David Matthews

1948 – 2021

I am writing to let you know that our President David Matthews passed away peacefully in hospital on 23rd November. Although he had not bowled outdoors in earnest for a while, David remained a very enthusiastic and supportive president and member of our club.

David’s passing is a great loss – we will all miss his cheerful determination and encouragement for the continued growth of Merrow Bowls Club.

Rosemary, Sara and Melanie have asked me to let the bowlers know that they would be very welcome to the wake, which will be held at Merrow Village Club.

Sara writes: David’s funeral is on Tuesday December 21st at 10.30am at Guildford Crematorium, and then from 12 noon at Merrow Village Club. We would love as many people as can to attend and join us to celebrate dad’s life – please wear something colourful. Family flowers only but donations to the bowls club if people would like.

2021 Presentation Lunch

The club’s annual Presentation Lunch took place on 24th October at the Guildford Masonic Centre. Due to the Covid pandemic we had to skip our 2020 lunch, so this was a welcome return to our calendar.

As usual, we were blessed with a fine day and a great turn out, with an impressive number of new members joining us for the event.

The carvery lunch was very well received by everyone. As usual, a quiz was provided for each table and, once everyone had eaten, it was time for president David Matthews to present the trophies. Congratulations to all the winners.

The afternoon concluded with a raffle and the results of the quiz, which was won by table five.

Photos kindly provided by Andy Kirk.

Final week of the season

End of Season Fish ‘n’ Chips

Our last Thursday club night of the season saw 24 members playing a timed triples match which was narrowly won by Trevor’s team despite being down at the half-way mark.

We then adjourned to the main club for drinks and a well-deserved fish ‘n’ chips supper. The raffle draw curtesy of Allen M and Ken caused a great deal of amusement but eventually all the prizes were distributed.

This was the first of the social events that John and Trevor are arranging over the winter so keep a look out for the Quiz and Race Nights along with our three planned indoor fixtures.

Work on the Green

The end of season work on the green started early thanks to the fact that our last two friendly matches were away to Seale and Sands and Castle Green. We lost both matches but were well entertained by both clubs and many of our new bowlers were able to play over the weekend.

Meanwhile Steve M was introduced to tining. You can see him above sporting his new PPE whilst ‘driving’ the hollow tining machine. It certainly made life easier being able to alternate the work with a rest and a cuppa. The green was hollow tined, scarified and cleared up on Saturday before sarel rolling and overseeding the next day – just in time for the rain!

Second pass of scarifying in progress

Green ‘cleaned’ ready for sarel rolling and overseeding

Harding Cup Success

Our Harding Cup squad of John and Sally, Trevor, Steve M, Lorna, Jarek, Ken B, Debbie and David played ‘home and away’ triples against the local village clubs throughout June, July and August to reach the final for the first time in 6 years. Merrow last won the cup in 2013.

We met Puttenham in the final with a little trepidation, having lost to them in the qualifying rounds, but playing on a neutral ground at Ripley meant both teams had a challenge. On the day Merrow were winners on both rinks for a hard-fought victory.

After the match there was a presentation ceremony, followed by a wonderful tea provided by Mariane for the players and many spectators from all the participating clubs.

We would like to thank Ripley for being fantastic hosts and David P for the organisation of the whole competition.

August Round-up

We managed to fit in out annual President v Chair match, after the first was rained off last month, with four triples and a good number of spectators. This year resulted in a win for the Chair.  We had our picnic indoors as it was rather chilly by the end.

It has been good to see many of our new bowlers having a go at both home and away friendly matches. Internal competitions are continuing and the finals will be held over the weekend 11th and 12th September. Keep an eye out for the schedule once finalists are known.

Merrow are through to the final of the Harding Cup and play Puttenham (at Ripley) on 13th September. Supporters are welcome.

We reached the semi-finals of the West Surrey Midweek League but were narrowly beaten by Godalming. The Tuesday Triple squad have qualified to play on finals day after finishing 4th in the Guildford Area.

With one game to play it is likely that Merrow will finish in at least 4th position in their zone for the Knaphill Triples.

The ladies played their first season in the Surrey Ad League and our squad of eight acquitted themselves well with three wins and a draw against some stiff opposition.

The New Bowlers League is very close with all to play for in the last few weeks of the season.

A Quick Update for July

Despite the weather (either hot or wet!) we have continued to play friendlies and league matches. The internal competitions are now well underway too.

The pictures above are of Merrow against Pippbrook (3rd July) where we had a narrow loss (56-60) and enjoyed tea outdoors after.

Some of our new players are already applying and playing in matches and Mike took the photo below at Stoke Park (10th July) where Barbara, David, Helen and Steve played their first friendly. An enjoyable afternoon despite a heavy loss.

Club nights continue to be popular with a training league in operation on Tuesdays for new bowlers and general play on Thursday.

The men have reached the quarter finals of the West Surrey Midweek league after finishing top of their division and edging Egham out in the round of sixteen. They play Bramley at Stoke Park on Friday (30th July).

Update on the Friendlies

Apologies for the lack of the usual regular updates and photos but here is a round-up of our last few friendly fixtures, starting with the latest against East Horsley which does have a photo!

We hosted East Horsley for two triples on Wednesday 30th June for a very entertaining match followed by tea and biscuits. We had our usual spectators plus extra, so moved a bench for double tier viewing. We won on both rinks – Lesley was delighted with her win, Ken was just surprised. Final score Merrow 38 East Horsley 29.

Our match against Ottershaw was cancelled as unfortunately they could not raise a team. Members made use of the green and spare time to practise and catch up on internal competition matches.

On Saturday 19th June we went to Albury with three triples for Debbie’s first time as match captain. We managed to play in the dry. It was a close match, but we managed to win on two rinks and draw on the third. Beginners luck!