Clarence men’s and ladies’ clubs to merge

PUBLISHED: 09:16 10 February 2017

As from April 1, Clarence men’s and ladies’ club will merge to form one club.

Clarence men and ladies’ bowling clubs have announced they will merge as of April 1.

The men’s club was founded in 1907 and the ladies in 1926, both clubs havae been at the forefront of the sport for decades, winning the Club of the Year in 2012.

A spokesman for both clubs said: “The sport of bowling has changed quite dramatically over the last 10 years. The two clubs have had a superb sporting relationship working in harmony, this merger will ensure expansion of the sport locally, using the superb facilities at Clarence Park.

“The members of both clubs are very excited and looking forward to expanding in the future.” A celebration game between the two clubs is arranged for June.

Over the Easter weekend, the new Clarence club will be open between 10am-4pm for bowlers of all ages, men and ladies, experienced or new bowlers.

Specialist coaching is available and equipment is provided free of charge, together with refreshments.

Wessex Ladies is staying independent and will continue to play at Clarence Park.

St Andrews retained the Ron Taylor Cup, despite a strong fightback by Victoria in the second leg of the annual competition.

Saints held a 30-shot lead from the first match last month and were hot favourites to keep the trophy. But Victoria’s three away trios gave as good, if not better, than they got, winning one triple, drawing another and losing the third by just one for an aggregate victory of three at St Andrews. Lee Stocker’s home triple snatched the draw with a two on the last end.

However, Victoria’s away heroics were wiped out by a heavy defeat at home, as David Stott, Phil Villis and captain Ron Gill finished 19 shots ahead for Saints. Their overall aggregate victory over the two matches was 46.

St Andrews 70, Victoria 53 – home: L Yeates, R Venn, L Stocker 16-16; T Hyde, N Bassett, D Johnston 15-14; R Smith, S Stocker, G Webber 11-14. Away: D Stott, P Villis, R Gill 28-9.

St Andrews lost by seven shots to Yeovil in the Somerset County League, due to a crushing, 21-shot defeat for Steve Davies’s away rink. The other away quartet, skipped by Lee Stocker, played well to win by 11.

Despite Don Bailey’s home four going down by nine, Saints were still in with a chance of victory as Darrell Johnston’s rink, finishing later than the others after two dead ends, needed five on the last. However, instead, they dropped two shots.

St Andrews 75 (4), Yeovil 82 (12) – home: M Campbell, S Stocker, R Gill, D Bailey 13-22; T Hyde, N Bassett, P Villis, D Johnston 24-12. Away: G Millard, J Keay, N Sell, S Davies 11-32; K Uglow, R Venn, G Webber, L Stocker 27-16.

Sue Sinclair, ladies’ indoor captain of St Andrews, and clubmate Judy Forse, both turned out for the opposition because they were two short in the mixed friendly away to Isle of Wedmore.

Each of them finished on the losing side, as Saints finished winners by seven. Sinclair’s Wedmore rink did well to come back from conceding a hotshot and 1-21 down, losing by just one. Jackie Pitman’s rink had a last-end six to win by that amount.

Isle of Wedmore 40, St Andrews 47: P Smart, Jill Bishop, Jane Smith, Ann Campbell 23-22; R Smith, R Brereton, Barbara Mangan, Jackie Pitman 24-18.

In the Somerset county triples, a brilliant last-end wood by Barrie Forse earned himself, Ken Uglow and Don Bailey a one-shot away victory over a Purnells team, who had been holding five until then.

Forse began the defence of his county singles title by beating Street’s Dave Garland 21-4 at home.

Also through in the county triples went Craig Walker, Sam Stocker and Lee Stocker, following a comfortable victory over clubmates George Cooper, Richard Venn and Phil Villis.

Hutton Short Mat Bowls Club almost swept the board at a recent weekend bowling festival held at the Dorset Bowls Resort at Bere Regis, organised by Dorset County, contested by 16 clubs for all over the South West of England.

On the opening evening, participants were mixed together in a spoon competition to help players to get to know one another, from which we learned two competitors from the Isle of Wight were to be married on November 5.

All triples competition took place on a round-robin basis, completed on Sunday morning, saw the Hutton team of Joy, Peter Palmer and Jan Bishop coming out as winners.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, a pairs competition took place on a similar basis, again Hutton came first with Geoff and Pauline Nutty, while Peter Palmer and David Taylor were runners-up, rounding up an excellent weekend.

If anyone would like to try this sort of competition, played in a convivial and friendly environment, an open day is being held at Hutton Village Hall on March 12.

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