BUCKHANNON — The age old Irish tradition of Road Bowling continues to thrive in North Central West Virginia, as a packed field of competitors of all ages came out to take part in the Strawberry Festival Irish Road Bowling Qualifier, which got underway Saturday May 21 at 4 PM.
The Strawberry Festival competition is the second men’s and women’s state qualifying event this year, with the the first being held at the Pipestem Resort State Park this past April. The top men and women scorers from each qualifier, Pipestem and Strawberry Festival, will advance to the West Virginia IRB Singles State Championship held at Blackwater Falls State Park on June 18. By the end of the event, 11 competitors had earned their way into this year’s state meet. Should these 11 competitors fair well enough at the state championships, they may very well punch their tickets to the All-Irelands, the Irish Road Bowling World Championship, hosted in the sports country of origin.
With a spot at the WV State Championships on the line, individuals and teams met at the designated course, located on a 1.5-mile stretch of Buckhannon’s Turkey Run Road. The Turkey Run Road course, two miles north of Buckhannon, was the site of both the 2006 and the 2015 Irish Road Bowling North American Region Championship Finals. The course itself was specifically chosen because the terrain the road was built on offers a reasonable, yet manageable challenge for players.
The rules of the game are simple, as much like golf with the team or individual with the fewest throws (attempts) from start to finish picking up the win. As play began, players began to hurl their baseball-sized iron and steel ball underhanded from a running start. The field enjoyed an excellent day of fun and sun, enjoying an ancient game that has found new life in the hills of Appalachia.
Strawberry Festival’s road bowling event features included Men’s and Women’s Singles Qualifier and Team Bowling. Check out the full list of award winners below.
4 person teams:
1st place: Bucktown Tossers (Steve Holmes II, Morgan Ware, Travis Shipley and Wayne Marrs)
2nd place: Brew Ha Ha’s (Gary Booth, Dennis Tallman, Traci Sears and Jake Orr)
Three Person teams: 1st place: Moonballers (Dylan Perkins, Alex Skinner and Mark Skinner)
2nd place: The Olds (Robert Shreve, Jason Queen and Brandon Newcome)
Two person team:
1st place: Liquid America (Mary Hamrick and Sarah Weaver)
Sunday Fun Bowl:
1st place: Lightning Boys (Liam Day and Junuh Hallmark)