A good result at Mole Valley

On Wednesday, 28th November, Merrow bowlers travelled to Leatherhead for our first indoor match of the season. Our hosts were Mole Valley, ready to take us on playing four rinks.  Unfortunately, Mole Valley were let down by some players not turning up, meaning that they had to play with three bowlers to our four on three of the four rinks. Merrow were supported by three additional bowlers from Wey Valley: Sue, Lawrie, and Jonathan, to whom we owe a vote of thanks.

For the first time, Merrow were able to field a side where all bowlers also played indoors at Wey Valley, so we were confident of improving on our previous years’ results. As the match progressed Merrow were suffering mixed fortunes against an experienced Mole Valley side. The overall score fluctuated throughout the match but eventually Mole Valley prevailed, winning 87-75. This wasn’t as bad as it might seem, as it is the first time that we had held Mole Valley under 100! Well done to all Merrow bowlers. Merrow did win on one rink with a great score of 30-10, so congratulations to Allen, Lawrie, Sue and David. We also drew on one rink 19-19; well done Rodney, Sue, Bernard and Len.

We look forward to our next indoor match, which will be away against Camberley on Sunday, 27th January.

Presentation Lunch

On a sunny and warm Sunday, 21st October, Merrow’s Presentation Lunch took place at the Guildford Masonic Centre. Sitting on the terrace, you would have been forgiven for thinking that we were in the middle of Summer, not well into Autumn.

There was a good turnout of club members and partners, with proceedings ably managed by David Matthews.

To keep everyone amused, Tony Cekys had created a quiz for the event. Each couple had two sheets of twenty questions, and we all set to work trying to work out the answers. I must say that Tony is a tough quizmaster! The quiz passed a few minutes before we went up for our lunch, which all enjoyed; very tasty. Our thanks go to Vince and the catering team for their cheerful service.

Once we had finished lunch, we moved on to the presentations. The awards are mainly for the club competitions, with a couple of other items that aren’t competitions. The photos below show the winners and runners-up receiving the awards, all presented by our Chairman, David Matthews.

Presentations over, we moved swiftly on to the raffle. All prizes were donated to the lunch by club members, so a big thank-you to all that helped make the raffle a success. Sue Reigate and Lorna Raison had been busy selling tickets to the assembled throng, who studied their numbers closely for that winning ticket. We also had the quiz answers, with prizes for the highest scores. Team Wills and Mead came out on top in the first round, winning some chocolates. The second round was decided on a tie break, with Team Duddy getting the spoils. Great fun.


The prizes await


A fine selection of raffle prizes


Ken, Leslie, Debbie and David consider the quiz


This looks like a rowdy bunch!


John, Sally, Joan and Allen get stuck in to the quiz


Robin discusses one of the questions with Brian and Richard


Would you argue with this man?


Still trying to get those elusive answers. Where was JMW Turner’s house?


Calm down Ken!


Tony Cekys, winner of the Men’s Championship. Runner-up, Bob Carey.


Sally Wills, winner of the Ladies’ Championship


Debbie Ewins, Ladies’ Championship runner-up


Ken Burburry, winner of the Junior Championship


Julian Ellis, Junior Championship runner-up


David Ewins, winner of the 2 Wood Singles. Runner-up, Tony Cekys.


Tony Cekys, winner of the 3 Wood Singles. Runner-up, Bob Carey.



Tony Cekys, winner of the Handicap Singles.


John Wills, overcome at receiving his Handicap Singles runner-up medal


John Wills, winner of the Novices Oliver Cup


Julian Ellis receiving his Novices runner-up medal


Joan Mead and Debbie Ewins, winners of the Ladies Drawn Pairs.


Lesley Burburry and Sally Wills, Ladies Drawn Pairs runners-up


David Ewins and Mark Hosking, winners of the Men’s Drawn Pairs


Allen Mead, Men’s Drawn Pairs runner-up together with Bob Carey, who was unable to attend.


David and Debbie Ewins, winners of the Mixed Pairs


David and Lorna Raison, Mixed Pairs runners-up


David Ewins, winner of the 101 competition. Runner-up, Bob Carey.


Julian Ellis, Most Improved Player award


Tony proudly displays his awards


David Ewins receives a special prize for his work.


A little something for Jean, who is always ready to help with the teas on match days

Len Merritt, who was unable to attend, was recognised for his work on our new equipment shed and sundry other tasks, receiving the Stentiford Shield in his absence.

If you would like a copy of any of the photos, either digitally or printed, please contact David Raison.

Thanks everyone

A big thank you to everyone that helped “put the green to bed”.

We are making great strides towards improving our green and, with members’ help, over the next few months we should really see a great change in the playing surface. If you are able to give up some time to help out, do let David Ewins know.

A special mention for Graham, from Bowls England, who has been advising us on the work programme and also providing some equipment as and when needed. An invaluable resource.


David spreading the top dressing. We used the best part of three tons!


Julian brushing in the grass seed after the second application of top dressing

Our last outdoor match of the season

Merrow’s final outdoor match of 2018 was at Castle Green on Sunday, 23rd September. We have often had mixed fortunes with Castle Green fixtures during the Summer due to Guildford in Bloom taking over their facilities, so this match was our last opportunity in 2018 to play alongside Guildford Castle.

Saturday had been very wet, and Sunday morning also saw a heavy downpour, but by noon the rain seemed to have stopped, with a dry afternoon forecast, indeed we played in bright sunshine.

With Castle Green loaning us two bowlers, we were able to play three rinks of triples, although on one rink we were to play two against three, playing with a total of eight bowls for each team.

The match started well with all getting used to the green. Three of the rinks were nip and tuck, but our fourth rink was up against very strong competition.

After ten ends we stopped for a warming tea kindly prepared by Joan. We hoped that the refreshments would give Merrow added impetus, and that seemed to be the case, with all rinks making progress. However, the match ended with a good win for Castle Green on 84 points to Merrow’s 57. Well done to everyone for putting up a good showing against strong opposition.

This was our last outdoor match of the season. Our next match is an indoor fixture against Mole Valley in November, so make sure you put your name on the team sheet.

A first at Seale & Sands

On Saturday, 15th September, Merrow bowlers travelled to Seale & Sands for our first friendly with the club.

Preparing for a match of four triples, we were blessed with a warm and sunny afternoon.

All rinks were playing with great friendliness and humour so, on breaking for tea after ten ends, the scores were looking quite respectable. We all enjoyed our tea, kindly provided by Rosemary and Colin, and the raffle was shared equally between the teams with both captains winning.

Unfortunately, Merrow’s Mark was not well enough to continue after the break, so his place was taken by super-sub Ben, playing in only his second match. Well done Ben. We also had Julian playing in his first away match, who also acquitted himself well.

After the final end, we were surprised to find that two rinks had drawn, and each side had won on one rink. The final scores were Merrow 47, Seale & Sands 53.

A splendid afternoon was enjoyed by all, and we look forward to hosting the return match in 2019.

Finals Day

Merrow’s club competitions Finals Day took place on Sunday, 9th September.

Starting at 10am, spectators were treated to a feast of good bowling throughout the day.

Matches played on Sunday were:

  • Ladies Drawn Pairs
  • Men’s Junior Championship
  • Two Wood Singles
  • Three Wood Singles
  • Men’s Drawn Pairs
  • Handicap Singles
  • Ladies’ Championship
  • Novices’ Championship
  • Men’s Championship

The Mixed Pairs final was played on the previous Wednesday. The 101 final is to be played on Tuesday, 11th September. These adjustments were made due to player availability.

Here are a few photos of the day. If you’d like a copy, please contact David Raison

Things didn’t go too well

On Saturday, 8th September, Merrow hosted a friendly of three triples against Heathervale. The weather had been threatening rain during the morning, but fortunately it stayed dry, if a little cool.

Heathervale got off to a flying start, although David’s rink 2 was making a good showing. The bowling on all rinks was close, even if the scoring didn’t reflect it. At the half-time break, we all enjoyed tea and cakes provided by Colin.

After the restart, Heathervale seemed to be rejuvenated and came at us with a vengeance, eventually running out winners on two rinks and winning overall by 53 points to Merrow’s 34. A consolation for Merrow was the win by Mark, Joan and David F on rink 2, 17-10. Well done!

No photos for this match, as I was too busy trying to get my bowls in the right place!


A good win over Ripley

Saturday, 1st September promised to be warm and sunny. Fortunately, this proved to be the case when we entertained Ripley for a friendly of four triples.

On arrival, Ripley were a player short due to illness, so Merrow’s Tony C volunteered to step in for the opposition.

Initially, Merrow were ahead on three rinks. Sadly, Merrow’s Mike had to retire after six ends due to back pain. Out of the blue, Mark’s son Ben stepped in as substitute. Now, Ben had only had a roll up on the Thursday but had shown some promise, but he was soon contributing to the match, much to his Dad’s pleasure.

We all stopped for tea after ten ends and enjoyed tasty home-made cakes provided by Debbie, Joan, and Lorna. Many thanks to Jean for dealing with the teas.

The match resumed with mixed fortunes. At eighteen ends, both sides had won two rinks, but Merrow triumphed overall by ten points, 66-56.

Our top rink was Sally, Lorna, and David E, winning 25-9.

What a mix up!

On Wednesday, 29th August, Merrow were looking forward to an evening friendly at Holloway Hill, Godalming. The match normally starts at 6pm, so we were surprised to receive a call at 2:30 asking if we were planning to play. It transpired that having changed the fixture date, the match time in our fixtures list had not been amended too. After some frantic phone calls, match captain Brian T was able to get eleven of our twelve players to Holloway Hill for a 4pm start, with our hosts loaning a player to make up the shortfall.

After all the shenanigans, it was a relief to get on with the match on a cool afternoon. Fortunately, despite the earlier rain, the green had started to dry, so the bowling surface was in reasonable shape.

Both sides were soon playing hard, with scores ebbing and flowing. We had initially decided to play just twelve ends, but that was quickly amended to fourteen due to improvements in the weather. The match ended with both teams winning on two rinks, but Holloway Hill came out on top overall, scoring 52 points to Merrow’s 42. Merrow’s top rink was Sue, Ken, and Colin, who triumphed by five points, winning 15-10. Well done folks. Our other winning rink was that of the captain. Well done to Debbie, Brian R, and Brian T.

Following the match, we all sat down for sandwiches and cake, and some friendly chat.

As we near the end of the season, we anticipate meeting many of our hosts at Wey Valley over the Winter.