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Change of date for June 2007 Bowling Festival 16 August 2006

Organisers of the Isle of Man Bowling Festivals have announced a change of date for next year’s event in June because of the close proximity to the centenary celebrations in connection with the TT Races.

Tourism Minister David Cretney explained:

‘The feedback we were getting was that many TT visitors wanted to extend their stay in 2007 so as not to miss any of the special attractions which are being planned.
‘As the June Bowling Festival normally gets underway shortly after the TT finishes it was felt that hotel accommodation might be at a premium during the time when bowling competitors and spectators were starting to arrive for their own competition.
‘With these facts in mind the decision was taken to move the summer Festival back by a week from June 11-15 until June 18-22. It was essential to make an early announcement so as to cause as little disruption as possible to people’s travelling arrangements. The Department is happy that the organisers have agreed to the change of date. ’

Meanwhile, entries have now closed for next month’s September Festival and the total of 424 men has been exceeded only once in the last 12 years. They will be competing for a first prize of £3,000 in the main event, with the runner-up collecting a cheque for £1,000. The 148 women bowlers have their sights on the winner’s cheque of £1,000 with £600 going to the beaten finalist.

Said Festival Organiser Derek Killey: ‘These two events are among the richest on the bowling calendar and that is why we can attract such a large entry. The popularity of the Festival is shown by the fact that the two champions from last year are returning to defend their titles while the main winners from June’s competition are also coming back to the Island.’

The players in question are Gareth Gwilliam from Stockport and Rochdale’s Joyce Jones who carried off the trophies last September. They are joined by the June 2006 winners, Mike Leach from Kirkham in Blackpool and Maureen Lyons from Liverpool.

A survey was carried out among competitors to see if they would like any changes in the format and most said they just wanted to play as much as possible. With this in mind a new competition has been introduced this year in the form of a Tuesday Night Flyer which will be played right down to the last four with the semi-finals and final later in the week.

Derek Killey explained:

‘We ran a similar competition in a limited form last year but it proved so popular that entries had to be closed. However, this time round we have made special arrangements so everyone who wants to play can be accommodated.
‘Four greens will be used on the Tuesday night, subject to the number of entries, with the winner from each going through to the semi-finals later in the week.’

The September Festival runs from the 4th to the 8th.

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