Tag Archives: mixed pairs

Well done, Ladies!

Pride of place this week has to go to the Ladies’ team, who travelled to Forest Hall on the back of two 2-10 home defeats.  As reported last time, the defeat against Ponteland had been quite a close affair, despite the fact that Ponteland top the table after three matches.  The first way match of the season might have appeared a little daunting, but in the event all three rinks won, two of them very comfortably, and the 12-0 scoreline lifted us several places up the league.

With no Nines match this week, the only other league match was a West Tyne game against Prudhoe.  The Prudhoe green was running really fast, with very short grass – and slopes near the banks meant that anything past a full-length jack would almost certainly roll into the ditch.  However, all the rinks worked it out, some more quickly than others, and we were pleased with the outcome.

Both David Ashworth’s rink and George’s won just eight of the 18 ends, but whereas this resulted in a narrow loss (15-17) for George, David was helped enormously by a four and a six, to come home by 17-14   Since this rink had been leading 13-5 at the half-way mark it was as well the match finished when it did!

Darren’s rink took a while to get going, and indeed after 10 ends they were 6-8 down.  But from that point on they didn’t lose another end, and won 18-8.  By this stage the match points were already safe, thanks to the 26-9 on the fourth rink, where Pete Seago was Man of the Match with a brilliant display.  Drawing bowls in from all angles, he reduced the Prudhoe team and his own skip to the role of spectators. The win would have been even bigger but for our giving away a three and a four near the end.

Overall, then, it was another 6-1 win – not enough to keep up with Hexham House, but after last year’s travails a very encouraging start to the season.

It’s the time of year when various Bowls Northumberland knock-out competitions start.  In the Mixed Pairs Trevor and Jean renewed their partnership with a big (27-7) win at Gosforth.  In the Men’s Triples, Darren, Keith and Trevor played against a Hexham House trio led by Shaun Blaylock, who had an excellent game and secured several ends that had seemed cast-iron certs for ourselves. One shot in particular – stopping us from nailing a four – was crucial in that a possible 12-5 lead suddenly went back to 8-6, and the Hexham House team won five ends on the trot before we went ahead by one with one end to play.  Sadly we played a really bad final end, and the lights went out.

Two days later it was a similar story, as we played the round-robin Jubilee Cup qualifiers at Benfield.  Despite winning two matches very easily, including against Walker, the Nines champions of last year, we had a shocker against Seaton Sluice, losing 4-16 over nine ends, and so we finished second on shots.  That too was a very winnable situation, so it was a big disappointment.  Obviously we need some tuition from the ladies on how to win…

Close Encounters

The week started with a narrow loss for the Jubilee Cup team (Brian N, Keith, David A and Trevor) over at Backworth.  It was a surprisingly heavy green which also played much faster one way than the other, but that of course was the same for all the teams there, playing at a neutral venue.  In a round-robin format with four teams in the pool you can’t often afford a defeat, but we just slipped up in our first game, losing 9-10 after going into the last end 9-8 ahead.  If that wasn’t enough we then found ourselves 9-8 up again going into the last end against Ponteland, but dropped a shot to draw.  That meant the competition was over for us, and even a thumping 18-3 win in our last game left us feeling a bit flat.  Ifs and maybe’s…

The Nines on Tuesday was another close match.  When we played Walker in this fixture last year we won 8-0, but we’d all agreed it could easily have been 8-0 to them if just a few bowls had fallen differently.  It was close again this year.  At half-way (nine ends) the shots score was 22-21 to us, with the three rinks showing 8-6, 7-6 and 7-9.  After that the fours fell away, losing 10-24, but both the triples and pairs had a good spell after the half-way mark.  The triples built up a five-shot lead which was never really threatened as they won 13-10, but Peter and Trevor had a scare after leading by six with four ends to play and seeing the lead whittled away to one. In the gathering gloom the Walker skip could have clinched the match with his last bowl, but fortunately for us he missed his target and the 14-12 result meant we had a vital 6-2 points win.

It was Trevor’s second close win of the day.  In the morning he and Jean Allen played a County mixed pairs match at Burradon.  The Elvaston pair played well enough, winning six of the first eleven ends.  Unfortunately, the home team’s five ends included every score from one to five, so that they led 15-9.  Worse was to follow, as the lead stretched to 18-9 after thirteen.  However, in a 21-end match the “run-rate” was still manageable, especially as we got some momentum from winning the next five ends to take the lead.  The last few ends were very tight, and there was a chance for the opposition to draw or even win the game with the very last bowl, but here too there was just too much to do and Jean and Trevor won 24-20.  The next match is also away, at Amble (2 June).

The Ladies clearly hadn’t read the script (or my draft for this piece), as they had anything but a close result in the Collins & Shipley league, beating Seaton Delaval 10-2 on points.  Two rinks had large wins of over ten shots, but the third rink fell away and lost their lead in the last few ends to lose by four. There were a lot of short bowls on this rink, but even when Thelma drew what looked like the perfect shot to draw level near the end the opposing skip was still able to take it out to confirm a win.

Despite the heavy rain on Wednesday night, and standing water on the green by Thursday morning, it had dried out enough to allow the Edwardson Cup game against Cramlington to go ahead.  Last week we enjoyed a narrow win in Round 1, but tonight we were on the receiving end.  After a slow start we were 14 shots down at half-way (nine ends), but a good recovery saw one rink draw, one win by five shots and one lose by nine: a 47-51 defeat was all the more galling in that Trevor’s rink (21-16) lost only one of the last nine ends – but it was a seven!   What was that about ifs and maybe’s?