Glover Emulates His Father to Win First IOM Festival
One of the biggest events on the bowls calendar – The Isle of Man September Bowls Festival took place last week, with the competition one of the longest running, having first taken place in 1921.
In the Men’s event it was Stephen Glover (Liverpool CC) who picked up his first Festival win, 31 years after his father Terry won the same competition in 1991, when Stephen was just four months old, history repeated itself with Stephen recently becoming a father himself as he got his hands on the famous trophy and took home the winners cheque for £3,000. Glover more than deserved his victory as he had to overcome the challenge of another regular visitor, a two-time September winner from 2017 and 2019 John Bailey (Castlefields), whilst also beating another former winner in Graeme Wilson on finals day, Glover also got past June 2008 winner Colin Kelly (Marown) in the Last 16 to reach finals day.
The final started with Glover performing brilliantly to storm into a 14-5 lead playing his customary short length, albeit on a different mark to previous rounds, with Bailey not doing much if anything wrong. Bailey, looking to pick up his third September title and being the competitor that he is, responded well winning six of the next seven ends on a longer length to close the deficit to just three chalks at 12-15 after 13 ends, helped by Bailey playing a great last bowl when lying two down on the 12th end.
Glover got back in at just the right time with a single, thanks to a good last bowl just as Bailey was starting to find his stride. Two brilliant quick-fire doubles on the edge that Glover had enjoyed success on in previous rounds put him within touching distance of victory at 20-12. A good lead on the last end was beaten by Bailey, with Glover then beating the bowl to count one for game. Bailey played a reaching bowl, but failed to connect with anything as Glover picked up a fully deserved 21-12 victory as he expressed his joy with a gentle fist pump. Bailey took home a cheque for £1,000 as consolation for his efforts throughout the week.
Glover reached the final courtesy of a fairly comfortable 21-15 win over four-time winner Graeme Wilson (AEU), with Bailey having to battle for his 21-18 victory over Bob Clark (South Ramsey) after leading 16-8 the local man fought back well before losing out. Clark was the local player who had progressed the furthest and received the Chris Quayle Memorial trophy for the furthest Manx Man, as he reached his first finals day and will undoubtedly have gained vital experience from it.
The quarter finals were all fairly straightforward for the winners with Glover ending the hopes of Gareth Coates (Akroydon Victoria) with a 21-16 win, with the score at 16-15 in favour of Coates a four end winning streak saw Glover run out. Wilson made light work of Dan Edmonds (Levens) with a 21-10 win after the latter had disposed of the 2021 winner Callum Wraight (Castlefields) 21-8 in the Last 16.
In the other half of the draw Clark performed well to beat Nathan Brown (Lloyd Hotel) 21-15, after trailing 9-14 Clark went on to win seven of the next eight ends to progress to the semi-final. Bailey was up against a surprise package in Alex Yates (Noble’s) who took up the game just six years ago, who more than deserved his spot in the quarter finals, coming through some tricky games to make finals day. Yates had to give one chalk away on the handicap playing on his home green, managed to hang in the game really well trailing by just one chalk after 12 ends with the score at 11-12, however the experience of Bailey came through in the end, as he went on to win 21-12. Yates can consider the week a success with his good run not going unnoticed as he picked up £300 for his efforts.
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1, and it was Callum Wraight (Castlefields) who performed well to see off his Stepdad Richie Goddard (Castlefields) to take the Tourism title with a comfortable 21-9 victory, with the result never really in doubt.
Both semi-finals were well contested with Wraight edging home 21-18 against Ben Phillips (Lloyd Hotel). Goddard booked his place in the final with a hard fought 21-19 win over Daniel Petcher (Littleover).
In the quarter finals Wraight progressed with a 21-11 win over Craig Richardson (Castlefields), Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) reached the semi-final with a 21-14 victory over Alan Gilpin (Netherfield), whilst Petcher ended the challenge of Ian Liley (Lune Road) 21-10. The closest game of the quarter finals was between Bob Clark (South Ramsey) and Goddard with the latter taking the win 21-19 to progress to the semi-final.
The Men’s consolation was won by Neil Rigden (Bretherton) who beat Matthew Clegg (West Shore) 21-14 in the final, with Ridgen winning 21-12 against Thomas Dennison (Levens) in the semi-final, whilst Clegg won 21-13 against Martin Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood).
The Ladies consolation was won by Christine Lawton (Garswood Hall) defeating Lisa Downham (Bowling Green Lancaster) in the final. Lawton reached the final courtesy of a 21-14 win over Violet Dennison (Levens), whilst Downham won 21-17 against Eileen Pye (Canberra Club).
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Martin Gilpin (Netherfield) who had an emphatic 9-1 win over Harry Chapman (Baddesley Colliery), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Martin’s son Alan Gilpin (Netherfield) who beat Ken Wale (Whitby) 21-15 in the final.
In the doubles competitions the Open doubles was won by Callum Wraight and John Bailey (Both Castlefields) with a resounding 11-0 win over Paul Kissock (Netherfield) and Barry Simm (Lune Road). Wraight and Bailey reached the final with a 11-0 win over Amanda and Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery), whilst Kissock and Simm ended the challenge of South Ramsey pair Jenny Moore and James Teare 11-5.
The Men’s doubles were won by Marown pair Colin Kelly and Peter Jones who performed well to see off John Colebourne and Ian Johnson (Both Chesterfield Cylinders) 11-2 in the final. Kelly and Jones reached the final with a hard fought 11-9 win over Paul Kissock and Matty Stewart (Both Netherfield), while Colebourne and Johnson also won to the same score against James Higgins (Sheffield) and Ian Nicholson (Netherfield).
The Ladies doubles were won by Sue Gawne (Onchan) and Sue Emmerson (Whitby) defeating Debbie Leece (Marown) and Veronica Lyon (Unison) 11-10 in a close final. Gawne and Emmerson reached the final with an 11-6 victory over Caroline Whitehead (Port Erin) and Janet Hargreaves (Netherfield), whilst Leece and Lyon won 11-3 against Elaine Hawkins (Port St Mary) and Diane Harrison (Lune Road).
Winning the Mixed pairs were Eileen Pye (Canberra Club) and Michael Coupe (Wirral) thanks to a 9-3 win over Catherine Wilson (AEU) and Stevie Cain (Marown) in the final. Pye and Coupe reached the final with a 9-3 win over Kath Watkinson (Mere Brew) and Andy White (Two Gates), whilst Wilson and Cain won 9-0 against Nicola Gilmore-Coupe and Matthew Gilmore (Both Wirral) to reach the final.
The Triples returned this year with the competition played on three greens over six ends on Wednesday morning down to the winner from each green. Winners at the Villa were Paul Bailey (Meersbrook), James Higgins (Sheffield) and Matt Whitaker (Sheffield), with the Marown trio of Colin Kelly, Neil Withers and Juan Killip winning on Noble’s 1 green, while Brian Rathbone (Fairfield), Matt Sands (Lloyd Hotel) and Nathan Brown (Lloyd Hotel) were the winners on Noble’s 2 green.
Teare’s for Rebecca With First Festival Title
In the Ladies main event local bowler Rebecca Teare (Marown) took on Sarah Weaver (Wrockwardine Wood) in the final. It proved to be Rebecca’s day, with the Ladies final going to the wire, with plenty of drama for the spectators throughout the game.
Teare made a strong start to the game, with Weaver lying two down on the third end a good strike killed the end, the score could have been worse than 13-7 after eight ends. With Weaver threatening a comeback at 9-13 and counting for two a great last bowl from Teare kept her opponent at arms length to put the score at 14-9 to the latter.
A huge turning point in the game arrived with the rain setting in and Weaver having the jack with the ever changing pace of the green proving crucial as Weaver took five of the next seven ends to close the deficit to just two chalks at 13-15 after 14 ends.
Another twist was to follow with Weaver sitting just one chalk behind at 15-16 and lying a good two bowls a strike was expected from Teare, however Rebecca played no more than a yard over to flick off Weaver’s bowl just over a foot away from the jack as it came to rest to the side of the jack to count for one. A good two followed on the next end for Teare to lead 19-15.
Setting a mark along the edge, perhaps a bit of nerves understandably set in with Rebecca’s first bowl going in the ditch which Weaver punished to full effect. Teare over-corrected with her second bowl taking too much out to leave Weaver an easy two.
Three successive singles followed for Weaver, with another crucial moment arriving with Teare sitting out her opponent’s second counting bowl to prevent giving away a two to her opponent. With the score now 20-19 to Weaver a two foot lead was beaten by Teare, with her opponent playing a ‘reacher’ as her bowl flicked the jack closer to the counting bowl to give Rebecca the opportunity to get another in for game. A measure to decide who was in for second bowl went in favour of Rebecca who won her first Festival title in an excellent final.
In addition to taking her first win and the winners cheque for £1,000 Rebecca received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady, while Sarah took the runners up prize for £600.
In the semi-finals Rebecca was always in control as she booked her place in the final with a comfortable 21-16 win over good friend Sharon Rigden (Penwortham), while Weaver’s result was never in doubt with a 21-13 victory over September 2018 festival winner Elaine Moore (South Ramsey).
Teare started her day in good form with a 21-15 win over Sarah Fox (Maltby BC), while Ridgen had a battle with Joanne Smith (Little Eaton) before winning 21-17. In the other half of the draw Moore progressed thanks to a 21-15 win over Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood), while Weaver had to dig deep for her 21-19 victory over Joyce Ogden (Marown) after leading 19-13 the latter fought back before losing out.
The Ladies Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green, it was local bowler Elaine Moore (South Ramsey) who had a successful week taking a comfortable 21-11 victory over Catherine Wilson (AEU) in the final.
Moore booked her place in the final with a hard fought 21-18 win over Jane Glaister (Windermere), whilst Wilson also had to battle for her hard earned 21-19 victory over Tracy Wraight (Castlefields).
In the quarter finals Moore progressed with a 21-14 win over fellow local bowler Joyce Ogden (Marown), Glaister had a comfortable 21-11 win over Janet Monk (Mooragh Park). In the other half of the draw Wilson took a hard earned 21-18 victory over Jenny Moore (South Ramsey), while Wraight made light work of Helen Clee (Wrockwardine Wood) with a 21-9 win.
September Festival Draws
September Festival Preview
The Isle of Man September 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. Callum Wraight is the current holder having won the event for the first time in 2021, the first festival held since the pandemic
On the first page of the draw this is fairly open with a few names standing out with Gareth Hughes (Castlefields) and Stewart Meddings (Royal Oak BC) both regular visitors who will be hoping for a good week, while locally June 2013 winner Neil Withers (Marown) has a tricky tie against the wily Mike Davies (Our Lady’s). Andy Kennish (Onchan) who has returned to form over the past few years could go far.
In the next section Danny Barwise (Birchley St Mary’s) could face Jon Palmer (Kings Heath Park) a past winner of the Autumn Waterloo or a previous festival runner up Matthew Quirk (Onchan) in the third round. The page is then littered with previous winners Ian Nicholson (Netherfield) a three time September winner, Matt Gilmore June 2003 winner (Wirral) is up against John Bailey (Castlefields) who picked up the title in September 2017 and 2019, while Gareth Lally (Crossgates) David Bradford (South Ramsey) both have their names etched on the famous trophy. Lee Johnstone (St Oswalds) completes the page as he looks to emulate his parents, who have both enjoyed considerable success on the Island.
South Ramsey’s Bob Clark will fancy his chances of navigating his way through the early rounds to make Thursday afternoon, however there are several hurdles he will need to get over to reach the Last 32. Jon Guess (Fairfield) could face September 2021 runner up Paul Bailey (Meersbrook) in the third round with the latter a previous two-time winner having won in June 2005 and September 2007. Martin Gilpin (Netherfield) is another winner of both festivals with 19 years passing between his first win in 1999 and second in 2018.
On page four there a couple of tasty first round fixtures as Richie Goddard (Castlefields) is up against Peel man Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly, while Paul Kissock (Netherfield) returns to our shores as he faces Daniel Petcher (Littleover).
In the next group South Ramsey’s Peter Collister who won the June Festival and Tourism Competitions in the same week in 1983 takes on Matty Stewart (Netherfield), while local player Nigel Tebay (Ballaugh) could be in for a shock as he takes on one of the greatest players to have picked up a bowl in Graeme Wilson (AEU) who will be looking to pick up his fifth Isle of Man Festival win. Marown man Peter Jones can now be considered a local having settled well into Island life over the past few months, he will be hoping for a good week.
Page six sees the current holder of the title Callum Wraight (Castlefields) two further back on the handicap due to his previous success, there a few obstacles in his way as he looks to win back to back September Festivals. One of the obstacles in his way is Alan Gilpin (Netherfield), son of Martin who picked up his title in 2004. June 2012 winner Robby Fitzpatrick (Hoylake) just sneaks into the bottom half of the page, as he faces James Higgins (Sheffield), with the winner potentially facing Marown captain Paul Dunn in the next round.
On page seven Craig Richardson (Castlefields) needs to get through two games to make the Last 32 on Thursday afternoon which is always a highlight of the week, with the tie of the page undoubtedly being John Kennish (South Ramsey) a five-time winner who looks to be making a long awaited return as he is pitted against Chris Barton (Wirral) in what could a blockbuster of a game if both players are firing on all cylinders. In the bottom half of the page Gareth Coates (Akroydon Victoria) has to get past South Ramsey’s James Teare in his first round fixture, while regular visitor Andy Mailer (Thongsbridge) is always a tricky opponent to get past.
On the final page it is good to see Barry Booth (Netherfield) in the draw, while June 2008 winner Marown man Colin Kelly has his last chance of qualifying for the Champion of Champions competition he won in 2019 and has held since due to the competition not being played for the past two seasons. Winning the September Festival is the last opportunity to stand a chance of qualifying should he wish to defend the title, with this event on the reserve list for qualifying.
With six greens in use and several different competitions throughout the week, there is plenty of bowls for everyone, which includes the return of the Triples competition, it will undoubtedly make for a great week of bowls. Bring your umbrella with the weather looking to be unpredictable. That said, have a great week!
‘Yorkshire Is Best’ in IOM June Festival
The top prizes in the Isle of Man June Bowls Festival went to two visitors with James Wilcox (Crossgates BC) winning the men’s event, whilst Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Ossett Flying Horse) won the ladies event.
James Wilcox picked up his second June Festival win, having previously won the title in 2017 and the winners cheque for £3,000 after overcoming the challenge of Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge) who was the current holder with the event last being played in June 2019. With Dyson winning the toss of the coin, he put up a good lead only to knock the jack to Wilcox to lose the first end. An early exchange of ends saw Dyson go on to take the lead 9-8 with a great reaching bowl played to perfection to count for two with his opponent lying two himself. Wilcox did not let his focus drop as shortly after the setback as he went on a six end winning streak with five singles and a double on a longer length to gain control of the game with a 15-9 lead.
As the rain threatened to take hold in the second half of the game Dyson responded with three singles over the next five ends, however Wilcox scored two excellent doubles to pile the pressure on as he extended his lead to 19-12. Another mini fightback from Dyson looked to be on the cards as he scored a double followed by a single to reduce the deficit to four chalks at 15-19. On the 21st end Dyson left his bowl two foot short on a longer length, with Wilcox punishing the lead to count for one and within touching distance of the title. A good lead from Wilcox was beaten brilliantly by Dyson, only for Wilcox to play a few yards over to come in-off his own bowl to count game, with Dyson failing to disturb the end a 21-15 win was sealed with a triumphant fist in the air and a throw of his cloth. Whilst Dyson couldn’t retain his title the blow was somewhat softened in receiving a cheque for £1,000.
Wilcox reached the final courtesy of a hard fought 21-19 win in a good quality game over another Thongsbridge player Chris Kelly, with the latter having led 19-17 Wilcox ran out to book his place in the final. Dyson took his spot in the final with a comfortable 21-11 victory over Charlie Roberts (Dukinfield Central).
In the quarter finals Wilcox ruthlessly ended the challenge of former winner David Jackson (Knutsford) with a 21-8 win, whilst Kelly was able to see off current September holder Callum Wraight (Llanrst) as he won 21-17. Dyson had the closest match of the round as he recovered from a 7-14 deficit to James Hynes (Springbank) to win 21-18, whilst Roberts put paid to the hopes of Dave McDermott (Birchleigh St Marys) with a 21-16 win.
Receiving the George Craine Trophy for the furthest local player was Paul Dunn (Marown).
In the Ladies main competition Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Ossett Flying Horse) won her third June title receiving a cheque for £1,000 to take a deserved win over Sally King (Wrockwardine Wood). King received £600 as runner up. King made the better start to take an early 9-7 lead, with Lunn-Gadd responding with a run of six consecutive ends to lead 15-9. King got back in with a single and was counting for two only for a strike from her opponent which got the perfect connection and outcome to ensure she stayed firmly in control to lead 17-10. A single on the next end pushed Lunn-Gadd ever closer at 18-10, only for King to respond with a double and two singles to sit four points behind at 14-18. Three singles from Lunn-Gadd were enough to see the game out and secure the title with a 21-14 win.
In the semi-finals Lunn-Gadd had to battle hard to get over the line against one of the top bowlers in the game who was visiting for the first time as she ended the challenge of Nicola Boulton (Frodsham Red Lion) with a 21-18 victory, whilst King had to dig deeper still to make the final as she got over the line 21-20 against Caroline Bushell (Co-op).
Furthest local player reaching the quarter finals was Marown’s Philippa Taylor who received the Visit IOM.com trophy. Taylor’s challenge was ended by Bushell, whilst King put paid to the hopes of Kaye Coulthard (Cradley) with a 21-16 win. Lunn-Gadd won fairly comfortably 21-15 against Jane Glaister (Windermere), while Boulton reached the semi-final courtesy of a single figure win (21-9) against Vicky Mosley (Wirral).
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1 with Owen Jackson (Parkfield) taking the Tourism title defeating Graeme I. Wilson (AEU) with a 21-17 victory in an entertaining game for the spectators.
Losing semi-finalists were Gareth Hughes 13-21 (Llanrwst) to Wilson, whilst Marown man Colin Kelly just lost out 18-21 to Jackson.
Falling at the quarter final stage were Ben Gloag (Grapes Hotel), Robby Fitzpatrick (Hoylake Central), Richard Goddard (Llanrwst) and Kevin Quirk (Onchan).
The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green with Nicola Boulton (Frodsham Red Lion) getting the better of Sarah Fox (Maltby BC) with a 21-14 victory.
Boulton earned her place in the final following a comfortable 21-12 semi-final win over Sharon Rigden (Penwortham Sports). In the other semi-final Fox had to work for her 21-17 win over Jessica Pickthall (Lindal BC) to book her place in the final.
Falling at the quarter final stage were Paula Garrett (Douglas), Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood), Natalie Hughes (Crossgates BC) and Elise Hormbrey (Wirral).
The Men’s consolation was won by James Higgins (Meersbrook) who beat Paul Bradley (Fairfield) 21-20. The Ladies consolation also went to the wire with Clair Russell (Alkincoats PWA) beating Sian Skelton (Wrockwardine Wood) 21-20.
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Callum Wraight (Llanrwst) who edged the final with a 9-8 win over John Gatley (Woolston), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Josh Cotton (Wrockwardine Wood) who beat Gerald Merry (Delamere) 21-13.
The Open doubles was won by Billy Speed and Richard Goddard (both Llanrwst) who beat Sian Skelton (Wrockwardine Wood) and Chris Worthington (Stretton Anglesey) with a convincing 11-4 victory in an entertaining final.
The men’s pairs title went to Graeme I. Wilson (AEU) and Graham Hickey who saw off the strong challenge of Ian Johnson and Ross Meese (both Eastwood Park) 11-10 in a close final with a great last bowl from Wilson to claim the game.
The ladies pairs final did result in some local success with Kim Hargraves and Jenny Moore (both South Ramsey) making no mistake with their 11-5 win over Kathryn Gee and Veronica Lyon (both Unison).
The Mixed pairs ended in defeat for Lorraine Hirst (New Mill) and Ken Lethbridge (Victoria Park) losing out 4-9 to Clair Russell (Alkincoats PWA) and Mel Hobson (Meersbrook) in the final.
June Festival Preview
The Isle of Man June 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 June 2019, with Jack Dyson the current holder looking to defend the title.
On the first page of the draw David Poole (Pudsey) makes a long awaited return to the island, hoping to go one better than in 2000 when he lost out in the final to Andrew Spragg, while Billy Speed is one of the stand out names in the top half of the page. Another familiar name is previous winner Geoff Telford (Budenbergs), with his success in this competition arriving 25 years ago with a victory in the final over Norman Fletcher one of the legends of the game, while Merseyside man Dave McDermott (Birchleigh St Marys) will be hoping for a good week.
In the next section is a former Ballacashtal Cup winner Charlie Roberts (Dukinfield Central) who takes on North Lancs & Fylde County man Ashleigh Woof (Parkfield) in the first round. Ben Gloag (Grapes Hotel) could face two previous winners as early as the third round with Martin Gilpin (Hale) taking on Paul Bailey (Thongsbridge) in what could be the game of the first round, with some potentially explosive ties on the Thursday afternoon should the top names get through with Gareth Herbert (Woodman) also appearing on the page.
Owen Jackson (Parkfield) is another name who hasn’t been over for some time, he will be hoping to get through to the latter stages, while Marown captain Paul Dunn could play previous Festival winner John Bailey (Llanrwst) in the third round.
On page four Dan Jones (Llanrwst) could face off against Matt Kelly-Walley (Stretton Anglesey) in the second round, while current holder Jack Dyson should be able to navigate his way through his half of the page to make the Thursday afternoon session to reach the last 32.
Kez Smith (Crossgates BC) is another man to have his name etched into the history books in this competition, he will have to get past the likes of Chris Bly (Hopwood) and Conor Chamberlain (Stretton Anglesey) just to reach the latter stages of the competition.
The absence of bowls has obviously attracted a host of previous winners back to our shores, with one of the top names in the game Graeme I Wilson (AEU) making a long awaited return since his defeat to Jack Hargreaves in the final in June 2011, as Wilson looks to add to his four Festival titles. In the top half of the draw Craig Shore (Eastwood Park), James Wilcox (Crossgates BC) who picked up the title in 2017 and Stuart Mort (Parkfield) could all clash in the early rounds, while on the bottom half of the page Richie Goddard (Llanrwst) could face off with 2010 winner Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) in the second round at Onchan, with the latter having a tricky first round fixture against 1996 winner Carl Armitage (St Oswalds). There are a further two previous winners on the page with Ian Nicholson (Hale), Colin Kelly (Marown) in the mix. Danny Barwise (Birchleigh St Marys) has the unenviable task of taking on the Marown man in the first round.
On page seven Robby Fitzpatrick (Hoylake Central) the winner in 2012 may have to face Merseyside man Peter Jones (Wirral) with the latter having just relocated to the Island. On the bottom half of the page South Ramsey’s Jordan Cain will be hoping for a good week, while Jon Guess (Fairfield) will be in the mix.
June 2013 winner Neil Withers (Marown) could clash with another previous winner as early as the second round with David Jackson (Knutsford) potentially awaiting, while the rest of the page contains no previous winners this could be the chance for a new name to be etched on the famous trophy.
The runner up from June 1990 Colin Price (Dukinfield Central) will be looking to enjoy his week with a good run, while September 2002 winner David Bradford will be looking to juggle work commitments to be able to participate this week. Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) will be looking to pick up his first Festival title to become yet another man from his club to have picked up the coveted title, however he will have to see off the challenge of Tommy King (Kirkham) in the first round.
On page 10 Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly who won the title at the Villa in June 2000 with a 21-15 win over Kevan Shaw, could face Crossgates man Mark Hughes as early as the second round, while Lee Johnstone (St Oswalds) who is the son of one the top players in the game Tommy Johnstone, with Lee a good player in his own right he will be looking to go far, however there could be some tricky ties awaiting against some experienced bowlers just to reach the last 32 on Thursday afternoon.
Towards the bottom of the draw Andrew Spragg (Eastwood Park) winner in September 2000 and two-time runner up has to get past Joseph Cranston (Crossgates BC) to progress.
On the final page current holder of the September title Callum Wraight (Llanrwst) starts three points back on his opponents due to the handicap, with this unlikely to faze Wraight, as he looks to win back to back festivals having won his first Festival last year. Alan Gilpin (Hale) won the Festival 18 years ago, he may well clash with Nick White (Thongsbridge) in the second round, whilst Gareth Lally (Crossgates BC) will be looking to repeat his June 2015 success.
With a bumper entry of 374 in the Men’s event – the highest we have seen for a number of years along with a host of top names returning for the first time in a long time, it promises to be one of the best festivals for a long time.
With six greens in use and several different competitions throughout the week, there is plenty of bowls for everyone it will undoubtedly make for a great week of bowls. Have a great week!
Callum Gets it Wraight to win First IOM Festival
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.
Jenny Moore Overcomes a Family Affair to Win Second Festival Title
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.
September Festival Preview
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!
Simm & Bailey Take Festival Titles
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.