Looking good!

I dropped by at the club this morning, and thought I’d share how good the green is looking, even after all the recent rain.

You may spot that we now have the electric fence covering all four sides of the green. Many thanks to Len for getting the (very sturdy) corner posts organised, and to Bill for providing the soil to build up the ground behind the edging boards. Much appreciated.

Ripley, our last match of the outdoor season

On Wednesday 16th September, five intrepid Merrow bowlers made the short journey to Ripley BC for our last match of the outdoor season. Merrow’s honour was at stake, having been beaten at home by Ripley.

We were pleased to have lovely weather for the match, with shorts and hats much in evidence. Ripley’s green was rather soft, giving everyone problems getting their bowls to roll far enough.

By the end of the match, Merrow were feeling the strain of having to put so much effort into their deliveries. Ripley proved to be dominant, winning on all three rinks 42-66. Merrow’s best result was with Lorna and John, losing by just three points.

We look forward to welcoming our friends from Ripley to our green next year.

President vs. Chair

Merrow’s annual President versus Chair match on Saturday, 12th September, was played under a warm, clear sky.

We were to play four rinks of pairs over 18 ends. Chairman Brian elected to play the first 9 ends, with Robin taking his place for the remainder of the match, and demonstrating how his bowling has come on.

There was a lot of intense bowling on all rinks. New members Bill and Graham proved formidable opposition for Sally and John, winning by a substantial margin.

The teams had been organised by our coach, David E, who had given us a green to be proud of. President David M, unable to play, watched from the sidelines.

The President’s team were up 8 at half way and it was all square at 14 ends. However, after a hard-fought match, the Chair won 73-59.

Here are all the results. President’s teams first:
John & Sally 10 v Graham & Bill 26
Allen & Joan 16 v Colin & Jarek 23
David & Lorna 20 v David F & Sue 10
Andy & Mark 13 v Ken & Brian/Robin 14

The afternoon was rounded off with a picnic. There was plenty of animated conversation and laughter, a hallmark of our friendly club.

We all look forward to returning in 2021 to resume our outdoor bowling.

At home to Ripley

On Wednesday 9th September, we hosted Ripley for our penultimate outdoor friendly of 2020.

We were fortunate to have a warm and sunny afternoon to play a match of three pairs. Our green is in splendid condition and playing really well, thanks to David and Debbie’s efforts, so an enjoyable afternoon was in prospect.

Home advantage was in evidence as the match began but Ripley soon became accustomed to how the green was playing. There was a lot of concentration required on both sides as we all tried our hardest. However, at the end of the match, Ripley had triumphed 40-44. Ripley also won on two of the three rinks, so congratulations to Ken and John on their win, 20-14.

We play the return match at Ripley on 16th September, when we hope for a good result.

A very busy weekend

It’s getting towards the end of the outdoor season but there are still matches to be played. Over the weekend of 5/6 September we played Friendlies against Seale & Sands, and Castle Green.

On Saturday, 5th September, Merrow travelled to Seale & Sands for a match of three pairs. The clouds came and went, and it turned out to be a lovely afternoon.

Captain Charmian gave us a warm welcome, and explained their Covid-19 procedures before we joined battle.

The green played very differently to Merrow’s, giving yours truly a lot of problems. The other two rinks appeared to conquer the differences and were soon moving into commanding positions. However, on our rink, the S&S players were making the most of home advantage. After a very taxing but enjoyable afternoon’s bowling, Merrow prevailed, winning 48-34. Congratulations to Lorna and Richard, who played well to win 23-7, and to Sally and John who won 17-11. Great results.

Sunday, 6th September involved a trip to Castle Green for match of two pairs. Again we were fortunate to have a warm and dry afternoon. Given Castle Green’s location, we were assured of a number of onlookers.

The match started well for Merrow, with both rinks moving ahead. However, Castle Green began to find their line, and started to creep back into contention. At the final end each side had one rink ahead but the scores were reversed, with Merrow winning by a single point, 29-28.

Well done to all the bowlers. A tight match was played with great spirit and friendliness. It’s what bowls is all about.

A win at Holloway Hill

Wednesday 26th August found Merrow bowlers making their way to Holloway Hill for a Friendly of three Pairs.

We were blessed with a sunny and warm afternoon. Social distancing rules were explained to all before play started, so that we were confident playing our opponents.

The match started well for Merrow, with each rink gaining an early advantage. However, our hosts soon found their feet and, on two rinks, started to come back strongly. A most enjoyable afternoon resulted in a win for Merrow 55-43. Our top rink was David and Debbie Ewins, with a great score of 26-11. Our other rinks had mixed fortunes, with John and Jarek losing 15-19 after a tough match, and Mark and David R waiting until the last end to win 14-13. Well done to all who played.

Inspecting the head

Jarek keeps an eye on progress

Jarek watches John’s bowl arrive

John delivers a bowl.

John looks on.

David delivers a bowl.

Away at Elstead

On Sunday, 16th August, we travelled to Elstead for our second competitive Friendly.

We were due to play a match of two pairs but due to a mistake on my part, we had five players. Elstead fielded an extra player, meaning that we played one pairs, and one triples. We abided by the covid-19 rules to avoid contamination.

The match started under threatening skies, and we were soon treated to a light rain shower, followed by a heavier downpour which stopped play for a short period.

The two rinks had mixed fortunes. On rink 1, John and Sally were storming ahead, while over on rink 3, we were having a much tighter match.

The end result was an overall victory for Merrow, with a total score of 42-24. A big well done to John and Sally, winning 28-8. From leading when going into the final end, Mark, Jarek, and David were unfortunate to lose 14-16. Well played everyone.

Our next two scheduled Friendlies are on 5th September at Seale & Sands, and 6th September at Castle Green.

Sally watches John’s bowl arrive

Jarek and Mark keep a close watch on the head

John delivers a bowl

Jarek takes shot

Sally gets her bowl away

John watching the head build up

Our first Friendly of 2020

The flag was flying again at Merrow as we welcomed Castle Green for our first friendly match of the summer.
Due to a short team from the visitors we played one pairs and one singles match. Luckily the threatening rain did not arrive. John Wills won his singles match comfortably 30-7. The pairs was a close run thing and came down to the final end with the skips battling it out for honours. In the end Debbie and David won 14 -10 thanks to an inspired shot by David which removed the Castle Green bowl from the head. Castle Green’s skip then narrowly failed to get shot with the last bowl which would have leveled the game.
Brian Taylor, Ken Webb and Jean came to spectate and it was an enjoyable afternoon all round.

Report by Debbie Ewins.