Questions yet to be answered

There are still a lot of questions to be answered over the final three weekends of fixtures in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League, both from a team and individual perspective.

The latest batch of games saw defeats for the league’s top team and leader in the merit, along with three sides bringing their winter experience to a close.

Storm Erik was beginning to subside when leaders Outsiders began the afternoon with a comfortable victory over Govags and they dropped just three chalks along the way.

Next followed the first clash between the top two sides, but things did not start well for Outsiders, as they trailed Mooragh Lakers 42 points to 16 after the first two results on the card.

They dug deep in the remaining four games, to reduce the deficit at the end, to just nine chalks; with the highlight for them being Mike Alexander’s 21-17 win over merit leader, Helen Martin.

So after the opening two fixtures, Lakers had reduced the gap, but they needed to keep the momentum going when Govags made their way back into the action.

The westerners will have been disappointed with their Saturday on Nobles 3 green after they lost out 83 to 120 – well apart from one of their players, following Brian Corner’s victories against two top opponents to see him sit fourth on average in the merit table.

So at the end Lakers had closed the margin to Outsiders by just six chalks, but will that be enough, and has the fairly low scoring encounter given the third and fourth placed contenders a chance of taking the title?

If for instance the four teams score similar to the first time round, in the games they have remaining, things are about to change, but as we know this can be an unpredictable game.

Results for Saturday, February 9: Govags 89 (1), Outsiders 123 (5); Outsiders 100 (4), Mooragh Lakers 109 (2); Mooragh Lakers 120 (5), Govags 83 (1).

Sunday had three of the four participants finishing their league programme for the season, with Parkers going out on a high after they dropped just four chalks.

I think it is fair to say that Parkers and Bowl Rollers have not had a great campaign by their usual standards, however a victorious Parkers recorded a double maximum against their rivals, who had one loser reaching 20.

Southern outfit Castletown Cannons took their winning tally up to four with a 113 to 82 success over basement side Bits n Bobs.

Parkers next brought their winter to an end with a comfortable win over Bits n Bobs and moved up onto an average of 106.5, which is very close to Erin Porters who are just above them in the standings with four to play on 106.8.

Rollers meanwhile completed their league outings in the final encounter when they also took their winning total to four, with success against Cannons.

Results for Sunday, February 10: Castletown Cannons 113 (4), Bits n Bobs 82 (2); Parkers 126 (6), Bowl Rollers 87 (0); Bits n Bobs 75 (1), Parkers 122 (5); Bowl Rollers 117 (4), Castletown Cannons 98 (2).

Three team merit winners are known at this stage, with Terry Moore (Parkers), Lil Smith (Bowl Rollers) and Alan Phair (Castletown Cannons) qualifying for the best versus rest section of the prize presentations afternoon on Sunday, March 24.

With the league schedule up to date, a round robin session will be held this Sunday; whilst a good entry took part in last week’s midweek gathering when 38 players were divided into groups of triples and doubles.

Strongest in the black jacks were Steve Parker, Lil Smith and Steve Crampton; while second was settled by a roll-up in favour of Carol Kaye, Caroline Corlett and Peter Karran who just pipped Rita Callister, Bernie McPhee and Mark Kelly.

The pairs group was a bit closer with second and third also being decided by a roll-up, winners Jackie Elliott and Marg Tasker completed the afternoon ahead of Jeff Wilson and David Clucas, and Pauline Worrall and Peter Kelly fell just short in third.

The club championship will be held on Saturday, March 16, entries for which are now being taken at Nobles 3.