September Festival Preview
The Isle of Man Bowls Festival gets underway next week with a host of top names from across the game hoping to be the lucky winner who gets their name on the trophy and the winners cheque for £3,000. The event is being held for the first time since September 2019, with three festivals not taken place since then due to the pandemic and border restrictions.
On the first page of the draw five-time winner local man John Kennish is in the draw but unlikely to be taking part, whilst three-time winner Ian Nicholson (Hale) will be looking forward to his return to the island as he goes for win number four.
In the next section is David Jackson (Houghton) who won the coveted trophy in 1998, whilst South Ramsey’s David Bradford was a teenage winner in September 2002, soon after the finals moved from the Villa to Noble’s will be in the mix.
Paul Bailey (Thongsbridge) winner in 2007 and current holder John Bailey (Castlefields) who has two wins to his name from 2017 and 2019 are the stand out names on the next page with a potential match up in the fifth round providing they navigate their way safely through the early rounds.
Alan Gilpin (Hale) won the Festival as far back as 2004 whilst Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge) won more recently in 2019 could face each other in their 2nd round game
The following page is littered with previous winners and big hitters with two-time winner Martin Gilpin (Hale), Callum Wraight (Castlefields) is seeking his first festival win, 1990 winner Kevan Shaw (Red Lion) and Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Peel Sunset) whose success came in June 2000 are likely to face off throughout the week.
Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) is the only previous winner in his section of the draw, but there are several names who are more than capable of causing an upset.
Marown’s Neil Withers won the June Festival in 2013, whilst you have to go back a lot further for Onchan’s Phil Kerruish win which was back in 1991, with the two local men possibly facing each other in the 3rd round.
Colin Kelly, who won the Champion of Champions at the famous Waterloo Bowling Green in Blackpool in late September 2019, won the Festival in 2008 and is one of the unlucky few to be in the preliminary round.
Aside from those already mentioned there are some top names from the game, who have won some of the biggest competitions across, whilst others are capable of raising their game to cause an upset.
With six greens in use and several different competitions throughout the week, there is plenty of bowls for everyone it should make for a great week of bowls.
Have a great week!