Okells Claret Jug

Douglas bowling club celebrated their 125 year anniversary in fine style putting on a magnificent competition to commemorate to occasion. The partnership with Okells is a fitting one as Dr Okell was himself a founder member of the bowling club. It was a fantastic continuation of festival week with a strong entry fighting it out at the Villa Marina, straight after the main event, to earn their place in the last 32 on Saturday and a chance of the £500 first prize, the biggest prize in the local game outside of the actual festival.

Onchan player David Bradford played magnificently all day on Saturday and topped this off with a 21-15 final win over teammate Kevin Quirk on the magnificent Villa green. Bradford took control from the off and kept his nose in front to seal a memorable victory, picking up the coveted Ken Williamson trophy in the process for being furthest Manxman in the competition.

Quirk too played his part brilliantly, showing his talented children that there is still life in the old dog yet, particularly in the semi-finals where he beat Peter Collister (South Ramsey) 21-8. It is great to see Collister back in the game and playing at such a high level after a long absence from the sport and it is hard to believe that it was 30 years ago that he picked up his own June Festival win.

In the other semi-final Bradford had to battle hard to overcome Island Champion Glynn Hargraves (Onchan) 21-19. Bradford held a commanding 19-12 lead before Hargraves dug deep closing the deficit to just one point at 20-19. Bradford held his nerve superbly to finish the game of and book his final berth. Fallers at the quarter final stage were Mike Hargraves (Castletown), Janet Monk (Mooragh Park), Stuart Garrett & Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (both Douglas).

At the conclusion of the competition Douglas Bowling Club president Roy Williams, along with Judith Cussack (Okells) and Denis Williamson presented the prizes. It is fantastic to see clubs trying new things and this event was undoubtedly a success and praise must go to everyone at the club involved and the green keepers who turned out an immaculate playing surface. Thanks must also go to main sponsor Okells Brewery along with Denis Williamson, D L Gellings & Visit IOM who all put up prizes for the event.