Quirk Wins Henry Kissack Memorial

Marown Bowling Club hosted the Henry Kissack Memorial Trophy on Sunday attracting an entry of 47, down on last years’ entry of 56, however there was a good quality of bowlers in the field, who were treated to a top quality playing surface.

With the rain setting in before the quarter finals, losing out in the quarter finals were Glynn Hargraves (South Ramsey) 18-21 to Onchan man Matthew Quirk, with the latter getting himself out of trouble when lying two down at 17-18 to score two himself, going on to run out with a 21-18 win. Glenn Boland scored just three chalks against Marown team mate Colin Kelly as the former lost 6-21. Mike Hargraves (Castletown) made a rare appearance at an open, however the 82 year old lost out 10-21 in his third game to home greener Neil Withers, whilst Andy Kennish (Marown) held off Marown A team captain Paul Dunn 21-18.

The semi-finals were very one-sided affairs as Quirk shown the form he was in, beating Colin Kelly to single figures as he romped home 21-8. In the other semi-final this ended up the same score as Withers eased his way into the final as he beat Kennish.

The final started with Quirk the favourite, despite having not previously won a men’s singles competition, due to the form he had displayed throughout the afternoon, having defeated three fellow island players en route to the final (Peter Jones/Glynn Hargraves/Colin Kelly).

The early ends saw Quirk take a 7-3 lead over the Marown man, with Withers closing the deficit to just one chalk at 6-7. Quirk then took control of the game to lead 14-7, extending this further to 19-12 playing to the crown and back to the corner, with good quality bowls from both players. Withers took four consecutive singles to put the deficit at just three chalks (16-19). A good lead from Withers was beaten by a great bowl from the Onchan man to put himself with touching distance of the title. Withers had other ideas as two singles, with a close measure going in his favour made it three consecutive singles to put himself right in the mix with the score now 19-20.

A good lead from Withers approximately six inches to the side of the jack was nearly beaten by Quirk’s first bowl. Withers was unable to make two due to where Quirks’s bowl sat, there was quite a bit of danger. Quirk’s last bowl was sent right down the track, as the Onchan man made sure he was up as he had two shots to play – promoting his own bowl onto the jack, or to sit out Withers counting bowl, with the latter option being taken, with a great last bowl to settle a good quality final for a 21-19 win. This was Quirk’s first men’s singles open competition, having suffered heartbreak in a number of finals over the years, this success was more than deserved beating four fellow Island team players on his way to winning.

The presentation was made by competition secretary Brian Kelly, who thanked the club members for assisting throughout the day, the team in the kitchen for the refreshments and the green keeper for preparing the green. Marown President Peter Kelly then presented the prizes. In his speech Matthew stated it was his first men’s singles opens win and he was delighted to have won the competition.