Town Lead the way after season openers
South Ramsey started their season with a tremendous 7-3 home victory to kick of their campaign in style and throw down a marker to all the other teams in the Isle of Man Bank Division 1, letting the Islands bowls fraternity know that they are the real deal and a genuine contender for top honours. Peter Collister rolled back the years with a brilliant 21-8 victors over the visitors captain Neil Withers.
New boy Dave Hughes raised a few eyebrows on his debut performance as he found himself trailing 14-3 but managed to turn the game around and pick up a 21-16 win over John Gelling. Whilst Marown will be gutted not to have started with a win, lets not forget that last season started with an away defeat at the Villa yet the Crosby Men rallied and went onto pick up an historic double in one of the most memorable seasons ever, so lets not writhe them off just yet!
Onchan A slipped up last time out at Castletown B but there were no mistakes this time around as the title favourites picked up a solid 8-2 win to get them off to a strong start, and set them up in their bid to bring the silverware back to the park.
It was Castletown A, however, who top the tree after the first set of fixtures as they picked up a very impressive 9-1 victory on their travels at Ballaugh, only missing out on a maximum by a single point as Daniel Fenton picked up a 21-20 victory over Mike Hargraves on his return to his home club this season.
Port Erin began life in the top tier in style with a 6-4 win over Douglas. Port will need to do well in their home games if they want to cement a place amongst the games elite and this start will definitely have done their chances no harm at all.
Port St Mary A started the season well with a 7-3 win away at Peel. They hae a stronger line up this year and I think they are capable of causing more than a couple of upsets. Frank Watson’s Govags can draw comfort in the performance of their winners with new boy Nigel Thomas leading the way with a 21-4 victory.
North Ramsey A will be happy to have left Castletown C with a win as they drew 4-4 on games with the northerners picking up the 2 aggregate points by a single chalk. Whilst Ramsey will be happy with the win Town should be proud of their first game at this level and it something they can certainly build on.
Newly promoted North Ramsey B top the second division after a brilliant 8-2 away win at Castletown D. There has been a revolution at the Mooragh in recent years and it is breath taking to watch the massive strides this club is taking. I am not sure they have enough to gain promotion again this time around, but this team has the tenacity to prove me wrong.
NoblesPark A pipped North to the third division title last year and they also began life at the higher level with an 8-2 win. This is another rejuvenated club which is going from strength to strength and it is great to see a new lease of life to the former giants of the local game.
Douglas B, Onchan B and Port St Mary B are hot on the heals of the top 2 as they all picked up strong 7-3 wins and they will all be intent on showing the divisions new boys ‘the way it is done around here’ in forthcoming fixtures.
Division 3 is the breading place of our games top players and it is simply awe inspiring to see 3 new teams starting out this season. South Ramsey C, Onchan C, South Ramsey B and Port Erin B all got of to a fine start with respective 7-3 wins.
With 23 players making their debuts across all divisions it looks like our game is moving in the right direction and in an attempt to freshen things up I will be putting together a team of the week for each division based on individual performance, and rotating which divisional team appears in print each week starting this time out with division 1. Details of how the team of the week is selected and all 3 teams every week are available on iombowls.com
Team of The Week Division 1 – Ewan Cooil & Paul Skelly (PSM), Steve Durcan (P Erin), Peter Collister & David Hughes (South Ramsey), Peter Slinger (Onchan), Jack Beecham & Nigel Thomas (Peel)