Paul Dunn Crowned Manx Champion

Onchan Bowling Club hosted this year’s Canada Life International sponsored Manx Championship. The competition attracted 73 entries, with the qualifying day held last Sunday with players having to win a minimum of two games on qualifying day to reach the finals day on Sunday. There was a crowd of well over 150 who came to support their club mates, which added to the atmosphere and the green was in fantastic condition for finals day, which made for some quality bowling.

Last 16 Results

Paul Dunn 21-5 Reginald Temporaza
Stefan Kelly 16-21 Tom Kelly
Neil Withers 21-19 Paul Skelly
Glynn Hargraves 21-9 Frank Watson

Matthew Keggen 21-12 James Teare
Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly 21-18 Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly
Paul ‘Pooky’ Quirk 5-21 Brian Kelly
Colin Kelly 13-21 Kevin Quirk

In the quarter finals Tom Kelly (Peel) had his challenge ended by Paul Dunn (Marown) losing 13-21, whilst former home greener Glynn Hargraves (South Ramsey) disposed of Neil Withers (Marown) with a 21-10 win. Matthew Keggen (Marown) lost 11-21 to Dave ’Barney’ Kelly (Peel), whilst Brian Kelly (Marown) pushed Kevin Quirk (Onchan) before losing out 17-21.

The semi-finals had representation from each of the ‘big four’ clubs, with Dunn putting in a brilliant performance against Hargraves to win 21-9 to take his place in the final. The second semi-final was a lot closer with Quirk taking a 7-1 lead, only for Kelly to turn the game on it’s head to lead 15-10. Quirk responded to level things up at 17-17. This was a great game which either player could easily have gone on to reach the final, however Kelly just had enough to run out with a 21-17 victory.

The final started with the crowd knowing there would be a new name on the trophy for the first time since 2015. Both players had lost in the final previously, Dunn having lost to John Kennish at Port Erin in 2006 and Kelly at Castletown to Phil Kerruish in 1986 and Kevin Quirk at Ronairco in 2005. Dunn was quickest out of the blocks playing the marks that had served him well all day to take a 7-1 lead, with Kelly responding by getting into the corners taking a single and three doubles in between a single for Dunn to level things up at 8-8. Dunn went on another good run to lead 14-9 with his strike success rate making a huge difference in the game hitting four strikes from his first four attempts. During the middle of the game it is difficult to say if it is was the changing pace of the green or nervousness from the players who were attempting to win their first title that led to a few stray bowls. Kelly was lying one on a straight peg mark at 14-17 heading into the corner, having beaten Dunn’s first bowl after Dunn had gone in on the round peg to beat his lead. Dunn’s second bowl was crucial tipping the jack to count for two to lead 19-14. From there Dunn claimed a single to reach 20, then Kelly responded with a single and headed into the corners at 15-20 for a last throw of the dice. Kelly kept his jack on the green after previously sending off two jacks, playing cautiously into the corner leading with a yard bowl which he was unable to improve on. Dunn held his nerve to bowl in and claim the all important point needed for a 21-15 victory to deservedly be crowned Manx Champion. The win caps a fine couple of years for Dunn, who having picked up a number of titles over the past couple of seasons has gone on to deservedly win the big one, having been tipped by a number of bowlers to win his first title this year. The wait goes on for Barney, who despite having recently turned 60 proved he is more than capable of mixing it with the best.

The presentation was made by Association President John Ryder, who presented the prizes. Thanks were given to the competition committee for running the competition, Onchan for hosting the event, the greenkeeper for the excellent condition of the green, the ladies for the refreshments provided, and all the club members who assisted with the measuring & stewarding throughout. In his speech Dunn was clearly delighted and emotional upon claiming his first Manx Championship title with his parents, partner and club mates watching.