The Isle of Man Crown Green Bowls team is facing an uncertain future following the collapse of Citywing.
The island’s senior men’s team has been competing at the highest level in the UK for the past two years and is set to play its first county match of the 2017 season in May against Yorkshire. The county matches consist of home and away ties involving two 12-man squads. One squad travels to the away green, while the local team hosts 12 visiting players from the opposition.
In the past, the Isle of Man team has chartered a 19-seater Citywing plane, which flew the Manx team to the UK and returned with the visiting bowlers for the home fixture.
An early-evening departure took visiting bowlers back to the UK and then returned with the away squad.
Neil Withers, chairman IoM County Crown Green Bowling Association, explained that the arrangement had worked well in 2015 and 2016, and was set to continue this year. ’The recent collapse of Citywing means that local bowlers have fixtures in May, June and July but no transport to take them. The current timings of scheduled commercial flights means that travel off-island and return cannot happen in one day - a requirement of the island’s inclusion in the County Bowls set-up.
’The organising committee has worked tirelessly to come up with a logistical and financially suitable solution, however we haven’t found one yet.
’We only have a short time before a decision needs to be made to withdraw or come up with an alternative plan, so if anyone knows of one or is in a position to help we’d be very happy to discuss it with them.’
Neil Withers can be contacted by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone 483666.