News: Winter League

Kelly is Club Champion

A smaller than expected entry fought for the honour of club champion on Saturday in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling Club and it was Stefan Kelly who emerged as the tenth different winner of this event.

The afternoon began in pleasant enough conditions but deteriorated during the second round and from there onwards was completed in wet and windy conditions.

Unfortunately, after a few late withdrawals and some no shows a field of 32 was brought down to the last eight, with no less than four losers in the first round falling just one point short.

After a decision between those involved, the eight quarter finalists decided to carry on in the poor conditions, with Kelly who plays for Guns for Hire, coming through a tough encounter with the individual merit winner Matthew Keggen (Louie’s Angels) by a score of 21-17.

Jenny Moore (Outsiders) was also successful, with a win to 16 over team-mate James Teare; whilst Bryan Corner (Govags) took control from 12 across to defeat Kevin Firth (Outsiders).

The other game brought together junior merit winner Shannon McMullan (Mooragh Lakers) and Caroline Whitehead (Erin Porters) with the latter coming from behind at 14-16 to eventually win 21-17.

The first game in the semis saw Moore take a 13-11 lead over Kelly, before the eventual winner moved ahead on a longer mark and ran out 21-14; this while Corner and Whitehead were all-square at 11-across before the Porters player took six ends on the trot to lead by nine and two ends later the contest was all over.

The rain had eased before the players took to the green for the final, with Whitehead winning the first end, however Kelly took the title after once again playing the longer marks and winning the next eleven ends for a comprehensive victory.

Results – quarter-finals: Stefan Kelly 21, Matthew Keggen 17; Jenny Moore 21, James Teare 16; Kevin Firth 13, Bryan Corner 21; Shannon McMullan 17, Caroline Whitehead 21. Semi-finals: Kelly 21, Moore 14; Corner 12, Whitehead 21. Final: Kelly 21, Whitehead 7.

Just a few days earlier the midweek round robin had a relatively small gang of 25 split into two sections, with the trio of Derek Allen, Tricia Bull and Bernard Thackrah taking victory ahead of Sid McKnight, Peter Corlett and Bernie McPhee.

The eventual winners in the doubles group were Bernard Galka and Alec Taylor, with second spot going to Steve Parker and Ken Karran.

In the interest of safety and based on advice given regarding Coronavirus  it is with sadness that the Outdoor Winter Club has had to bring this season to an abrupt end, therefore the midweek round robin was cancelled on Wednesday, along with the final weekend, which included the prize presentations.

The annual Best versus Rest event was also due to take place during an afternoon that was being given over to raise funds towards Cancer Research UK, Relay for Life IoM, Team Elf, I am sure this will happen at a later date.

The full list of prize winners for the past season are: J&M Lee doubles, winners Steve Parker and Dougie Allan; runners-up, Mike Alexander and Jenny Moore; Derek Killey individual merit memorial trophy, Matthew Keggen (Louie’s Angels); Geoff Osborn womens merit memorial trophy, Margie Tasker (Angels); junior merit, Shannon McMullan (Lakers); club champion, Stefan Kelly; runner-up, Caroline Whitehead.

League champions were Guns for Hire; runners-up, Seven-Up; third, Outsiders; fourth, Louie’s Angels and in fifth spot were Mooragh Lakers. Team merit winners in league finishing order were Dave Kelly (G4H), Mark Kelly (Seven-Up), Jenny Moore (Outsiders), Matthew Keggen (Angels), Steve Parker (Lakers), Mike Thomas (Parkers), Dougie Allan (Govags), Sylvia Kennaugh (Bowl Rollers), Bernard Thackrah (Erin Porters), Franz ten-Donkelaar (Bits n Bobs), George Peach (Cannons) and Dave Faragher (Corkers).

Angels snatch 4th spot

Louie’s Angels enjoyed the extra weekend of the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League after they clawed back a 48 point deficit to clinch fourth spot in the final table by a single point.

Two of their squad also took the top two honours in the individual standings after Matthew Keggen won the Derek Killey memorial trophy, whilst Marg Tasker won the Geoff Osborn memorial trophy awarded to the best woman.

They finished one and two in the overall list, both winning the awards for a second time and with Mark Kelly (Seven-Up) completing his games some weeks back he had to wait to see what his final position would be, just missing out on top spot by four points.

Fourth position was taken by Jenny Moore (Outsiders) and making up the top six were Mike Thomas (Parkers) and Steve Parker (Mooragh Lakers); the top junior was Shannon McMullan who also played for Lakers.

Saturday’s fixtures were re-scheduled when storm Ciara hit the Island back in early February and things didn’t quite go to plan this time either after an accident on the mountain road delayed some players, resulting in a change to the order of play.

So first up it was Govags who were trying for a top six finish and Cannons who were battling near the foot of the table, the score went in favour of the westerners, but only by a margin of five from a three-all draw on games.

After the arrival of the missing players, Outsiders joined in the action and wasted no time in racking up the campaign’s 21stmaximum at the expense of Cannons, who in turn set a target of just over 240 points for their stablemates to catch up the following day.

Govags had reduced the margin to Parkers down to 96 after the first fixture, but fell one short of that target when Outsiders completed their season in great style with a result of 123-95 and secured third position along the way, leaving Govags down in seventh.

Results for Saturday, March 7: Govags 107 (3), Castletown Cannons 102 (3); Castletown Cannons 60 (0), Outsiders 126 (6); Outsiders 123 (5), Govags 95 (1).

Storm Dennis was to blame for Sunday’s re-arranged games and Louie’s Angels certainly enjoyed the slightly better weather this time around as they romped to the season’s 22nd maximum score against Mooragh Lakers who were unfortunately a player short.

Angels began the afternoon aiming to hold onto fifth spot and securing those two merit titles, but after beating Lakers by an impressive margin of 45 points were in sight of snatching fourth from their opponents.

Erin Porters and Castletown Corkers were also competing with the result going pretty much to form and with a total of 89 the Castletown outfit were confirmed as the basement side.

Lakers only dropped six points in the games played, but added to the 15 for the walkover left a glimmer of hope for Angels; Corkers meanwhile put up a great fight only to lose out on their second victory by just four chalks.

Angels meanwhile lost nine points in the opening games against Porters, followed by another eight in the final three, to leave them with a score of 109; they then had an anxious few minutes before they found out that Lakers had totalled 105, therefore the sides swapped places in the table.

Results for Sunday, March 8: Mooragh Lakers 81 (0), Louie’s Angels 126 (6); Erin Porters 111 (4), Castletown Corkers 89 (2); Louie’s Angels 109 (4), Erin Porters 90 (2); Castletown Corkers 102 (2), Mooragh Lakers 105 (4).

The seven teams in action still had more than one player in with a chance of winning their merit, with the triumphant ones being Matthew Keggen, Jenny Moore, Steve Parker, Dougie Allan (Govags), Bernard Thackrah (Porters), George Peach (Cannons) and Dave Faragher (Corkers).

The club championship will be held on Saturday with a 12 noon start and with an entry of almost 40 it will be a busy afternoon to complete the games.

Sunday, March 22 will be the prize presentations and annual Best versus Rest when the league champions Guns for Hire along with some support players will take on the remaining 11 team merit winners or representatives. 

This will be a top-up fundraiser for the Relay for Life charity round robin which was rained off a few weeks ago, so there will be a raffle, along with some cakes for sale, also the chance to watch the final bowls of the winter season.

Two groups of doubles made up from an entry of 22 contested the latest midweek round robin; with the winners being Steve Parker and Bryan Corner in one gang; whilst Bernie McPhee and Peter Corlett won the other.

Still lots to play for

There are still 10 league places up for grabs, along with seven team merit winners to be decided as the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling Club goes into an extra weekend of games brought on by the recent storms.

Once again, the participants had to endure strong cold winds over both days with the Saturday gang in a race to beat the wet weather arriving late afternoon and this they did with little time to spare.

Unfortunately for them, Castletown Cannons were a player short and as a consequence lost out to Erin Porters by 12 points even though they won four of the six games.

Bowl Rollers then joined in the action needing to maintain their average to stay above first opponents Erin Porters, they went down by a margin of 16 chalks, but also set themselves a manageable target for their final outing.

Rollers then battled the elements and a spirited Cannons team to record a high enough total to hold onto eighth spot, whilst Cannons improved their average a little in the contest at the basement of the table.

Results for Saturday, February 29: Castletown Cannons 102 (4), Erin Porters 114 (2); Erin Porters 108 (4), Bowl Rollers 92 (2); Bowl Rollers 112 (3), Castletown Cannons 96 (3).

All of Sunday’s three teams had targets – fifth placed Louie’s Angels to close the gap to the two above to put the pressure on, seventh placed Govags to improve their average and move back up the table and Corkers to maintain the task of moving out of bottom position.

First up were Angels and Govags, but they both dropped vital points in a fixture that ended in a close victory for the western outfit, who next took on Corkers and dropped just eight in a clear victory.

The final contest of the session saw Angels defeat Corkers by just nine, but once again both dropped valuable chalks in their quests to improve their league places.

Results for Sunday, March 1: Louie’s Angels 105 (3), Govags 106 (3); Govags 118 (4), Castletown Corkers 79 (2); Castletown Corkers 98 (2), Louie’s Angels 109 (4).

With one weekend of re-arranged fixtures remaining the tasks for certain teams are this – Lakers need to score 36 points more than Outsiders; Angels need 165 points to finish above Parkers and not be caught by Govags, who themselves require 203 to pip Parkers to a top half finish.

Elsewhere Porters should be able to remain ahead of Bits n Bobs, whilst at the foot of the table, Corkers trail their stablemates Cannons by 79 – so still lots to play for team-wise between the seven involved.

The top two players, Matthew Keggen and Marg Tasker, both from Angels, vying for the Derek Killey memorial individual merit title won their contests, so going into the final games Matthew can reach of total of 444 and Marg 442, with Seven-Up’s Mark Kelly already finished on 440.

Four other teams also now know their merit winners and for Guns for Hire it is Dave Kelly; for Parkers, Mike Thomas; Bowl Rollers, Sylvia Kennaugh and Bits n Bobs, Franz ten Donkelaar.

Leaders for the remaining sides are Jenny Moore (Outsiders), Steve Parkers (Mooragh Lakers), Doug Allan (Govags), George Peach (Cannons), Dave Faragher (Corkers) and equal on points for Erin Porters are Caroline Whitehead and Bernard Thackrah.

Two big events still to come are the club championship on Saturday, March 14, entries for which are still being taken, and the prize presentation afternoon on Sunday, March 22 when the Best will play the Rest, raffle prizes for which would be very much appreciated.

A good entry of 32 enjoyed the midweek round robin, with the two group winners being Alan Phair, Rita Callister and Dave Faragher in the triples, and in the pairs it was Derek Allen and Kevin Firth.

Battles for places

The battle for places goes on behind the top two who have completed their programme in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League and Outsiders now look favourites to take third spot. 

They began the afternoon 16 points ahead of fourth placed Mooragh Lakers and extended that margin after two days of action, which was possible for the first time in three weekends due to storms Ciara and Dennis. 

Outgoing champions Outsiders kicked-off against Bowl Rollers and dropped just seven chalks before a heavy hail shower cleared players of the green for a short while. 

Govags then joined in the action and racked up a good total against Rollers as they tried to stay ahead of Parkers and perhaps challenge Louie’s Angels for fifth spot. 

Unfortunately, the westerners couldn’t keep that good form going and slumped to a heavy defeat to Outsiders, who themselves ended the session 251 points ahead of fourth placed Lakers, just one short of the total available 24 hours later. 

Results for Saturday, February 22: Outsiders 119 (5), Bowl Rollers 92 (1); Bowl Rollers 100 (2), Govags 116 (4); Govags 77 (1), Outsiders 116 (5). 

Sunday’s participants arrived to a much brighter afternoon, albeit still with a stiff breeze to add to their challenge and it was Parkers who enjoyed themselves most with two victories. 

They opened with a narrow four point success over Lakers, before sitting out whilst their opponents next took on Erin Porters; they later went back onto the green to defeat the southern outfit and score enough to jump up into sixth position. 

Results for Sunday, February 23: Parkers 105 (3), Mooragh Lakers 101 (3); Mooragh Lakers 115 (5), Erin Porters 84 (1); Erin Porters 91 (3), Parkers 106 (3). 

The top two couldn’t be caught ahead of this action, however this leaves Outsiders 35 points ahead of Lakers, both with two left to play and in fifth are Louie’s Angels a further 262 chalks adrift, but have four fixtures left. 

Next come Parkers who have finished their season and must wait to see if they have done enough to remain in the top half of the table. 

There were no changes in the leading three of the Derek Killey memorial individual merit as they were not in action, however Jenny Moore (Outsiders) and Mike Thomas (Parkers) both won twice to remain fourth and fifth. 

Behind them two Lakers players swopped places after Sue Gawne lost one and Steve Parker recorded two wins to move into a five point lead over his team-mate. 

Some players still have four fixtures remaining, some only two and of course some are finished; over the next two weekends the overall, ladies and junior merit winners will be decided. 

Unfortunately, the Wednesday charity round robin was rained off, but some players did take part in a last-minute event held 24 hours later. The pairing of Tricia Bull and Reg Temporaza won the group of eight which was separated by only seven chalks. 

The money raised will be topped up at a second fundraiser, either at the club championship on Saturday, March 14, entries for which are still being taken, or alternatively the prize presentation afternoon on Sunday, March 22 when the Best will play the Rest at what is normally the club’s final event. 

G4H wrap up title

Long-time leaders Guns for Hire finally wrapped up the title in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League, but lost their 100 per cent record by the closest of margins on a blustery afternoon.

Just 24 hours earlier Saturday’s fixtures fell foul of the stormy weather, however the drier conditions on Sunday allowed three of the four teams competing finish their campaigns, albeit in far from ideal conditions and a week later than planned. 

After three games of the green from the Bits n Bobs and Parkers clash and the same from the battle between the top two – Parkers were well in control of their situation, whilst second-placed Seven-Up held an advantage of three chalks over G4H. 

Parkers went on to complete their outing with a good points total victory to close the gap on sixth placed Govags and a chance of a finish in the top half of the table. 

Seven-Up meanwhile had a 29-point deficit to claw back if they were to overtake Guns for Hire. 

Even though they won the contest and ended their opponents unbeaten run, the one chalk winning margin was not quite enough to pose a challenge in the later games. 

The contenders still each had a fixture left to play and two questions to be answered – could G4H hold their nerve and would Seven-Up record the maximum score expected and required to maybe cause a last ditch upset. 

Neither of the opposing sides allowed the title challenging pair have an easy passage in the encounters, with BnB taking seven points from Seven-Up and Parkers winning two early games in a 110 to 120 defeat to the ‘new’ champions. 

Both questions were answered with there being no change in the points margin – a difference reflected in the two worst scores for the pair, G4H having a total of 213 from 108 and 105, whilst Seven-Up had an 81 and 103 to make 184 – that gap of 29. 

Results for Sunday, February 16: Bits n Bobs 89 (1), Parkers 117 (5); Guns for Hire 115 (3), Seven-Up 116 (3); Parkers 110 (2), Guns for Hire 120 (4); Seven-Up 119 (5), Bits n Bobs 80 (1). 

This triumph is the tenth success over 13 years for a team that has changed its name on no less than 11 occasions – their first victory came as Generation Gap back in 2008; they won again as Hot Shots and Chancers, but missed out in 2011 – again called Chancers. 

Five more successful seasons followed with the names New Avengers, High Flyers, Incredabowls, Rule Breakers and Mean Machine; they missed out as Unstopabowls in 2017, but bounced back as Jacks Off; before having a poor year, by their standards, to finish fourth – this time called A-Team. 

With five new members in their squad for 2019-20 they took the total number of players over that 13-year period to 35, with Alan Moore being the only player to feature in each team, therefore winning his tenth league title success. 

In comparison runners-up Seven-Up finished fifth back in 2008 and in the 12 pursuing years have not been out of the top four, finishing in that second spot on no less than five occasions. 

Saturday’s postponed games involving Mooragh Lakers, Louie’s Angels, Erin Porters and Castletown Corkers have been re-arranged for Sunday, March 8 and the day before will see a set of fixtures moved from the previous weekend and will feature Castletown Cannons, Outsiders and Govags. 

The latest midweek round robin had an entry of 26 split into two sets of doubles, which were won by Philippa Taylor and Mark Kelly, and Kevin Firth paired with Lil Smith. 

Storm halts fixtures

Just like a number of other events, storm Ciara put paid to any action over the weekend in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League forcing the club into their first postponements of the campaign. 

Saturday’s games have been re-scheduled to a date of the end of the list and will now be played on March 7; whilst Sunday’s programme has been moved just one week to February 16. 

This means that a number of teams have had their season extended a little and this includes table toppers Guns for Hire who have had to wait an extra week for their showdown with second-placed Seven-Up. 

In last week’s report I took a look at the leading nine players in the individual merit battle for the Derek Killey memorial trophy and with the Isle of Man bowls website now back online I can confirm that was list was correct. 

At present 115 different members have competed for one team or another and sitting in tenth position in the standings is Dave Kelly (G4H) with a perfect 18 wins from 18 played, however as he has missed two games, his average from those played by his team shows him on 18.9. 

Bowl Rollers occupy the next two spots, with Jamie Joughin and Lil Smith locked on the same total, with Jamie ahead because his against is lower; these two are being chased very closely for their team merit by Sylvia Kennaugh who is only one chalk behind in 14th overall. 

Another player who has missed games, sits amongst the Rollers trio and that is former double merit winner Kevin Quirk (Seven-Up) who triumphed in 2003 and 2010; completing the top 15 is Bernard Thackrah (Erin Porters), whose team have six fixtures left to play. 

There could be another sting in the tail of this battle with the rumour of players being missing this weekend, then as I pen this there could possibly be storm Dennis to contend with… 

Entries are still open for the club championship, which will take place on Saturday, March 14 and following this on Sunday, March 22 the best versus rest event will take place along with the prize presentations. 

Prior to that, on Wednesday, February 19 a charity round robin will take place, all proceeds from the afternoon will go to Cancer Research UK, Relay for Life IoM, Team Elf. This will start at 1pm and there will be cakes on sale, along with a raffle. 

An entry of 34 enjoyed the midweek session held last Wednesday, with the winners in the triples section being Maureen Hamilton, Doug Allan and Mark Kelly, in second were Rosie Winckle, Tricia Bull and Caroline Corlett, with third spot going to Bernard Thackrah, Peter Kelly and Andy Sykes. 

Doubles was the order of the day in the other group and sneaking home by just one chalk were Philippa Taylor and Bernie McPhee, ahead of Gill Jopson and Sue Gawne; with third position being taken by Steve Parker and Marg Tasker. 

Maximums tally hits 20

League leaders Guns for Hire head into the big showdown this Sunday with second-placed Seven-Up holding a 29 point advantage over their closest rivals in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling Club, with the rest of the pack too far back to be in contention for the title.

Sunday’s action provided all the main news last weekend, with G4H taking their winning run to 20 and notching up the campaign’s 20th maximum win along the way.

This session also saw a major shuffle at the top of the individual merit following two defeats for leader Marg Tasker (Louie’s Angels) and a perfect afternoon for third-placed team-mate Matthew Keggen.

The players swopped places in the standings, with Matthew now back on top with an average of 20 and squashed in between these two is Seven-Up’s Mark Kelly on 19.9; Marg is on 19.89 as the top lady, just ahead of Jenny Moore (Outsiders), who is three points behind on 19.72.

Positions five to nine are occupied by Mike Thomas (Parkers), Derek Allen (Seven-Up), Sue Gawne and Steve Parker (Mooragh Lakers); also with six games left to play, Doug Allan (Govags) on an average of 19.

In Saturday’s league action the wind played a big factor for the first hour or so and from a set of three fixtures Mooragh Lakers emerged with two scores that saw them move within 16 points of third-placed Outsiders.

Bowl Rollers meanwhile slipped one place down the standings and are now four chalks adrift of Parkers, whereas Cannons maintained the bragging rights over their Castletown stablemates near the foot of the table.

Results for Saturday, February 1: Mooragh Lakers 116 (4), Castletown Cannons 81 (2); Castletown Cannons 106 (2), Bowl Rollers 117 (4); Bowl Rollers 84 (1), Mooragh Lakers 125 (5).

The first fixture on the list for Sunday finished with the closest outcome over the two days after Louie’s Angels came out on top with an eight point winning margin over Bits n Bobs.

This while high flyers G4H recorded their fifth full-house of games at the expense of basement side Castletown Corkers, who themselves are running out of opportunities to catch their southern rivals.

The winners next took on an Angels outfit containing players who are quite capable of taking points from any team and this proved the case after Matthew Keggen recorded a perfect session – two wins and 42 points for and just the starting 12 against – a rare feat for any player.

The Angels almost snatched another game, just missing out on 20, so with G4H dropping 15 points in this contest, they head into a possible league decider this Sunday against Seven-Up, I say possible because both teams will have one more fixture each to play later that afternoon.

The final result last Sunday saw Bits n Bobs halt a run of nine defeats with a 106 to 94 chalks win over Corkers; this score leaves the southerners 58 points adrift with four left to play, with Bits just above these two in the table.

Results for Sunday, February 2: Louie’s Angels 102 (3), Bits n Bobs 94 (3); Castletown Corkers 69 (0), Guns for Hire 126 (6); Guns for Hire 111 (5), Louie’s Angels 98 (1); Bits n Bobs 106 (4), Castletown Corkers 94 (2).

An entry of just 22 braved the elements at the midweek round robin and in the black jack doubles the winners were Bernard Thackrah and Kevin Firth, ahead of second-placed Paul Callister and Trish Bull.

The other group saw Steve Parker and Peter Corlett take the honours after they edged out Ken Karran and Mark Kelly by just one point.

G4H remain undefeated

There was just one afternoon of league action over the weekend in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling Club and it featured leaders Guns for Hire overcoming another big hurdle in their quest to win the title. 

Current champions Outsiders, who at present occupy third spot in the standings, began their Sunday session with the season’s 19th maximum scoreline recorded at the expense of opponents Bits n Bobs. 

This while the league leaders comfortably hit the average needed to retain their advantage over closest rivals Seven-Up when they missed out on a similar total by just one chalk in their clash against sixth-placed Govags. 

Outsiders held a 13 point lead over G4H after the opening three games in the big clash of the day, but the leaders fought back to take the final three and hold onto their unbeaten record by a margin of just two. 

Although they dropped 16 points in this contest, they averaged enough over the two outings to remain on course to win the title even if their nearest challengers were to record maximum scores in their remaining two fixtures – one of which is against G4H. 

Govags meanwhile recovered from their earlier loss to record a 121 to 96 points victory over Bits n Bobs, so remain in sixth spot – 23 ahead of Bowl Rollers. 

Results for Sunday, January 26: Bits n Bobs 79 (0), Outsiders 126 (6); Guns for Hire 125 (5), Govags 98 (1); Outsiders 108 (2), Guns for Hire 110 (4); Govags 121 (5), Bits n Bobs 96 (1). 

There were two round robin sessions held prior to Sunday’s games and in the first one on Wednesday afternoon an entry of 32 was split into two groups. 

From the triples section Peggy Freeman, Doug Allan and Andy Sykes emerged as winners ahead of Carol Kaye, Jenny Moore and Mark Kelly. 

The other gang played doubles, with the triumphant pair being Steve Parker and Elaine Moore, with second spot going to Derek Allen and Terry Bates. 

A few showers of rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the victors in Saturday’s outing, with two trios being separated after a roll up and it was Derek Allen, Steve Parker and Lynda Cadamy who took the honours in front of Ken Karran, Kevin Firth and Alan Moore. 

Merit has a new leader

The main news of the weekend occurred in the individual merit of the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League with some of the contenders not available to play and some of them suffering defeats.

2012 winner Marg Tasker (Louie’s Angels) took over at the top of the list for the Derek Killey memorial trophy after two close victories and former leader Kevin Quirk (Seven-Up) was not able to play.

Kevin’s team-mate Mark Kelly moved into second spot ahead of three players who lost a game apiece over the two days – Matthew Keggen (Angels), Jenny Moore (Outsiders) and Mike Thomas (Parkers).

On the team front current champions Outsiders, who are currently third in the table, started Saturday afternoon with victory over fifth-placed Louie’s Angels to extend the margin between them by 19 points.

However, that gap was reduced later in the session after Angels recorded a maximum 126 against basement side Castletown Corkers, whilst Outsiders could only manage 116 against the same opponents.

Results for Saturday, January 18: Outsiders 118 (4), Louie’s Angels 99 (2); Louie’s Angels 126 (6), Castletown Corkers 87 (0); Castletown Corkers 81 (1), Outsiders 116 (5).

The following day saw second-placed Seven-Up move within striking distance of the completion of their programme with only two fixtures left to play, however they slipped further behind the leaders due mainly to a number of their players not being available to play.

First clash on the card saw Castletown Cannons, who sit just above their stablemates, miss out on only their second victory in a five-chalk loss to Parkers.

Bowl Rollers meanwhile inflicted only the third defeat of the campaign on title challengers Seven-Up, the victors may have lost on games, but secured the all-important points win by just two.

The title contenders then got their challenge back on track by scoring the team’s fourth and the campaign’s 18th maximum at the expense of Cannons who now sit 16 points ahead of Corkers.

Rollers won the final battle of the weekend and did enough to move above opponents Parkers on average; they are now on 104.25 compared to Parkers on 104.17.

Results for Sunday, January 19: Castletown Cannons 105 (2), Parkers 110 (4); Bowl Rollers 105 (2), Seven-Up 103 (4); Seven-Up 126 (6), Castletown Cannons 87 (0); Parkers 96 (2), Bowl Rollers 119 (4).

A gang of 21 entered the latest midweek round robin and from one group of triples, Allan Kennaugh, Lil Smith and Peter Kelly emerged as clear winners ahead of Bryan Corner, Derek Allen and David Clucas.

Another round robin is planned for this Saturday afternoon as there are no league fixtures scheduled and entries are now open for the club championship which will be held towards the end of the season.

Top two march on

The leading two sides marched on and dropped just six points between them over the latest weekend in theManx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League; this whilst the third placed outfit slipped further adrift after a poor score not helped by them being a player short. 

Leaders Guns for Hire simply blew their opponents away on another miserable wet Saturday afternoon, not just for their challengers but anyone watching, as they took the tally of maximums so far to 16, which includes four for themselves. 

Two sides in the bottom half of the table were first on the list and it was lower placed Castletown Cannons who took the honours by four chalks against Bits n Bobs in what turned out to be the closest contest over the two days. 

In action at the same time were Guns for Hire and Bowl Rollers who sat in ninth position, with the result going pretty much to form. 

With conditions now far from ideal, the four took to the green for their second outings, but unfortunately Cannons could not cope with the fire power of Guns for Hire and went down to the lowest total of the campaign. 

Rollers got the better of Bits n Bobs in their encounter to remain on the same points average and stay close behind Parkers and Govags in the standings. 

Results for Saturday, January 11: Bits n Bobs 102 (2), Castletown Cannons 106 (4); Guns for Hire 126 (6), Bowl Rollers 90 (0); Castletown Cannons 53 (0), Guns for Hire 126 (6); Bowl Rollers 105 (4), Bits n Bobs 98 (2). 

Sunday was the first session of the programme with just three teams involved and therefore all seven players on the green at the same time. 

The afternoon’s top billing had second placed Seven-Up against Mooragh Lakers who were directlybehind them, however with the latter being a player short and perhaps not ‘totally fired up’ it turned out a one-sided affair. 

Title challengers Seven-Up will have been very pleased with the bonus of a walkover, but also played extremely well and could easily have recorded a clean sweep, only to lose two games on 20. 

Lakers meanwhile toiled to a total of 86, which was almost 40 behind their opponents and are now down to fourth in the overall standings. 

The victors next took on Erin Porters and this turned out to be a much closer contest than the league positions suggested with the southerners going down by a margin of only 13 points. 

Lakers were back to full strengthfor the final battle of the afternoon, which turned into the best clash with Porters having three losers on 20 and missed out by just six chalks, however as a consequence of their endeavours they moved up one place in the table. 

Results for Sunday, January 12: Mooragh Lakers 86 (2), Seven-Up 124 (4); Seven-Up 122 (4), Erin Porters 109 (2); Erin Porters 111 (1), Mooragh Lakers 117 (5). 

This latest two sets of fixtures leave the destination of the league title wide open, although games are running out for Seven-Up as they only have four left to play. 

They really only have one tough fixture remaining and interestingly that is against top outfit G4H, who themselves have six to play including opponents Outsiders who are third and Louie’s Angels, currently fifth. 

In short if Seven-Up score four maximums, G4H can drop no more than 37 points if they want to get their hands back on the shield. 

The midweek round robins swung back into action with an entry of 32 and coming out on top of the two groups were Lil Smith and Bernie McPhee, along with Bryan Corner, Kevin Firth and Alec Taylor.