Affiliated to Bowls England and Bucks Bowling Association
Amersham Bowls Club
The last entry closed on the day of the Champion of Champions match between Ann Parker and John Barber (13 September). John Barber eventually won a hard fought encounter so congratulations to him and commiserations to Ann who no doubt will have further opportunities in the futre given her significant run of success this season. Thanks are due to all of those who turned out to support on a very hot afternoon.
The followng day we concluded the mixed team schedule with an away match to Kitcheners. On a very hot and humiid afternoon we played a friendly match over four triples. The match was intended to be mixed but Kitcheners just had two ladies playing. At the half time break Kitcheners were leading on three out of four rinks, but a strong second half saw Amersham reverse this position winning on three rinks and losing on one. The match was actually decided by the very last end with Amersham winning the end and therefore the match by one shot 62-61. Top rink was Meg Wilson, Margaret Sherlock and David Balderson from a 7 shot deficit to win 20-12 after going through a sequence of eight ends without conceding a shot including one end with a plus score of 8 shots.
Saturday 17 September provded an opportunity to play the cancelled Men v Ladies. Somewhat embarrassingly, I was unavaialbale due to a prior commitment, but in my absence, the men did rather well winning 128-86. Top riink for the men was Norman Wilson, Brian Dawkins and Eric Sherlock while for the Ladies the top rink was Helen Murphy, Meg Wilson and Pat Barnard.
This all led us to the fnal event of the season: President v Captain. On a very pleasant afternoon and played in excellenet spirit the Captain's team ran out winners 149-77. Top rink for the Captain was Helen Murphy, Alan Ballard, Betty Steane and Neal Evison while top rink for the President was Jean Oldfield, Robin Eddy and Ray Cox. I have to say that it was wonderful to see 46 members taking part in this event. The club has had a superb spirit this year and it is encouraging to see that our membership has grown to over 90. Three of our newer bowlers took part: Hilary Fisher, Ben Kuschel and Lynn Kuschel and it was great to see two returning faces, Derek Ball on the road to recovery and Brian Dawkins after his years of exertion at county level. I omitted to thank Neal on the day for all of his hard work setting up all of the rinks before anyone else arrived, but thanks are also due to Peter, Maureen and Irene for setting up the tables and the room for the evening and Ray, Robin and Jean for collecting the fish and chips which were excellent. Also Brian provided the wine and Jean provided the glasses. I am delighted to report that the raffle raised £115.
This, of course, does not mean that everything stops. There are social events coming up on 14 October - Bingo and Buns and a whist driive on 14 October and this will be followed by a whist drive in November. Please do not forget, the AGM on 2 November which includes the trophy presentations and the club lunch on 16 November (places still avalable)i. There is also the green sweeping rota to be completed and the green team will be working hard on the annual maintenance during the closed season. In addition, we hope to be finalisng details of the lease with Amersham Town Council and we will update everyone as soon as we can.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in matches this year and put up with my badgering phone calls. Apart from the events mentioned above I hope everyone has a good winter's break and as I was reminded yesterday I should be wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year even though I haven't even thought about them yet. I would wish you a happy Easter as well, but that might coincide wiith the beginning of the season. I look forward to playing with you all next season.
In my last entry I omitted to thank all of those supporters who turned up over Finals Weekend particualrly the hardy bunch on Saturday. The finals do provide good entertainment, but the presence of a supportive crowd creates a great atmosphere and I believe plays a vital role in putting those playing in the rght frame of mind and at their ease in order to perform to the best of ther ability. It is particularly appreciated when examples of fine bowling are recognised with applause. I am looking forward to the CHampion of Champions match this afternoon between Ann Parker and John Barber particualrly as the forecast is for a rather scorching 27 degrees!!
Despite recent good results, the men's team were on the receiving enf of some fine bowling by Hazells when a match was played away on 6 September. Regrettably we lost on all four triples with an overall score of 50-92.
This was followed by the annual mixed friendly match away to Chesham Pioneers. This group of players who are partially sighted always provides an enjoyable and highly competitive encounter and this occasion was no different with two triples being decided by 1 shot (one to Amersham and one to the Pioneers) and the deciding triple falling in Amersham's favour by 5 shots.
Regretfully, the Men v Ladies fixture was called off due to heavy and persistent rain on Saturday 10 September, but it is hoped to have a replacement fixture on Saturday 17 September. A lsit is on the notice board in the clubhouse so please do indicate your availability.
On Sunday 11 September, the Amersham men's team saw their magnificent run in the Bucks Plate eventually come to an end in a hard fought final against Cheddington. The match was played at Stony Stratford in glorious sunshine. Despite winning heavily on the top rink of Ken Rye, Neal Evison and Jim Saunders, this was insufficient to compensate for defeats on the other three rinks. The standard of bowling throughout was very high and the match was played in an excellent spirit. The club received a silver plate as runners up and will also receive a prize of £100 for their achievement. We are hoping that this spurs us on to greater things in the future.
Although the season is drawing to a close the fixture list remains busy and on Monday 12 September we played a friendly match over four mixed triples away to Potten End. This club is in a delightful setting and the weatehr was hot and humid. wth any ends seeing the the Potten End Finals Weekend coming up their green keepers decided the green needed to be protected so the protective nets were placed at each end. This means that the mat is in a fixed position. All rinks reported a high standard of bowling with many ends seeing a change in the side holdng shot right through to the last wood. We were delighted to find that Amersham won three triples and lost one with an overall match score of 65-55 in our favour. Top rink on this occasion was Meg Wlson, Diana Bassett and Davd Balderson.
The list of players for President v Captain on 24 September is growing so we are looking forward to a tremendous finale to the season with a social event following the match.
I should also add that the list is up in the clubhouse for nominations for next year's committee. It is vital for the ongoing success of the club that we maintain a strong participation in this essential part of our organisation and I also think it is important to ensure we have representation from all sections of the club iincluding newer members to prompt new ideas, to develop our community and to challenge any complacency. The club has a proud history and to secure our future it would be great to see as many members as possible making a contribution however small. My personal opinion is that we have a great atmosphere in the club and it has been wonderful to see the membership growing durng this season including some who have dived into activities such as cutting the green. I should add finally that the negotiations with Amesham Town Council continue and a full update will be provided in due course, but we do believe the indications are that positive progress is being made to give us comfort in respect of the future use of all of the facilities currently available.
On 27 August, a warm and humid afternoon with an occasional roll of thunder, we took on Chess Vale in our final Three Counties league match over five mixed rinks. Always an enjoyable and competitive fixture, Amersham managed to win on three rinks and lose on two. However the overall match score was in our favour 99-80. Our two losing rinks only lost by one shot decided on the last end and our top rink consisted of Phyl Choulerton, Brian Spicer, Diana Bassett and Ted Choulerton. League points were split 8 to Amersham, 4 to Chess Vale.
Unfortunately, the match due on 28 August against Fasnidge was cancelled as they were unable to raise a team. We believe this may have clashed with their finals weekend.
On Tuesday 30 August, a very hot afternoon, the Amersham men played Chalfont St Giles at home in a friendly match over four triples. We won one triple and lost three with an overall score of 65-77. Our top rink consisted of Ken Rye, Eric Sherlock and Howard Brown.
On Wednesday 31 August, we played a friendly match over three triples away to Bassetsbury Manor. Apart from a brief period of light rain, the afternoon was quite pleasant and cooler than recent matches. Amersham won one triple and lost two with an overall match score of 41-51. Our top rink consisted of John Culley, Diana Bassett and David Balderson.
Following this run of external matches we then reached the culmination of the season with Finals Weekend over Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August. The forecast for Saturday was not good and although we managed to get through the morning sessions with little interruption, the afternoon was seriously affected by rain which got heavier and heavier as time progressed. It finished up being cold, wet and windy and so was a challenge to all involved.
The men's handicap involving Jim Saunders and John Barber and the men's novices involving David Smith and Ian Hunter were quite well progressed before the conditions deteriorated significantly and they decided to see it through to the end despite the challenges. However, both the Ladies Pairs involving Meg Wilson, Ann Cambrook, Helen Murphy and Betty Steane and the Ladies Handicap involving Ann Parker and Val Newton were suspended for resolution later. As it turns out Ann Parker and Val Newton were also due to contest the Ladies Championship on Sunday so took the decision to start that match early in order to create a window for finishing the Handicap. It was quite remarkable that a hardy group of supporters remained throughout the whole of Saturday afternoon. Peter Bray was the most inventive as he managed to squeeze one of the plastice chairs into the shed giving him a fine sheltered view of the green!!
Sunday's events were much less eventful in terms of interrruptions, but the standard of bowling remained at a very high level and a healthy group of supporters were entertained by some thrillng encounters.
I won't reiterate all of the results here as they will appear elsewhere on the website, but I think John Barber should be commended for appearng in 4 finals over the weekend and Val Newton in 3.
Thanks are due to many people for making the weekend a success: John Brooks (Saturday) and Ted Choulerton (Sunday) did a great job as umpire for their respective days and they did work hard; all of those that undertook duties as markers or scorers (in the rain or not) played an invaluable role; everyone who assisted in providing refreshments on both days were much appreciated. I am sure there are others I have missed but I think I must also make mention of Jim and John and the rest of the team who maintain the green which was incredibly resistant and played remarkably well despite the adverse weather conditions. Thanks also to Brian Drew as our president for being around to congratulate winners, commiserate with runners up and present the trophies on Sunday.
I must reiterate that it is a significant achievement for every member who played in Finals Weekend to reach that stage. Of course, the winners are to be congratulated, but I hope the runners up take pride in their achievement and find the resolve to make the extra step next year.
I was on the verge of writing this email when for some strange reason I decided to read the earlier entries. I feel I must apologise for some of the spelling errors not least of which was a classic in relation to President's Day where I seem to have thanked Brian Drew for 'putting a huge amount of effort not organising the event'!! That should, of course, read 'into'. I need to work out how to instigate automatic spell-checking on my emails although with 'not' being a valid word maybe it is just my proof-reading (or lack of it) that is at fault.
As a further example, which has convinced me I need to see a specialist (if only I could remember to keep the appointment), I sent a match report as usual to Jill Rawes (who submits our entries to the Bucks Examiner) and Valerie Garrood (who administers the website) saying that in our 3CL match against High Wycombe we had 'won on 2 rinks and won on 3 rinks'. Ian Lee very kindly pointed out my error so I sent a follow up email saying that this should have read that we had 'lost on 2 rinks and lost on 3 rinks'. Finally I corrected it to say that we had won on 2 rinks and lost on 3, but don't be surprised if a rather strange entry turns up in the newspaper!!
On 14 August we played a friendly match away to Aston Clinton over four mixed triples. A close-fought encounter was finally lost 62-67 with Amersham winning on 2 rinks and losing on 2. Top rink consisted of Lynn Kuschel,Bernard Fletcher and John Barber. This was the first representative match for Lynn and her son Ben and they both turned in admirable performances. It is good to have them on board and we look forward to seeing them involved in future events.
This match was closely followed by quite a remarkable turn of events. We had a mixed match with Stoke Poges cancelled on 16 August as the opposition could not field a team and then our men's match against Bassetsbury Manor on 18 August was cancelled for the same reason. Slightly worrying when recently we have also had matches against Loudwater reduced in size as they could not raise sufficient players to fulfil the intended fixture.
On Friday 19 August we played a friendly home fixture against Potten End over four mixed triples (well, we had four mixed triples, Potten End had one mixed triple and three men's triples!). The light drizzle got heavier and heavier until we decided that a cup of tea was more inviting than playing bowls in a cold deluge nd the match was abandoned after 11 ends with the score 35-39 in favour of our opponents. Top rink for Amersham was John Culley, Gayle Berrington and Alan English. I promised Betty that I would not mention that she was so wet her underwear was soaked!!
On Saturday 20 August Ann Cambrook organised the Langdale Trophy event. It was disappointing to see only 12 players taking part, but the event was well run and very enjoyable. On a rather wet day that turned cold towards the end the final was a close tussle with Meg Wilson gaining triumph over Bernard Fletcher.
On Sunday 21 August we played a Three Counties league match at home to High Wycombe overall in very nice conditions with the rain just starting as we finished. The match was reasonably evenly balanced throughout and the outcome changed on the very last end played. Amersham won on two rinks, but lost on three, however, the total match score turned in our favour 104-101. This means that the league points are split 6 -6. Our top rink consisted of David Smith, Ian Lee, Diana Bassett and David Balderson.
This has been quite an intense period with some fascinating outcomes.
On 3 August we played the return Chiltern and Thames fixture at home to Chess Vale. Despiite losing two rinks and winning one, the overall match score was in our favour 53-42 meaning that we picked up 6 league points to Chess Vale's 4. Top rink was Dave Edwards, Elizabeth Gillott and Jim Saunders.
Then, on Saturday 6 August, we had an excellent result against Rickmansworth at home in a match played over five mixed triples. We won on three rinks and lost on two but the overall match score was 88-63 in our favour with the top rink being Ian Hunter, Pam Hunt and Ged Putt.
On Sunday 7 August, a day that started overcast with some drizzle but gradually turned to glorious sunshine, Amersham took on Newport Pagnell in the semi-final of the Bucks Plate at Chesham which had been selected as a neutral venue. Newport Pagnell started strongly on all rinks, but they were gradually pegged back and for some time the overall score remained very close with the result difficult to predict. However, a late surge saw Amersham start to establish control and the match was actually decided with one end to spare on the final rink. Amersham won on two rinks, narrowly lost on one and drew on one wiith an overall match score of 63-54 in their favour. Top rink consisted of Ian Lee, Eric Sherlock and Ted Choulerton. Amersham now progress to the final on 11th September where they will meet Cheddington or Burnham.
On the same afternoon, we held the annual Bonanza, with a black and white theme. With 30 players taking part, the event involved 10 mixed triples with 4 rounds of 5 ends. Eventual winners were Jean Oldfield, Marian Hext and Jim Saunders. Many thanks are due to Anne Begley for organising a barbecue in the form of a sausage sizzle. Thanks are also due to all of those contributing to the provision of other food items, the raffle and the setting up and putting away of equipment.
On Wednesday 10 August, we took 24 players on a coach to the fixture which was the highlight of the year, a return match away to the Royal Hospital (The Chelsea Pensioners). We arrived nearly an hour early so had the opportunity of exploring the premises, many of the buildings having been designed by Sir Christopher Wren. We were treated to a wonderful afternoon with very pleasant weather. Nine ends were played before a superb tea in the most glorious dining room. This was followed by a further nine ends before we then shared drinks and a raffle with the pensioners. As we left the green for tea we did spot Marian disappearing being led by one of the pensioners (Frank) in his mobilty vehicle. When Marian didn't turn up immediately for tea all sorts of speculation started. Fortunately, she did arrive after about 10 minutes claiming that Frank had taken her to see the chapel!! We all do of course believe her. t was an absolute privilege and an honour to share the afternoon with this group of remarkable people.
Since the last report we had a most unusual event. A match due to be played away to Stoke Poges on 19 July was cancelled due to the weather being too good!! It was an afternoon forecast to be the hottest of the year so far and Stoke Poges had a number of players who decided to drop out.
On 21 July the Amersham men played away to Gerrards Cross. Always a challenging fixture, but played in good spirit, Amersham won on three rinks and lost on one with an overall score of 68-60 in our favour. I will not be allowed to get away without mentioning that my rink was the only one where Amersham were leading early on, but the only one that lost in the end! Top rink was David Smith, Ian Lee and John Barber and I am sorry that for some unknown reason their names did not make it to the Bucks Examiner.
On Saturday 23 July, we were due to play 3 mixed triples in the Chiltern and Thames league and 3 miixed triples as a friendly fixture at home to Loudwater. Unfortunately, Loudwater cancelled two of the frendly triples as they were unable field a full team. In the C&T despite only winning one triple and losing two, we ran out winners 53-45. Top rink was Margaret Sherlock, David Balderson and Jim Saunders. In the friendly we won 13-12, the winning rink being Marian Hext, Joy Spicer and Neal Evison.
The winning run continued on Sunday 24 July when we played a friendly match at home to Rickmansworth Royal Britsh Legion. Amersham won two out of four rinks with an overall score of 66-61. Top rink was Sheila Barber, Linda English and Peter Bray.
It was at this point that I needed to submit a Captain's report to the full committee meeting beng held on Monday 25 July as I could not be present due to grandparenting duties!! It soon became apparent when collating the statistics that the mixed team had played 14 matches since the last committee meeting and won 11. This is quite a remarkable run and I believe the best we have seen for some consderaible time.
Sadly, the winning run came to an end when we played Chess Vale away in the Chiltern and Thames league on the evening of Tuesday 26 July. The artificial surface at Chess Vale provides the home team with a significant advantage and all visiting teams find it a challenge. We did lose on all three rinks with an overall match score of 34-63. I was playing with Sheila and John Barber and the match was level with two ends to go - with Chess Vale holding 2 on the penultimate end, John put down a wood that stole shot and this would have meant us leading going into the last end. Unfortunately, the Chess Vale skip sent down an equally impressive wood knocking John's out and giving them 3. We then lost a further two shots on the last end. So near and yet so far!!
On Saturday 30 July, Ann Cambrook organised the Stan Mills trophy mixed pairs competition. With a very good turn out the early matches were closely contested before sem-finals and a final. Ultimately, the honours fell to John Brooks and Jean Oldfield who won a very high quality final against Brian Drew and Sheila Barber. This was a very enjoyable event and thanks are due to Ann for her organisational skills.
On a very warm afternoon and on a very fast green, we played High Wycombe away in a Three Countes league match on 31 July. Amersham were leading by one shot at the tea break. However, home advantage began to tell and in the end, although we won on two rinks, lost on two rinks and drew on one the overall match score was a loss 84-102. However, the method of scoring for the league meant that Amersham picked up 5 points to High Wycombe's 7. Top rink for Amersham was Peter Bray, Elizabeth Gillott, Eric Sherlock and David Balderson.
I am starting to write this note having just got home from the President's Day activities. On a gloriously sunny afternoon a turnout of nearly 40 people, including new members, friends and family as well as the usual suspects spent a hugely enjoyable time engaging in fun bowls-style activities. Many thanks to our Presiident, Brian Drew, for putting a huge amount of effort not organising this event which was tremendously successful.
In addtion,before going back in time, I cannot resist declaring that Amersham men this morning won their Bucks Plate quarter-final away to Aston Clinton!! Peter Bray, Neal Evison and Jim Saunders provided the top rink winning 28-12. The overall match score was 70-65 in our favour. The match was evenly balanced throughout, but everythng depended on the last end of the last rink. John Barber put the match beyond doubt when one of his woods ran the jack into the ditch denying Aston Clinton any chance of responding. We no progress to the semi-final which will be played on 7 August on a neutral green and our opponents will be Wexham or Newport Pagnell.
On a very warm summer's afternoon on 5 July we played a Three Counties league match away to Flackwell Heath. Early on it looked as though the home team would run away with the match, but as Amersham adapted to the green the gap in the match score started to close. In the end we lost on three rinks and won on two but the match score was in our favour 92-87 primarily down to a big win by our top rink Meg Wilson, Linda English, Brian Drew and Eric Sherlock. This means that the league points were equally shared 6 each. Apparently, someone living close to the green feeds the red kites which kept swooping low over the green.
On 6 July we held the men's triples competition and the weather was lovely throughout, much better than the 38 degress we endured last year. Those progressing to the final to be played on Finals Weekend are Dave Edwards, Graham Morris and David Balderson along with Robert Pink, Chris Russell and John Barber.
On 10 July we played a 4 mixed triples friendly at home to Berkhamsted (reduced from 4 mixed rinks by the opposition) losing all four games with an overall match score of 52-91.
On Tuesday 12 July, we had the home fixture of our Three Counties League encounter with Flackwell Heath. This turned out to be one our best results of the season winnng four rinks out of five with an overall match score of 143-74 and the league points split was 10-2. Top rink was John Culley, Ken Rye, Gayle Berrington and John Barber.
Havng just reported such an excellent result, I now have to move on to our friendly away match over four mixed triples played at Marlow on 14 July. We won on all four rinks with an overall match score of 108-46. Top rink was Meg Wlson, Ged Putt and David Balderson. The Marlow captain seemed to think this was a record defeat for the club!!
The run of success continued with a home match to Aston Clinton on Saturday 16 July over four mixed triples. We won 2 and lost 2 with an overall match score of 65-58. Top rink was Linda English, Wendy Tindale and David Balderson.
It seems strange to already be picking teams into August which shows how far the season has progressed. Coming up is the very prestigious fxture against the Royal Hospital (the Chelsea Pensioners) which we are looking forward to with huge anticipation.
I should also comment on the recent upsurge in new members to the club which is a fantastic and positive sign. Both Open Days were highly successful and new members have also come through a number of routes including introductions via existing members. I think Colin Wills in particular is looking for commission-based reward. Welcome to everyone who has joined the club, we hope you enjoy your time with us and we look forward to including you in club matches in the near future.
Apologies for the delayed blog. I had the audacity to take a one week holiday to Scotland which was lovely and we avoided the nasty thunderstorms which we understand were experienced down here. The day after we got back, my wife got the diary out and she said, "Youv'e got a busy week - Selection meeting and two lots of bridge on Monday, Bowls match on Tuesday, Bowls match on Wednesday, single match against Jim (Saunders) on Thursday and on Friday you are playing GOD!!". Now, I am not sure he has paid his subs and he is not on my telephone list. I think I might start off at a significant disadvantage. As it turns out, my appalling handwriting was responsible - it should have said 'GED' as I was playing Ged Putt in the championship.
I will try to provide a quick resume of the matches that have taken place since the last blog:
Having lost our Bucks Plate match against Chalfont St Giles 12-2 on points, we didn't believe we would fare very well this season. However, We were then surprised to receive a notification that the only other team in our section, Loudwater, had withdrawn and as a consequence we were declared runners up in the group and quarter finalists!! We play Aston Clinton on 17 July.
On Sunday 19 June we played an away friendly match to Hemel Hempstead over 4 mixed triples. Despite losing 3 rinks to 1, Amersham won the match by 1 shot 69-68 with a top rink of Peter Bray, Gayle Berrington and John Barber. The following day we played a Chiltern and Thames league match away to Gerrards Cross and lost 35-55 winning on one rink and losing on two. Top rink was Sheila barber, Ged Putt and John Barber
The intense schedule continued with a Three Counties league match at home to Chalfont St Giles on 21 June. Amersham won a very competitive encounter 3 rinks to 2 with an overall score of 89-84 providing 8 league points to Chalfont St Giles' 2. Top rink was Sheila Barber, Norman Wilson, Ged Putt and Eric Sherlock.
On Saturday 25 June we played a Chiltern and Thames league match away to Loudwater over 3 mixed triples. Sadly, we were also supposed to have three friendly triples, but Loudwater couldn't raise the teams for this. The match was won by a single shot 51-50, with 1 rink won, 1 drawn and 1 lost. Top rink was an Lee May Van Vuuren and David Balderson. So league points were 7-3 in favour of Amersham.
On 28 June we played a Three Counties league match away to Chalfont St Giles and the result was virtually a mirror image of the game at home only a week before. Amersham won three rinks to two with an overall match score of 99-95. Top rink on this occasion was Sheila Barber, Margaret Sherlock, Geoff Beale and Jim Saunders.
The friendly against Court Park due on 29 June was unfortunately cancelled due to the weather.
On Saturday 2 July we played the return Three Counties league fixture at home against Wexham. This was originally scheduled as away but the fixtures were switched due to issues with Amersham Town Council. Once again we were under pressure across all rinks eventually winning just 1 and drawing 1 with an overall match score being a loss at 83-108. did say to Margaret Stickland that I wouldn't mention to anyone that she turned up wearing grey trousers for this match! Our top rink was Meg Wilson, Chrs Russell, Joy Spicer and John Barber.
On 8 June we played a home match to Bassetsbury Manor over three mixed triples and a very successful afternoon it turned out to be. We won on all three rinks and for only the second time this season the captain's rink turned out to be the highest scoring!! Along with Sheila Barber and Alan Ballard, we ran out wiinners 61-45.
The following day and on a lovely summer's evening, we played Gerrards Cross at home in a Chiltern and Thames League match contested over 3 mixed triples. This is always a strongly contested fixture and we were expecting a very challenging time. However. with a rather odd change of fortune on one rink on the very last bowl of the game, Amersham won two rinks and lost one with an overall match score of 57-50. On Ray Cox's rink, GX were holding shot with one bowl left and could have claimed a win 17-16, however the wood was bowled and knocked an Amersham wood in for shot reversing the score! This is quite a significant and memorable result. Top rink consisted of Sheila Barber, Ken Rye and Jim Saunders who ran out winners 27-10.
On 11 June we played a friendly match away to Wendover over five mixed triples just managing to avoid the rain which started as the match finished. Amersham won two and lost three triples with a final result of 74-94 in favour of Wendover. Top rink for Amersham consisted of Peter Bray, Diana Bassett and Brian Spicer.
Due to issues with Amersham Town Council and the lock out from the pavilion, we swapped fixtures with Wexham on Sunday 12 June and played away (with the home fixture now being 2 July). This is normally a tough match so we were delghted to claim a draw 87-87 winning on two rinks and losing on three. Top rink consisted of Sheila Barber, Joy Spicer, Eric Sherlock and Jim Saunders. I should also menton that Diana assaulted me in front of witnesses, but having said that I did deserve it - it was a very bad joke!
I am sure you will have seen other communication on the subject, but we do now have access to the pavilion restored and we will report on progress with the lease once we have anything material to add.
On 29 May and following a comprehensive defeat at home to Harefield in the Three Counties League we wondered what might await us when the opposition were on their own green. However, on a warm and very pleasant afternoon, a stronger performance all round saw Amersham win on one rink, draw on two and lose on two with an overall match score of 90-101. Our top rink was Sheila Barber, Diana Bassett, Brian Spicer and John Barber. The league points were split Amersham 4, Harefield 8. The huge, fluorescent orange cannonballs used by the skip on our rink turned out to be only size 4, I think the colour creates an optical illusion.
On 1 June in the evening we played our first Bucks Plate match of the season with two triples at home and two triples away. Disappointingly, the overall match was lost by 1 shot 60-61. Our one winning triple was Colin Wills, Ian Lee and Howard Brown. The rather unusual scoring mechanism used in the Plate meant we scored 2 points in the competition to the opposition's 12. I should also mention that we called on David Smith to play his first match for the club at two minutes notice (seriously) - David was out walking the dog at 2 minutes to six and by the ime the trial ends had completed he was there in his kit ready to take part. I should aslo add that he played very well so hopefully this is the start of a long career!
Subsequently, we have learned that our only other opponents in the Bucks Plate, Loudwater, have withdrawn from the competition with the consequence that we have been declared runners up in our section (out of two) and will therefore progress to the quarter finals. Perhaps the England football team need to have this type of fortune.
On Sunday 5 June and on what must have been one of the hottest afternoons of the year so far (and only days after near Arctic conditions) we played a Three Counties league match away to Chess Vale. The artificial surface is always tricky and it takes time to adapt so the home team have a distinct advantage and Chess Vale won on 4 rinks out of five with an overall match score of 117-83. The Amersham top rink consisted of Phyl Choulerton, Neal Evison, Brian Spicer and Ted Choulerton.
Whilst writing this note I am also conscious that the period covered by this report includes Wednesday 1 June when there were issues with ATC and the change of locks on the clubhouse. John Barber has covered this in his email so I will not repeat what he said, but I would reiterate that representatives of the committee are working closely with our solicitor to resolve this matter at the earliest opportunity.
On a positive note, the new scoreboards provided by our sponsors have arrived and they are very impressive. They are clear to read, very easy to store as the legs fold away and they also are built in such a way as to prevent the scores changing through blowing over in the wind.
This season seems to be flying by.
On 17 May we played Marlow at home in a friendly match over four triples. Unfortunately we lost on three rinks with an overall score of 55-68. Our only winning rink was Sheila Barber, Chris Russell and John Brooks.
This match was closely followed by (yet another) home game, but this time a Three Counties League match against Bassetsbury Manor. It rained almost constantly throughout the game and got quite cold at times, but our resilience came through and we won on three rinks, drew one and lost one with an overall match score of 100-78. This provided us with 9 league points against 3 for Bassetsbury Manor. The top rink was Gayle Berrington, Ian Lee, Eric Sherlock and Jim Saunders. Am I allowed to mention a little scandal? I entered the pavilion to find Howard and Gayle brazenly holding hands in front of a crowded clubhouse!! The excuse provided was that Howard was applying some form of physiotherapy to Gayle's cold and numb hands. I have to try and find something of interest, today the Captain's Blog, tomorrow The Sun.
Sunday 22 May was Captains' Day. On a very pleasant afternoon with only a few spots of rain we engaged in battle over 5 rinks. The result of three rinks changed on the last end leaving the men winning three and drawing two rinks with an overall result of 100-78.Top rink consisted of Robert Pink, Alan Ballard, Brian Drew and Ray Cox.
On Tuesday 24 May we played Kitcheners at home over 5 mixed triples with a very successful outcome. We won on all five rinks with a total score of 127-69. Our top rink was Dave Edwards, Betty Steane and Neal Evison.
The intensity of the season continued with another home match on 26 May. This was our first Chiltern and Thames League fixture of the season contested over three mixed triples. , Amersham won 2 rinks to one against Wendover but with the overall match score a tie at 50 shots each. This means that Amersham received 6 league points and Wendover 4. Our top rink was Sheila Barber, John Barber and Howard Brown.
And finally, for this report, the Men played a Two Fours match away to Marlow on the morning of Saturday 28 May. In a match containing a high quality of bowling, the home team seemed to be running away with the match early on, but on both rinks the gap started to close and with about 5 ends to go the result of the match was in the balance. However, the home team found some late form and eventually won on both rinks with an overall score of 32-45.
I ought to add that at the first Open Day of the season, and despite poor weather, we had 7 interested potential players. This is very encouraging and with some personal introductions from existing members overall numbers are moving in the right direction.
I am running a bit behind with the blog as it has been somewhat hectic over the last couple of weeks.
On a very hot Thursday afternoon on 12 May we played hosts to Hazells over five mixed triples (although Hazells only brought two ladies). Early on the match seemed to be swinging in favour of Hazells, but in the end Amersham won on two rinks, drew on two and lost on one with a total match score in their favour of 95-83. The top rink for Amersham consisted of John Culley (his third top rink in a row), Marian Hext and Peter Bray. I will sure someone will want me to point out that it was the captain's rink upon which we lost!! I have had better days.
Two days later on a sunny and very pleasant Saturday afternoon we played four mixed triples at home to Aylesbury Town. The match was in the balance up to the very last wood. Despite winning on three rinks and losing on one, Amersham lost the overall match 71-72. Two rinks tied for top score but on ends won the top rink consisted of Jean Oldfield, John Brooks ans Neal Evison. Given my comment about the previous match, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that it was once again the captain's rink where we lost again. I am seriously hoping it is not habit forming.
On a warm and sunny afternoon on the Sunday (15 May) we played host to Harefield in the Three Counties League (3CL). We discovered that Harefield are reigning 3CL champions and they were keen to preserve their title. Despite brave resistance, we eventually succumbed on all five rinks with the match score being Amersham 68 Harefield 131. My main memory of the experience was seeing the opposition's skip huge fluorescent orange bowls hurtling down the green and knocking out our closest woods with alarming regularity.
To date, we have had an excellent response to the matches advertised on the club noticeboards, so do please keep putting your names down. Also, please do make sure that you keep an eye on the internal competitions which are underway to ensure that the cut off dates are met.
We are currently looking forwrd to Captains Day on Sunday 22 May where the ladies and gentleman will do battle over 5 rinks and I have a feeling the ladies are looking for revenge for the result earlier in the season!!
The green is playing very well so thanks are due to John Brooks, Jim Saunders and the team who maintain the green.
8 May 2016
We have experienced a weekend of contrasts. Although both days were very warm, indeed hot, and both games were played at home the similarities end there.
On Saturday 7 May, we played Chesham Broadway at home. As the opposition had two late withdrawals, Peter Bray very kindly agreed to play for Chesham Broadway and so the match took place over two rinks and one triple. The total match score was fluctuating regularly towards the end, but the final result was a win for Amersham 67-59 with the top rink being John Culley, Gayle Berrington, Margaret Sherlock and Ken Rye. My own rink was rather frustrating, we won the majority of ends, but sadly a couple of quite large scores gave the balance to Chesham Broadway. You may have seen an article on the front of the Bucks Examiner mentioning that Chesham Broadway have just been given planning permission for a new green and clubhouse close to Ashley Green so we look forward to playing there once it is complete.
On Sunday 8 May, we played Hemel Hemstead at home over four mixed triples. Whilst we won on two rinks and lost on two Hemel Hempstead took the balance of shots 61-73. The top rink on this occasion consisted of John Culley (again!!), Sheila Barber and myself. We only won 7 out of 18 ends, but two heavy scores influenced the result. I lost count of the number of times Sheila hit the jack.
Please do check all of the noticeboards in the clubhouse as there are more matches on display where we are looking for names. In addition, the draw for the various internal competitions has been made and these are on display so please check to see who you are playing and ensure that the games take place by the published cut off dates.
2 May 2016
It has been quite a hectic few days for such an early stage of the season.
On Thursday 28 April, the men played their first match of the season away to Bassetsbury Manor. It was cold and blustery and the green was remarkably slow meaning that long jacks presented a real challenge. With one end to go, we were down on all four rinks, but a turn of fortune meant that in the end we won one rink, drew 2 and lost one. Unfortunately, the net position was a loss 64-78. A very sociable and enjoyable afternoon. The top rink for Amersham after taking 5 shots on the last end consisted of Dave Edwards, Alan Ballard and Brian Spicer.
On Saturday 30 April, with the weather having improved to bright and reasonably warm, we played a home match to Tring over three mixed triples. The match score was quite close all the way through, but a late rally from Amersham resulted in a win by 55-42. Top rink for Amersham consisted of Wendy Tindale, Ian Lee and Kevin Dwyer.
By Sunday 1 May, we were now turning out in rather warm and prolonged sunshine away to Court Park involving four mixed triples. Ray Cox had a special request at the beginning of the match as he was recording the Leicester City match in the afternoon and didn't want to know the score before he got home - thankfully, his wish was respected - just as well he wasn't playing against Tring where football scores were being shouted across the rinks every few minutes (it was a crucial stage of the season). After only 3 ends we were 25 shots down as a team, but concentration and persistence saw this gap gradually eroded as we became accustomed to the green and the reversal of fortunes was so successful that we won the match 80-71. The top rinks could not be separated, both winning by 4 shots: they were John Culley, Margaret Sherlock and Kevin Dwyer along with Sheila Barber, Neal Evison and Ray Cox.
I should take the opportunity to mention that Amersham Bowls Club now has a qualified umpire in John Brooks. It has been a very long and arduous process, but John finally made it this week and should be congratulated on his achievement.
The Ladies v Men match was played in fine but slightly cool conditions on Thursday afternoon over 5 triples.
Many thanks to Ian Hunter for volunteering to showing his feminine side although there was some disappointment that his wardrobe didn't run to a mini-skirt.
As usual, the match was fiercely contested and at times the competitive spirit came to the surface with May urging Ray Cox to go home on a number of occasions. I think my favourite moment was when Gayle hurled one wood down the green with particular venom only to call out as the wood was released "Oh, it's a short one!".
Many thanks to Anne Begley for providing assistance to one member who had a non-bowls related problem and for those who are aware of the details we subsequently learned that everything was resolved happily. Thanks also to Pat Barnard, who turned up to watch and finished up taking over the tea duties!
On this occasion, the men ran out winners 92 - 59 so we look forward to the return later in the season. Top rink for the men consisted of Dave Edwards, Geoff Beale and Peter Bray, while for the ladies the top rink consisted of Jenniffer Fletcher, Sheila Barber and Ann Parker.
Welcome back to the bowls season for 2016.
We were delighted with the turn out for the opening event of the season, a Spoon Drive on Saturday, where we had 26 participants. The event was won convincingly by Colin Wills so we expect great things of him this year.
The first match of the season against the Masonic Bowling Association was played in glorious sunshine on Wednesday afternoon. Despite our best efforts a closely contested match throughout resulted in a win for the Masonic by only 3 shots, 76-79, but the event was hugely enjoyable enhanced by the some superb food prepared by Jean Oldfield and her band of helpers. Our top rink consisted of val Newton, David Lord (a guest from the Masonic) and Ged Putt. The Masonic president was extremely complimentary about how well the green played so congratulations to the team led by John Brooks who have maintained the green over the winter months to an excellent standard.
As you may have seen from Brian Drew's email, the first few team sheets are on display in the clubhouse so please do check your calendars and add your name to the lists.
This year I am hoping that more players will have the confidence to put their names down for matches against other clubs. They are good fun to play in and great experience. Also, if you feel that you might benefit from additional guidance on your bowls technique, do approach one of the club coaches who will be more than happy to assist. The club coaches are Brian Drew, Brian Spicer, John Barber and John Brooks.
Do also please take the opportunity to enjoy the organised roll ups on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10.00 (although it is best to have your name down by 9.50 at the latest).