With hardly a cloud in the sky the ladies’ Collins and Shipley team welcomed serial title-winners Burradon on Wednesday. There couldn’t have been many tougher games to open the season (apart from an away fixture to the same opponents), and in the circumstances the 0-12 points defeat was not as much of a trouncing as might appear.
The bulk of the 26 shots margin (33-59) came on one rink, with the other three rinks losing by an aggregate total of just seven. Clearly, even a narrow defeat for that fourth rink would have made no difference to the outcome, so there is no issue there. It really is a question of taking the positives from a match in which any points at all would have been a bonus; and the close nature of three rinks should be a genuine source of encouragement.
Your correspondent is currently in Canada, where a recent football report on the local team referred to “a resounding 2-1 victory”. Maybe that is the first time such a phrase has ever been used in football terms, but the word “resounding” was justified in this week’s 7-0 West Tyne win over Alston. Perhaps Alston thought it was a football match, as they turned up with just eleven players, which of course meant that one of their rinks had an advantage on the green, playing three bowls each to our two – but once the one-third shots deduction had been applied at the end this rink produced a double-digit (17-6) win for Elvaston. Since the other rinks won by 10, 16 and 19 shots, it was a massive 87-31 win on shots. However, with the opposition struggling to field a team, and with Alston always being slow starters in the league season, this outing should be regarded as good practice rather than a reliable guide to our chances this year.
Two results, then, that in their different ways should be treated with caution – or at least cautious optimism…