LAWN BOWLS ISLE OF MAN
Saturday saw the culmination of the National Pairs Championships in both the men’s and ladies’ finals being played in front of a splendid crowd who turned out to support the players. Defending their title from last year Karen Slack & Bernice McGreal were up against the much improved Joanne Kelly and partner Lorraine Widdowson, who has already been amongst the silverware this season. Their match was a closely contested affair until a change in jack length well into the match disturbed the consistency that Joanne & Lorraine had shown up to that point to concede a couple of counts and enable Karen & Bernice to establish a lead and eventually close out the match 22-13 to retain their Pairs title.The men’s pairs featured Gary Lenton & Dave Ball pitched against previous champions Mark & Clive McGreal. Mark having had a season away from bowls has returned with his old form in tact and is undefeated in any match so far this season. The early stages of this encounter were kept very tight with scores level after 10 ends. With the players battling against the elements and prevailing winds of 40 mph the quality of bowling was quite exceptional from all players who treated the spectators to some pretty special shots. However, it was the consistency of performance by Mark in particular that provided the edge and helped the McGreal duo to regain the title with a final score of 18-11.
On Sunday the final of the mixed pairs championships saw last season’s men’s champion Eric Maddocks and partner Caroline Corlett against Pat Lenton and Clive McGreal. With Eric in such fine form of late and Caroline playing her best bowls of the season the match was certain to live up to the high standards expected. Indeed the players did not disappoint with some excellent woods from both Pat and Caroline leading from the front. Again with scores tied after 10 ends it seemed inevitable that the match would go down to the wire. However, after some steady scoring to keep Eric & Caroline off the card for a while Pat and Clive found themselves 6 shots ahead with just 2 ends to play. As it happened in the penultimate end Eric managed to trail the jack to score a 3 and move to the last end just 3 shots behind. In the final end with another magnificent bowl Eric again managed to trail the jack towards the back woods of Caroline and hold a potential match winning position of 3 or 4 shots. With the jack just a foot away from the ditch Clive managed to find a way through the short bowls and draw the shot to end a dramatic contest and claim the mixed pairs title for a second time. Pat Lenton had more played her part during the game with a fine display and was pleased to take home the cup and have the bragging rights for the time being given that her husband had won that same title last season along with partner Dee Lewis.
Our thanks to umpires and markers across the weekend especially Win and John Kewley and President, Pam Makin for the presentations. To complete the vote of thanks all those contributions to the buffet were delightful.
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