A great weekend for Merrow!

Over the weekend of 10-11 August, Merrow played friendlies against Ewhurst, and Woking Park.

Saturday, 10th August: Ewhurst

On Saturday, Merrow welcomed Ewhurst for a friendly of three triples. This was our first meeting in 2019, as the previous match had to be cancelled due to a waterlogged Ewhurst green. Fortunately, although very windy, our afternoon stayed dry.

All rinks started well for Merrow, and it looked as though we might be in for a win. However, it’s never good to be complacent, and when play resumed after the break, Ewhurst began a fightback. Our early optimism proved to be well-founded though, as Merrow went on to win by a margin of 59-41. Merrow’s top rink of Judy, Brian, and Ken had a great result, winning 24-12. Our other two rinks also did well, with Sue, Lorna, and Bob also scoring strongly to win 20-13. Sadly, your correspondent’s rink lost by a single point. Well done team.

Thanks to Joan Mead for the very welcome refreshments at the break.

Sunday, 11th August: Woking Park

On Sunday, 11th August, Merrow travelled to Woking Park for a friendly of three triples. A lovely sunny afternoon was in store as we began our match.

Woking were soon surging ahead on two rinks but with the remaining Merrow rink making a really good start. We were playing straight through, so there was little chance any respite. Sadly, the Woking captain had to call on a substitute due to an injury, after only a few ends had been played.

As the match progressed, Merrow was getting back on terms, with each rink fighting hard for each point. The end of the match resulted in Merrow gaining an overall win of 48-45, thanks to a splendid win by Tony, Lesley, and David R, with a score of 21-9. The other Merrow rinks also did well, with strong finishes by both.

Merrow host Woking Park for our return match on Saturday, 17th August.

The stars align for Merrow

On Saturday, 3rd August, Merrow welcomed Liphook for a friendly of four triples. Although overcast, we were fortunate to have a warm and dry afternoon.

Liphook are always a tough side, so it was encouraging to see all four rinks making a good start to the match. Each side was winning ends, and the scores were close. However, at the break for tea, Merrow were starting to edge ahead.

At the well deserved break, we all enjoyed tea, and delicious home-made cakes, courtesy of Lucy, who was helping Tony.

Re-invigorated, we resumed the battle. We ended with a brilliant result for Merrow, who won on all four rinks, scoring 84-50. Our top rink was Lesley, Allen, and John, with a great win 23-7. Splendid work!

Liphook will be renewing their green over the Autumn, so we look forward to our match next season.

President versus Chairman

Our annual match between teams representing the club’s President and Chairman was held on Saturday, 27th July. Despite early rain, we were fortunate to have a dry afternoon for the match.

To help us celebrate 90 years as a bowls club, four past members were invited to join us for the match: Rodney Morrison, Tony Cekŷs, Mike Jordan, and Sue Chitty. Sadly, neither the President nor Chairman were able to bowl, due to health reasons but watched the match from the sidelines.

We played three rinks of triples, and one rink of pairs. Due to the threat of rain, the triples played sixteen ends, while the pairs played eighteen ends. All rinks played well, with close scoring all the way, and lots of groans when bowls just missed their target. There was also plenty of laughter.

At close of play, the scores favoured the President’s teams, winning 59-53, with each side winning on two rinks. The top team were Judy, Mike, and David F, playing for the President, with a winning score of 16-10. Scores aside, a great afternoon’s bowling was enjoyed by all.

Following the match, Chairman Brian presented President David with the Bob Ashdown Memorial Shield, after which we all enjoyed some well deserved refreshments, including a wonderful anniversary cake made especially for the occasion by Debbie. A fitting end to a great afternoon.

Westfield winners

On Sunday, 14th July, Merrow hosted Westfield for a match of four triples. After the heat of recent days, it was nice to have a cooler day for our match.

Westfield are a strong side and, true to form, Merrow were soon under pressure. It soon became apparent that, unless we made a remarkable tecovery, Westfield were going to win the match. However, Merrow never give up, and continued to fight hard. A break for tea was welcomed by both sides. Our thanks to John and Sally for the refreshments.

After the break, Westfield continued to extend their lead, finally winning the match 49-81.

Two of Merrow’s rinks acquitted themselves well, drawing on one and only losing by a small margin on the other. Well done to Judy, Andy, and Ken, fighting back to draw 15-15; and to Mark, Bernard, and Bob, only losing 12-15.

Despite losing the match, we all enjoyed a nice afternoon playing bowls in good company.

Jarek has the shot bowl for Merrow

Jarek has the shot bowl for Merrow

Merrow have the shot bowl

Merrow have the shot bowl

Oh dear, 5 scored

Oh dear, 5 scored

Rink 2 watch a Westfield bowl

Rink 2 watch a Westfield bowl

rinks 1 & 2 under way with Sheila and Jarek

Rinks 1 & 2 under way with Sheila and Jarek

Rogues gallery!

Rogues gallery

Trial ends 2

Trial ends

A visit from Stoke Park

On Saturday 6th July, Merrow hosted Stoke Park for a friendly of four triples.

As has been the norm of late, it was hot and sunny, with just the occasional bit of cloud coming over.

All rinks started well, with Merrow putting up a good showing. On the captains’ rink, Merrow was starting to drop behind at the break, so we were glad of some tea and a chance to regroup. Thanks go to Debbie, Lorna, and Sally for making lovely cakes, and Lesley and Sophie for helping out.

Following the restart, Stoke Park started to move ahead on two rinks, while Merrow held their own on the other two. At the finish, each side had won two rinks but Stoke Park won on overall points, with a score of 57-70.

Congratulations to our two winning rinks: Tony, Lorna, and John with a score of 22-10; and Mark, Brian, and Bob who won 14-13.

Next up is a home match against Holloway Hill on Wednesday. If you haven’t put your name down, best do so ASAP.

Noting the scores

Bowling under way

A great result

For our match on Wednesday, 3rd July, we played host to Mayford Hall for a friendly of four triples.

Once again, we were blessed with a lovely hot, sunny afternoon, made more bearable by a light breeze.

Our captain Brian was unable to play due to a hand injury, so he just had to get the match started. Once the match got under way, Merrow’s bowlers started to take control, with all rinks playing strongly.

There was a welcome break for tea at the halfway mark, with a delicious selection of cakes made by Lorna. It’s always a treat to sit out in the sunshine with a cup of tea!

After tea the match resumed. Fortunately, the break had not affected Merrow’s performance, and we had a great result, winning on three rinks, and losing narrowly on the fourth, with a final score of 74-55. Our top rink was Jarek, Andy, and John with a tremendous score of 23-9. Well done to them, and all the other rinks.

What a scorcher!

On what must have been the hottest day of the year so far (32+), Merrow travelled to Dorking for a match of three triples at Pippbrook.

Under a blue sky with the sun beating down, the teams embarked on the first of eighteen ends. Hats and suncream were the order of the day. Merrow were soon battling hard and, on two rinks, moving ahead. Plenty of liquids were being taken on board, as we were playing straight through without a break. Sadly, one rink conceded early, as a Merrow player was unable to continue due to the heat.

The match ended with each side winning a rink, and one drawn. However, the overall score favoured Pippbrook, who won 57-44.

Merrow’s top rink was Lesley, David R, and John, who won 21-19. Our drawn rink of Judy, Lorna, and Ken, narrowly missed out on a win, with Pippbrook gaining a single on the last end to draw level.

The post-match tea was welcomed by everyone.

Ups and downs at East Horsley

For the latest in our midweek matches, on Wednesday 26th we travelled to East Horsley for a match of three triples. A hot and sunny afternoon beckoned and, of course, I’d left my hat at home.

Merrow started well, with all rinks winning ends. However, things started to go wrong for your correspondent’s rink as East Horsley started to move ahead, often winning ends that we felt could have been ours. Fortunately, the other two rinks were faring much better, as they fought hard to maintain a lead.

Stopping for tea and cakes at nine ends was a welcome relief from the heat, and we all started the next half with renewed vigour.

The end result was an overall win for East Horsley, with a score of 60-44. However, Merrow won two of the three rinks, with Lorna, Andy, and Ken being our top rink with a score of 22-13. Well done to both rinks.

We only play East Horsley once a year, so we look forward to welcoming them to Merrow in 2020, when we hope for an improved result.

Michael centres the jack for East Horsley

Michael centres the jack for East Horsley

John lines up his delivery

John lines up his delivery

Andy checks the progress of his bowl

Andy checks the progress of his bowl

A lovely setting for bowls

A lovely setting for bowls

Ottershaw triumphs

On Saturday, 22nd June, Merrow bowlers made the journey to Ottershaw for our annual fixture. It promised to be a hot and sunny afternoon, and we weren’t disappointed.

We played three rinks of triples, with a break for tea at the halfway mark, nine ends. Ottershaw fielded a team of very experienced bowlers, in contrast to our team where most have less than five years experience. Experience shone through as Ottershaw started to rack up the points, leading to an overall win of 64-28. A big “well done” to Ken, Debbie and Lorna who came very close, losing by just four points. As a side, we did our best against very strong opposition and acquitted ourselves well, despite the score.

We only play Ottershaw once a year, so our next meeting will be at Merrow in 2020.

A tough match at Albury

After the cancellation of several matches due to bad weather, it was a relief for Merrow to visit Albury on Saturday, 15th June for a friendly of four triples. Although we had had rain on and off over the previous week, the day had started dry and sunny. However, things changed in the afternoon, with heavy cloud and showers making the outlook rather bleak. We were fortunate that, after a short shower, the weather dried up and we were able to stay dry for the match.

As ever, Albury had fielded a strong side, and we approached the match knowing they would be hard to beat. Our bowlers had had little opportunity to practice during the previous week, so we were really up against it. After two trial ends, we played the eighteen ends straight through, which was a good plan given the weather conditions.

The teams were soon battling away, with each Merrow team doing their best to win each end. Sadly, we were overcome, with Merrow only winning on one rink; that of Sally, Richard, and David R who won 20-9. Rink three came s-o-o-o close to winning, being three down on the last end and holding four but Albury put paid to that by winning on the last bowl of the match. Well done though to Judy, Len, and Ken for a spirited performance.

Following the match, we enjoyed tea and drinks with our hosts.