After last week’s defeat against Gosforth the ladies bounced back really well with a maximum 12 points in the Collins & Shipley league. The Tynemouth team’s bus driver happened to let slip that they were a bit nervous on the journey out here, and it’s true that one advantage of our position is that for a lot of teams this is an unusual distance “out west”, whereas for us the fortnightly trundle beyond the A1 is a normal feature of league bowls.
Whatever, the game was pretty close until at least the half-way point, with not more than a point in it on two rinks while Blanche set up a good lead on hers. That latter rink carried on to win 19-8, but the surprising thing was the way that the other two home rinks pushed on in the final stages. Betty’s won 18-12 after very briefly slipping behind, and Shelagh’s rink, despite some pretty negative body language to match the robust verbals, romped home with a six on the last end to make it 21-12. This rink, for some reason, finished three ends behind everyone else, so it was a close call as to whether the Tynemouth ladies would get a hot cup of tea before boarding the bus.
The High Heaton team who came for the Nines match also saw it as a long trip, and were a bit worried that an early abandonment for rain might mean a return trip. Quite honestly, we may not have held them to it anyway, as survival in Division 1 is now a lost cause, but the rain was never hard enough to seriously threaten the match, which High Heaton won 6-2.
Our triples had a good win, remaining close all the way through but never completely safe, even when the opposition needed five to win on the last end. The High Heaton skip built up the head very well, and could just have done something dramatic with his last bowl, but his miss meant a welcome win for our three.
The High Heaton skip in the pairs certainly managed something dramatic, quite apart from his incessant shouting and running up the green. With the score 10-10 after 12 ends he fired, got a wick and took out our only bowl in the head (lying second), so that we lost a six. Suddenly the game had changed, and after two more singles the gap was eight with just three ends to play. The shouting and running might have been a distraction but it couldn’t hide the fact that the guy could play a bit, while the lead was even better, so there was no way we could dig out a count. Sadly it was one of the heaviest defeats of the season for the pairs, 13-21.
The fours also fell behind after being competitive for half the match, which rather fits a pattern of second-half collapses for our teams this season – last night the scores at the half-way point were 6-6, 7-7 and 7-7 on the three rinks. If we were cricketers we would definitely favour T20 rather than 50-over matches!