South Ramsey) with a 21-12 win.
Local awards went to John Kennish who received the Chris Quayle trophy for the furthest Manx Man, whilst Jenny Moore received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady.
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1, and it was Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) who performed well to see off Callum Wraight (Castlefields) to take the Tourism title with a 21-14 win, with it has to be noted Wraight not enjoying his usual success when striking.
Both semi-finals were well contested with Gilmore booking his place in the final with a hard fought 21-18 win over Ben Phillips (Lloyd Hotel), whilst Wraight had to dig deep to see off Stuart Mort (Kirkham) 21-19.
The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green it was local success for Lyn Bolton (South Ramsey) who had a successful week taking a 21-14 victory over Alison Cotton (St Georges) in the final.
Bolton booked her placed in the final with a superb 21-12 win over Sarah Fox (Woodlands Park), whilst Cotton ended the challenge of Tracy Ryan (St Georges) with a 21-11 win.
The Men’s consolation was won by Martin Gilpin (Kendal Victoria) who beat Gaz Lally (Crossgates) 21-11. The Ladies consolation was won by Veronica Lyon (Unison) defeating Lynn Bennett (Orrell Rovers) 21-16.
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Robert Whyatt (Packhouse) who had a 9-2 win over David Jackson (Knutsford), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Wayne Usher (Gaghills) who beat Peter Shallis (Lune Road) 21-20 in another close final.
In the doubles competitions the open doubles was won by the Kendal Victoria pairing Martin Gilpin and Ian Nicholson with a 11-10 win over Crossgates duo Joseph Cranston and Gaz Lally.
The Men’s doubles was won by Alan Davis (St Bernards) and David Platt (Levens) defeating Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) and Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 11-7 in the final.
The Ladies pairs was won by Elaine Moore (South Ramsey) Amanda Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) defeating Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood) and Sharon Gadd (Shipley) 11-6 in the final.
The Mixed pairs was won by Andy Mailer (Meersbrook BC) and Grace Hubbert (Stalmine BC) defeating Frank Jolly (Canberra) and Joan Moran (James North’s) 9-8.
The September Bowls Festival, which was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, has once again completed another successful week, with entries up and Manx ladies putting up a good showing.
Although the weather was “iffy” at times with rain showers and strong winds, it did not detract from the players enthusiasm or their standard of bowling.
The finals started on Thursday morning, when the Tourism competitions were played to a conclusion from the quarter-finals. Jenny Moore went out at that stage to Alison Cotton (St Georges ) 21 – 15. In the final Lyn Bolton had the better start against Alison Cotton . She was able to hold on against a come-back mid game from Alison to take the trophy 21-14. This win means that Lyn has qualified to play in the Champion of Champions at Waterloo at the end of September.
They continued in the evening with the doubles events. In the Open Doubles the Manx pairing of Jenny Moore and James Teare lost out in the semi-finals, 11-2, to Joe Cranston and Gaz Lally (Crossgates).
Elaine Moore, paired with Amanda Nicholas ( Gresford Colliery ), reached the final of the ladies’ doubles against Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood) and Sharon Gadd (Shipley). Despite their opponents taking an early 6-2 lead, Elaine and Amanda then dug in, denying their opponents further points and taking the match 11-6.
On Friday, Janet Monk was the only lady in the final four of the visit iom.com Flyer, going out at that stage to David Jackson Knutsford) 9 – 4
In the main event, three Manx ladies made it through to the quarter-finals, Mary Alderson, Fiona Kennish and Jenny Moore.
Mary and Fiona came up against the eventual finalists, Mary going down 21 – 15 to Gill Simm (Lune Rd ) and Fiona losing out 21- 12 to Molly Sullivan ( St Georges ). Jenny got her revenge on Alison Cotton, winning 21-14 to go through to the semi-finals, where she went down 21 – 14 to Molly. This meant that Jenny won the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the Manx lady getting furthest in the main event.
The final was evenly contested, the score being level at 7-7, 11-11, 14-14 with Gill not being behind after the fourth end until at 16-16 Molly won two ends in a row to lead 18-16. Gill then led 20-18 before a 2 from Molly made it 20-20. Gill, who had lost out in the final last year, was not to be denied, winning the last end and the trophy.
The eagerly awaited Isle of Man June Festival takes place the week commencing 17th June with a good entry of over 314 in the Men’s competition.
On the first page of the draw Andy Duckett (Crossgates) will be hoping to go far in the competition, he takes on the bookmaker Graham Hirst in the first round. Local man Geoff Collier (South Ramsey) who only took up the game last year has the unenviable task of taking on Ben Gloag (Grapes Hotel) for his first time competing in the festival, whilst 2017 winner James Wilcox (Crossgates) will be looking to go far with some tricky fixtures along the way.
On the second page Callum Wraight (Castlefields) will once again be one of the hot favourites to take the title and his first festival win, having won the majority of the games biggest prizes and ended his week last June on a high winning the PokerStars Invitation at South Ramsey. Should Matthew Quirk (Onchan) make it through his first game he could well face Wraight in the second round, whilst Gareth Herbert (George BC) has a tough game against Joshua Mordue (Crossgates). Ian Hazlehurst has once again been handed a tough first round game taking on the ‘Hoover’ Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge).
On page three another regular visitor Mark Hughes (Crossgates) will be hoping to break his duck in the main event with several of his team mates having taken the trophy over the past few years, whilst 1998 winner David Jackson (Knutsford) will be keen to take his second June title. Current holder Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) starts three points back due to his 2018 win and will need to make a good start in his games to ensure he doesn’t fall too far behind. Mel Byron (Duki Central) takes on local man Steve Parker (North Ramsey).
On the next page Gaz Lally (Crossgates) takes on Craig Shore (Burbage) in the first round, with local player David Bradford keen to reach the latter stages of the June festival having won the September title at the tender age of 17, however should he get through his first round game Bradford could have to face the likes of Barry Booth (Kendal Vic) and Ryan Clark (Thongsbridge) if he is to progress.
On page five Nick White (Thongsbridge) will fancy his chances of getting through the top half of his page, whilst Kevan Shaw (West Houghton) will be favourite to make the latter stages in the bottom half of the page, however Phil Kerruish (Onchan) may well be one of his opponents who will be confident of performing well against Shaw.
Looking at page six Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) will once again be looking to reach the latter stages of the festival, will have to beat the likes of Nidge Hughes (Wirral) & Billy Speed (Castlefields) to make it to finals day on Friday.
Over to page seven September 2018 festival winner John Kennish (South Ramsey) is another man to start three points back on his opponents due to his recent success in the festival, will be hoping to find some form to take him through the week. A man in form is Paul Dunn (Marown) who is unbeaten in the league this season, having switched bowls over the winter Dunn will be hoping this is his year. A game everyone will want to watch is two of the games top players with both having won a number of the top competitions, John Bailey (Castlefields) could take on Chris Mordue (Pudsey) on Wednesday morning.
On page eight regular visitor to the Island Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) won’t be missed on the green with his yellow bowls. Another local in form is Jordan Cain (Onchan), who could face one of the games entertainers Michael Leach (Kirkham) who is fascinating to watch on the green, whilst 2012 winner Rob Fitzpatrick (Wirral) could face Andy Mailer (Thongsbridge) or Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) with Nicholson somewhat unbelievably having never won a June Festival with all his festival wins coming in September. Dan Jones (Castlefields) will be keen on making good progress having not visited the Island for a couple of years.
On page 9 it has been 19 years since local man Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Peel) took his only festival win beating Kev Shaw back in the ‘good old days’ when the finals used to be held on the Villa, whilst Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) could have a tasty second round game against Richie Goddard (Castlefields).
On the final page 2013 winner Neil Withers be looking to progress having recently lost in the final of the Big Smash, whilst Andrew Sorsby (Thongsbridge) could face off against Matthew Kelly-Walley (Stretton Anglesey) in the second round. 2016 June winner and recent Big Smash winner Kez Smith (Crossgates) could face big hitter Paul Bailey (Meersbrook), whilst another big hitter Chris Barton (Wirral) will be hoping for a good week.
Whilst I can’t guarantee the weather what should shine through, however, is the quality of the field and the week of bowls we have in store for us, with the Tourism, Men’s Doubles, Open Doubles, various flyers and consolation competitions there is plenty of bowls to be played & enjoyed for all.
Best of luck to all visitors and locals who are taking part throughout the week.
Friday evening sees some of the games top players taking part in the PokerStars Super 32 Invitation with the event being held at Noble’s Park it is sure to attract a good crowd on the night.
Last year’s winner Callum Wraight will be hoping to successfully defend his title, whilst Yorkshire man Chris Mordue won the British Senior Merit in 2018. There are too many winners of big competitions to call out, however the line-up includes Isle of Man festival, County Merit, British Senior Merit, Champion of Champions and Spring and Autumn Waterloo winners along with the winners of a host of big competitions held on the mainland to prove what a top field this is.
Six local men have been given the opportunity to compete this year with David Bradford (South Ramsey), Jordan Cain (Onchan), Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Peel) and three Marown men taking part with Manx Champion Colin Kelly, Neil Withers and Paul Dunn all looking to cause an upset to the big guns.
A number of big hitters are taking part with Chris Barton, Paul Bailey and Wraight all capable of fireworks on the green with their renowned striking ability.
Whilst I would not like to predict a winner of this, what I can promise is a night of great entertainment that will be a fitting end to a week of bowls which is running morning, noon and night!
- Billy Speed
- Kev Shaw
- Chris Barton
- Nidge Hughes
- Peter Jones
- Robby Fitzpatrick
- Dave Jackson
- Ian Nicholson
- Martin Gilpin
- Melvyn Byron
- Callum Wraight
- Jon Palmer
- Richie Goddard
- Andy Sorsby
- Nick White
- Paul Bailey
- Gareth Herbert
- Stewart Meddings
- Dan Jones
- John Bailey
- Chris Mordue
- Craig Gant
- Jack Dyson
- James Wilcox
- Joshua Mordue
- Colin Kelly
- Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly
- David Bradford
- Jordan Cain
- Neil Withers
- Paul Dunn
Prize money is over £3k, paid out as follows:-
Winner – £1,000
Runner Up – £500
Semi-Finals – 2 @ £250
Quarter Finals – 4 @ £125
Last 16 – 8 @ £75
The final spot available will be confirmed during festival week, the draw will also be made and announced next week.
The top prizes in the Isle of Man September Bowls Festival went to two local players.
In the Men’s competition it was South Ramsey’s John Kennish who picked up his fourth September Festival win and the winners cheque for £3,000. Kennish had to overcome the challenge of Onchan man Peter Slinger in a repeat of the 2017 Manx Championship on the same green, this was also the first all local final since September 2014 between John Kennish and Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly.
The final started with Slinger taking a single point on the first end after trailing the jack with his last bowl. The second end proved to be crucial and was probably a first for a festival final with Slinger heading for the corner the jack went off the green, allowing Kennish the opportunity to set the mark, to which Kennish then headed for the edge also sending the jack off, allowing Slinger a second chance to set the mark again in the corner however the jack went off the green once again. Kennish didn’t waste the second opportunity of setting the mark along the edge. From there Kennish was ruthless wasting little more than 20 minutes to win the game picking up five two’s and five one’s along the way. To be fair to Slinger he was never far away with his bowls just pegging away at the end or falling just short or running out, it is more a reflection of how devastating Kennish was on the day. Slinger could take consolation in the runners up cheque for £1,000.
Kennish reached the final courtesy of a 21-13 win over David Jackson (Knutsford), whilst Slinger booked his place in the final defeating Callum Wraight (Knutsford) in a thrilling game coming back from 6-12 down, then 13-17 down before Slinger got level at 17-17. Slinger headed for the corner and played two poor bowls, which Wraight wasn’t able to punish fully taking just a point to go 18-17 up. Slinger picked up a single on the next end up to the crown to level matters again, then lay one next end with Wraight contemplating striking which was risky given how close his own bowl was to the one he was hoping to take out. Wraight struck taking out his own bowl to gift Slinger two to go 20-18 up. Slinger headed along the edge on a straight peg which is well known to be a push to reach into, he led a good bowl with Wraight pushing two yards through. Crucially Slinger made two with Wraight playing through taking out Slinger’s nearest bowl, however Slinger’s other bowl was left counting for game to win 21-18.
The quarter finals were all fairly straightforward with Kennish seeing off Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) with a 21-10 win. The closest game of the quarters was between John Bailey (Knutsford) and David Jackson, with Jackson falling 7-10 behind early on, before taking a 17-11 lead and eventually seeing the game out 21-17. Wraight ended the challenge of Danny Petcher (Netherseal) with a 21-12 win. Slinger booked his place in the semi-final courtesy of a 21-14 win over Gareth Jones (Dalton Cricket).
There is always that one game in a festival that makes or breaks you and that came for Kennish on the Thursday afternoon against another local Trevor Quayle (Port St Mary) in the last 16 with Kennish edging it 21-20 with Quayle leading for the entire game and having a good opportunity on the last end to win it. Kennish has now won five Isle of Man festival titles, with one June win and four September wins it is surely only a question of when, not if he will pick up his next title. John will also be playing in the Champion of Champions at Blackpool at the end of the month, an event that he had already qualified for through winning the Manx Championship earlier in the season.
In the Ladies main competition it was another South Ramsey player Elaine Moore who won the Ladies title and the cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-18 win over Gill Simm (Lune Road) with Simm being quickest out of the blocks taking a 14-8 lead with Moore working her way back into the game to go 17-16 ahead slightly varying the length being played. Simm took two singles on the next two ends to take the lead 18-17. Moore dug in to take two singles and a two on the last end playing over the crown to win her first festival and the relief and emotion was clear for everyone to see.
In the semi-finals Simm booked her place in the final with a 21-10 win over Helen Clee (Wrockwardine Wood), whilst Moore was pushed all the way by daughter Jenny Moore (South Ramsey) with Elaine fighting back from 12-18 down to eventually win 21-20 after lying two down at 20-20 Elaine trailed the jack with a brilliant bowl to reach the final.
Gill Simm started her day with a 21-16 win over Veronica Lyon (Unison), whilst Helen Clee ended the challenge of Alison Cotton with a hard fought 21-17 win. Jenny Moore made light work of her quarter final game with a 21-11 win over Margo Sinclare (Meersbrook BC) whilst Elaine Moore had to battle hard to see off Tracy Ryan (Meole Brace BC) with a 21-18 win having lost to Ryan in the semi-finals of the Tourism on Thursday morning.
Elaine certainly won her first festival the hard way with her games from the quarter finals onwards all being close, and having to play two of the favourites on the way against her daughter Jenny Moore and Tracy Ryan, no doubt Elaine was made all the more determined having suffered the heartache of losing out in the final of the June festival to Debbie Farmer on a particularly wet finals day several years ago. Elaine has also qualified to play in the Champion of Champions at the Waterloo Hotel in Blackpool.
Following their festival wins John Kennish received the Chris Quayle trophy for the furthest Manx Man, whilst Elaine Moore received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady.
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1 with Colin Kelly (Marown) performing brilliantly in the corners to take the Tourism title defeating Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) 21-11.
Kelly booked his place in the final with a hard fought win over Callum Wraight (Knutsford), whilst Ditchfield defeated Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel).
The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green it was Tracy Ryan (Meole Brace) who defeated Helen Martin (North Ramsey) 21-13 in the final.
Tracy Ryan booked her place in the final following a tough game with Elaine Moore (South Ramsey), whilst Helen Martin ended the run of Lynn Bennett (Orrell Rovers).
The Men’s consolation was won by Chris Talbot (Knutsford) who beat Robert Whyatt (Packhorse BC) 21-9. The Ladies consolation was won by Hazel Borrowdale (Kendal Vic) defeating Olwen Edwards (Llanfair PG) 21-20 in a close final.
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Paul Beer (Meole Brace) who had a 9-6 win over Callum Wraight (Knutsford), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Neil Rigden (New Longton) who beat John Clark (Wrockwardine Wood) 21-19 in another close final.
In the doubles competitions the Open Doubles was won by Peter Yates (Kirkham) and Steve McCall (Kirkham) with a 11-5 win over Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) and Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic).
The Men’s doubles was won by Walter McCarthy (Marown) and David Jackson (Knutsford) defeating Paul Bailey (Meersbrook BC) and Frank Jolly (Canberra) 11-6 in an entertaining final.
The Ladies pairs was won convincingly 11-1 by Jenny Moore (South Ramsey) and Carleen Doody-Millington (Meole Brace) who beat Sylvia Bentham (Tarleton) and Joan Jolly (Canberra).
The Mixed pairs was won by Patricia Edwards (Winstanley) and Michael Coupe (Hoghton) defeating Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) and Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 9-4.
September Festival Preview
The Isle of Man September Bowling Festival takes place this week with a host of top names from across the game hoping to be the one that gets their name on the trophy and the winners cheque for £3,000.
It’s seems like an awful long time since South Ramsey’s John Kennish won back to back Festivals in September 2014 and then June 2015, however it is the first festival since then that Kennish has not had to give his opponents a start due to his previous successes.
Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) makes his first visit to the Island since becoming a father, will be looking to pick up his first festival since 2010, whilst Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) could face Ditchfield in the second round, however with Gant having to give his opponents a two start this could make it more difficult to progress.
2012 winner Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) is another one who will be hoping to get his name on the trophy for a second time, whilst 2017 winner John Bailey (Knutsford) will be looking to retain the trophy he won for the first time last year after years of trying.
On the same page as Bailey is three time winner Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) with a potential fourth round clash.
June festival winner Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) will be hoping for back to back festival wins, having last won the September title in 1999 when he beat Norman Fletcher (Blackpool) in the final.
Another regular visitor to the Island Callum Wraight (Knutsford) will be hoping to secure his first festival win having won most of the games biggest prizes, this is one he will be keen to tick off his list.
With six greens in use and nine different competitions throughout the week there is plenty of bowls for everyone and with the weather looking good it should make for a great week of bowls.
Have a great week!