Jones Wins First Manx Masters Title – Moore Takes Fifth Successive Win

South Ramsey hosted the Manx Masters on Sunday, one of the highlights of the Manx bowls calendar with four separate competitions taking place throughout the day. The green proved a challenge, with it running as well as it has all season.

Young Manx Masters

The Young Manx Masters was contested by six players – all girls. This competition was played in a round robin format with the girls in the same group playing eight ends with the last end played as a ‘power’ end with points scored counting double. After a good morning of bowls, it was Grayse Blencoe and Bailey McMullan (Both Mooragh Park) who topped the group tied on 44 points. This resulted in a three end shootout with the latter winning all three ends to go one better than last year to pick up her first win in the competition.

Young JP Corry Isle of Man Manx Masters Winner 2022 – Bailey McMullan
Photo: Arnie Withers

Junior Manx Masters

The Junior Manx Masters was played as a straight knockout 21up off a handicap of +6 for the older and more experienced players with 12 players braving the early morning start. The title was won for the first time by home greener Toby Hart in his last year of being eligible to play, as he defeated the 2021 winner Madison McMullan (North Ramsey). Toby made a good start going into a 13-8 lead, which he extended further to lead 17-10. Madison pulled the score back to 14-17, however four successive singles from Toby was enough to secure the victory.

Losing out at the semi-final stage were the Colquitt brothers from Marown, with the younger brother Alex putting up a good fight against Toby Hart before losing 15-21, while Sam lost out 8-21 to Madison McMullan.

Junior JP Corry Isle of Man Manx Masters Winner 2022 – Toby Hart
Photo: Arnie Withers

The standard of play in both events was excellent and some of the bowls played would not have been out of place in the senior events taking place in the afternoon, made all the more remarkable with having to contend with a tricky green.

The junior competitions had a new sponsor on board this year with JP Corry Isle of Man pleased to be supporting the event for the first time with the prizes presented by Steven Waters. All competitors 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 a change this year home greeners forfeited the jack on the first end to visiting bowlers.

Ladies Manx Masters

In the Ladies event losing out at the quarter final stages were Louise Tebay (Ballaugh) 14-21 to Jenny Moore (South Ramsey), Jayne Smith was well beaten 7-21 by home greener Fiona Kennish. Clare Cooper edged home 21-20 in a battle with team-mate Debbie Leece, while Paula Firth ended the challenge of Kim Hargraves (South Ramsey) 21-15.

At the semi-final stage Moore ended the run of Kennish with a 21-10 win to book her place in the final, whilst Firth managed to see off Cooper with a hard fought 21-18 victory to reach her first final in this event.

In the final Firth kept in touch with Moore trailing by just two chalks after 10 ends at 9-11. From there the latter stepped up a couple of gears to score three doubles and four singles, conceding just one more chalk to run out with a deserved 21-10 victory to win the title for a fifth successive year, with Moore reaffirming her status as the number one player in the Ladies game.

Mens Manx Masters

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 home greener Bob Clark who battled well before losing out 18-21 to team-mate Glynn Hargraves, Matthew Quirk (Onchan) was beaten 15-21 by Marown captain Paul Dunn. In the bottom half of the draw Trevor Quayle (Port St Mary) was well beaten 13-21 by Peter Jones (Marown) while last year’s finalist Kevin Quirk (Onchan) had his hands full with Stevie Kelly (Peel) as the Onchan man lost out 18-21.

In the semi-final Kelly was just two points behind Jones at 14-16 after 18 ends, with the latter going on to score a single and two doubles to run out with a 21-14 win. In the other semi-final it went to the wire with the game well contested throughout, with Dunn prevailing 21-20, the difference being Dunn scoring five doubles to his opponents four to book his place in the final.

In front of a healthy crowd who had stayed for the duration, the final started under the floodlights, however this did not reduce the standard of bowls from either player. It was nip and tuck in the early stages of the game with the score tied at 9-9 after 10 ends. Jones went on take control of the game with some excellent first bowls to his own jack to build up a seven-point lead at 17-10.

Dunn got in with a double just before a break in play as a minute’s silence at 8pm was impeccably observed by the players and spectators. The Marown captain went on to concede a single, then scored four successive singles to close the gap to just two chalks at 16-18 to stand a fighting chance. Jones ensured the comeback ended there as he got in with his first bowl, then scored two more singles to see the game out with a 21-16 victory to seal his first win in this competition in his first time playing in the event.

At the end of the competition the presentation was made by South Ramsey club captain Glynn Hargraves, who thanked Alan Moore for his excellent work running the sheets for all four competitions, the Ladies who once again outdone themselves with the catering and the club members who assisted throughout the day. Long term supporters of the event Chris & Lynnette Perry were then introduced to present the prizes from the sponsors Felton’s Ironmongers who without their support this event would not be possible. Upon accepting the trophy Jones thanked the club for hosting the event, stating he was delighted to have won the competition and was made up with how welcoming the local bowls community had been since he & his wife Cathy had moved to the Island three months ago.