Marown Soak Up More Success – Heartache for PSM
The final of the Canada Life International sponsored Rayner Plate took place at Onchan Bowling Green on Friday evening with the rain setting in sooner than expected to make for tricky conditions for both teams in a rematch of the 2019 final at the same venue between Port St Mary A (+15) and Division Two team Marown C (+42).
Port St Mary once again started as favourites on the night, however they will have been wary of their opponents who stunned them two years ago, with the Port Men needing to turn around a 27-point head start in favour of the Crosby men who have gained more experience.
Port got off to a solid start with Tim Williams taking a 21-14 win against Stephen Storey. The big shock of the night came from Crosby man Stuey Clague, who at 78 years ‘young’ proved age is just a number in this game as he performed brilliantly to beat Port St Mary’s top player and hot favourite Trevor Quayle 21-14 to restore the lead back to 27-points for Marown.
The next two blocks off went in favour of Port St Mary with Robbie Cooil recovering from a slow start to beat Kevin Kelly 21-17. Dan McCabe followed this up with a 21-18 win over Walter McCarthy to reduce Marown’s lead at the half way point to 20 chalks.
The match then swung in Port’s favour who were vying to making it third time lucky having lost the last two finals in 2019 and 2020, as Paul Skelly beat the in-form Jamie Joughin 21-7, while captain Wayne Roberts won 21-10 against Rob Corkill to turn the chalks in favour of the first division team by five chalks.
The match was finely poised with just two games left on the green, the rain continued to fall with Paul Russell level at 13-13 against Marown captain Stephen Rundle, with the latter playing a short mark and pulling out some great second bowls to his opponents’ jack to put in a captains’ innings as Rundle seen the game out with a 21-19 win to reduce the deficit to three chalks.
The last game on the green was also nip and tuck between Dan Smith and Tom Collins which was tied at 13-13. Smith stepped up a gear playing some great bowls under pressure to confirm the victory for the Crosby men by just two chalks (169-171) with a 21-16 win over Collins to ensure Marown C won their third Rayner Plate.
Whilst a lot of the plaudits must go to Rundle and Smith being the last two games on the green, a special mention should go to Stuey Clague, who excelled to win his individual game to keep Port at arm’s length early on, also backed up by his team mates with each of their chalks coming into play for the team even in defeat. Port St Mary played their part in what was an excellent final to watch for the neutrals in attendance.
The presentation was made by Association Press Officer Glynn Hargraves, who thanked Onchan Bowling Club for the use of the green and for their hospitality. Congratulations were given to the winning team with commiserations offered to Port St Mary. The Association President John Ryder was then introduced, who remarked how well the handicap system had worked to produce such a close final, and that the match was a pleasure to watch. The Trophy was then presented to the Marown captain Stephen Rundle who thanked everyone who turned up to watch on a wet night for bowls, congratulated his team and also offered his commiserations to Port St Mary. Rundle also said that he hoped Port St Mary will find a new bowling green in the near future.