The Plumbmaster Limited Rayner Shield final between South Ramsey A and Marown C was held at Noble’s Bowling Club on Friday evening on a superb playing surface.
The draw took place ahead of the match, with a short video of the draw put together to generate a bit of interest. This appeared to pay off with more than 120 spectators in attendance to watch events unfold, on a fine evening for bowls with fantastic support for both teams.
League leaders South Ramsey were the clear favourites on the night, but the Marown men would have been hoping to pull off a huge upset.
First off the green for South Ramsey was Jordan Cain who beat Peter Kelly 21-6, with Cain helped by a 11-point scoring streak over eight consecutive ends.
Next off was David Bradford who beat Sam Clague as he finished the game in only 19 ends with a solid 21-7 victory.
The next game off the green was a hard-earned win from South Ramsey, with both players performing well as James Teare was level with Kevin Kelly after 14 ends at 10-10 before Teare went on to build up an 18-14 lead.
Two singles for Kelly closed the deficit to two chalks at 16-18, then Teare closed the game out with three singles to earn a 21-16 win.
The last game off in the first half ended up a good contest. South Ramsey captain Glynn Hargraves was fully in control as he went into a 14-6 lead over Tom Kelly, keeping the latter down to six singles at that point.
On the 18th end the momentum of the game shifted: with Hargraves counting for two, a fortuitous hit from the Marown man on his own bowl hit the jack, which then ricocheted off Hargraves’ bowl and fell kindly for Kelly to count two.
Kelly went on to turn the game around, performing brilliantly to score nine chalks over five ends and briefly went into the lead at 15-14, only for Hargraves to get back in before eventually going on to close the game out 21-17.
On the final end lying two down, a reaching bowl from Hargraves came off Kelly’s bowl furthest away from the jack to spring Kelly’s bowl onto the jack and, with a measure called, this went in favour of Hargraves.
With South Ramsey 4-0 up and dominating the chalks, this didn’t take anything away from the support given by the spectators around the green when Marown captain Stevie Rundle pulled off the shock of the night as he went into a 16-0 lead against Dido Kelly.
The South Ramsey man started to work his way back into the game, but with little margin for error Rundle held his nerve to see the game out with a 21-12 win as he put in a captain’s innings.
The sixth game off the green resulted in South Ramsey’s fifth win and officially sealed the Rayner Shield heading back north as Peter Collister beat Jamie Joughin 21-16, with the latter leading 11-10 at the halfway point in the game before the South Ramsey man’s experience came through to seal the victory.
Game number seven resulted in the biggest win of the night as Bob Clark romped home 21-5 against Steve Rough. With Clark leading 19-1, the Marown man managed to get another four chalks on the board.
The last game on the green was on for the some time after game seven came off, with the score 9-6 to Crosby man Dan Smith who was up against Stefan Kelly. The South Ramsey player fought back to lead 10-9 after 15 ends, only for Smith to score five singles over six ends to lead 15-11.
Kelly started to find his length as he managed to see the game out with 10 chalks scored, losing only two of the last nine ends to win 21-18. Smith performed admirably to give the South Ramsey man a scare.
The presentation was made by competition secretary Matthew Keggen who thanked Plumbmaster for sponsoring the competition, Noble’s Bowling Club for the use of the green and their club members for assisting throughout the evening.
The Rayner Shield was presented to South Ramsey captain Glynn Hargraves who offered his commiserations to Marown who had put up a spirited performance and congratulated his side for a superb team performance.
South Ramsey’s victory sees them take their seventh win in the competition, along with retaining the Shield to hold the title for a third consecutive season.