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.