IOMFGBA at the 2015 Atlantic Championships
Entry for this event which is held every 4 years is restricted to affiliated nations within Europe, South America and Africa determined by World Bowls. Format: Singles, Pairs, Triples and Rinks disciplines for both Men and Ladies held over a 2 week period with the IOM competing in 49 matches in total during the event. Representatives for the Isle of Man were as follows:- Men:- Clive McGreal, Mark McGreal, Dave Moncaster, Phil Smith, Phil Watterson. Ladies:- Win Kewley, Pam Makin, Bernice McGreal, Karen Slack, Anne Watterson.
Performance and Results:- A full analysis of all results, report and photographs may be accessed at the World Bowls website link at: http://www.worldbowls.com/event/2015-atlantic-championship/
This event is staged as the Northern Hemisphere qualifying competition for the World Championships with the Pacific Championships effectively being a mirror event for the Southern Hemisphere nations. A brief summary of the highlights showed that both the Men’s Pairs and Ladies’ Triples narrowly missed out on qualification for the World Championships on just shots difference with the top 10 nations in each discipline going onto New Zealand in 2016. Whilst both IOM teams finished in 11th place in their respective disciplines the margin was just a few shots and in the case of the men’s pairs event the Manx duo had already defeated Cyprus in the section fixture who ended up in 10th place just ahead of Clive and Mark McGreal. During their campaign Mark and Clive faced the Scottish pairing and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists of Alex Marshall and Paul Foster. Giving a good account of themselves the Manx pair were not able to cause an upset on this occasion. In the Men’s Triples event the Manx trio notched up a win over Turkey but could not match the remainder of the competition in their group. The remainder of the results in the men’s rinks discipline demonstrated just how strong the competition can be at such world class level events with so many close matches but with just a draw against Israel to show from their 7 fixtures in this discipline.
In the Ladies Section Bernice McGreal carried the responsibility in the singles event and managed some success and put in a number of good performances but could not deliver the same success she enjoyed at the same venue during the 2012 Champion of Champions event. In the Ladies pairs Win Kewley and Pam Makin found the going tough with their pool matches against particularly strong opponents but to their credit they did manage a draw against the Netherlands. In the Ladies Rinks discipline the Manx four put in a huge display in the final section match of the tournament where they defeated the hosts Cyprus on their own green which enabled the IOM squad to at least take away some solace at the end of the event. The best performance of the Manx squad almost certainly came from the Ladies Triple of Karen Slack, Anne Watterson and Bernice McGreal who surprised a few nations to notch up 3 victories in their pool matches over Spain, Netherlands and Turkey and only narrowly missing out on a trip to New Zealand.
The overall team results were a little disappointing with the Ladies finishing up 15th out of the 17 nations entered whereas the Men ended up 16th from the 18 nations entered in their events. However, the squad can be proud of their performance given the limited number of bowlers we have within our association in comparison with all the other nations competing at this event.