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Amersham Bowls Club

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September 2017

Despite several days of rain, on 10 August we turned out to glorious warm sunshine. This was a friendly and very social fixture played in good spirits at home to Potten End over four mixed triples. Amersham managed to win on all four rinks with an overall score of 81-66. Hilary Fisher played her first match for the club and was part of the top rink along with David Smith and John Barber.

On 12 August we took on Bassetsbury Manor away in a Three Counties League match. Unfortunately, the match was reduced to four rinks as our opponents were unable to field a full side. Fortunes fluctuated as the match progressed, but ultimately both side won two rinks. However, the match score fell in favour of Amersham 71-66 meaning that Amersham take 8 league points to 2. Top rink for Amersham was Val Newton, Joy Spicer, Neal Evison and John Barber.

Unfortunately, we then had a series of matches cancelled for various reasons, some weather related and some because the opposition could not raise a team.

On 20 August we took on High Wycombe at home in a Three Counties League match this afternoon. The weather remained fine all apart from the final few minutes. As High Wycombe are already declared champions of our division in this league with two matches to spare we knew it would be a challenging encounter. In the end, we won one rink, drew one and lost three with an overall loss of 78-110. Our one winning rink was Sheila Barber, John Brooks, David Balderson and Ray Cox.

On a beautiful summer’s afternoon on 26 August, we took on Chess Vale at home in the Three Counties League. With three ends to go the biggest margin on any rink was 3 so the result remained in the balance until the final end. Unfortunately, shots slipped away and in the end we drew one rink and lost four with an overall loss of 79-95. Our one drawing rink was John Culley, Pam Hunt, Joy Spicer and Jim Saunders.

As I write this note, we have just completed Finals Weekend and I am sure the results will appear elsewhere on this website. 27 players took part in 12 finals. Saturday was a beautiful and at times quite hot day. Unfortunately, Sunday was overcast, quite breezy, at times a little cold and beset by some drizzle/light rain. However, all of the finals were completed watched by a good turn out of spectators. Thanks are due to John, Jim and the rest of the green team for presenting the green to such an excellent standard despite the recent weather conditions. We also appreciated John Brooks acting as umpire for the weekend and Jean Oldfield for coordinating provision of teas and very nice cakes on the Sunday. Many people helped with teas and with putting out and putting away equipment and all of the players appreciated those who turned out to provide support and encouragement. Brian Drew very kindly presented the trophies to all winners. Special mention must be made for Ann Parker who played in each of the four sessions and won all of her matches. This is quite an achievement and I need to add that she has a further final to complete - the mixed triples this afternoon.

Please do not forget that the Champion of Champions match between Jim Saunders and Ann Parker will be at 2.00pm on Wednesday 12 September.

9 August 2017

I have a bit of catching up to do (again I hear you say).

On 4 July we played a Three Counties League match away to Flackwell Heath It was a warm sunny day so pleasant conditions. We won the overall match, winning on 4 rinks and losing on 1 rink. The score was 116 points to Amersham and 79 points to Flackwell Heath. The overall points therefore were 10 points to us and 2 points to Flackwell Heath. That made a nice change!. The top rink was John Barber, Eric Sherlock, Gayle Berrington, and Sheila Barber.

On 7 July we played Wendover away in a Chiltern and Thames match previously postponed due to rain. This was a glorious summer evening with little breeze.This is always a challenging contest but the overall result remained in doubt until the very last end. Unfortunately, we lost two rinks and won one with an overall match score of 50-52 in favour of Wendover. Top rink for Amersham was Sheila Barber, Neal Evison and John Barber.


On 9 July, a glorious summer’s afternoon with a light breeze at times making it very pleasant, we played four mixed rinks as a friendly match away to Berkhamsted. The green was incredibly fast compared to our own and it took a while for us to adapt. The home advantage showed and Berkhamsted actually won all four rinks with an overall score 57-96.

On 11 July, a day where the forecast was dreadful and when there had been rain leading up to the match, we were lucky enough to start the Three Counties League match against Flackwell Heath early and survive without rain for a considerable part of the afternoon before the heavens opened. Amersham won on three rinks (one turning from a loss to a win on the last end) and lost on two rinks but won the match 89-87 picking up 8 league points to Flackwell Heath’s 4.Top rink for Amersham was Sheila Barber, Ian Hunter, Ken Rye and John Barber.

The match on 13 July at home to Marlow was played in perfect conditions - hot and sunny but not too hot - and in a very friendly spirit throughout. Amersham won on 3 rinks and lost on one with an overall score of 72-49. Top rink was Dave Edwards, John Brooks and Ann Parker who won their game 23-9.

On Saturday 15 July we played 4 mixed triples away to Aston Clinton as a friendly fixture. The weather was warm and calm and the match was played in a good atmosphere. Amersham won two rinks and lost two but the balance fell in favour of Aston Clinton 58-65. Top rink for Amersham was Linda English, Norman Wilson and John Brooks.

On Sunday 16 July the Amersham men visited Long Crendon for the quarter-final of the Bucks Plate. For much of the match the outcome remained in the balance, but Long Crendon created a margin towards the end which we could not close. Once again, Amersham won two rinks and lost two, but the balance favoured Long Crendon 53-70. Top rink for Amersham was John Culley, John Brooks and John Barber.

On a very humid and overcast afternoon on. 18 July, we turned up to Stoke Poles expecting to play 4 mixed tripled. Unfortunately the opposition were expecting 3 mixed triples so after a quick rearrangement we played 4 against 3 on each rink. The green was challenging with a large number of bare patches and cracked earth resulting in it being very fast and unpredictable. In addition, no sooner had we started than the green was shrouded in thick smoke from a fire (or fires) in the vicinity which remained for the majority of the afternoon. Sheila was delighted to get shot wood on the second end only to be told that she was paling on rink 2 and she had shot on rink 1. We won one and lost two with Stoke Poles running out winners 54-51. Top rink for Amersham was John Culley, Jane Slay, Neal Evison and John Barber. It is great to see Jane on a winning rink so soon after starting to play competitive matches for the club.

On 20 July, Amersham entertained Gerrards Cross in a men's friendly match. After recent heavy rain and a wet morning today the green was soft at the outset but speeded up as it dried during the sunny afternoon. Games against Gerrards Cross are nearly always close and hotly contested, and this one was no exception. The overall lead changed hands regularly during the afternoon. At the start of the last end on the last rink Amersham were leading by one shot; but with one wood left the opposition were holding a 2-shot lead and a match-winning position; however, with his last wood Ray Cox found a route into the head which astonished everyone and reduced the Gerrards Cross lead to one shot and the match tied at 53-53. Although Amersham finished ahead on 3 of the 4 rinks, a draw overall seemed a fair result for a match played in a wonderful spirit throughout. Top rink for Amersham was John Culley (yet again), David Smith and Neil Evison who won their game 16-11.

On Saturday 22 July match we played another Chiltern and Thames fixture at home to Loudwater. On this occasion we won one rink, drew one and lost one. Unfortunately, the balance of shots fell to the away team 33-51.Top rink for Amersham was Neal Evison, Wendy Tindale and John Barber.

On 23 July Amersham played Rickmansworth RBL in a friendly match over four mixed triples. Honours were even in terms of rinks with both sides winning two, but Amersham edged the match score 57-53. A pleasant afternoon with a friendly atmosphere and no rain. Top rink was Keith Leonard, Elizabeth Gillott and Neal Evison.

On a glorious summer’s evening on 25 July, we played away in the Chiltern and Thames League to Chess Vale over three mixed triples. As always, the home team provided stiff opposition on their artificial surface.Amersham won one rink and lost two with an overall match score 46-57 in favour of Chess Vale. Our top rink was Helen Murphy, Neal Evison and Jim Saunders.

On Sunday 30 July we had a Three Counties League match away to High Wycombe who are currently heading the league by a good margin. We were holding our own for an extended period and with about 5 ends to go looked as though we might even sneak a win on three rinks out of five. Sadly, we then hit a bad patch and regretfully the home side found a winning streak, turning the match around and winning on all five rinks. The final result was Amersham 77 High Wycombe 117.

On Tuesday 1 August, Amersham entertained Fassnidge in a friendly match over four mixed triples. Although Amersham won 3 and lost 1 triple the overall match score meant honours were divided 63-63’ Top rink for Amersham was 

Keith Leonard, Gayle Berrington and David Smith.

On a very sunny afternoon on Saturday 5 August, we avoided the threat of thunder and lightning and had a very enjoyable game away to Rickmansworth over five mixed triples. Unfortunately one Amersham player got lost on the way to the green and Rickmansworth very kindly lent us someone who was due to do teas. Amersham won two rinks and lost three, but after a recount (!!) we found that Amersham won the match by 1 shot 75-74. Top rink for Amersham was Valerie Garrood, John Brooks and Ray Cox.

Bonanza Day was Sunday 6 August and a good time was had by all. The weather was very kind and we all played 3 rounds of 7 ends each. Theme of the day was silly hats with the judges deciding that Diana Bassett’s decorated fluorescent orange road cone was the best entry. Overall winners were Wendy Tindale and David Balderson with a score of +13.

On 8 August we played Chess Vale at home over three mixed triples in a Chiltern and Thames League match postponed from the previous Wednesday due to inclement weather. Despite heavy rain the day before the green held up well. Amersham won on two rinks and lost on one with an overall match score of 58-43 in our favour. This means Amersham gain 8 league points to Chess Vale’s 2.Top rink for Amersham was Elizabeth Gillott, David Smith and John Barber.

8 July

I have an apology to make (not another one I hear you say). In my last report, rapidly put together after a break for various reasons, I undersold the Amersham team performance. On 24 June against Loudwater we won one rink, our one winning rink was Meg Wilson, Ian Lee and David Smith. I am encouraged that sufficient people read the blog to spot the (deliberate) errors!

2 July

Due to holiday and family commitments I have been a little out of touch for a while so I am just catching up and there are quite few games to cover.

As runners up in the Bucks Plate last season we were hoping for great things this season but a narrow defeat against Bassetsbury Manor in the first round didn’t go as well as we would have expected so everything rested on our second round game against Blackwell Heath. We won three triples of of four with a winning overall score of 69-43 which now places us in the quarter finals against Long Crendon. Top rink was Norman Wilson, Ken Rye and David Balderson.

On Sunday 18 June we played Hemel Hempstead in a friendly match at home over 4 mixed triples. Both sides won two rinks but the match score fell in our favour by just 2 shots. Top rink was Bernard Fletcher, Diana Bassett and Howard Brown.

We then played a series of league matches:

On Monday 19 June we played a Chiltern and Thames league match away to Gerrards Cross. Always strong opponents, particularly at home this is always a challenging fixture. However, winning one triple, drawing one and losing one with an overall winning score of 53-45 provided an excellent victory. Top rink was    

Colin Wills, Ian Lee and Anne Begley.

On Tuesday 20 June we played a Three Counties league match at home to Chalfont St Giles.  We won 3 rinks and lost 2 with a winning score of 105-81 with top rink Ian Hunter, Norman Wilson, Wendy tingle and Eric Sherlock.

On Saturday 24 June we played a Chiltern and Thames league match away to Loudwater, but unfortunately lost on ll three triples with the match score 35-52.

Regretfully the return match to Chalfont St Giles in the Three Counties league on 27 June saw them wreak their revenge with a 116-68 victory. We did have one winning rink: Sheila Barber, Gayle Berrington, Elizabeth Gillott and John Barber.

The bad run continued against Court Park at home on 28 June over 4 mixed triples. We lost 3 and won 1 with an overall match score of 58-78. The only winning rink was Meg Wilson, Linda English and John Barber.

However, there was better news on Saturday 1 July. We played a Three Counties league fixture at home against Wexham. We won three rinks and lost two, but on shots the game was won by a significant margin 117-85. This is a very good result against this opposition. Top rink (by 1 shot) was Keith Leonard, Pam Hunt, David Smith and Neal Evison.

11 June 2017

On Sunday 4 June Amersham ladies played a Top Club match away to Chesham. Despite both teams winning two disciplines Chesham ran out  winners 71-84. It was a significant achievement to push Chesham this close and the ladies should be congratulated on their performance.

That same afternoon, we played a three Counties League match away to Chess Vale on their all-weather surface. Home advantage told  with Chess Vale winning on all five rinks 73-121. 

On Thursday 8 June Amersham Ladies won their Burnham Plate match away to Wing 23-15.

This was closely followed on Saturday 10 June by a home match against Wendover played in bright, dry conditions over five mixed triples. Amersham won 2 and lost three with the final score 76-87 in favour of Wendover. Amersham's top rink was Margaret Stickland, Ian Hunter and Peter Bray.

On Sunday 11 June we played a Three Counties League fixture away to Wexham over five mixed rinks. Although quite windy the weather remained dry, but Amersham managed to win one rink to Wexham's four. The score was 87-99 in favour of Wexham. Top rink for Amersham was Sheila Barber, Norman Wilson, David Smith and David Balderson. Ray Cox suggested that had the match gone to another ten ends he would have won!! Jim Saunders rink was very unlucky - holding 1 or possibly 2 on the last end which would have drawn or won the match (having started 1 down), a poor shot by the Wexham skip took a massive deflection (or wick) to win the end and the match.

3 June 2017

I have to start this blog with an apology. Ian Lee has proved that he does read this blog as he raised a complaint about my report of the Aylesbury Town match. Apparently, I declared the top rink incorrectly. You will guess why Ian spotted this mistake when I tell you that the top rink should have read Jenny Brooks, Ian Lee and Ann Parker.

There has been a bit of a gap since my last blog so I regret that I need to cover quite a lot of results in one go. It has been quite an intensive time of the season.

On a warm and quite sunny afternoon we played a friendly match away to Marlow on Tuesday 16 May over four mixed triples. We won one and lost three triples with an overall match score of Amersham 63 - Marlow 77. Our one winning rink was really quite convincing at 32-10 and consisted of Jenny Brooks, Alan Ballard and Norman Wilson. Sadly, our other three rinks could not hold the position sufficiently to maintain a wnning margin.

We then had two fixtures cancelled, one a friendly away to Tring due to adverse weather and the second a national Two Fours men's match with Bassetsbury Manor as they were unable to raise a team.

Still stinging somewhat from a heavy Three Counties League match loss to Harefield, we played the next round of the competition at home to Bassetsbury Manor. Sadly, our opponents could only field 4 rinks out of five, conceding on one. This was a very strong performance by Amersham winning three rinks and drawing one taking the match 74-55 and also taking 11 league points out of 12. Top rink was John Culley, Margaret Sherlock, Pat Barnard and David Balderson.

On 21 May we held the annual Captains Day event which as always was a competitive and lively. As it turned out the men won three rinks and the ladies won three rinks. Before we started it was suggested by some of the ladies that the men should concede 5 points on each rink - had that happened the overall result would have been a draw 117-117!! Top rink for the men was Graham Morris, Norman Wilson and Peter Bray and for the ladies Val Newton, Pam Hunt and Pat Barnard.

On Tuesday 23 May a home match was played against Kitcheners over four mixed triples. Against a forecast of sunshine, the match started in fine drizzle, and a cool breeze under heavy cloud. However, the weather improved as the afternoon progressed. Although each side won two rinks, the balance of shots fell to Kitcheners 62-81. The Amersham top rink was John Culley, Meg Wilson and David Balderson.

On 25 May, an evening which started in hot sunshine and finished 3 hours later when it was distinctly cooler, Amersham took on Wendover in the season's first C&T league game and came second to 3 strong Wendover rinks. Although the rink of Sheila Barber, Ken Rye and John Barbet were leading after the penultimate shot on the last end, Wendover's skip turned the result around with his last shot. After an enjoyable game played in very good spirit Amersham lost on all 3 rinks with an overall score of 41-58. 

On 28 May we faced the return leg of the Three Counties League to Harefield. Not surprisingly the opposition turned out to be very strong once again and the match was lost 50-95. However we did manage a draw on one rink which was John Culley, Diana Bassett, Ray Cox and Anne Begley. As Anne was only called in to play on the morning of the match we are grateful to her in more ways than one!!

On 30 May we had another challenging match at home in the C&T (Chiltern and Thames League) to Gerrards Cross. We lost on two rinks and won on one with the final score being 36-69 in favour of Gerrards Cross. Our top rink was Colin Wills, Elizabeth Gillott and Jim Saunders. 

After last year's success where the Amersham men were runners up in the Bucks Plate, we kicked off the competition this season with a fixture against Bassestsbury Manor on 31 May. We won two triples and lost two but the final result was a 61-65 loss. Top rink was Neal Evison, Eric Sherlock and Howard Brown.

Finally for this report, Amersham men entered two national competitions this year and played Marlow away in both. On Friday 2 June Amersham beat Marlow in the Two Fours 51-29. One rink was drawn but the top rink with a score of 32-10 was John Culley, Peter Bray, Neal Evison and John Barber. On Saturday 3 June, Marlow manged to get their revenge in the Top Club. Played over 5 'dsciplines' (2 wood singles, 4 wood singles, pair, triple and rink), Marlow won 3-2. Top rink for Amersham was Peter Bray and Jm Saunders.

'You will notice if you read this blog from the start of the season that John Culley's name appears on a regular basis on the top rink. In the last two or three matches John as lead has played such an important part in putting the opposition on the back foot by regularly putting the majority of his woods very close to the jack. Any skip will tell you that a consistently accurate lead is worth their weight in gold. Keep it up John!!!'

14 May 2017

This has been quite a busy week. 

A game away to Hazells (in Aylesbury) is always a significant challenge, but the mixed team came up trumps on 11 May in warm sunshine winning 84-77. Interestingly, we lost on three rinks and won on two with our top rink being Ian Hunter, Pat Barnard and Ken Rye.

This was closely followed by another away fixture to Aylesbury Town on Saturday 13 May. Again in sunny weather, the team came of the blocks fighting and shot into a 45-22 lead, ahead on all four rinks. Unfortunately, the old adage about a game of two halves haunted us and the match was eventually lost by a small margin 65-68. Top rink for Amersham was John Culley, Pat Barnard and Peter Bray.

On Sunday 14 May we faced one of the stiffest challenges of the season, a Three Counties League match at home to Harefield (who won the league last year) over 5 mixed rinks.

At one point just after the tea break, Amersham were leading on three rinks and losing on two, but you can never under-estimate Harefield and in the end we suffered a resounding loss 62-134 with our one winning rink consisting of Linda English, Wendy Tindale, John Brooks and Jim Saunders.

7 May 2017

The Ladies team had contrasting results on 2 and 4 May. In the former they played at Home to Princes Risborough winning 51-47. Top rink was Linda English, Gayle Berrington and Diana Bassett. In the latter they lost away to Gerrards Cross 31-64 losing on all three rinks.

On a gloriously warm and sunny afternoon at Hemel Hempstead the mixed team managed to win two triples and lose to, but unfortunately the balance fell against us and the score was Amersham 57 - Hemel Hempstead 62.This was Norman's 85th birthday and fortunately he was on a winning rink. However, top rink was Sheila Barber, John Brooks and John Barber.

In the same timescale we had the second Spoon Drive on 1 May whwere Eric Sherlock won overall just pippng John Barber by one shot and preventing John from winning two in a row.

On Friday 5 May, we enjoyed a social evening with a quiz by quiz evening hosted by Neal Evison. The Social Committee did an excellent job and he shepherd's pie was well received. Many thanks to the committee and to Neal for excellent entertainment and it was good to see an encouraging turn out.

20 April 2017

The first match of the season on 19 April was home to Masonic over five mixed triples. Amersham managed to run out with a healthy victory 83-73. Top rink consisted of Robin Eddy, Joy Spicer and Neal Evison. 

The following day 20 April, the Men took on the Ladies and it was wonderful to see 20 on each side keenly contesting the match. On this occasion the men were winners 96-61. I hesitate to say that one of the men did not record the event in his diary so I am sure there will be opportunities for me to remind him during the season!

On Thursday 25 April, the Wally Theobald trophy was contested as mixed pairs over four rounds. Ultimate winners were Ian Lee and Linda English. In the very first round I sent my final wood down the rink and Jenniffer got quite excited and declared I had just taken shot. Unfortunately, closer analysis revealed that in fact my wood had rested next to one of John Barber's fluorescent orange woods rather than the jack!!

Then, on quite a cold and at times damp afternoon on 27 April a match was played away to Bassetsbury over five mixed triples. The good start to the season continued with Amersham winning rather convincingly 94-53 with top rink Keith Leonard, Meg WIlson and John Barber.

Finally, on a cool Sunday afternoon in Hillingdon, we played a match away to Court Park over 4 mixed triples. Despite leading at tea, the position gradually reversed and the fnal result was eventually Amersham 68 Court Park 73. We had two top rinks both winning by 6 shots: Jean Anderson, Norman Wilson and John Barber along with Peter Bray, John Brooks and Ann Parker. On my own rink (with John Culley and ELizabeth Gillott) things didn't go well early on and after 7 ends our score was 0-17. As might be imagined this did prompt one or two less than complimentary comments from certain members of the team. However, determined efforts turned the tide and by the end each triple had won 9 ends. Sadly, although we were delighted with our attempt to correct the position we finished up 1 shot short at 18-19, but it was a very enjoyable second half.

16 April 2017

Hello everyone and welcome back to the new season.

We start on a number of really high notes: 

1. The lease is signed and complete so we now have the base upon which to move forward with confidence.

2. The toilet(s) and wash basins in the clubhouse have been completely refurbished so we no longer need to be embarrassed about the facilities we have to offer in this respect. Thanks are due in particular to John Barber, Sheila Barber, John Brooks and Jim Saunders for the many hours of work they have put into producing a truly professional job.

3.The green is in immaculate condition and playing superbly. Many thanks to John Brooks, Jim Saunders and their team of helpers.

4. The green surrounds and paving slabs are in excellent condition due to some intensive work by Colin Wills and his team of helpers for which we are very grateful.

Yesterday (Saturday) kicked off with the opening event of the season, a Spoon Drive. The weather was glorious (slightly against predictions) and with an excellent turn out of 34 members a good time was had by all. Our illustrious chairman showed off his new fluorescent orange bowls that dazzled everyone in the sunlight and, with indications that he must have been practising in advance, he walked off with the prize! I had advised my wife that I was going to win something this season, but I wasn't expecting to achieve my goal this early, taking home the wooden spoon! At least it doesn't need polishing. Anything else will be an anticliimax now.

We currently have an excellent number (40) for the Men v Ladies on Thursday this week and the weather prediction is fiine. Somewhat embarrassingly, I will not be around as we have a family stay in Chester coming up, but I do hope the event is a success.

If anyone would like to improve their game do contact one of our coaches: John Barber, John Brooks, Brian Spicer and Brian Drew. They will be glad to help.

As always, the club is always looking for new blood so if you hear of anyone interested in playing bowls or interested in transferring from another club please do encourage them to contact us.

I look forward to seeing all of you as the season progresses.