After only the third week of the Indoor Bowls Season three teams have already built up a clear lead over the rest of the field in the Premier Team Event. On last Wednesday those at the Bowls Rink at the NSC saw some great bowling and at the end of the night we saw QPR take the lead having already achieved a maximum eighteen points followed by Villans on sixteen and Dragons on fourteen. They were then followed by three teams all on six points which is an incredible gap at this early point of the season.
In the First Division Teams we have Maxums in the lead with thirteen points closely followed by DNA, also on the same points total. Although these two teams are looking strong, I still expect Mann Utd and Castletown Crofters ‘to be breathing down their necks’ as the season progresses.
In the Tuesday morning league Villans have built up an early six-point lead over Maxums and Ellan Vannin, but this is a very competitive league and much could happen before the end of the season.
In the Premier Pairs we saw Cheesemakers take the league lead followed by Young Guns both having earned eleven points and we then have Dragons on eight points and Likely Lads on seven. If pushed at this stage of the season I would now say Cheesemakers have to be firm favourites to end at the top but there are some very skilful bowlers in all these teams who will be doing their best to prove me wrong.
In the First Division Pairs we have my early favourites Castletown Crofters and Enigma in first and second place and playing really excellent bowls, but Terriers can’t be ruled out as they following closely behind and could well be in the mix later in the season.
The Second Division Pairs is proving really successful this year and is proving to be very competitive. In this league we have Reckless Rollers in the lead on twelve points followed by Odd’s and Bobs 2 on ten points with Corrin’s Folly in third place having gained a total of eight points.
After week two in the Premier Pairs we have only ‘Young Guns’ maintaining a 100% win record but this could come under serious threat when they face ‘Likely Lads’ in week three. I think however that this League is still wide open with any one of the first half dozen teams having a chance to take the honours at the end of the season.
In the First Division Pairs we have ‘Castletown Crofters’ again having gained full points and they are closely followed by ‘Terriers’ and ‘Enigma’ and it is already starting to look as if the eventual winner will come from one of these three teams.
In the Tuesday Morning League ‘Villans’ are the only team still on maximum points and are closely followed by ‘Ellan Vannin’ but I also think that ‘Maxums’ and ‘Onchan Royals’ could well be in the mix before the season reaches it’s halfway point.
The Premier Team League held on a Wednesday evening has all the makings of an epic battle that will go right ‘down to the wire’ with ‘Villans’ and ‘QPR’ both on twelve points with ‘Dragons’ close behind on ten. This battle will be worth watching closely throughout the season as all these teams have experienced and very capable players.
After only two weeks ‘Maxums’ and ‘DNA’ lead the rest of the field in the First Division Teams League by four points and I will be surprised if the winner does not come from one of these two teams.
And finally the Second Division Pairs which seems to have introduced quite a few new players is promising to be a close affair with the first four teams being separated by only two points and these are ‘Reckless Rollers’, ‘Outcasts’, ‘Odds and Bobs 2’ and ‘Corrin’s Folly’.
May I also take this opportunity to ask everyone interested to start thinking about the ‘Island Indoor Championships’ to be held in January so that they can sort out their teams etc and put their entries on the lists which are already on display in the NSC Bowls Hall.
Last Monday 8th October saw the opening of the 2018/19 Manx Indoor Bowls Association League Season at the National Sports Centre.
The success of the pre-season ‘taster’ or ‘come and try it’ sessions was evident with a good number of new players and teams taking part with a total of fifty three teams playing in various Leagues throughout the week.
In the Premier Pairs League held on a Monday evening the battle for the top at the end I suspect will involve, Cheesemakers, Young Guns, Likely Lads, Dragons and last years Champions Villans with perhaps Radical Heads who are newcomers to this League being worth an outside bet.
In the Tuesday morning League for Teams I can see the main contenders being Onchan Royals, Ellan Vannin, Maxums and Villans with this League going right ‘down to the wire’.
Tuesday evenings First Division Pairs will I think be a ‘two horse race’ between Castletown Crofters and Enigma’.
The Premier Teams will be a very closely fought affair and will light up Wednesday nights at the NSC with Dragons, QPR. Villans and perhaps TBC all fighting for top spot.
The First Division Teams Thursday League will I feel be contested by DNA and Mann Utd and finally I come to the Friday night Second Division Pairs but here I find it impossible to predict the best as there are so many new teams and players.
At the conclusion of the first week after watching every session what I will say is that I have noticed some great improvement in a lot of players from last year and I am sure there may well be a few surprises before the season finishes in March 2019. Also it is great to see players and officials from both Lawn Bowls and Crown Green Bowls playing and working in harmony in this Indoor Bowls League.