Peel 6 Onchan 4

League Week 3 Report by Mark Kneen

I have been trying to write a fitting headline to sum up the breath taking performance put in by Peel A  last Monday as they defeated champions Onchan A in Isle of Man Bank league division one, and to me the score is the headline. It is remarkable in every way. On paper Peel were outclassed, outmatched and after losing 10-0 away at Marown last week looked set to face another mauling, but bowls isn’t played on paper and every member of the Govags first string ripped up the form book and stunned the champions.

I am struggling to quantify just how impressive this score line is. In sport sometimes the opposition can play the game of their lives, their cup final and cause a massive upset but in bowls it isn’t like that. It is a team sport, but a match is made up of eight individual games so in essence to take four games off the champions and win on aggregate took eight cup finals. Captain Frank Watson led the way for his men with, quite frankly, a superb 21-13 win over two times Island Champion Kevin Quirk.

I could try and run down the performance of Onchan and say they were under par or complacent after last week’s big victory over Douglas but this wouldn’t be fair on the boys from the Sunset City. On Monday night champions Onchan A were weighed, they were measured and they were found wanting. This and other recent results are building towards the most exciting season for over a decade and I am literally salivating to see how things unfold. All that is left to say to Peel is well done lads brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

Marown A capitalised with another ruthless 10-0 win, this time away at Port St Mary A. The boys from the port are not as strong this term but even still for a team to leave there with maximum points is amazing. Whilst other teams are making all the headlines the men from the memorial playing fields are mercilessly going about the business of racking up points, and if the other title challengers are not careful they could find themselves with too big a bridge to build.

Douglas A bounced back from last week’s defeat as they picked up and impressive 8-2 home victory over the much fancied South Ramsey. South are a much tougher proposition than last season, but so are the mercenaries from the Villa who were more than a match for the opposition on this occasion. This is the first time I have seen the new look South outfit and once they get their players firing on all cylinders though I am sure they are more than capable of causing a few upsets, and whilst I feel they are a little short of challenging for top honours this time around it may only be a matter of time.

Castletown A kept momentum going, and the pressure on Marown, with a solid 9-1 home victory over North Ramsey A at the crofts. If I am honest I would expect a score line like this in favour of Town at home, but like all teams wanting to challenge Onchan & Marown it will be how they travel that makes all the difference. In the divisions final fixture Nobles Mixed picked up a much needed 6-4 home win over Ballaugh A. Both these teams could find themselves down the bottom of the table and who knows how vital these points will be at the end of the season?

Both Castletown teams kept the pressure on at the top of division 2. This week the D performed better with a really good 6-4 victory away at Finch Hill B who are always tricky to beat on their own patch. The C had a battle on their hand at home to Port St Mary B and whilst they won 5-3 on games they lost on aggregate sharing the spoils 5-5.

I fancy Port Erin to be near the top of the tree at the end of the season and a 7-3 win away at Ballaugh B will do their chances no harm at all. They are a quality outfit and if they continue to pick up points away and win their matches at home we be real contenders for silverware.

Onchan B bounced back from last week’s defeat with 6-4 home victory over Peel B whilst Peel C won by the same score line as they entertained Douglas B. Port St Mary C produced some goo home form against Finch Hill to win 7-3 on the night.