Merit titles for Martin

The weather did its best to spoil the final weekend of fixtures in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League, when all outstanding issues were settled, including Lakers’ Helen Martin winning the two main merit titles.

Needing to match her closest rival’s total, or at worst dropping just one point, two victories in extremely tough conditions on a wet Sunday afternoon, were enough to see Martin become only the second player to win both the Derek Killey and Geoff Osborn memorial trophies in the same season.

This following in the footsteps of club president Marg Tasker (Louie’s Angels) who achieved the same double in the 2011-12 campaign.

Twice winner in 2013/16, runner-up in 2014/18 and with two third places in 2015/17, Glynn Hargraves (A-Team) was just two points adrift of the leader going into the weekend and in turn he was five ahead of last year’s winner Matthew Keggen (Louie’s Angels), with fourth placed Brian Corner (Govags) close behind.

Hargraves and Corner both won their games to leave Martin a target of 41 points or better, which was achieved in relative comfort and a sense of relief on a very wet playing surface.

Keggen also recorded maximum points to finish third, with fifth and sixth places going to his opponents on Sunday – Steve Parker (Lakers) and Wayne Roberts (Erin Porters).

Club treasurer Tricia Bull (Angels) is next on the list, just pipping Kevin Firth (Outsiders); with ninth and tenth places being taken by players who both missed two games – Alan Moore (A-Team) and Mike Alexander (Outsiders).

Although he hasn’t been able to play in the last two outings due to an ankle injury, Austin Hart (A-Team) had already done enough in the junior merit ahead of Sam Aherne and Shannon McMullan, both Castletown Corkers.

Saturday’s action had former champions A-Team needing to score enough points to lift them back above Angels in the table, a target they hit with the help of their fifth and the campaign’s 27th maximum win.

They also recorded a total of 120 against Govags, the only team participating over the weekend whose final position was already confirmed and who had earlier beaten Corkers; however the southern outfit racked enough chalks to finish above their stablemates Castletown Cannons.

Results for Saturday, March 2: Govags 106 (3), Castletown Corkers 94 (3); Castletown Corkers 65 (0), A-Team 126 (6); A-Team 120 (5), Govags 80 (1).

The three outfits competing on Sunday afternoon were all fighting to retain or improve their league positions – Lakers recorded two wins to secure second, Angels failed in their attempt to move back into fourth and Erin Porters slipped out of the top six, being replaced by Parkers.

Results for Sunday, March 3: Erin Porters 89 (1), Mooragh Lakers 121 (5); Mooragh Lakers 124 (5), Louie’s Angels 91 (1); Louie’s Angels 112 (4), Erin Porters 98 (2).

Helen Martin will now represent the Best team on Sunday, March 24, whilst more names have been added to the Rest squad; they are Matthew Keggen, Brian Corner, Wayne Roberts, Alan Moore (A-Team, in the absence of Glynn Hargraves) and Sam Aherne; whilst Steve Parker will be Lakers representative.

Entries for the club championship on Saturday, March 16 close this Sunday; the winner of this competition will also be included in the Best team, which will take on the Rest at the Club’s prize presentation afternoon on Sunday, March 24.

A gang of 42 were split into three groups at the latest midweek round robin with the winners being Derek Allen, Bernie McPhee and Pauline Worrall; Geoff Mayles, Elaine Moore and Lynda Wilson; Julie Reilly and Mark Kelly.