Kelly shines bright like a diamond

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.

Colin Kelly
2019 BCGBA Champion of Champions

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.

Full scores

Last 32

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

Last 16

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

Last 8

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

About Steve Davies 171 Articles
Throughout his bowling career Steve has always supported the admin side of the game as well as a keen player of the game. As a club secretary, association secretary, county delegate on the BCGBA (National Governing Body) Management Committee, Media Officer for the BCGBA, Merseyside champion in 2002 and Merseyside County President (2014-15) Steve has always been keen to promote the game especially through the broadcast of the game on TV or Internet. Steve set up the LIVE BOWLS YouTube channel which became the Bowls Observer channel and, through the LDBA, runs national competitions. Seeing an avenue to report on and promote the game Steve set up the Bowls Observer on-line magazine.