Withers Takes Aston International Title
Noble’s Bowling club hosted the first open competition of the 2020 season, attracting a good entry of 62 men for the inaugural Aston International Cup following the enforced break. The weather was mixed with sun, rain and wind all playing a part throughout the day, with the green not running as well as you would expect this time of year.
A number of pre-tournament favourites lost out in the rounds before the quarter-finals, with the most notable being 2019 Champion of Champions Winner Colin Kelly who lost out to team mate Neil Withers 20-21.
Losing out at the quarter-final stage were David Bradford (South Ramsey), who lost 20-21 to team mate Stefan Kelly, Alec Taylor (Peel) lost out 15-21 to Brian Kelly (Marown), Reg Temporaza (Noble’s) had his run ended by Dave McCabe (Port St Mary) to the same score, whilst Kevin Kelly (Marown) performed well to reach his first quarter final before losing out to his godfather Neil Withers 12-21.
In the semi-finals McCabe battled well before losing out 16-21 to Withers, whilst Brian Kelly pushed Stefan Kelly a bit harder before losing out 18-21.
At the final both players were on their sixth game of the day, which was a lot to ask with this being the first competitive bowls since September last year, especially for Withers who was making his return after breaking his ankle in two places, dislocated and also suffered torn ligaments during a football match for his local club.
Kelly started strongly with a double, however Withers then took the next five ends along the edge of the green to take a 11-7 lead. Kelly got back in with a double by planting Wither’s bowl out to take a double, which he repeated on the next end to level the score at 11-11. Withers responded by taking the next two ends to go ahead 14-11, only for Kelly to take the next three ends and go ahead 15-14. Withers dug deep returning to a mark favoured throughout the afternoon, alternating between singles and doubles over the next five ends to run out with a convincing 21-15 win to take the title.
At the conclusion of play the presentation was made by competition secretary Alison Keggen, who thanked the sponsors Aston International for their support, everyone who had entered and the club members for assisting throughout the afternoon.
The ladies competition was well supported with an entry of 38, this will be reported separately by the ladies press officer.