Lawn Bowls Isle of Man Tour of Scotland 2017

The recent tour by Lawn Bowls IOM to the Dumfries area has become somewhat an annual feature in the bowls calendar and proved to be useful preparation for the forthcoming test series against Guernsey and Jersey later next month. This year’s pilgrimage included 4 matches against some strong clubs in the Borders region with a number of county and international players amidst their ranks.

The first encounter against the hosts Maxwelltown started with some drizzle in the air but soon became a muggy and humid evening in which the touring side struggled to come to grips with the faster playing surface and outstanding performance of the opposition who were determined to provide some stiff competition for the visitors. Whilst losing all 4 triples matches the scores in a couple of the games were very close with the overall match result being 44-61 in favour of Maxwelltown.

After a day at leisure the next stop for the tourists was Annan Bowls Club who put on a splendid welcome for the Isle of Man side with tremendous hospitality and pristine green conditions. Having learned quickly from their earlier match playing under similar conditions the visitors managed the transition much on this outing with good performances from Mel and Barbara Reed in particular as the tourists claimed victory in 3 out of the 4 triples games, narrowly missing out on a clean sweep, to win overall by a margin of 60 shots to 51.

Whilst Dumfries was drenched in sunshine for the Saturday fixture the town was fully engaged with the local “Good Neighbour” festival which saw a carnival atmosphere descend on the district with a procession of floats, abundance of entertainment and all day licensing of the local hostelries. The rivalry on the green was equally compelling with the hosts, Marchmount Bowls Club boasting exceptional facilities with superb indoor and outdoor amenities. The playing surface once again running more quickly than the Manx squad are used to experiencing also had the added challenge of varying pace and drawing lines at different jack lengths. This is where the home side truly capitalised on their local knowledge taking 3 of the 4 triples games by a healthy margin leaving just the trio of Janice Pilling, Bernice and Clive McGreal to save the whitewash and pick up a win for the tourists. The match score being a loss by 49-71.

The final match of the tour ended in Eastriggs and Dornoch Bowls Club at their picturesque green just a mile away from the Solway Firth. With the tourists looking for a strong finish to their itinerary the match was closely contested across all four matches with the score mirroring the ebb and flow of the nearby estuary. In the end it was a success for the home team by a margin of just 5 shots that saw the locals prevail by winning on 3 of the 4 rinks with again a solitary victory registered by Mel and Barbara Reed playing alongside Clive McGreal.

Whilst the results did not quite go the way of the touring party on this occasion the standard of bowling was equally as good as previously tours and the hospitality by the host clubs was undoubtedly a parallel first class. The President of Lawn Bowls IOM, Phil Smith extended a heartfelt thanks to the host clubs and presented a Tour Pennant and gift to the local clubs for their tremendous reception and welcome. The tour party toasted an acknowledgement to their absent friend and fellow bowler Hamish Campbell after his sad passing and whose funeral was held on 16 June. The Club also voted their thanks to Secretary Win Kewley for her efforts and organisation of yet another very successful and enjoyable tour.

Tour results can be viewed by clicking here


21st June 2017