David Cottier & Stephen Gale made sure the Manx Challenge Shield stayed on the Island for another year after a 10-9 victory over fellow Manxmen Bernie & Steve Durcan in a thrilling final, while John & Josie Robinson won the Plate with an 11-4 victory over Hilary & Melvin Simpson.
Cottier & Gale had earlier finished top of their Group despite a defeat to Seamus Whelan & Collin Holland but managed to recover to win on the last end against Carol & Robert Taylor who had to settle for second spot.
In Group 1 the Durcan’s had came through in second spot behind the English pairing of Ray Offord & Roy Toms. Carolyn & Jack McMenamin and Zawar Hussein & Chris Holland also qualified for that group.
Group 2 saw Peter & Maureen Richards go undefeated to finish ahead of Clare Hussein & Jayne Smith, with Peter & Kay Debenham in third and Carol & Tony Dines in 4th position to qualify for the Main knockouts.
In the Prelim round of the knockouts an all local match saw Zawar Hussen & Chris Holland beat Clare Hussein & Jayne Smith 14-0, while Peter & Kay Debenham ended Seamus Whelan & Collin Holland’s hopes with a 10-8 victory. In two all English ties Carolyn & Jack McMenamin beat Jenny & Richard Ekins 9-8 and Carol & Tom Dines beat Carol & Robert Taylor 10-6.
At the Quarter-final stage Cottier & Gale beat Hussein & Holland 12-3 while the Durcan’s beat the Dines 12-4 to progress. Peter & Maireen Richards won 11-6 over Carolyn & Jack McMenamin and Peter & Kay Debenham beat Offord & Toms 11-9.
The Plate Quarter -finals saw Sheila Durcan & Wyn Collister lose 9-7 to Pauline & Tony Friel while Hilary & Melvin Simpson beat Tony & Josie Drew 13-5 and John & Josie Robinson beat Alan & Pay Ellis 14-8.
In the semi-finals Cottier & Gale raced to a 6-0 lead over Peter & Maureen Richards and managed that gap well to finish 11-5 winners. The Durcan’s managed to set up an all Manx final after coming from 5-2 down with 4 to play to win 9-5. The Plate semi-finals saw local pair Christine & Michael Corelett battle back from 10-1 to 10-8 before running out of steam and losing 13-8 to John & Josie Robinson while Hillary & Melvin Simpson ran out 10-3 after a tight first 5 ends.
The Plate final saw the Robinson’s go into a 7-0 lead, and despite a mini comeback from the Simpson’s it ended 11-4 to John & Josie Robinson for them to take home the Plate.
The Main Final saw the Durcan’s race to a 6-0 lead after 2 ends, but a two & three shots on the next couple of ends saw Cottier & Gale get back to 6-5. With some big bowls being played by both sides it was 8-7 to the Durcan’s after 7 ends before another score of two shots by Cottier & Gale saw them take the lead for the first time on end 8. The Durcan’s levelled up the match 9-9 going into the final end, and in a tense end both Bernie Durcan, then Stephen Gale missed the chance to ditch the jack, but with Gale having the advantage of last bowl, Steve Durcan played an aggressive defensive shot and unfortunately tipped his own bowl out to leave Cottier & Gale holding shot, and the title.
After a great weekend the date for next years Manx Challenge Shield will be organised soon, with entry details being posted on our website & Facebook pages. We hope our friends from Essex have a safe trip home and look forward to seeing them all again soon.