With so many people away on tour or on holiday in the last week of June the club had been very quiet. Things perked up a bit this week, even if a lot of the noise was made up of expressions of amazement at the dryness of the green, and the fast surface that has resulted. It has been running like a wooden floor, with no carpet, and thanks are due to all those involved in watering whenever it has been possible.
The rinks for Thursday’s West Tyne match had to be chosen to avoid newly watered areas, which left a choice of any four from four. Our visitors from Allen Valley adapted very well to the unaccustomed surface, and three rinks turned out to be very close. Brian Elstob’s rink were never more than three shots up or down on all the “way markers” of five, ten and fifteen ends, but sadly were still one behind after the full eighteen. Steve Benson was in a very similar position, literally within one shot on each of those same marker points, but then falling (three) short at the end. With two rinks down it was looking bleak in that Darren’s rink had been 1-8 down after five ends, then 5-13 down after ten, and still 13-15 behind after fifteen ends. So it took some doing for them to get singles on each of the last three ends and came away with a 16-15 win, rather against the odds.
That, of course, still left us behind on overall shots on these rinks, but fortunately our fourth rink had an easy win with all the twos, 22-2, and – bingo! – we ensured a 5-2 points win on the night. Next week (12 July) we play the same opponents in the Cup, with just three rinks, so we can expect a close match again.
The ladies could have done with a close match in the Collins and Shipley league, but were given a hard time by Ponteland, with a 0-12 scoreline. Depending on other results this week that may make our second position less assured, but there is still plenty of time for a return to earlier form. And with several re-arranged matches in the Nines to be played, as well as the usual West Tyne fixtures and the final of the Challenge Cup, the mid-season lull may well be over…