Palmer Wins IOM June Festival

One of the biggest events on the bowls calendar – The Isle of Man June Bowls Festival took place this week, with the event attracting well over 500 entries in both the men’s and ladies’ events, as entries continue to improve, with the weather from Monday to Thursday favourable. Friday saw some welcome cloud cover, this did not deter the spectators, who were treated to an entertaining finals day to cap off a superb week. With the competition supported by the Department of Economic Development Finals Day included a special visit from the Lieutenant Governor Sir John Lorimer, who was introduced to the Festival Organiser Steve Moore and BCGBA CEO Paul Ashmore, with the Governor introduced to the popular Isle of Man Bowls Festival.

In the Men’s event it was Jon Palmer (Castlefields) who picked up his first Isle of Man Festival win, to add to his Autumn Waterloo Title, with both titles being coveted by the top bowlers in the game.

Palmer took home the winners’ cheque for £3,200 and lifted the famous trophy as he beat fellow Castlefields man and good friend Carl Fielding – a previous June Festival winner in 2014, 21-11 in a game spectators expected to be close. Palmer picked up two singles over the first two ends, only to concede two doubles to trail 7-9. In response Palmer went on to win seven consecutive ends, with the jack proving crucial, scoring nine points to lead 16-9. Fielding threatened a comeback as he won the next two ends to trail 11-16, however Palmer ensured this was the end of the road, winning the next four ends scoring five points on a short mark over the crown to finally get his hands on the trophy.

Palmer or ‘JP’ as he is known across the bowling community reached the final with a comfortable 21-10 win over Joseph Cranston (Crossgates), whilst Fielding beat Josh Mordue (Crossgates) 21-14 to take his place in the final.

The quarter finals featured two local bowlers with South Ramsey’s Glynn Hargraves losing out 14-21 to Mordue, whilst Marown man Colin Kelly picked up the George Craine Trophy as the best local as he was defeated 17-21 by Fielding. Palmer ensured safe passage to the semi-finals with a 21-16 win over Gareth Coates (Akroyden Victoria), whilst Cranston had a tussle with Lee Johnstone (St Oswalds) with the former prevailing 21-18.

Men’s Tourism 

The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1, and it was Callum Wraight (Castlefields) who retained the Tourism title to see off James Wilcox (Crossgates) 21-18 in a thrilling final, as Wraight won the June title for a fifth time and sixth in total with his one September win under his belt.

The final was close throughout with neither player able to get a run of ends throughout the game, only for Wraight to get over the line with the scores tied at 18-18, picking up a double and a single to claim the victory.

In the semi-finals Wraight’s had it all to do as he took on Dan Petcher (Littleover), with the latter just losing out 17-21, whilst Wilcox had a much more comfortable win, seeing off clubmate Mark Hughes 21-12.

In the quarter finals Wraight progressed with a 21-13 win over the last local left, Neil Withers (Marown), with Petcher seeing off Dave McDermott (Merseyside) 21-12. In the other half of the draw Wilcox beat first time visitor Kevin Siddle (Pudsey Littlemoor) 21-12, with Hughes facing off against teammate Kez Smith, with the former prevailing 21-11.

Other Events 

The Men’s consolation was won by Jamie King (Wrockwardine Wood) who beat Martin Keatley (Mossley Hill AC) 21-20 in the final, with King beating Ross Hatzer (Bar Lane) 21-18 in the semi-final, whilst Keatley had a comfortable 21-10 win over Gareth Jones (Dalton CC).

The Ladies consolation also went to the wire in the final as local Sue Gawne (Noble’s) beat Chrissy McManus (Our Lady’s) 21-20. Gawne reached the final courtesy of a 21-13 win over Sharon Gadd (Cononley), whilst McManus took her place in the final with a 21-18 win over Karen Hill (New Mill).

The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Elliott Laboure (Littleover) who ensured Gerald Merry wasn’t able to retain the title he picked up last year with a 9-6 victory, whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Andrew Gregory (Comberbach BC) who beat Maurice Edmonds (Walney Park) 21-11 in the final. 

In the doubles competitions the Open doubles was won by Matt Gilmore and Chris Barton (both Wirral) with a resounding 11-2 win over Liam Griffin (Crossgates) and Gareth Coates (Akroyden Victoria). Gilmore and Barton reached the final with an 11-3 win over Adam Wildsmith and Matthew Kelly-Walley (both Stretton Anglesey), whilst Griffin and Coates beat the last locals left in the competition Neil Withers and Paul Dunn (Marown) 11-4.

The Men’s doubles was an emphatic 11-0 win for Ian Hazlehurst (Merseyside) and Phil Lee (Quarry) over Steve McManus (Our Lady’s) and Darren Edgerley (Hesketh Arms), with the winners also beating their opponents Carl Gregson and Liam Gregson (both Skelmersdale Park) 11-0 in the semi-final, whilst McManus and Edgerley reached the final with a 11-8 win over Neil Wright and Mark Bramall (both Kirkham).

The Ladies doubles featured all four Wrockwardine Wood players as Sally King and Natalia Moseley beat club mates Sarah Weaver and Louise Cotton in a thrilling final with the former pair winning 11-9. King and Moseley reached the final with an 11-0 win over Lune Road pair Gill Simm and Diane Harrison, whilst Weaver and Cotton beat Crossgates Rachel Wilcox and Lynn Wilcox 11-9 to reach the final.

Winning the Mixed pairs were Wendy Allen (Castle Sports & SC) and Ian Johnson (Chesterfield) with a 9-0 win over Lorraine Hirst (New Mill) and Gavin Ratcliffe (Meersbrook). Allen and Johnson progressed to the final with a 9-3 win over Caroline Whitehead (Port Erin) and John Colebourne (Chesterfield), whilst a 9-0 win for Hirst and Ratcliffe ensured they went through against Jo Smith (Noble’s) and Byrom Oates (Two Gates BC).