After such a mild, dry winter it was disappointing to have a cold snap as the season was about to get under way, and even more disappointing to start the new term with a narrow defeat at the hands of Hexham House A. The score, 2.5 against their 4.5, hides the fact that we won two rinks, drew one and lost only one: the result of course is based on the crucial detail that the side with the most shots gets three bonus points. And since the shots margin at the end was just two (59-61) it was a tough one to take.
Keith Woods’ rink was in a well-matched draw at 16-each. Brian Elstob’s rink did well to earn a 17-12 win, while David Ashworth’s 14-12 win would no doubt have been much, much bigger had it not been for the exceptional shot saving of the Hexham House skip. However, another crucial element in the result, unfortunately, was the final bowl on Darren Cooper’s rink, where Darren found himself 12-15 down with one bowl to play and elected to fire, with a view to picking up three or four shots. As is so often the way, the plan (how do we put this?) mis-fired, and he lost a six.
Well, nobody died, as Boris Becker once put it after a defeat. But if there is a lesson here for all our teams in the coming season, it is surely to watch all the scoreboards in such team games, and to accept that a loss on one rink may be acceptable if there is a big premium on overall shots. It’s a bit like accepting that you can’t win every end in singles. Easy to say when sitting well away from the green and the heat of the competition, but a vital point all the same.
And speaking of the heat of competition, let’s hope for some warmer weather for the next games.