The crown green bowls league season finished with another double week as the league winners, promotion battles and bottom teams were settled in all three Divisions along with the individual merit winners.
In Ellan Vannin Fuels Division One South Ramsey A proved to be the top team this season as they followed up on their recent Rayner Shield victory as they wrestled the league title back from Marown A. The northern team had the same group of players as they had two seasons ago, improving on their 2019 tally by nine points, to top the table with 173 point as they won the league by 12 points, ending the season in good form as they won 9-1 at home to Ballaugh A on Monday night to secure the title and then came away from the Villa on Wednesday evening with a 2-8 win.
The only matter to be settled in their last match was who would be the individual merit winner. The overall and deserving winner was recent Manx Masters champion David Bradford (pictured below) who secured the accolade with 21 wins from 21 games played to cap a fine season. Finishing in second place was team mate Glynn Hargraves with 21 wins from 22 games played (3 chalks dropped), while Dido Kelly completed an all South Ramsey top three in the merit with 19 wins from 20 played (5 chalks dropped). The one match Bradford missed due to a back injury was at home to Marown A, which coincidentally was the same night that the home team lost 3-7, with both Hargraves and Kelly losing their one and only league game this season.
Marown A finished the season in second place with a hard earned 3-7 away win over Peel B, followed up by a 9-1 home win over North Ramsey A.
The Crosby men will be taking a hard look at where they can improve next season, despite continuing a run that has resulted in them finishing no lower than second place in every season since 1996 as they finished the season 19 points worse off than 2019.
Peel A had a tough night on Monday as they lost 4-6 away to Marown B, a damaging result for their hopes of a second placed finish, as they suffered a second successive defeat, however they bounced back on Wednesday with an 8-2 home win over Port St Mary A.
The Peel men managed to finish in third – their highest league finish for a long time as they improved on their 2019 points total by 26 points, they will look to continue to improve next year as they finished the season just seven points behind Marown A following two damaging defeats towards the end of the season to fall into third place after occupying second place for most of the season only to be pipped at the post by Marown.
Ballaugh A finished in the bottom two to confirm an immediate return to Division Two as they join Noble’s A who had already been relegated, while Peel B will be delighted to have comfortably retained their top flight status having been promoted in 2019.
In Division Two Onchan B had the unenviable task of knowing what score they needed to win to with the other teams in contention having played the night before, with a tricky looking trip north to take on South Ramsey C, however they brushed aside the home team 2-8 to seal top spot and a long awaited return to Division One by a single point in a nervy ending to the season.
Finishing in second place were Port Erin A on 129 points, as they finished just one point behind Onchan B, with the Port men finishing four points clear ofboth South Ramsey B and Castletown B as the Breagle Glen outfit ensured they returned to the top flight with a 7-3 home win over Marown C, then turned over Port St Mary B 10-0 to finish the season strongly.
South Ramsey B probably did as well as they could this week, but will rue a number of poor results throughout the season as they just fell short despite winning a tough game 3-7 away to Finch Hill A, followed by a 9-1 home win over Douglas B, whilst Castletown B dropped seven costly points in their last two outings as they beat Port St Mary B 7-3, then won 4-6 away to Peel C.
Finishing in rock bottom, a massive 46 points from safety on just 41 points were Finch Hill B, while Port St Mary B were also in one of the relegation spots as they finished 17 points from safety on 70 points, with the club looking to regroup over the winter, as they move onto pastures new.
The individual merit went to Onchan B player Mike Thomas (pictured below), despite missing a game as he managed to finish top of the pile with 18 wins from 19 games played (10 chalks dropped). Finishing in second place was Finch Hill A man Dave McCabe who won the same number of games as the Onchan man, however 14 chalks dropped in his two losses ultimately cost McCabe. In third and fourth place were two South Ramsey B players, Steven Waters and Tony Dugdale with both missing two games, as they stepped up to help out their A Team who were battling for the title.
In Division Three Ballaugh B doubled up as they won the title with 146 points, while their star man John Bolton (pictured below) sealed the individual merit with a 21-5 win over South Ramsey D player Matthew Corkill. Upon being told he had won the individual merit Bolton was clearly shocked and delighted as he won 18 games out of 20 games played in a fine season for his team and on a personal level.
The Ballaugh men finished the season strongly with their 2-8 away win over Port Erin B, then followed this up with an 8-2 home win over South Ramsey D.
Onchan C finished the season in second place with 129 points, 17 points behind the league winners and 12 points ahead of third place Ballaugh C. It proved to be a poor week for Onchan as while they did enough to secure second place they lost 8-2 away to Ballaugh C then drew 5-5 at home to Marown D with the visitors winning five games, however the home team edged the aggregate by one chalk (149-148) to avoid a second successive defeat.
Rounding up the individual merit places in Division Three James Drinkwater (Castletown C) won 17 games from 19 played (13 chalks dropped), while Peel D player Philip ‘Pip’ Pemberton can be proud of his efforts this season with 17 wins from 20 games played and just 15 chalks dropped.
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.
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.
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.
Castletown Bowling Club hosted the Wilfrid Quayle mixed doubles on Sunday with the competition attracting a fine entry of 44 pairs.
The eventual winners were Marown pair Rebecca Teare and Paul Dunn taking a hard earned win over Sue Gawne (Onchan) and Andy Kennish (Peel).
In the early stages of the final neither pairing were able to build a lead with the score tied at 12-12 after eight ends, Teare and Dunn then started to take control of the game going on to win seven of the last nine ends to run out with a 21-16 win to take the last mixed doubles title of the season.
Losing out 16-21 at the semi-final stage were the home green pairing of Kath Kinley and Dean Kinley to the winning pair, while Husband and Wife Alec (Peel) and Philippa Taylor (Marown) were defeated 12-21 by Gawne and Kennish.
Falling at the quarter final stage were Grace Gawne (Onchan) and Kevin Firth (Douglas) who lost out 18-21 to the Taylor’s. South Ramsey pair Kim Hargraves and Stefan Kelly were defeated 15-21 by Gawne and Kennish. 2020 winners Lyn Bolton (South Ramsey) and Trevor Quayle (Port St Mary) were well beaten 11-21 by Teare and Dunn, while Jenny Moore and James Teare (South Ramsey) were pipped at the post 20-21 by Kath Kinley and Dean Kinley.
The presentation was made by Castletown Club Member Hilary Kermode who thanked everyone who had entered, the green keepers along with the club members who had helped with the smooth running of the competition throughout the day.
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.
Peel Bowling Club hosted the Pre-Festival Davison’s sponsored Autumn Shield on Sunday attracting a strong entry of 96 as visiting bowlers were welcomed back to the Island. All players were off a handicap of +6 in order to get through the field in good time with a 10:00 start time it was a long day for some on a green that was running well throughout the day.
Losing out in the quarter finals were home greener Tony Carroon who had his challenge ended by club mate Peter Greenlees 12-21, whilst Gareth Jones (Dalton Cricket) lost out 13-21 to Reg Temporaza (Onchan). In the bottom half of the draw Marown’s Neil Withers battled well before losing out 19-21 to Jamie Fitzpatrick (West Kirby Victoria), while Tony Carter (Fairfield) lost to the same score to Glynn Hargraves (South Ramsey).
In the semi-final Fitzpatrick trailed 10-12 to Hargraves, before moving up a gear as the former ran out with a 21-14 win to take his place in the final. The other semi-final was close throughout with Temporaza leading 19-18, a double took Greenlees into a 20-19 lead only for Temporaza to level things up at 20-20. On the last end a good first bowl from Greenlees to Temporaza’s jack was enough to take a 21-20 win to go through to the final.
The final got underway in front of a good crowd who had stayed to watch the final under the excellent floodlights. With the green having lost some of the pace from earlier in the day neither player was able to take firm control of the game in the early stages.
With the score tied at 14-14 after 12 ends, it looked like Fitzpatrick was making his move as a two on the following end took him into the lead by two points at 16-14.
Greenlees responded brilliantly, as he kept his composure, taking his time with every bowl as he got in with a single, then headed over the crown playing a good length as he scored two consecutive doubles followed by another single to get within touching distance of glory as he led 20-16. Fitzpatrick responded with a good two to reduce the deficit to 18-20 and headed for the corner. Two short bowls gave Greenlees some room to go in for game, which he did as he changed his peg to claim his first open competition win.
Greenlees has shown that with dedication and a positive mentality that it is possible to get to a standard in a short space of time to be able to compete with and beat the best as he came through a field of 96 bowlers, which included a resounding victory over the seven time Manx Champion Colin Kelly in the early rounds.
The presentation was made by Peel President Dougie Allan who thanked Davison’s for the generous sponsorship, the club members for assisting throughout the day, along with competition secretary Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly for organising and running the competition. A special mention was also made on the ongoing improvement seen in the Peel green over the past couple of years. Vice President Lennie Kerruish was then introduced to present the prizes with over £700 paid out with Greenlees taking the £250 first prize as the competition finished just under 12 hours later.
In his speech Peter became understandably emotional as he dedicated the win to his father in law Ray Osborne who has since passed away, as it was Ray that introduced him to the game after Peter had moved to the Island four years and was wondering what to do, he took up bowls and hasn’t looked back since taking up the game.
In Ellan Vannin Fuels Division One the match of the week, was for a second successive week at Crosby between Marown A and South Ramsey A, with the visitors arriving in the knowledge they had already beaten Marown on their own green this season, that the home team would be looking for revenge and to close the nine-point gap between the teams at the start of play.
First off the green was Neil Withers with a resounding 21-11 win over Tony Dugdale, who was standing in for Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly. The visitors responded with David Bradford taking out one of Marown’s big hitters as he continued his good form to beat Paul Dunn 21-10. The next game off was the shock of the night as Stefan Kelly carried his Rayner Shield Final form into his game as he found an edge to play along on the park side of the green to go into a 15-8 lead against seven time Manx Champion Colin Kelly, who got in and looked to get into his trademark corners as he scored three quick-fire doubles and a single to level things up at 15-15. Stefan got back in at the perfect time and headed straight for the edge that had served him well all game to run out with a convincing 21-15 win. The last game in the first half was between Phil Kelly and Peter Collister with the latter recovering from an 8-14 deficit to go 17-14 ahead and then led 20-18 only for Kelly to muster all of his experience to respond with three singles to win 21-20 and leave the match finely poised at 2-2 at the half way stage.
The second half got underway with the excellent floodlights coming into play, it was Dean Kipling who was next off with a 21-8 win over Alan Moore as the former trailed 7-8 to go on a 14 point scoring streak to run out on his opponent playing an edge of the green. Next off was South Ramsey captain Glynn Hargraves who beat Matthew Keggen 21-11. Chas Grills for the second week running pulled off another great result as he beat Paul Kelly 21-18, with the latter having played the same opponent in the Rayner Shield semi-final and winning 21-5 this was a remarkable turnaround from Grills. The last game off sealed a 4-4 win on games for Marown with John Gelling recovering from a 1-9 deficit and still trailed at 8-14 to kick up a few gears to see the game out with a 21-16 win over James Teare.
The chalks could not have been closer between the teams as South Ramsey edged the aggregate by a solitary chalk (138-139) to win 4-6. The teams have been well matched in head to heads in the league this season, as whilst Marown won 7-3 at South Ramsey earlier this season they also took the aggregate by a solitary chalk. The result extends the northern men’s lead to 11 points over Marown A with four games to play.
Peel A bounced back from their two defeats the previous week to beat Douglas A 7-3 at home as they stayed in contention with an all-important home fixture to come against South Ramsey A. The home team may yet see this as an opportunity missed as they had two losers to 20-21 with Shaun Seal impressing with his win over Andy Kennish having recovered from a 11-20 deficit, while Kevin Firth also inflicted a rare home defeat on Tommy McMeiken. Ian Moore was the other winner for the Villa men as he beat Tom Kelly 21-14. All the home team wins were comfortable for Peel with George Gadsby leading the way with a 21-6 win over Keith Rise, while Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly beat Andy Cannell 21-12 with the latter tasting defeat for only the second time this season.
Castletown A were missing a couple of regulars, despite this they managed a good 9-1 home win against Ballaugh A who are in danger of being cut adrift as they sit nine points from safety.
North Ramsey A are pretty much assured of their first division status for next year following their 7-3 home win over Peel B, with the visitors edging further towards safety as they attempt to retain their top flight status for another season having just come up to Division One.
Noble’s A who are all but mathematically relegated will not have been disheartened by their 4-6 loss at home to Port St Mary A as they lost out on the aggregate by just four chalks (142-146), they will look to find their level in Division Two next year as the club looks to rebuild after a tough year. The positive attitude and efforts from the club members this season has been exemplary.
Onchan A just missed out on a whitewash as they won 9-1 at home to Marown B with Peter Kelly ‘spoiling’ the party as he won 21-19 against Frank Watson.
In Division Two South Ramsey B were quite possibly the biggest winners this week without even playing as the teams around them all dropped points.
Port Erin A went top by a point as they hit 101 points for the season, but may feel this was an opportunity missed as they lost 7-3 away to Finch Hill A who are eight points further back on the Breagle Glen men in fifth place. The Finch men may be a bit too far back to make a long awaited return to Division One with only four games remaining.
Marown C took four vital points off third placed Onchan B, as they were defeated 4-6 at home with the visitors on 99 points, the Onchan men are well placed to return to Division One for the first time since the ‘noughties’.
Castletown B are a bit further back on 94 points, they suffered a mini disaster as they lost 6-4 away to Douglas B, losing out on the aggregate by just two chalks (132-130), while Peel C won 8-2 at home against South Ramsey C.
With the club in its 100th year Port St Mary B played their last ever home match on their current green and they signed off with a 10-0 home over Finch Hill B, with the club now looking to the future with some positive news hopefully to come shortly, with work having already started on clearing the site (see picture). Also pictured is Louis Callister (3rd from right) the clubs oldest member, who has been around for 93 years of the clubs 100 year existence.
In Division Three Onchan C stayed in top spot on 114 points despite suffering a second straight 7-3 away from home to Douglas C.
Ballaugh B won 7-3 at home to Marown D, the home team sit in second place behind Onchan with a game in hand and more importantly with a 14-point lead over third placed Ballaugh C who have played a game more, it should merely be a formality for both teams to be promoted barring a mini disaster.
Elsewhere in Division Three South Ramsey D enjoyed a good week with an 8-2 home win over Douglas C, Castletown C beat Ballaugh C 7-3 at the Crofts, while Port Erin B won 6-4 at home to Peel D.
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!
Port Erin Bowling Club hosted the F.M. Sowerbutts Memorial Trophy Mixed Doubles on Bank Holiday Monday. The competition was well supported.
Bowing out at the semi-final stage were Marown Pair Debbie Leece & Neil Withers to Elaine Moore & Glynn Hargraves (South Ramsey), whilst in the other semi-final it was an all-South Ramsey affair with club mates Fiona Kennish and Steven Waters who were beaten by Jenny Moore & James Teare.
In a repeat of the 2020 final Jenny and James got off to the better start with Elaine and Glynn the current holders of the trophy taking the first end then lying four in the corner only for James to play a great counting bowl. From there Jenny and James took control of the game to go into a 16-6 lead. Elaine and Glynn got back in to score a single, a four in the corner and another single to pull the deficit back to 12-16 to threaten a comeback. With the comeback on Jenny and James responded with two singles and a double to go 20-12 ahead and then conceded a single. On the last end Jenny and James were counting two, with Elaine being slightly unlucky with her last bowl connecting with the jack but carrying it through to Jenny’s bowl to secure the one point they needed to take a 21-13 victory and in doing so went one better than the previous year.
The presentation was made by Janet Shilling who thanked everyone who had entered, the club members for their support & providing the refreshments. In his speech James thanked Port Erin for running the competition along with Janet Shilling for sponsoring the competition in memory of her father.
On Sunday Ballaugh Bowling Club held the Maddrell Mixed Doubles. There were 36 pairs entered, the weather being fine but generally cloudy perfect for playing bowls.
In the top half of the draw the first quarter final was Grace Gawne (Onchan) & Kevin Firth (Douglas) against Paula Firth (Onchan) & Sid Bolton (South Ramsey). Paula & Sid took an early lead which they kept winning 21-15. The second quarter final was between Rebecca Teare (Marown) & Nathan Hamilton (Castletown) and South Ramsey’s Elaine Moore & Glynn Hargraves. A high scoring game after nine ends it was 15-12 to Elaine & Glynn they then scored another four chalks to reach 19. They then lost the jack and in 5 ends Rebecca & Nathan reached 21 with a final score 21-19.
In the bottom half of the draw the third quarter final was between Tina Hampson (Onchan) & Dave Naughton (Nobles) and Clare Cooper (Marown) & Wayne Roberts (Port St. Mary). Clare and Wayne scored steadly to win 21-13. The final quarter final was Philippa Taylor (Marown) & Alec Taylor (Peel Sunset) and Sue Gawne (Onchan) & Andy Kennish (Peel Sunset). Another steadily scoring game saw Philippa & Alec win 21-14.
Both semi finals were one sided affairs, with the same score 21-9, Rebecca & Nathan beat Paula and Sid, while Clare & Wayne beat Philippa and Alec to go through to the final where Cooper & Roberts were the winners 21-11.
At the conclusion Club Captain & Sponsor John Maddrell thanked everyone for supporting the event Matt Moffatt, the green keeper for preparing the green, Pat Mason and her team of ladies for the catering plus John Bolton, Dickie Watson and Paul Davies for the barbeque. John also thanked Richard Faragher, Maurice O’Reilly & Trevor Jones for running the competition so efficiently.