Kennish & Bradford Hat-trick

Browne Craine & Co sponsored the Men’s Doubles Championship for a third successive year showing their continued support for the Islands premier doubles competition which was played 21 up off scratch. The event was well supported with 33 pairs taking part in a bid to win the title. As well as paying out to the semi-finals onwards, there were also prizes awarded for the furthest pair that included a second division player, third division player and furthest junior.

Losing out at the quarter final stages were the South Ramsey pairing of Alan Moore and James Teare, the Onchan/Marown combination of Rob Monk and Matthew Keggen, Port St Mary father and son duo Peter and Tom Collins along with North Ramsey man Steve Parker who was partnered with home greener Kevin Quirk.

In the semi-finals the first game off was the Marown pair of Phil Kelly and Arnie Withers who beat South Ramsey’s Stefan Kelly and Glynn Hargraves. The Marown duo made the better start going 13-3 up, which the South Ramsey players were never able to fully recover from. Kelly and Hargraves pulled the score back to 11-16, were counting three only for Withers to trail the jack with his last bowl to settle the end and keep their opponents at arm’s length. From there the Marown men picked up a three and a single to see the game out to win 21-13.

The other semi-final was a good battle between the Peel father and son pairing of Dave Barney Kelly and the South Ramsey pair John Kennish and David Bradford with a number of dead ends leading somewhat surprisingly to a slighter longer game than the other semi-final. The Peel pair took a 6-0 lead before Kennish and Bradford got in to turn the game around to take a 12-11 lead after 16 ends, before slipping behind 13-12 due to losing two consecutive singles. From there the South Ramsey pair were able to see the game out winning four of the next five ends to win 21-14. The difference in the game being that whilst the Kelly’s managed to win 12 ends to their opponents 11 ends, Kennish and Bradford scored four doubles, and three three’s, with the Peel men scoring just two doubles.

In the final Kennish and Bradford started as big favourites having taken the title for the previous two years, however Kelly and Withers had other ideas taking a 9-5 lead after eight ends, then 15-13 lead after 20 ends with Kelly leading well at the front and Withers pulling out some great counting bowls at the back. Kennish and Bradford then got back in with a three to go 16-15 ahead. Kennish took his time before setting the mark changing tactics to play the edge along the pitch and putt side of the green. From there the South Ramsey men ran out with a double, with Bradford killing the next end, they then took a single and another double to secure the title for a third successive year to reaffirm their status as the Island’s premier doubles partners. Interestingly the ends won in the final was 12 each from 24 ends, with the Marown pair making just three doubles, and the South Ramsey pair counting five doubles and two three’s to make the difference.

The presentation was made by Association Chairman Neil Withers, who thanked the sponsors Browne Craine & Co for their continued support, Onchan Bowling Club and its members for providing helpers throughout the day and to the Ladies for the refreshments and the green keeper for preparing an excellent surface. It was good to see several juniors take part in the competition, with the prize for furthest junior being split between Sam Clague (Castletown) and the youngest player in the competition 10 year old Ryan Hargraves (South Ramsey) who both reached the same score. The prize for the furthest pairing with a second division player went to Port St Mary pair Peter and Tom Collins, whilst Walter McCarthy and Kevin Kelly (both Marown) received the prize for furthest third division players. The top prize paid out to the winners was £200, with further prizes paid out to the runners up and losing semi-finalists on what was a great day of bowling.