After surviving just about every type of weather, Colin Kelly a 51-year-old Government worker from Douglas, became the first Isle of Man bowler to win the Champion of Champions. From wet to sunshine to extremely wet Colin shone brighter than all the others at this showpiece crown green bowls event.
This event has been held at the Waterloo Hotel in Blackpool since 1980 when Noel Burrows became the inaugural winner beating the late great Vernon Lee in the final. It has always attracted huge crowds and it was no different this year. I think all were grateful the Waterloo can accommodate such a large crowd out of the elements but still with a fantastic view of the action.
The day started with the green extremely wet after heavy morning rain. This merely topped up the water table after unusual heavy rain in Blackpool for the festival week. It is extremely rare for the Champions day to have such weather. But we had it this year!
The rain book-ended the day with glorious sunshine in the middle. The players were all struggling to adapt to the speed of the green, especially when having not sent the jack.
Of the early games only Kevin Kearns against David May was a close game. As soon as the first set of games were ending the sun came out the green, though still extremely damp, quickened in pace.
It was only when the camcorder was set up and the last 8 started that the rain came back to give another challenge for the bowlers.
The scores are below as is the link for the video from the last 8. So I’ll let the action take over from the words.
A dream come true and still can’t quite believe my achievement against a host of top crown green bowlers. This is the pinnacle of my crown green bowling career spanning more than 40 years, played at the best known venue in the UK which puts the Isle of Man on the map.
Callum Wraight 21 v Paul Dale 10
Jack Dyson 11 v Graeme Wilson 21
Callum Sharples 07 v Scott Simpson 21
Jamie King 21 v Gary Owen 15
Kevin Kearns 21 v David May 19
Lee Johnstone 14 v Matt Gilmore 21
James Hanson 12 v Josh Towey 21
Anthony Bracken 21 v Steve Freer 20
James Higgins 21 v Robin Cooke 09
John Bailey 21 v Paul Clark 18
Damian Morrison 13 v Colin Kelly 21
Jack Hargreaves 21 v Craig Gant 07
Spencer Clarke 21 v Mark Hughes 09
Steve Morrey 21 v Paul Stretton 10
Matt Allen 17 v Geraint Booth 21
Dean Ferris 06 v Ryan Prosser 21
Callum Wraight 19 v Graeme Wilson 21
Scott Simpson 21 v Jamie King 09
Kevin Kearns 11 v Matt Gilmore 21
Josh Towey 21 v Anthony Bracken 12
James Higgins 21 v John Bailey 11
Colin Kelly 21 v Jack Hargreaves 17
Spencer Clarke 21 v Steve Morrey 05
Geraint Booth 18 v Ryan Prosser 21
Graeme Wilson 14 v Scott Simpson 21
Matt Gilmore 18 v Josh Towey 21
James Higgins 19 v Colin Kelly 21
Spencer Clarke 21 v Ryan Prosser 06
Scott Simpson 21 v Josh Towey 18
Colin Kelly 21 v Spencer Clarke 11
Scott Simpson 10 v Colin Kelly 21