Title race clearly not over yet

The race for the title in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter League Bowling Club was thrown on its head after the latest weekend of action – or in one case a lack of it.

Players arrived at the venue on Saturday to a surface with some wet patches, but with the weather forecast showing it to clear up, the games were started, but not before one of the teams decided not to participate due to the conditions.

Castletown Cannons headed home without playing and under the impression that if possible their games would be re-scheduled at a later date. This situation has yet to be resolved.

So let’s assume the two games will be played at some point before the end of the season and report on how things panned out over the two days.

On a green that was improving all the time, the top two sides went head to head and the victors were in no mood to let go of their crown, as Mean Machine closed the points deficit on leaders Seven-Up by 16 and put themselves back in the race, trailing by just seven.

Things then went from bad to worse for Seven-Up as they could only record a total of 104 against Louie’s Angels, who themselves dropped only six points in their own little battle to hold on to fourth.

So on averages at the end of Saturday, the Meanies had leap-frogged their rivals onto 116.4, compared to 116 for Sevens, however there was another session to follow 24 hours later…

When I arrived on Sunday, things were already on the move to get play started, which was perhaps a little surprising, having left a very wet north of the Island.

Play did get underway on time, only for the rain to hit Douglas not too long into the afternoon and turn the playing surface into a rather large puddle.

I now realise why Mooragh Lakers play under this team name, as they splashed their way through the water to two maximums and as a result, head the table on an average of 116.7 – well for a few days at least.

With their campaign over they await the four or possibly five results to be settled by the two sides directly behind them.

Also completing their schedule were Erin Porters and they also hit a 126 to take the total so far to 16 and in doing so hold on to sixth spot, squashed between Titans and Parkers.

Bowl Rollers were also competing and began with victory against Bits n Bobs, before going down to the Lakers, therefore finishing with an average just over 100 points, however Bits n Bobs slipped down a position behind Govags, not helped by them being a player short.

Results for Saturday, February 20: Mean Machine 117 (5) Seven-Up 101 (1), Seven-Up 104 (2) Louie’s Angels 120 (4). Two outstanding fixtures: Angels and Mean Machine versus Castletown Cannons.

Results for Sunday, February 21: Bowl Rollers 114 (4) Bits n Bobs 79 (2), Erin Porters 87 (0) Mooragh Lakers 126 (6), Bits n Bobs 64 (0) Erin Porters 126 (6), Mooragh Lakers 126 (6) Bowl Rollers 66 (0).

One thing decided was the destination of the Geoff Osborn memorial trophy, which was retained by Jenny Moore (Lakers), she cannot be caught by nearest rival Lyn Bolton (Titans), and will finish no worse than second in the overall standings, which is being led by Glynn Hargraves (Mean Machine).

Also confirmed in the top three is Mike Thomas (Parkers) and still looking for fourth is Alan Moore (Meanies), followed closely by teammate Stefan Kelly, the leading junior.

The midweek round robin enjoyed slightly better conditions and attracted an entry of 24, split into two groups of doubles, Terry Bates/Sylvia Kennaugh and John Lightfoot/Jordan Cain being the victors.

Just missing out in second were Derek Clarke/Mike Ware and Derek Allen/Tricia Bull.