Top three battle on

The leading three teams were in action on the one day of league fixtures over the weekend in the Manx Petroleum sponsored Outdoor Winter Bowling League and it was second placed Seven-Up who left Nobles Park the happiest.

They reduced the gap to leaders Mooragh Lakers down to just 20, with the margin being as high as 43 prior to Christmas and both with four fixtures left to play the title could be decided by mid February, the date they are due to complete their programme.

The afternoon began with Lakers dropping a crucial eight chalks in their encounter with next to bottom side Castletown Cannons, who themselves racked up a great total of 104, which included two losses on 20.

Also on the green was the first of two big clashes, with Seven-Up (second) taking on third placed Unstopabowls, a team who have been hovering close behind the top two and with a few new faces in their line-up have done well to remain in contention.

They both threw all they had into this, and things couldn’t have ended much closer as Unstopabowls won 4-2 on games, but lost out in the all-important points battle by just two.

Match details, Seven-Up first: Jordan Cain 21, Steve Waters 10; Alison Keggen 19, Alan Moore 21; Kevin Quirk 20, Glynn Hargraves 21; Nigel Thomas 21, Stefan Kelly 15; Steve Crampton 12, David Kelly 21; Paula Firth and Derek Clarke 18, Glenn Boland and Kim Hargraves 21. Seven-Up 111 (2), Unstopabowls 109 (4).

After the first set of fixtures the Lakers had increased their points margin by seven, but they had to swap opponents for the second batch, in which Seven-Up took full advantage and dropped just one chalk against Cannons.

Lakers meantime had to take on eight-time champions Unstopabowls to maintain their margin, but as expected it was the closest contest of the session, decided by one point and three-all on games.

A fairly low scoring result, which went in favour of Lakers, but maybe more so to Seven-Up, because as mentioned that leading margin has reduced dramatically and can easily be overturned in one afternoon.

Remaining results for Sunday, January 29: Mooragh Lakers 118 (5), Castletown Cannons 104 (1); Castletown Cannons 86 (1), Seven-Up 125 (5); Unstopabowls 106 (3) Mooragh Lakers 107 (3).

The leading three players in the battle for the individual merit took part in this session, all winning their two games, so no change with Jordan Cain (Seven-Up) ahead of Jenny Moore (Lakers) on a better against total, and with two games more to play than those two is Glynn Hargraves (Unstopabowls), also having dropped just three chalks.

Either side of the league fixtures, two round robins took place, and in the midweek gathering an entry of 36 was split into triples with the winners being Janet Monk, Graham Ogden, and Derek Clarke, ahead of Vicky Lloyd-West, Bernard Thackrah and Doug Allan.

Also victorious were Mike Skelly, Jacqui Elliott and Erwin Gelling, who just pipped Terry Bates, Ken Karran and Bob Coker.

Saturday had a smaller group of 23 and winning the triples were Lil Smith, James Teare and Tricia Bull, with second going to Ken Karran, David Kelly and Mark Kelly; whilst in the other gang, which was played as doubles, the victors were Alan Moore and Stefan Kelly, beating Steve Crampton and Derek Clarke into second spot.