Lacey Secures Maiden Junior Manx Championship Title

16 junior bowlers from all over the Island entered the Junior Manx Championship at Finch Hill Bowling Club on Saturday. There was a good crowd in attendance on a fine day, as the juniors impressed the spectators with a good standard of bowling throughout the entire day.

This year, it was back to the girls dominating the latter stages of the competition, with six of the last eight being made up of the girls. Losing out at the quarter final stage were Aalish Moore (Castletown) 14-21 to Mooragh Park player Lacey McMullan, Melody Marsh (Castletown) was defeated 7-21 by Alex Hampson (Noble’s).

In the other half of the draw Katie Jacobs won the closest game of the quarter finals, holding off Sam Colquitt (Noble’s) 21-18, whilst Grace Gawne (Noble’s) who picked up the title in 2023 advanced to the semi-finals with a 21-14 win over Bailey McMullan (Mooragh Park) 21-14.

Three of the four semi-finalists were hoping to pick up their first Junior Manx Championship win, it was Lacey who reached her first final with a solid 21-15 win over Alex, winning 13 ends to Alex’s 11 ends, with the main difference that Lacey scored eight doubles to Alex’s four two’s.

In the other game Katie dashed the hopes of Grace who was looking to retain the title with this being her last year eligible to enter the competition, as the Villa player won 21-17, with the game finely poised at 12-11 to Katie, two quickfire doubles put Katie into a 16-12 lead. Grace fought back to close the deficit to two, with two consecutive doubles of her own, however Katie managed to see the game out 21-17.

The final got underway with both players having very different game plans – Lacey preferring a longer ¾ length mark, whilst Katie was playing well on shorter marks. Lacey was quickest out of the blocks winning the first two ends with two doubles. Katie then settled into the game winning the next four ends to take a 6-4 lead. Lacey responded to win six of the next seven ends to lead 11-7, then went on to lead 14-10.

Winning four of the next five ends got Katie to a deficit of just one at 14-15. Lacey then got in to rally once more, finishing strongly to win five of the last six ends to secure a 21-15, with it her maiden Junior Manx Championship title, following in the footsteps of her eldest sister Shannon McMullan who picked up the title in 2019 and 2022.

The presentation was made by Tina Hampson, who thanked Finch Hill Bowling Club for hosting, Tracy Moore for assisting with running the competition. Lacey was then presented with the Shield. Qualifiers will go on to represent the Isle of Man at the UK Junior Individual Merit on Saturday 17th August at Mosborough Welfare Miners in South Yorkshire.