This has been a stop-go season. When we plotted the schedule, based on league fixtures and friendlies, it all looked quite full. But for various reasons large gaps have appeared, some of them due to weather, some because another team has dropped out of the league, and on one occasion because we were propelled into hosting an external event.
This week was a case in point. Even our internal Shield game suffered on Monday as a probable result of the England football match being on TV, though anyone who stayed at home to watch the match might have ended up throwing bowls at the telly rather than towards a jack. It’s when you see highly-paid professionals having a brain-freeze or becoming totally inept that you realise just how skilled so many of us are as amateurs.
Anyway, there was no game on Tuesday because so many of our Nines team were away on the Gosforth tour. The Gosforth Tourists, that is – a club which exists solely for the purposes of touring, for a week each year. By coincidence our match would have been against Gosforth, who have no members in the touring club (keep up!) but who agreed to postpone – albeit with some dark noises that technically only county tours should be valid reasons for postponement. That does seem a bit precious, even in a sport as obsessed with rules as bowls. Since both clubs have a bye on 26 July we are playing the game then.
So that left the ladies to be first up for a real game on Wednesday – or would have done, had it not been for a downpour overnight, and then more on Wednesday morning so that postponement was inevitable.
Try again, shall we? Thursday night saw us at Hexham House, playing their B team in the West Tyne league. Rain was forecast for mid- to late evening, but in fact it arrived ahead of schedule. It wasn’t very heavy, but anyone who has spent the thick end of two hours playing in the rain knows that you still get pretty wet, with all the attendant extra things like cloths and waterproofs to consider. For a while it looked debatable as to whether we would reach the 12 ends needed to constitute a match, but once that checkpoint was passed we carried on in much the same conditions to the end.