The island’s premier doubles bowls competition, the Plumbmaster Doubles Championship, was hosted by Noble’s Bowling Club on Sunday.
The event was played 21 up off a handicap of +3 for all competitors. The event was well supported, with 31 pairs entering in a bid to win the coveted title.
At the quarter-final stage, holders Neil Withers and Paul Dunn (Marown) had a tough battle against Neil Dunwell (Onchan) and Lee Dawson (South Ramsey) as the Crosby men prevailed 21-18.
Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly and Stevie Kelly (Peel) just crept home 21-20 against Rob Monk (North Ramsey) and Matthew Quirk (Onchan). In the other half of the draw, both games were also close as South Ramsey’s Glynn Hargraves and Stefan Kelly beat the Onchan pairing of Kevin Quirk and Steve Parker 21-19, while Jordan Drewett (Castletown) and Dean Kinley (Peel) lost out 17-21 to Matthew Keggen and Paul Kelly (Marown).
In the semi-finals, Dunn and Withers were up against the father and son Barney and Stevie Kelly, with only singles scored in the first nine ends the score was 9-6 to the Marown pair.
The Peel men briefly took with the lead on the 10th end, with a four scored only to concede a two and a three to trail 10-14. Only seven more ends were needed for Withers and Dunn to reach the final despite only winning three of the ends as they scored a single, a four and a double to secure a 21-14 win.
The other semi-final saw Hargraves and S. Kelly take on Keggen and P. Kelly which was more straightforward as the Marown pairing were kept down to five singles as the South Ramsey men progressed to the final with a 21-8 victory.
On the first end in the final, this ended up a dead end with the jack being taken off the green by Kelly. On the next end a three was scored by the South Ramsey pair, this prompted an immediate response from the Crosby men with two singles, two doubles and three three’s in between conceding only two singles to take a commanding 18-8 lead, with the Marown pair playing good bowls along with the ability to take out their opponents’ counting bowls.
A three from Hargraves and Kelly prompted a double for Withers and Dunn to put the score at 20-11 to the Marown men.
Withers headed for an edge, putting up a good lead bowl to count one for game. With nothing to lose Hargraves came close to taking out the counting bowl only to take out his nearest bowl. Lying three down, Kelly used a side bowl to come in off which Kelly did to perfection and, with a good bit of fortune, they counted for two to put the score at 13-20.
Heading for the corners, a good lead bowl from Hargraves was beaten by Withers with a front ‘toucher’, which gave Kelly two goes to kill the end. With the second attempt just missing, this sealed a fully deserved 21-13 victory to win the title for a fourth successive year, following their wins at Port St Mary in 2020, Peel in 2021 and South Ramsey last year.
The presentation was made by association president Phil Kelly who thanked Noble’s Bowling Club and its members for providing helpers throughout the day, along with the competition team for the smooth running of the competition.