IOM 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 coveted trophy and pick up the winners’ cheque for over £3,000. The festival numbers are heading in a positive direction with a bumper entry of 433 in the Men’s event – the highest we have seen for several years’ as it promises to be a fascinating week.

Page one has a few previous winners featuring with 1996 winner Carl Armitage (St Oswalds) in the top half of the page, whilst the bottom half of the page could see 2003 winner Matt Gilmore (Wirral) play John Bailey (Castlefields) on Thursday afternoon, in what could be a tasty encounter.

On the second page this marks the 20th year since Alan Gilpin (Netherfield) lifted the title, he has a tough first round game against Andy Mailer (Meersbrook), whilst Graeme Wilson (AEU) could face Josh Mordue (Pudsey) on Wednesday morning.

The following page has current holder Phil Lee (Quarry) starting off +3, two chalks behind the majority of the field as he looks to cement his name in the history books by successfully defending the title, with the page featuring a number of potential banana skins.

Page four has a few local winners in Phil Kerruish (Onchan) and the man he beat in June 1991 Colin Kelly (Marown) who picked up the title in June 2008, whilst we have to go back to June 1983 for Peter Collister’s (South Ramsey) success as he won the Main Event and the Tourism title at the tender age of 21 years old. Also featuring on the page is September 2000 winner Andrew Spragg (Chesterfield).

Page five has Onchan’s Matthew Quirk in fine form having recently picked up his first singles title, he will be looking to go one better having lost in the final in 2013 to Marown’s Neil Withers. September 2022 winner Stephen Glover (Liverpool CC) will be looking to pick up the June title to emulate his father Terry Glover who picked up the September title in 1991. The bottom half of the page is heavily weighted with top names, all previous winners with Paul Bailey (Meersbrook BC) taking on Neil Withers, South Ramsey’s David Bradford and Callum Wright (Castlefields).

The following page is fairly open with no previous winners, however a few well-known names locally and further afield with Bob Clark (South Ramsey) following the recent arrival of first child, he will be looking to juggle parenthood with a good run in the festival. Carl Fielding (Castlefields) features in the other half of the draw.

On page seven Robby Fitzpatrick (Levers) and Martin Gilpin are the previous festival winners, with Ross Hatzer (Bar Lane), Ryan Clark (Meersbrook) also in the mix.

The next page has Jon Palmer (Castlefields) a previous Autumn Waterloo winner, David Jackson (Knutsford), and five time winner John Kennish (South Ramsey) all looking for a run deep into the competition.

Page nine has one of Crossgates previous winners Kez Smith in the draw, along with September 2023 winner Gareth Coates (Akroyden Victoria), with a Wednesday afternoon clash looking a distinct possibility.

Onto page 10 should Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge) get through his first game, he could face Mark Rose (Royal Oak) or Steve Baskerville (Knutsford), with Marown’s Peter Jones now well and truly settled into Island life he will be hopeful of a good run this week.

Page 11 has probably the game of the round with Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) taking on Mark Hughes (Crossgates) in what could be a fascinating tie.

In the latter pages of the draw there are no previous winners, but the likes of Mike Tunstall (Merseyside) and Jamie King (Wrockwardine Wood) may prove hard to shift.

The penultimate page of the draw has James Wilcox (Crossgates) as the only previous winner, however Chris Mordue (Pudsey) has won a host of top U.K. titles, with Billy Speed (Castlefields) a notoriously tough opponent to face.

The final page has June 1990 winner Kevan Shaw (Flixton CC) on the top half of the page, with the bottom half featuring Lee Johnstone (St Oswalds), Andrew Sorsby (Meersbrook BC), Danny Barwise (Merseyside) along with June 1997 winner Geoff Telford (Knutsford).

With the weather forecast now giving sun for the majority of the week, let’s all hope for a great week of bowls!