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Captain’s Blog - Update 30 July


I think in my last update I didn’t really emphasise the significance of the Chiltern and Thames League(C&T) win at home against Gerrards Cross. This team head the league by a significant margin and have strength in depth with for ladies and men that makes them formidable opponents. In many ways this match saw the turning of the tide for us.


Due to postponements from earlier in the season we played 4 C&T matches in just over a week. The Gerrards Cross match was followed by a very tight match against Wendover - with two ends to go we were leading by 4 shots, but at the end we lost by 4 shots. Our top rink wasLinda English, Ian Lee and Neal Evison.


On Saturday 21 July we played Loudwater at home and won one rink, drew one and lost one with the balance of shots in our favour 52-48. This translates to a league point win of 7-3. Our top rink was John Culley, Elizabeth Gillott and David Balderson.


On Tuesday 24 July we played Chess Vale away in very warm and humid conditions. Always challenging because of the artificial surface Amersham fell behind on all three rinks early on. However, sustained effort and concentration saw the position gradually reverse. The result on every rink was determined only on the very last end and Amersham won two rinks and drew one winning the match 59-51. This translates into a league points score of 9-1 and lifts Amersham to second in the league behind only Gerrards Cross. Top rink was John Culley, Meg Wilson and Jim Saunders who secured their result with a 5 on the last end.


This sequence of results gives us the opportunity of finishing in our highest position in this league since its inception.


In between times, in friendly matches we beat Stoke Poges 52-47 away over three mixed triples with top rink Sheila Barber, Norman Wilson and John Barber and we also drew with Rickmansworth Royal British Legion away 62-62 with top rink Ian Hunter, Margaret Sherlock and Elizabeth Gillott.


Finally, we played a Three Counties League match away to High Wycombe on Sunday 29 July. After what feels like weeks of sustained heat, the pattern broke and the match was played in rain with cold blustery wind. It is a rare event to get a good result against this team away so we were delighted to win three rinks, draw one, one one and carry the match 96 shots to 94. Top rink was Jean Oldfield, Val Newton, Elizabeth Gillott and Neal Evison.



Captain’s Blog update 17 July


First of all I do apologise for the long gap in this blog. It has been a rather frantic time for various reasons over the last couple of months.


Rather than give a blow by blow account of every match in one go which would be rather tedious for everyone, I probably ought to give a general update and then comment on results accordingly particularly on top rinks. 


One recent change you may have noticed is that Jill Rawes has had considerable success in improving our coverage in the Bucks Examiner. Last year the entries failed to appear for a considerable period and earlier this season little was being reported. However, the last few weeks have seen an improvement. Many thanks to Jill for her perseverance.


Another factor which has played a part over the last few weeks has been the sustained period of hot dry weather which, after one of the wettest winters on record, has provided challenges for all of those involved in looking after the green. They have done an amazing job of maintaining it to its current level in probably the most trying summers.


I should comment that we have been delighted to see a significant influx of new players to the club. It is wonderful to see so many more people enjoying bowls and I do hope that we can quickly raise their confidence to get them playing in representative matches.


In the Bucks Plate the men reached the quarter finals but lost to Cheddington away last weekend - our top rink was John CUlley, John Brooks and John Barber.


A quick summary:


2 June Away to Berkhamsted - won 95-47 - top rink Jena Fletcher, Ken Rye and Neal Evison


5 June Away to Wendover in the Chiltern and Thames League - a very close match but losing on all three rinks 46-56.


6. June Home to U3A - Margaret Stickland was delighted that the U3A won by 1 shot!! 62-63.


9 June Home to Wendover - lost 67-103 - top rink was Wendy Tindale, Keith Leonard and Elizabeth Gillott.


10 June Away to Wexham in a Three Counties League match. Drew 95-95 - top rink Linda English, Ken Rye, David Balderson, Anne Begley.


17 June Away to Hemel Hempstead - won 74-62 - top rink Margaret Sherlock, Alan English and David Smith.


18 June Away to Gerrards Cross in a Chiltern and thames League match - lost 46-64 - top rink Val Newton, Keith Leonard nd Neal Evison.


20 June Home to Chalfont St Giles in a Three Counties League match - Won 96-88 - top rink  Val Newton, Pam Hunt, Brian Spicer and Howard Brown.


24 June Home to Long Crendon - lost 58-82 - top rink John Culley, Margret Sherlock and Alan English.


26 June Away to Chalfont St Giles in a Three Counties League match - lost 86-118 - top rink John Culley, Margaret Sherlock, Diana Bassett and Ged Putt.


27 June Home to Court Park - lost 67-73 - top rink Cynthia Roe, Ian Hunter, Neal Evison.


30 June Home to Wexham in a Three Counties League match - lost 92-99 - top rink Jean Oldfield, Keith Leonard, Brian Spicer and Ged Putt.


3 July Away to Flackwell Heath in a Three Counties League match - won 100-53 - top rink Jane Slay, Linda English, Alan Ballard and Howard Brown.


10 July Home to Flackwell Heath in a three Counties League match - won 90-79 - top rink Sheila Barber, Alan Ballard, Elizabeth Gillott and John Barber.


12 July Away to Marlow - won 90-43 - top rink Jean Oldfield, Ian Lee and Neal Evison.


16 July Home to Gerrards Cross in a Chiltern and Thames League match - won 60-45 - top rink Jane Slay, Keith Leonard and David Balderson


Update 30 May 2018


I feel a bit of a fraud providing an update on how things have been going on the bowls green when I have been out of action since having a cataract operation. So, many thanks to those who have captained the teams in my absence.


On 22 May, Amersham played a mixed match away to Kitcheners in Berkhamsted over 4 mixed triples. This resulted in an emphatic win 74-45 with top rink Robin Eddy, Jean Oldfield and Neal Evison.


On Sunday 27 May, we played the return Three Counties League fixture away to Harefield. Although the match was lost (not surprisingly) 72-107, Amersham won one rink and drew one. The top rink was Jenna Fletcher, Steve Littlewood, John Brooks and Jim Saunders. Greta to see that two of our newer members Stuart Campbell and Steve Littlewood have already been part of a winning rink in their early experience of playing against other clubs.


On Monday 28 May, the Amersham men played the second round of the National Two Fours away to Marlow. Given that the match was arranged at very short notice this turned out to be a highly competitive fixture but we were just pipped on both rinks resulting in Marlow going through to the next round.


Update 20 May 2018


It has been a busy time so a few results to update on.


On Saturday 12 May we played at home to Aylesbury Town over 4 mixed triples. The forecast had been relatively fine but unfortunately the rain started at the beginning of the match and continued throughout leaving everyone wet and cold.

The match was closely contested with every rink decided by 5 shots However, with Aylesbury winning three rinks to Amersham’s one the match was lost 54-64. Top rink was Valerie Garrood, Keith Leonard and Ann Parker.

On Sunday 13 May, we played a Three Counties League match at home to Harefield over 4 mixed rinks on this occasion in bright sunshine. As always, this was a challenging match, Harefield are a very strong side with a good history in this division.

At the interval, Amersham were leading on two rinks, but by the end Harefield had found their true form and managed to win all five rinks. The final result was 67-125.


On Tuesday 15 May we played a home match over 4 mixed triples against Marlow winning 82-49 


On Wednesday 16 May we played a home match to Tring over three mixed triples. It was a bright but cool afternoon with a strong breeze making it feel quite cold.


One of our triples were 12-0 down after only three ends but came back to win. Amersham won two rinks to Tring’s one with an overall match score of 64-51 in Amersham’s favour Top rink was Sheila Barber, Brian Drew and David Balderson.

In the evening the Amersham men played the first round match of the Bucks Plate against Chalfont St Giles with two triples at home and two triples away. It was significantly colder than the afternoon. At each venue one triple was won and one lost, but Chalfont just managed to edge the result winning by 66-63. Top rink for Amersham was Dave Edwards, David Balderson and David Smith.


On a gloriously sunny afternoon competing with the Royal Wedding and the FA Cup Final (on 19 MAY) we played a Three Counties League match at home to Bassetsbury Manor. Our opponents had to concede a rink due to holiday commitments. Each side won two rinks but the balance of the points fell to Bassetsbury Manor 59-84. The results in a draw on league points 6-6. Top rink for Amersham was John Culley, Margaret Sherlock, Elizabeth Gillott and David Balderson. Given that Bassestsbury had just recorded a 10-2 victory over Harefield who regularly win the league this was quite an achievement.


On the morning of 20 May,, the Amersham Men played in the National Club Two Fours competition away to Chesham. As expected this was a keenly contested match and for the first 16 ends the result was in the balance. However, the later ends favoured Amersham who won one rink by 10 shots and draw the other with an overall result of 36-26. Top rink for Amersham was John Culley, John Brooks, David Balderson and John Barber. Amersham will play Marlow away in the next round.

That afternoon we held Captain’s Day (Men v Ladies) with blue sky and bright sunshine.It was great fun, but the men ran out winners 106-62. The men did manage to win on all rinks (just) but two rinks tied for top spot:I an Hunter, John Brooks and David Balderson along with Ray Cockerill, Ken Rye and David Smith.


6 May


I cannot find suitable words to describe the contrast between last weekend and this one. Last weekend was overcast, wet in parts, breezy and very cold. This weekend was sunny with blue skies, very little breeze and extremely warm,


On Saturday, we had the pleasure of playing away to the Royal Household in the grounds of Frogmore House (shortly to host the royal wedding reception), close to Windsor Castle. If ever there was a perfect advert for playing bowls, this was it. A warm, very sunny day with a blue sky, a vivid green, lush lawn, a tranquil and idyllic rural setting, a bar open for the full duration of the match (and longer), a wonderful tea (including incredible cheesecake) and the friendliest group of people.


The day did not start well, our coach was 20 minutes late. Almost immediately the journey started, I asked the driver if I could use the microphone to convey some important information to everyone travelling. The driver tried the microphone and it didn’t seem to be working so I picked it up in an effort to see if by some miracle I could do any better. As I pulled it towards me, suddenly the microphone was sitting in my right hand and the lead with two bare wires sticking out of it was sitting in my left hand. Ooops.


Anyway, after a rather unusual route that included part of the M25 with miles of static traffic on the other side of the carriageway, we arrived with 5 minutes to spare. In the sports ground area at Frogmore there is a cricket pitch, a 9 hole golf course and a bowls green. Originally provided for the enjoyment of the staff at Windsor Castle (and its surrounds) the sports teams now include quite a large proportion of ‘associate members’.


Captain Alan Speller advised me that we had to be careful of what was served in the tea at half-time and, with hindsight, I am not sure he was joking. Amersham were leading by 8 shots after 10 ends, but at the end of the game we lost 95-111. We had two winning rinks out of six, the top being Sheila Barber, Robin Eddy, Joy Spicer, Brian Spicer and John Barber.


It was an absolute privilege to play in this location with these people and something we will remember for a long time. I did promise everyone a magical mystery tour on the way home, but our driver decided to follow the more standard route of Windsor, to Slough, to Beaconsfield to Amersham and we were back in well under an hour.


On Sunday, we hosted a friendly match over 4 mixed triples against Hemel Hempstead. Another very warm if not hot, afternoon. The visitors were leading on all four runs early on and managed to maintain a lead for virtually the whole of the afternoon. The final result was 48-68, but let on one rink turned things around and our only winning rink, and therefore top rink was John Culley, Elizabeth Gillott and Howard Brown.


29th April


For the second day running the weather conditions provided our biggest challenge. We played away to Court Park over 4 mixed triples and, although it didn’t rain, the temperature didn’t go above 6 degrees made worse by a wind chill factor as the breeze was very noticeable.


Court Park had the edge throughout the match but were never running away with it. In the end they won 3 rinks to our 1 and the overall score was 60-78. Our top rink was Ian Hunter, Elizabeth Gillott and David Balderson.


This was something of a contrast to the last time I played at this green when at half-time my rink was 17-0 down. Thankfully, on that occasion we did make a comeback and in the end only lost 18-17, but it does go to show you must never give up and you certainly shouldn’t take anything for granted.


Although the green was heavy, it played very well and we were made very welcome by our hosts. We were grateful for an early start, a warm clubhouse and hot tea at halftime and an early finish.


28th April


Hello Everyone and welcome back to the new season. Hopefully the weather will improve and we can look forward to some warmer days.


The season kicked off with a Spoon Drive last Saturday and it was wonderful to see 39 people turn up. The morning had been warm and bright, but sadly we saw drizzle during the afternoon. Despite the weather, a good time was had by all and Brian Drew walked off with the bottle of wine. Had he know he was going to win, he might have spent a bit more money on the bottle!!

Today (Saturday), we had our first mixed fixture of the season away to Wing. We drove over in quite heavy rain wondering if we had missed the call cancelling the match. However, the green was all set up to play and the stalwarts at Wing greeted us enthusiastically. The first success of the afternoon was John Culley winning the spider competition and walking off with four bottles of beer. He did resist drinking them before the game. The first few ends were played in drizzle, but for the majority of the afternoon it was overcast and a bit on the cool side but at least the breeze had dropped.


The most memorable event of the after noon was tea at half-time which we all appreciated in the warmth of the clubhouse.

The match was reasonably well balanced throughout, but some late swings moved the result in our favour. We won three rinks out of four with an overall match score of 68-64. Top rink was Meg Wilson, Bernard Fletcher and David Balderson. I should mention though that this was Stuart Campbell’s first match for the club and he seemed to enjoy it - his rink was only one shot behind the winning rink!

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the rearranged Men v Ladies on Monday due to the appalling forecast of heavy rain all day.


I should add my thanks to Alan and Linda English for the really hard work they have put into getting Dutyman up and running. It may take a little getting used to but it will be worth it.

I hope to see you all soon.