Wet start to the season

Local bowls clubs got their season up and running, many starting in the rain.

ISLE of Wedmore Bowls Club outdoor season has started in earnest, after the initial practice sessions, with the men playing a friendly at home against Victoria Park, Bridgwater.

The traditional wet start to the season meant that the match was curtailed to 18 ends, with Victoria Park the winners by 75-70 shots.

The following day it was the ladies turn to enjoy another wet game, this time against City of Wells ladies. This game was cut down to 15 ends, with Wedmore having the consolation of winning by 43-35.

The new captains, Ray Newell and Liz Hamblin, look forward to another busy and successful season, aided by their vice-captains Keith Burt and Jean Wheller.

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During the coming season, the club will welcome the British Wheelchair Bowling Association for the finals of their national competitions, trials for the county ladies teams and games against several touring teams.

Bowlers of all standards are welcome to join in these activities. Anyone interested can contact the club through its website or by phoning Keith on 01934 733237 or Pauline on 743271. For those who do not wish to experience the challenges of playing outdoors, the indoor rinks remain open through the summer months.

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2012 captains of Isle of Wedmore Bowls Club (left to right): Keith Burt, Ray Newell, Liz Hamblin, Jean Wheller.

ASHCOMBE 84, Knole 96 (men’s friendly): B Golding, G Mills, E Hooper, J Taylor 16-17; G Tucker, R Tasker, T Bass, J Whitlow 15-20; B Benstead, A Lewis, P Gaulton, J Hornett 20-21; D Underhay, G Sansam, P Sheppard, A Yates 20-16; F Ham, D Norville, A Morgan, A Freke 13-22

Ashcombe 99, Watchet 129 (mixed friendly): A Fews, N Coombes, J Wilkinson, G Wilkinson 22-28; A Cox, Rose Powell, B Underhay, L Cox 19-12; J Sansam, S Davies, W Spring, Roy Powell 12-27; I Cracknell, R Counsell, I Cracknell, J McInally 20-23; D Little, M Tasker, M Parry, A Little 10-22; M Main, B Groves, A Cracknell, J Main 16-17

Ashcombe 107, Burnham-on-Sea 81 (men’s friendly): G Fews, R Tasker, Roy Powell, G Wilkinson 20-14; F Ham, D Underhay, R Simmons, A Yates 17-21; G Tucker, I Baker, A Cracknell, J Whitlow 25-14; B Noyes, M Bass, C Hughes, B Webber 13-22; B Benstead, V Bragg, A Freke, J Creasey 32-10

VICTORIA started their competitive season with the Over-60s team looking to get a good start to retain the Championship Trophy won for the last two years.

The Saxons entertained Clevedon Prom and proved too strong for them with a convincing 62 shot victory, winning all six rinks and notching a full 20 points. The rink of Roger Rockett and Tony Barnes skipped by Ken Harvey proved to be best of the day with a 29 shot win.

Victoria has entered a second team in the league this year named Vikings and their first game was a trip across town to play Clarence Golds. Club captain Mike Manning remarked that despite losing the game by 24 shots, it was an encouraging performance first time out to win on three rinks and gain six points.

Two of Vikings’ rinks won by just the one shot with a four shot win gained by the rink of Richard Jacobs, Graham Richards and skip Eric Sage.

Victoria’s friendly squad got off to a resounding victory over Avon & Somerset Police with a 30 shot win. Top rink was skipped by Derek Hurst supported by John Newman, Eric Sage and Nick Sell.

Victoria is continuing with their open and introductory sessions and remaining dates are April 28, May 12 and 19 between 9.30am and 12noon. Bowlers of any ability are welcome to sample lawn bowling and appreciate all other facilities at the club.

Victoria 84-54 Avon & Somerset Police (friendly): H Whyte, W Nicholls, D Sealey, M Stocker 21-12; M Milliner, D Jones, A Barnes, K Harvey 20 -15; T Gilbert, R Rockett, P Leadbeater, M Taylor 21 -15; J Newman, E Sage, N Sell, D Hurst 22 -12.

Victoria Saxons 121, Clevedon Prom 59 (Over 60s League): H Whyte, T Gatehouse, M Stocker 22 -12; R Rockett, A Barnes, K Harvey 33-4; M Campbell, R Fenwick,D Hurst 15-10; G Hodge, M Taylor, A Uccellini 17 -12; J Newman, P Lunn, M Manning 21-9; J Mingo-West, K Curtis, J Howell 13-12.

Victoria Vikings 73, Clarence Golds 97: I Linham , G Thorne, D Jones 12 -24; W Nicholls, B Saward, G Frost 15-14; A Shattock, D Roberts, J Griffiths 18-17; R Jacobs, G Richards,E Sage 15-11; J Turton, P Newport, C Chudley 13-21.

WESTON St Andrews outdoor season began with Mrs Merv Firby bowling the first wood.

Avoiding the April showers, a friendly game of 10 ends was played between sides representing the club’s vice-president, Graham Burgess, and the men’s captain, Richard Venn and the good-natured game was won 55-45 by the captain’s team.

Mr Burgess welcomed 15 new members to the club and commended the exceptional work completed by members over the last few weeks, resulting in new ground floor changing rooms.

Vice-president’s 45, captain’s 55: M Simpson, G Aldridge, T Allen, T Thomas 3, B Rogers, T Green, K Rodgers, G Wride 11; Mrs B Goddard, J Steer, A Horsburgh, S Davies 5, M Goddard, G Berry, A Owens, B Forse 14; K Uglow, A McNab, M Berry, G Guest 14, M Blight, F Mudge, G Tofte, D Favis 4; R Smith, A Cooper, P Aldus, A Steer 14, C Shearman, Mrs B McCollum, A Ware, B May 2; R Brereton, R Dunstone, J Warren 6, P Smart, B Reeves, A McMillan 9; A Lay, P O’Connor, R McLeod, D Bailey 3, G Simms, C Robinson, P Villis, R Venn 15.

THE first week of the season saw Winscombe play two friendly matches.

The traditional first match against Clevedon resulted in a narrow win for Winscombe by four shots. The weather was cold and showery and it was decided to curtail the match after 16 ends.

Yatton visited Winscombe for their first match of the season and Yatton won on four rinks to one. Only Winscombe captain’s Ken Whatling managed to win by 14 shots.

Winscombe 73, Clevedon 66 (friendly): D Peakall, R Freegard, G Lloyd, G Neville 13-14; J Smith, R Fisher, L Collier, A Dudley 16-8; N Hansford, B White, K Whatling, M Adams 8-16; R Weller, J Sprouting, B Kibble, M Nash 16-18; R Knight, C Westlake, R Lowman, T Ellis 20-8.

Winscombe 85, Yatton 107 (friendly): S Easterby, G Lloyd, B Kibble, R Lowman 17-22 ; J Sprouting, R Weller, M Dorrington, A Dudley 11-28; D Beaverstock, B Paul, K Whatling, G Neville 29-15; G Coombe, K Symons, M Hunter, R Wootten 17-19.

THE weather held good for the ladies of St Andrews Bowling Club as they opened their outdoor season.

Club president, Betty McCollum, hosted the afternoon and welcomed members and guests from other local clubs. A spider competition was won by men’s captain Richard Venn and Sylvia Priory was the winner in a fun game of yardstick bowls.

An excellent hot meal, served by the men, concluded a successful afternoon.

VAL Webber, Ashcombe Bowls Club ladies’ president, opened the new season by hosting a friendly game played by guests from local clubs, club members and officers from the men’s section.

This was followed by a meal in the clubhouse attended also by life, social, non-playing members and guests. The meal was prepared by some of the ladies and served by the men.

The club’s familiar gold blazers have now been replaced by black blazers and were considered to look very smart. Unfortunately gold blazers were unobtainable for new members.

CONGRESBURY Ladies 44, Clevedon 29: H Tranmer, D Whiskin, J Blagden, K Herbison 12-15; P Baker, D Davis, M Hill, A Mew 11-10; C Wilcock, C Lewis, E Stenner, B Huggett 21-4.

Congresbury 21, Wrington 21 (curtailed by rain): C Lewis, A Harris, D Whiskin, B Huggett 6-7; H Tranmer, A Purnell/S Wright, R Horton, C Andrews 7-7; C Skuse, D Davis, M Hill, E Stenner 8-7.

Congresbury 75, Isle of Wedmore 75 (men’s friendly): G Andrews, D Manning, M Huggett 11-16; M Greaves, D Byett, B Herbison 10-17; P Dawes, R Archer, J Stone 21-17; J Churchward, R Anniuk, R Kirkham 9-15; R Becker, F Horton, M Wear 24-10.

TWO days after the men’s opening day at Victoria, it was the ladies turn to enjoy their day.

However, the weather was less kind to the ladies as they had to play through showers. There was no dampening of spirits as the hardy ladies of Victoria and guests representing local clubs, St Andrews, Wessex, Clarence and Ashcombe enjoyed a friendly afternoon of bowling.

The Spider competition was won by Pat Uglow of St Andrews and Victoria’s Sue Cooper won the yardstick competition. The good spirit was continued in the club where the ladies were served a meal and wine by some of the gentlemen of the club.

Vice-president Beric Saward and Mike Manning, men’s captain were in attendance and wished ladies’ captain Jessie Donald an enjoyable and successful season.

Mrs M Firby bowls the first wood at St Andrews.

Vice-president Graham Burgess with St Andrews ladies’ president Betty McCollum and life members.

President Betty McCollum raising the flag with senior members and lady guests.

CLARENCE Bowling Club, runners-up in the Bowls England Club of the Year, is determined to go one better in 2012.

After the distribution of 20,000 leaflets, inviting the public to free coaching sessions at Clarence Park, coaches and other members of the club have been welcoming newcomers every day last week.

The sessions continue daily (weather permitting) between 10.30am and 12.30pm until April 19, with all equipment provided. For further information, anyone interested can contact club coaches David Stott (625404) and Roger Burrough (627507).

Further to enhance their excellent facilities, Clarence has introduced a baby-changing facility to their clubhouse, which already has a toilet suitable for the disabled.

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