IOMFGBC Finals Day Round Up
IOMFGBA hosted their championship finals weekend in glorious sunshine with plenty of spectators enjoying the matches on display. In the ladies final Bernice McGreal, a previous winner two occasions and fresh from her Commonwealth Games appearance was up against new club member Ann Watterson, a former crown green player , in her first season of lawn bowls. Both players found the conditions quite challenging as the tricky green and pace of the rink tested the ability and concentration of the competitors to the full. Following early exchanges it was Watterson who mastered the conditions to get a grip of the match and build a commanding lead. Watterson’s strength in playing the longer length jacks proved to be a decisive factor in the match as she played some impressive shots and showed immaculate composure in her first championship final going on to a comfortable victory over Bernice McGreal by 21 shots to 9.
The men’s championship final featured last year’s runner up Martin Paterson playing Mark McGreal both aiming to claim the title. However, it was Paterson who was quickly into his stride finding the line and length to mount a healthy lead over McGreal who found himself chasing the game from an early stage. The crowd were treated to some terrific bowls with standards extremely high and quality of ends worthy of meriting a place in the final. At one stage it seemed that Paterson’s relentless consistency would bring a quick victory but McGreal mounted a recovery to pull back the deficit before Paterson closed out the match to claim the title 21 shots to 13.
The championship pairs events played on Sunday saw a return to the arena by all 4 of the previous day’s singles finalists and was something of a family affair with all four of the McGreal family involved in the action. The Ladies Pairs featured the new pairing of Bernice McGreal partnering Ann Watterson against the established duo of Pam Makin and Win Kewley. On this occasion it was Makin and Kewley who were quicker off the mark to open up a formidable lead over their opponents who found it difficult to match their performances a day earlier. With Makin providing a solid and consistent job at lead and Kewley producing the goods at skip whenever called upon, their opponents failed to match the overall standard set with a well deserved victory for Win Kewley who retained the title this time with a maiden win for her new partner Pam Makin.
The men’s pairs final was a family affair with defending title holders Clive McGreal and Martin Paterson taking on Mark and Michael McGreal in an effort to add the championship to their Pairs League title. The match played in great spirit was extremely tight for the first 10 ends with honours even until the young pretenders strung together a series of ends with some super explosive firing from Michael and subtle drawing skills of his brother Mark to open up a seven shot gap leading into the last 2 ends. With the “never defeated “ attitude of the defending champions still present Paterson and McGreal took advantage of a rare lapse by their opponents to snatch a count of 5 and bring the match to within 2 shots going into the last end. Whilst the contest remained in the balance for a while Michael pulled off another stunning bowl to draw a touching bowl to the full length jack which sealed victory for the brothers by 18 shots to 15 and earn the bragging rights in the McGreal household until next season at least.