A few days away

On Monday 4th March, seven intrepid Merrow bowlers (plus one wife) sailed to the Isle of Wight. We were headed to the Warners hotel at Bembridge, where we joined friends from Castle Green, and played in an Open Fours competition. This was our second year, so we had some idea of what to expect.

The competition gave each team a minimum of three matches, with two points for a win, and one point for a draw. The standard of play is quite high, so we were not surprised to miss out on the quarter-finals. However, that did mean a free Thursday, so we were able to please ourselves.

While at Warners, we were able to make use of the facilities including pistol shooting, rifle shooting, and archery. There was also access to an indoor pool and a gym.

One of Castle Green’s ladies celebrated her birthday on the Monday, when drinks were enjoyed by all.

All photos courtesy of Andy Kirk.

Oh, I almost forgot. The final was played out between two Cove teams.

Merrow triumph at Wey Valley!

On Thursday 20th February, Merrow Ladies entered a team in the Wey Valley ‘Ladies Open Invitation to Outdoor Clubs’. Ten teams played 5 games of 4 ends each, changing rinks after each game, whilst completing a two page quiz paper. The final game consisted of getting the bowl in a cardboard box in the ditch, not as easy as it sounds! Although the Merrow team of, Lesley, Lorna, Sally and Joan didn’t win the bowls, they did win the quiz for the third year running.

Indoors against Burpham

On Sunday 16th February, Merrow played our annual indoor match against Burpham at Wey Valley.

With the match requiring 24 bowlers on each side, Merrow struggled to reach the required numbers. However, we were fortunate to have some volunteers from other clubs coming to our rescue. Our special thanks to Rodney, Frank, Maggie, Mike, Trevor, and Brian Conley (Burpham), who joined us for the afternoon. The match was played in good humour, and with plenty of interaction between the teams.

With an overall score of 125-82 in Merrow’s favour, one would think that the match was very one-sided but that was not the case. Of the six rinks, Merrow won four, drew one, and lost one, with Burpham’s captain Vince winning on his rink. Merrow’s top rink was Lesley, Jarek, Andy, and David E with a great score of 29-7, narrowly beating John’s team for the honours. The afternoon concluded with a delicious roast dinner, enjoyed by all.

We look forward to hosting Burpham over the summer, and again next February.

I’m afraid the match photos aren’t that good. I was trying to use a camera instead of my phone but it didn’t really work indoors.


Merrow visit Camberley

On Sunday, 26th January, Merrow bowlers travelled to Camberley IBC for our annual friendly. Due to a number of factors, we could only raise twelve players, instead of the planned fifteen, but Camberley were very understanding, and organised a match for six of their own players to make up the numbers.

As expected, this was to be a very tough fixture, with Camberley fielding a much more experienced and stronger side than Merrow. However, we all played our hardest, and on each of the four rinks, we certainly did our best to take the game to Camberley. The break for tea seemed to give the Merrow players renewed vigour, and we all came out fighting to win the remaining ends. However, the final score of 98-45 showed Camberley’s class, which we can only aspire to at present.

We had the unusual situation of two top rinks for this match. Both David E and Ken’s teams lost by the same margin, and won the same number of ends! However, Lewis, Lorna and Ken managed to keep their opponents in check to a greater degree, gaining them the accolade of Top Rink (and a chocolate bar).

The day was rounded off with a delicious roast dinner, followed by the raffle. At our 2019 match Merrow won all the raffle prizes but we were not quite as successful this year. All in all, a most enjoyable afternoon’s bowling with a friendly opposition. We look forward to our next meeting in 2021.

Merrow’s final match of the 2019/20 season is on 16th February, when we play Burpham over six rinks at Wey Valley. If you would like to play, please let David R know, either by email or phone. Alternatively, drop into the club and write your name on the team sheet.

Here are a few photos of the day. I was so engrossed in the match, I almost forgot to take any!


Merrow visit Mole Valley

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 27th November, Merrow made the short trip to Leatherhead, where we played four rinks against Mole Valley IBC. It was a miserable, wet day, so an indoor match was just the ticket.

We were a player short, so were pleased that Mole Valley could loan us Fred at short notice. Fred turned out to be a godsend, being a very strong lead.

Merrow are still developing as a side, so it came as no surprise that we struggled to win ends. The exception was the team of Fred, Richard, Lorna, and David E, who played out of their skins to gain an impressive win. Unfortunately, the other three rinks weren’t able to overcome their opposition, and Mole Valley had a comfortable victory. Despite our defeat, we all had an enjoyable afternoon’s bowling with our friendly hosts.

We look forward to next year’s fixture, when we should be better able to take the game to Mole Valley.

Our next indoor match is at Camberley IBC on Sunday, 26th January.