Last week saw the running of the Isle of Man Indoor Bowls Association Pairs Championship which began on Monday 3rd January with two Preliminary Round matches and three First Round matches. In the Preliminary Round, we saw the father and son pairing Clive and Mark McGreal prove to be too strong for Dee Lewis and David Quirk and Stefan Kelly and Alan Moore took the win against Trevor Quayle and Wayne Roberts.
In the First Round Win and John Kewley beat Paula and Stuart Garrett, Marilyn Ellison and Libby Andrade did well to beat Joyce Ogden and Caroline Whitehead and Bernice McGreal and Janice Pilling beat Mike Moyer and Mair Moore.
Tuesday night saw the remaining First Round Matches played and in these, we saw some close games with two ending a tie after the regulation ten ends were completed and go to a one end tie break. The first of these saw Rob Matthews and Gordon Wynne Smythe tie 8-8 with Mary Manuja and Colin Brown only for the latter team to lose the tie break. The second tie break of the night saw Bob Callow and Norman Kneen also draw 8-8 with Joanne Kelly and Tina Hampson and I have to say that the latter pair were unlucky to lose after a very close battle. In the remaining games, we saw Clive and Mark McGreal beat Stefan Kelly and Alan Moore, Marcia Pearson and Muriel Cain beat Edward Carlyle and Brian Lindsay and Paul Dougherty and Peter Hughes beat Shirley and Gordon Corrin.
In the Quarter-Finals, a gallant effort from Win and John Kewley came to an end when they lost in a tie break to Janice Pilling and Bernice McGreal, Marcia Pearson and Muriel Cain were too strong for Paul Dougherty and Peter Hughes while Rob Matthews and Gordon Wynne Smythe were beaten by Marilyn Ellison and Libby Andrade. In the remaining game, we saw Pam Makin stand in as a very capable reserve with Norman Kneen but they were comfortably beaten by Clive and Mark McGreal.
The Semi-Finals saw the on form McGreal pairing prove to be too strong for Marcia Pearson and Muriel Cain while Marilyn Ellison and Libby Andrade who had battled so well all week beat Janice Pilling and Bernice McGreal to earn themselves a place in the Final.
We then came to a Final which saw one of the least experienced pairs in the competition play arguably the most experienced pair of Clive and Mark McGreal who put on a masterclass to coast to victory. We must not however take anything away from Marilyn Ellison and Libby Andrade who should be proud of their performances all week and fully deserved their place in the Final.