Kelly Wins Pre-Festival Ballacashtal Cup
The ever-popular pre-festival Ballacashtal Cup was held on Sunday attracting an entry of 70 bowlers, made up of local and visiting bowlers. The Castletown green was in good condition, the competition was once again sponsored by ABS Solutions.
At the quarter final stages five of the eight players were locals. Losing out were South Ramsey’s David Bradford who led 20-15 and was lying two for game against Colin Kelly only for the Marown man to run out with a 21-20 win. Steve Barber (Chapel Park) made it through to his second semi-final of the weekend with a comfortable 21-12 win over Marown’s Karl Parker.
In the other half of the draw Keith Middleton (Fairfield) was lying game down at 20-20 against Jordan Cain, with Cain attempting to get a second counting bowl he slightly opened the end up to give his opponent an opportunity to get in which he duly did with a great last bowl to progress to the next round. The final game of the quarter finals saw another Marown player Neil Withers put an end to the run of Paul Bradley (Fairfield) with a 21-10 victory.
The standard in the semi-finals shifted up another gear, with Barber taking on Kelly, with the latter trailing 6-11 and 14-17, with one last big push from the local man enough to see him book his place in the final with a 21-17 win.
The second semi-final was well poised with Withers against Middleton, the game was all square at 15-15 after 13 ends. Both players scored a single and a double to level up again at 18-18, with Withers then scoring a double to lead 20-18. A single for the Fairfields man put Middleton one end away from the final, however the local man got the one point he needed to progress with a 21-19 victory.
The final had most neutrals predicting a Kelly win, however an upset looked on the cards as Withers made a strong start playing his customary shorter length to build an 18-10 lead after 11 ends.
A fight back looked like it could be on the cards with a single and a two for Kelly was stopped in its tracks with a single for Withers to lead 19-13. Another point was picked up by Kelly, as he headed straight for the corner towards the gate, but proceeded to get low with both bowls gifting Withers the opportunity to make another for game. Withers failed to make another with his second bowl falling short.
This ultimately proved to be a game changer as despite leading 20-14 Kelly got in the following end, then headed for his less preferred corners with a last throw of the dice, scoring five singles with a double in between to run out with an unlikely 21-20 victory to win the Ballacashtal Cup to claim his first singles open win of the season.
The presentation was made by Castletown Club Chairman Phil Taubman who thanked the sponsors ABS Solutions for their continued support of the competition, the ladies for the refreshments and Kath Kinley for running the competition. Upon accepting the trophy Colin noted it was another good comeback which had helped get him over the line on the day.