St Andrews cruise on national stage, Clarence host visually impaired event

Prize winners and dignitaries at the Visually Impaired Tournament at Clarence Bowls Club

Prize winners and dignitaries at the Visually Impaired Tournament at Clarence Bowls Club - Credit: Clarence BC

St Andrews cruised through in two national competitions last week.

They had expected a hard game at home to Portishead in the men’s Top Club, but won all five disciplines.

Some of the matches were close as Barrie Forse had to battle for 22 ends to win the four-wood singles by three and Darrell Johnston’s rink were just one ahead until a strong finish earned them a nine-shot victory.

In the pairs, Sam Stocker and Si Angove were 13-12 down after 11 of the 18 ends, then picked up two sevens, including right at the finish, to win by 19.

Saints B were rarely troubled in their National Two Fours match at Chew Stoke B on Sunday as Don Bailey’s rink were always in command, while Brian Reeves and his men recovered from a shaky start to win by 14 with a last-end six.

Team recovery of the week was by Paul Smart, Roger Brereton and Tony Ware in the home friendly against Yatton on Saturday.

From 20-7 down, they scored 15 shots in four ends to win by three and the match-winners, as Saints got home by 22, were Nigel Bassett, Alan Dawes and Gordon Wride, with a thumping 19-shot victory.

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The individual comeback of the week came at Portishead RBL, where Saints’ Becky McMillan and Richard Withers were 13-6 down with four ends left against a home pair. They kept battling on the heavy green and squeezed through by one with a three on the last end.

St Andrews are holding an open day for prospective new members on Sunday, May 29 (10am-3pm). All equipment will be provided at the club’s excellent Thirlmere Road green, players will just need to wear flat-ish shoes. There is a large car park.

*Clarence Bowling Club hosted the Covid-delayed 10th Anniversary Visually Impaired Tournament - supported by the Weston Lions Club and other Lions from neighbouring clubs, as well as bowlers from several Somerset clubs.

The tournament ran for four days, in lovely weather, with 48 players from all over England and Wales taking part.

The Spider winner, with donations from this competition and Saturday night’s Social/Quiz to Weston Hospicecare totalling £176, was Paul Davis (Forest of Dean) and the salver for the best non-medalling Lady went to Sarah Marshall (Berkhamstead).

In the open section, for varying degrees of sight loss, the gold medal and Lions Cup went to Toby Warren, who retained his 2019 title, as Jon Cox (Wales) and Phil Dutton (Taunton) took silver and bronze.

In the B1 section for totally blind bowlers, the winner was Keith Brenton (Gateshead), as Eric Gallacher (Metro, London) and Margaret Cusker (Rugby) took silver and bronze.

Prizes were presented by the Mayor of Weston-super-Mare, Cllr James Clayton.

In a hard-fought match in the Over-60s League, Clarence Blues lost by six shots to Victoria Saxons, taking just three of the 20 points available.

Their only winning rink came from John Rogers and Mike Davies skipped by Bob Sweet who took their match by 12 shots.

In the National Two Fours, Clarence lost 46-32 to Bath on shots, but had one successful rink.

Martin Ford, Gordon Leigh, Ken Marshall and skip Tony Mannion were three shots down with three ends to play, but managed to draw level with just the 18th to play and then take one on the last.

Clarence won the annual friendly meeting with Welsh club Penyrheol 169-156.

Their rink of the day saw Sue Sweet, Jon Loveridge, Bob Sweet and skip Carol Edlin win by 17 shots, with notable mentions for new members Angie and Rob Skudder who both won on their respective rinks.

*Winscombe invited seven neighbouring clubs to send one rink each to mark their 100th anniversary.

An enjoyable afternoon was followed by an excellent meal and thanks by President Mike Adams.

Winscombe were drawn away in the Bowls England National Two Fours at St Anne's Park, Bristol and lost 27-22.

It was nip-and-tuck throughout as Malcolm Dorrington's rink lost 15-12 having been ahead and Tony Watt's rink lost 12-10 having been just behind all evening. 

They were holding five on one end until Watt's last bowl reduced the count to one. 

Winscombe also played two friendly six-rink triples matches at home, losing on four rinks but beating Ashcombe 97-91 overall.

They had a whopping 63-shot win over Wyrral Park, winning on five rinks and losing by one on the last end of the other as it ended 130-67.


Over-60s, Clarence Blues 88 Victoria Saxons 94: J Rogers, M Davies, B Sweet, 23-11; R Flicker, R Scudder, M Edlin, 10-17; J Loveridge, R Crawford, B Duffy, 15-16; B Rossiter, G Leigh, T Mannion, 15-16; B Benn, D Grier, G Barlow, 13-13; M Ford, M Samways, K Marshall, 12-21.
National Two Fours, Clarence 32 Bath 46: M Ford, G Leigh, K Marshall, T Mannion, 21-20; J Loveridge, M Samways, G Barlow, M Edlin, 11-26.

Mixed friendly, Congresbury 56 Yatton, Bedbrook Green 58: J Freemantle, J Craig, C Andrews, T Lewis 9-19; C Wicock, M Kimmings, T Rides, C Shipway 23-9; G Andrews, A Harris, A Jones, L Beck 17-9; C Lewis, C Nunn, R Jones, P Baker 7-21.
Men's BWEL, Congresbury 120 Long Ashton 49: G Wilcock, I Beveridge, M Wear, C Shipway 35-5; R King, K Powell, A Page, B Herbison 18-7; I Morton, T Rides, W Lines, J Hathway 24-11; B Baker, L Powell, D Byett, R Birmingham 23-9; D Norman, A Knight, T Lewis, L Beck 20-17.
Men's C&D Over 55s, Congresbury 95 Portishead 105: M Craig, P Hayward, R Archer 14-16; P Harris, C Nunn, J Hathaway 13-21; C Edwards, S Pook, I Beveridge 12-25; M Kimmings, R Annuik, M Wear 18-11; D Folds, B Blakley, L Beck 18-11; R Stewart, D Norman, D Byett 20-21.
Men's friendly, Congresbury 40 Bloomfield 61: B Baker, L Powell, T Lewis, R Birmingham 15-14; J Freemantle, R Jones, T Rides, D Byett 10-32; C Nunn, M Kimmings, M Wear, C Shipway 15-15.

Bowls England Top Club: St Andrews 5 Portishead 0 (121-65): four-wood singles: B Forse 21-18; two-wood singles: R Withers 17-8; pairs: S Stocker/S Angove 35-16; triples: J Keay, D Bailey, J Angove 27-11; fours: T Wyatt, A McMillan, G Wride, D Johnston 21-12.
Bowls England Club Two Fours, Chew Stoke B 18 St Andrews B 46: R Potter, G Cooper, D Hurst, B Reeves 25-11; K Uglow, R Venn, K Curtis, D Bailey 21-7.
Mixed friendly, Victoria 75 St Andrews 70: Jenny Webb, M Dew, A Cooper, Sue Sinclair 16-12; Karen Cromey, A Lay, Jill Bishop, Jackie Pitman 18-19; P Smart, Clare Andrews, D Reynolds, A Ware 15-21; M Payne (guest), Jane Andrews, C Howard, G Cooper 21-23.
Men’s friendly, St Andrews 97 Yatton 75: C Curtis, J Ling/R Potter, K Curtis 13-16; D Reynolds, A Lay, K Uglow 15-12; P Smart, R Brereton, A Ware 25-22; M Dew, A Cooper, D Hurst 16-16; N Bassett, A Dawes, G Wride 28-9.
Winscombe Centenary match: Debbie Baker, A Lay, C Howard, Jackie Pitman 32-12.
Bowls England, mixed pairs: H Naunton/T Winmill (Portishead RBL) 14 R McMillan/R Withers (St Andrews) 15; S Evans/A Evans (Ashcombe Pk) 6 I Cracknell (Taunton Deane)/J Angove (St Andrews) 25.
Men’s Over-55 Pairs: A Bradley/M Davis (Clevedon) 21 B Forse/D Johnston (St Andrews) 6.