LBIOM finally managed to host their ‘official opening day’ yesterday following their last attempt two weeks ago. It may have been raining in London for the Coronation of King Charles, but it was a day fit for a king in Onchan.

The day started with the traditional ‘spider’, where bowls were cast from all directions on the green towards the middle. Bowls is a difficult sport to master at the best of times, but trying to deliver towards a target without knowing the line and by having to negotiate a load of traffic is a skill in itself. Experience wasn’t something people could draw on either! On the day, it all came down to a wonder bowl from our wonder kid junior champion John Long, who claimed the prize being just a few inches away from the jack.

For the main event, 21 members fought it out for the Yardstick trophy. Members were drawn at random into pairs, and one triple. The games were short and sharp, not allowing any time to get into the games, as by the time you’d be settling into the game it was time to move rink. The aim of the game was to simply score as many points as possible over the four games scheduled during the afternoon. Three points were available for bowls within three inches of the jack, two points for anything within 18 inches and a single point for all bowls within a yard. Touchers also gained you a bonus point.

Despite the early stage of the season, the green played well, even on the outer rinks which historically have been a bit ropey. After the first round of matches, all eyes were on Ann Watterson & Clive McGreal who racked up an impressive 33 points in just four ends, and their closest rivals were 8 points adrift. However, the two rounds that followed saw the Watterson/McGreal duo failed to capitalise on the advantage scoring just 17 and 14. Whilst the attention was drawn away, it allowed two other teams, the triple of Jane Robinson, Pam Makin and Gary Lenton, and pairing of 14 year old junior member William Corris and Mark McGreal who returned for his roll after more than a year’s sabbatical, to fly under the radar and rack up some points of their own. As it came to the final round of matches, only three were in contention; Corris/McGreal had shot ahead and lead with 73 points, and had an eight shot buffer against Robinson/Makin/Lenton’s 65, who were hotly pursued by Watterson/McGreal on 64. Despite his young age, and lack of experience, William thrived under the pressure. He played a pivotal role in ensuring his team didn’t fall at the last hurdle. A number of touchers by Mark who played up front proved vital in the end too! As the final scores were calculated, it became apparent that not only was consistency in high scoring the key, but William and Mark’s ability to keep Jane, Pam and Gary’s score low when they faced in the first game. William and Mark finished top of the leader board at the end of the day’s play. This was William’s first competition win, and we are sure it is the first of many!

The final scores were as follows:
Mark McGreal & William Corris – 95
Jane Robinson, Pam Makin & Gary Lenton – 91
Ann Watterson & Clive McGreal – 86
John Kewley & Dee Lewis – 78
Phil Watterson & Dave Rafferty- 68
David Slack & Joanne – 66
Win Kewley & Pat Lenton – 65
Eric Maddocks & Mike Moyer – 64
Libby Andrade & Mel Reed – 64
Barbara Reed & John – 47

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