Marown March On
Champions Onchan A turned on the style on Monday evening as they brushed aside genuine contenders Douglas A with relative ease, effectively ending any real hopes the Villa men had for top honours. The 8-2 score line mirrored that of their first encounter earlier in the season however the match was anything but similar as Douglas were up against it from the off and lucky to escape with two points.
There was something different about the post-festival champions. They had a competitive edge that had thus far eluded them this season, and every single one of them played every bowl as if their lives depended on it. I still think Marown will pip them to the post this year, but this performance has put doubts in my mind. If Onchan do go down, they will go down fighting and the odds of them defending their title for the 11th consecutive time have shortened dramatically after this display.
Marown A kept momentum behind their title bid as they picked up 9-1 win away at Peel Sunset A to close in on the champions. This solid, workman like performance leaves them one point adrift of the champions, but with a game in hand. They will be hoping to better the performance of the champions tonight and return to the top of the tree.
There is definitely something different about the Marown team this year and there seems to be a synergy around this particular line up which had been missing in recent seasons. Their ability to pick up big wins is what has made them stand out from the crowd and could be what sees them to their first title in over a decade.
South Ramsey A took advantage of Castletown A sitting out and a big 9-1 win at Town over the B team sees them move into 4th place. They are now only one point behind Douglas in the battle for third and with all their players firing on all cylinders they could be the ones to watch in the battle for the minor places. They travel to Onchan A tonight and this performance should show us where they are in terms of improvement and progression.
Port St Mary A now have fire in their bellies and their 9-1 win over Ballaugh A has seen them move up the table and away from the relegation places. They need to keep this going tonight and at least try and pick up some good points away at Castletown. If they can string some form together they should be able to finish the season in a mid-table position allowing them to build on it next year.
The final match of the division was a cracker with Nobles Mixed A and North Ramsey A tying 5-5 after the Northerners won on games but just missed out on the aggregate points by 9 chalks. Both these teams sit in the relative safety of 6th and 7th places and if they continue to pick up points in the second half of the season should start next year in the top flight.
Division 2 leaders Port St Mary B remain in pole position after a good 8-2 win away at Ballaugh B sees them consolidate top spot. Castletown C put in the performance of the day to move into second place, just 3 points behind the Spaniards, after they put in a devastating display to demolish Peel B 10-0 at the crofts. Town C have the class to stay challenging for top spot and the thought of making history and having 3 teams from the same club in the top division could become reality.
Port Erin A are still very much in the hunt and are in third spot on equal points with Town C after they beat Port St Mary C 8-2. The fate of this title is still finally in the balance and I can’t call who will be crowned champion come September.
There are new leaders in division 3 for the first time this year with Noble Park A now occupying first place thanks to a brilliant 9-1 win over Douglas C. Long-time leaders Onchan C have slipped down into second after suffering a shock 6-4 loss at home to Ballaugh C.
Report by Mark Kneen