Kennish Rolls Backs The Years To Win Henry Kissack Memorial Trophy

Marown Bowling Club hosted the Henry Kissack Memorial Trophy on Saturday attracting an entry of 58. With the handicaps ranging from +3 to +9 this resulted in some interesting early round shocks.

Losing out in the quarter finals were Alec Taylor (Peel) who had his challenge ended by Kevin Quirk 17-21, whilst former home greener Gary Smith (Peel) was well beaten 7-21 by home greener Colin Kelly, whilst Marown C Team player Karl Parker just lost out 19-21 to 2019 winner Phil Kerruish (Onchan). Castletown player Sam Clague was defeated 16-21 by Andy Kennish (Peel).

The semi-finals could probably not have had a more experienced line up with a huge number of the islands top trophies having been won between these four players over the past five decades, with this particular trophy having been won no fewer than 14 times between the four semi-finalists. Both matches were straightforward with Andy Kennish seeing off Phil Kerruish with a 21-12 win, whilst Kevin Quirk inflicted a second defeat on Colin Kelly in the space of a week this time with a 21-11 win to take his place in the final.

The final started with both players being well known for their ability to play good length bowls, it was Quirk who took a 10-8 lead after eight ends looking to go a bit further than he normally plays. Kennish responded to win the next five ends playing brilliantly over the middle of the green to turn the game on its head to lead 15-10. From there Kevin chipped in with two more singles, whilst Andy continued to play well scoring three singles and a double in between to go 20-12 ahead. Kevin got in with another single to bring the score to 13-20. The last end summed up the ability of both bowlers perfectly. Kevin played a good lead when heading for the corners, with Andy just tipping the jack, however Kevin was still counting. Kevin’s second bowl was a perfect length, just a bit wide. Andy played his last bowl, with the bowl rolling in perfectly to beat a seven inch bowl to win 21-13 and claim the victory in style.

Andy’s victory was thoroughly deserved, his return to form is in part due to turning 60 a couple of years ago, with afternoon league games twice a week Andy has been challenging in a number of opens of late, with his ability to play good length bowls still very apparent. This was Andy’s fourth win in this competition following on from his three previous wins all in the 1980’s (82,86 & 88) and this is believed to be Andy’s first open win since the last of this three Manx Championship wins in 1999 to show once again that he can still mix it with the best. If crown green bowls proves anything then one of those is that green time is important and there are very few sports around where players can genuinely compete at the top level for five decades or more.

The presentation was made by competition secretary Phil Kelly who thanked all the Marown members for assisting throughout the day, the team in the kitchen for the refreshments and the green keepers for the preparing the green. Newly crowned Manx Champion Paul Dunn was then introduced to present the prizes.