Isle of Man v Merseyside
The Isle of Man Senior Mens bowls team continued to make strides in the Senior County Championships, the highest level of the team game, with a very impressive showing against Merseyside.
In the match played over two simultaneous legs at both Onchan Park and the Unison Bowling Club in St Helens the Isle of Man showed why they now have a seat at the top table as they won the home leg and just missed out on the overall win by 22 points over 24 games with a final match score of Merseyside 438 Isle of Man 416.
It is important to compete at this level and the fact that the team won 11 of the 24 games shows they are able to do just that and if they continue improving it will not be long before they pick up their first overall win.
At home the match was tight from the off with the honours even in after eight games with four wins apiece. Neil Withers, Glynn Hargraves, Trevor Quayle and Peter Collister all winning and the rest of the team scoring well to keep themselves in contention. .
With only three games remaining it looked like a points victory on Manx soil may have eluded the team but it was a case of Kelly’s Heroes from then on as the back order of Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly, Phil Kelly and Colin Kelly all rallied delivering impressive results to edge the leg by five points scoring 221 points as opposed to Merseysides 216.
Overall Endsleigh Insuarance man of the match for the Onchan Fixture was Merseysides John Finch for an impressive 21-12 win over Isle of Man number 1 John Kennish, whilst the Gelling Man of The Match for the home side went to Dido Kelly for his very impressive 21-10 victory over Anthony Thompson.
At this level things are always difficult away from home especially as the green travelled to was alien to the entire team, and had a huge crown unlike anything they would have seen locally.
Despite not scoring a win in the first four games the Island scored well and there were some very gutsy performances to ensure they were always in with a shout. It was the middle order where the Island proved their strength in depth is growing winning three of the next four games with Paul Dunn, Aaron ‘Bob’ Clark and Matthew Quirk all winning.
The final four also played superbly well and added another win to the pile as Paul Kelly picked up his first victory at this level.
Paul Dunn picked up a well deserved Overall Endleigh Man of the Match award for a fantastic 21-9 victory over Isle of Man festival winner Terry Glover, whilst Paul Kelly pocketed the Gellings Man of the Match award for his strong 21-10 win over Steve Davies.
Overall it was a very impressive showing from the local side in only their second year competing at this level. Thanks go to main sponsors Paddy Power and new sponsors West Coast Fitness as without them the Island simply wouldn’t be able to compete in this competition.