June Festival

There was local success in the recent June Bowls Festival as South Ramsey’s Jenny Moore won the ladies main competition in fine style, beating former winner Julie Green (Castle Private) 21-16.

Moore was simply uncompromising on finals day and despite Green’s best effort never looked rattled, as she went one further than her previous best effort, and added her first main competition victory to her two tourism wins from previous festivals. Along with the main prize she also picks up the trophy for furthest Manx Lady in the competition.

It is hard to find the words to describe how well Jenny played and she was simply magnificent with every bowl she sent on Friday, and in my opinion would have gone close, or even won the men’s competition.

Take nothing away from Green though, she too played her part in a wonderful final and also played tremendously well all day, and without question the two best players from the whole week contested the final.

In the semi-finals Moore extinguished the challenge of visitor Lorrain Hirst (Linthwaite Hall) 21-11, whilst Green was equally as impressive defeating Dawn Benn (Penwortham Sports) at the same stage.

Losing out in the quarter finals was another South Ramsey player Lyn Bolton who also had a great week before going down 21-14 to Green.

The local men didn’t fair as well as the ladies on this occasion with no players making it further than the last 64 of the competition for the first time in my memory. The one bright note was the ever improving Bernard Thackrah (Port Erin) who picked up the George Craine trophy for furthest local in the competition.

Visitor Kez Smith (Crossgates) held his nerve in a scintillating final to fend off the challenge of Callum Wraight (Kings Heath Park) and win 21-18.

Wraight will be heartbroken to come so close after laying two to go 20-19 up, before Kez bowled in, but on reflection he should be pleased with how he played as there was not a lot more he could have done. Smith was just too good on the day and adapted to wherever he played.

His temperament in the final was flawless and he never once looked like he wasn’t in total control of the match despite the tight score line. My hat goes off to him as he adds another victory to the Crossgates stable, and with so many talented players it can only be a matter of time before they add another.

John Bailey (Llanwurst BC) won the men’s Tourism Competition with a very impressive 21-13 victory over Danny Parkinson (Rishton). Bailey is a course and distance man and his win comes as no surprise however Parkinson is a new name to me and with the way he played I think he could definitely be one to watch in future festivals. Marown’s Colin Kelly made it to the last eight narrowly losing out to Matt Gilmore (Wirral) 21-17.

Thursday was also a red letter day for the Island ladies as former Onchan resident Rachel Quirk, now representing Crossgates from Yorkshire, was superb in winning the ladies tourism competition with a 21-18 victory over Maureen Lyons (Pensby). She was by far the best player on Thursday morning and thoroughly deserves her victory. Jenny Moore was the only other local in the last eight losing out 21-15 to Angela Atherton (Ulverston Cons) in the quarter finals.

In the consolation competitions Barry Simm (Lunne Road) took top honours with a 21 17 win over Jimmy Hynes (Spring Bank BC) whilst Caroline Hall (Cleveleys) won the ladies competition beating local Joyce Ogden (Nobles Park) 21 14.

Stuart Gall (Rishton) won the Last chance mixed competition defeating Michael Coupe (Houghton) 21-18 after a very closely contested final. In the Visit.com Flyer Brian Coleman (Zetland) beat teammate Steve McManus (Zetland) 9 3 in the final.

As always the doubles competitions proved popular with locals and visitors alike and the highlight of these was the open doubles where players can pick their own partners. Andy Spragg (Calow BC) & Callum Wraight were victorious defeating Lee Evans (Barr Lane) & Lee Bleakley (Tottington Cons) 11-9 in the final.

Thanks go to the Department of Economic Development for their support and funding of the festival is without them it quite simply wouldn’t happen. I would also like the thank David Cretney (MLC) for presenting the prizes.

Highest praise of all can only be reserves for Steve Moore and his team who do a remarkable job in putting on and running what is arguably the best event on the bowls calendar. They are a credit to the Island and if they continue to learn and improve things the way they are doing the festival can only go from strength to strength and numbers will undoubtedly increase.
So that’s it, another festival over, and whilst there were some magnificent performances this time around the week belongs to Kez Smith and Jenny Moore as they are the current King and Queen of Crown.

June Festival 2016 - George Craine Trophy (Furthest Local) - Bernard Thackarah
June Festival 2016 – George Craine Trophy (Furthest Local) – Bernard Thackarah