Gloucestershire Two Rink CHAMPIONS! Sunday 24th September 2023

The Glos Two Rink Semi Finals and Final are played on one day – this year Sunday 24th September at Gloucester City Bowls Club. 

And what a great day I had, started with a large breakfast in the local Wetherspoons and a Costa and cake in the afternoon, …….oops sorry I guess you are more interested in the 2 games 🙂

Well for the second time in 3 years I’m very pleased and proud to announce that Redland Green BC are the winners of the Gloucestershire 2 rink competition – an excellent achievement when you think about the larger and “stronger” clubs than us in Gloucestershire.

Rinks: Jim with Will, Trev and Andy

           Josh with Larry, Roger and Calvin

The day started well with the forecast rain holding off and in the morning semi final we came up against Fairford BC (containing at least 4 current or past County Middleton cup players, including last year’s County Singles Champion and National Semi-Finalist, Peter Stinchcomb).

This was a tight game and after the first few ends we were always slightly in front; at 14 ends we were 4 up and I was expecting a stressful last few ends, however on Josh’s rink we picked up a 6 on end 15, then getting two more twos and Jim’s rink keeping it tight the match ended with a whimper and we didn’t need to play the last ends, the score finishing 36-20.

We were now onto the Final against last year’s winners, Coleford.

With windy conditions and tricky lines the green having been “turned round” so we were playing in a different direction from the morning session, this was a struggle for both sides, with Coleford getting the better of it early on.

We were 9 down overall at end 12 (the match is played over 18 ends) and it seemed as though it wasn’t going to be our day, but don’t dismiss Redland! (Some players at Olveston have started calling Andy “the limpet” as he never gives a match up, well I can think of some different names for Andy but this spirit certainly thrives at Redland.)

So never giving up and changing the jack length Jim’s crew won 5 out of the last 6 ends and not to be outdone so did Josh’s crew and we went into the last end 6 up – so my stress levels were lowered and we ended 42-35 and the Cup was ours!

Thanks to all players, to Mike Ingham who stood in for Trev in the previous game and also came up to support. Thanks to Josh for coming back off holiday to play (probably thanks should go to his dad, who had to drive him back from North Wales!). And thanks to Keith Conway ,Wendy and one of previous members Linda Maddison, who also came to support.

Editor’s Note: I will not add anything in my own words but Calvin put the following comment on the WhatsApp Group which I think is appropriate:

“A big thank you to everyone who turned up and supported today. Also a massive thanks for Kev French for all the hard work he has put in this season. Congratulations to all who played today and gave their all in two very tight games. Champions!”

I would also like to share a reply that Larry sent to this message:

“Cheers Calvin. It is with pride that I play for Redland.”

Hear, hear Larry.

Clarence Davy Semi Final: Sunday 27th August at Henleaze BC v Olveston

Lost 54 : 87 conceded at 19 ends 

They were just too good for us!

No shame in losing to one of Bristol’s top teams, I would have liked it to have been closer, but you can’t win them all

Without the best of starts we were only 18 down at 12 ends, so a lot of the game still to go, unfortunately we just couldn’t turn the tide in our favour.

On Jim’s rink with Will, Pete Jones and Andy it was a complete reversal of yesterday’s game going 17 nil down, trying to stage a comeback we finished 9-25.  

Editors Note: We were simply out bowled by a better unit on the day……..and it is always a challenge/pleasure to battle with a great lead like Joe Hardwick. 😉

On RKJ’s rink with Mike, Ian and Vince, kept it close to be only 5 behind at 11 ends, but slipped behind to end 12-25.

On Calvin’s rink with Kev, Dave and Gerry it was tight all the way through to run out 19-23. 

On Josh’s rink with Larry, Jake and Phil we were in front all the way, but just pegged back at the end to be a 14 all draw.

It was gratifying that even though things weren’t going our way, at no point did any of our team complain about the green, lines, pace, luck, other teammates, etc, we just got on with trying to bowl the best we could, which is how it should be.

Nobody likes losing but it’s good to be getting to later rounds of these comps, keeps our interest right up to the end of the season and with many of our members involved in up-coming Gloucestershire, City & County and North East finals we are keeping Redland’s name in the picture and we will hopefully seal a successful season.

Many thanks to Henleaze bowls club for hosting this game and providing welcome refreshments. Also thanks to Jim Gregory for turning up as a reserve and Mike Roth/Keith Williams for being on reserve standby. Finally thanks to Wendy and Liz for their support.

P.S. Don’t forget that it is Club Finals Day on Sunday – even if you are not involved in one of the games please do try and come and support the finalists on the day and watch some good bowling. A full itinerary will be published this week.

Gloucestershire 2 Rink Saturday 26th August: Away, Page Park

Won 42-39

By a combination of a bye then being awarded a game after two wins we find ourselves in the Semi Final of this competition on Sunday 24th September at Glos city bowls club. (If we win the semi final the final is played in the afternoon.)

In my new position of “professional bowls manager/watcher/coach/mentor/tea boy” I was looking forward to having a stress free game just sitting there letting the players get on with it, so after the start I went off for breakfast and “a silly haircut”, as Andy remarked on my return!

When I came back we were 16 up on one rink and 5 down on the other, so things were looking stress free…….

However you can’t trust those Redland bowlers and we conspired to lose our shot cushion and each end the game got closer and closer and so did my stress levels!

With Jim’s rink finished having won 33-8 and Josh with 2 ends to go we were 1 up, on the penultimate end Josh bowled a super wood, an inch from the jack, to make us 2 up overall going into the last end.

On the last end our front end put shots close to the jack but this was disturbed by the Page number 3 and we were then 2 down. Josh then put in a second, their skip fired with his last wood but the jack popped onto Larry’s back wood for one shot for us and victory. I certainly don’t call that stress free!!!!

An exciting game and fascinating game to watch (if you win!)

So much for my relaxing morning, but I did get breakfast and a haircut…….

Would like to add that on Jim’s rink they only conceded 4 ends and kept the pressure on all through the game, that’s not easy when you go far in front, but this was ultimately the key to winning the game

Well done everyone.

I would finally like to thank Page Park for their hospitality after the game when they provided hot dogs, rolls and crips to the players at no cost – very generous.

Onto the Clarence Davy today – quite a challenge.

Bristol & District Division 2: Away to Henleaze

Won 65:48 10 points

A competent win to cement our dominant position as League Champions

Again well done to all.

Our pleasure in getting back into Division 1 is tempered by our disappointment at the North East League team being relegated to Division 2, but we look forward, with optimism, to next season for both teams

Onto the game:

On Josh’s rink with Larry, Kev and Phil all played well and won 17-12.

On RKJ’s rink , it was “volatile” with counts being picked up and dropped left, right and centre. Ultimately it came down to the last end, all square and one down with Roger to bowl, the match was won overall. So it was a matter of personal pride to win on this rink. Roger duly drew a great wood for shot and the opposing skip could not match it, so Roger did not have to bowl his last wood and this rink continued their excellent record over the season, winning 22-21.

On Jim’s rink, with Will, Trev and Andy, they were on the “showcase rink” next to the Clubhouse, went 8-14 down and with vociferous support from the many Henleaze supporters for the home rink, we were potentially up against it. However don’t underestimate Redland’s “dig in” spirit, pulled 18 shots on the next 5 ends to win 26-15 (and silence the crowd!)

Thanks to Mark Dixon, Charlie and Jim Gregory for their support tonight.

Special thanks to Calvin for his invaluable support, good humour and putting up with my thoughts/grumbling over the season.

In addition we sometimes take for granted Calvin’s preparation of the rolls for after the game when at Home, so thanks for that as well. (Incidentally Henleaze had a presentation to their ladies who did the catering throughout the season, with the Captain giving them flowers and kisses! Calv, I can assure you, you won’t be getting the same from me!). 😉

Thanks to Mike Tarr for looking after the “paperwork” for the Northeast Team.

And thanks to everyone who made themselves available and played in both teams.

Redland’s season is far from over with a busy weekend of 2 rink and Clarence Davy games to be played- it would be great if we could keep up our winning ways.

Editor’s Note: I am sure all (or at the very least a majority? 🙂 ) of the members would like to thank Kevin and Calvin for all of their hard work over the season. Being a League Captain is by no means an easy task with individuals not always agreeing with selection decisions and sometimes the very fact of getting two teams out on a Thursday in August being challenging. Let’s hope that Kevin and Calvin continue their excellent work for many years to come – well done gents.

LL@ home to Kingswood and Hanham 23 rd August Week 18  :- 8 points

Ended on a high , we are 5th on the table , and should end the season mid table. This was always going to be close , statistically we had both won 9 lost 5 and drawn 1 , they are 4th we are 5th

Wendy’s rink with Nina, Jessie and Gill were in command from the get go , winning 20-12

Karen’s rink with Wanda , Liz and Carol settled into their stride and stayed on top of their game all the way.

We played the last two ends in twilight , genuinely unable to see the head from the mat , although variously comments such as “ I think I should always play blindfolded “ and “who needs to see what they are aiming at anyway ?“  were heard, we couldn’t tell who was speaking.

Thank you to Dot and Colette for coming along to cheer us on and to all who were there to support us.

LL@ home to Henleaze B 17th August Week 17  :- all 8 points

Just 1 more week of the 2023 season left, we are 5th on the table , and should end the season mid table.

Wendy’s rink with Nina, Jessie and Gill were in command from the get go , winning 29-8, 2 points in the bag .

Karen’s rink with Wanda , Liz and Carol were a couple of ends behind , so we were all watching as they scored 2 to draw level on the 16th end .

Liz (playing 3) drew the shot, and Karen delivered the perfect “blocker” to protect it , finishing 12-11. 2 points for the rink and the 4 ( overall win) points too.

Thank you to Dot and Colette for coming along to cheer us on and to all who were there to support us.

 Our final game is at home to Kingswood and Hanham,  only one place above us but 20 points ahead,  so 2024 will be in division 1 again.

B & D v Knowle won 54- 41 : 8 points

The most surprising thing about tonight was that we won a game without Jim or Andy playing, it’s almost unbelievable (at least in Andy’s world!) but win we did.

And we all wish Andy and Jim the very best tomorrow in their senior pairs game at the national finals [editors note success in Round one 15-14] Round 2 starting 13:00 18th August.

There’s always something to grapple with at Redland and with Gerry’s car breaking down at 4:45 and awaiting the AA, we had to make a decision to play one short or  “collar” somebody…,at that moment Keith Williams “drove in ” for a quiet night watching.

” Keith, go home get your Redland shirt – you are playing”

Many thanks to Keith for his quick response and support for the club and team.

On Josh’s rink with Larry,Jake and Phil won 21-10

On Roger’s  rink with Mike Ingham, super sub Keith and Jon won 20-15

On Wills rink with Calvin,Trev and Kev lost 13 – 16

Well done everybody, further pushing our commanding lead at the top of the table.

Thanks,also to Jim Gregory for his continuing support 

Last game of the season next week at Henleaze

NE Home v St Anne’s Park 10.08.23

Lost 45-49 2 points

With the assembled “experts ?” from the B&D squad looking on, it was clear to us that the standard of bowling was very good (in fact better than a lot of games we’ve played in the B&D league).

We were doing nothing wrong, bowling well across all rinks, just needed those few extra shots……

On Dave’s rink with Mike Roth, Ian and Mike White and Mike White having a great game (as his leading was so good Jim was tempted to ask Mike to go to Leamington with him, instead of Andy!), although the whole rink bowled well and came back from being 2-9 down almost grabbed it at the end to finish 9-12. Which over 17 ends shows what a close game it was.

On Mike Ingham’s rink with Nigel, Colin and Vince went very close to end 15-18 behind.

On Wendy’s rink with Trev, Jake and Gerry picking up a six on end 5 then dropping a four on end 16, re- grouped and bowled really well to pick up a 4 and win 21-19.

Again only 4 points between winning and losing, a bit of the tale of our season really, we have some useful players , we just can’t seem to get enough together each week to win these games, but we gave it a good shot in division one and I would be quite confident about next season.

Finally I wish Andy, Jim and Josh the very best of luck for this weekend and their various games at Leamington. My only request is Andy, please try not bowl a wrong bias….. 😉

LL Match reports, 26th July and 2nd August

26th July week 14  4 points

Portishead RBL A team are within one shot of top of the league , so we knew we were going to have a tough time.

The weather was wet and the forecast for more rain , but the green was deemed to be playable at 4:30 p.m. so we travelled to Portishead, it was raining when we got there, nowhere to park as all  the Portishead ladies league teams were playing at home and there had been a County match played earlier so the car park was full. Much discussion followed amongst the 6 captains , and the rules were looked at , the decision was to reschedule the matches , but the League committee reviewed that decision and it was decided that we should spilt the points , so we had  (unexpectedly ) 4 points

2nd August week 15 (week off !)

As there are 9 teams is Ladies League division 1 we get two rest weeks in the season this was one of them .The team ahead of us on shot difference (same points)  in the league (GBB) did not score against Portishead RBL so we still have the same number of points as they do and will be playing them at home on the 9th.

Just 3 more matches this season..