Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Interviews part 2 - The team Bear.

There was so much text in the last post that I have decided to split this one and anymore that come in separately.

So, this is my response. Any offence caused is purely deliberate

1) What is your favourite green to play on (this can be with the worlds sweetheart Craig Or Not)?

Within the confines of the Warwick and Worcester I'd say Kings Norton or Tanworth. Further afield though I played a few times on a Civil Service Sports Club green in Telford (Coddon i believe it was called) and what a great green that was.

2) Apart from the first time you were captained By Craig, what has been your best moment in bowls?

My proudest moment in Bowls was watching Craig virtually single-handedly keep Kings Norton BC in existence a few years ago. Seeing him captain a side in division one in which i was probably one of the better players was quite something!!

For myself, however, i remember talking to some of the members at the Olton some 20 Years ago, and being scorned and laughed at when I said i'd like to play in Division One at some stage. Well, I did, so there!

3) Best team you have played in (it doesn’t have to feature the great one Craggers, but we will know it's a lie if it doesn’t)?

Bob Binnion, Terry Moss, Jack Badham, Chris Baker, Ian Ball, Roy Wootton, Sue Dunkley, Tony Smith, Stuart O'Sullivan, Matt Ryan, Mark Rose, Scott Taylor - Kings Norton BC, promoted from Warwick and Worcester Division 2 2008(?)

4) Apart from your beloved and esteemed captain Craggers, who is the best bowler you have played with?

I've been very lucky to play in sides with some very, very good players in them - Matt Price, Terry Meddings, Jack Badham, Steve Wallace, Anthony Bracken, Richie Dingley to name a few - but for consistency and all round game I would say Terry Moss. The man is a force of nature.

5) Apart from any game you have played that hasn’t featured the worlds greatest person Craig Taylor, what is your worst moment in bowls?

Surprisingly there haven't been all that many worst moments. I've been lucky enough to play and lose to some great bowlers from several counties and its all been a great experience. The worst times are generally when i'm watching team mates who are struggling and - apart from abusing their tormentors and starting fights - there is nothing I can do to help.

To give a proper answer though, I would say the day Kings Norton got relegated from Division One a few years ago. We lost at KGV on the last day to condemn us, and as much as I respect the King George guys they were taking Championship winning photos and celebrating on the green before our last man had even put his woods in his bag. A very sobering day.

6) What is your funniest bowls story that doesn’t show your hero Craggers up in a bad light?

I could write a book about this and its taken me an age to think of something that really stands out, but I'll pick a tale that probably sums up my 10 years at The Bell. Before most games we all used to gather in the corner where the path reaches into the green (picture below) and discuss philosophical and political events. A very good friend of mine, Mr Steve Duggins (who we had the great pleasure to see a few times this season) and I were discussing the dilemma of determinism when we had reached an impasse. Whilst Phil Brookes and I were positing the opinion held by David Hume in his 1739 book "A Treatise of Human Nature", Duggo was in agreement with Med that the Mild was crap. Steve being Steve decided that a bet was appropriate, so put out his hand ready to catch the spit to formalise the deal. Unfortunately for me he missed his hand completely and spat all over my shirt! Needless to say that this led to much polite chuckling and chortling.

7) Who is your second favourite bowler - a long way of course behind the manly and amazingly sexy Craggs?

Whilst playing at The Bell, we were often greeted to a great number of spectators, many of which were retired players. Steve Rogers was a regular visitor, as well as a chap I did not recognise but who was very keen in watching us. One particular home game was drifting away from us a bit and I launched into my trademark flag waving, cajoling and threatening, leaving our spectator so enthralled that he started shouting as well. It turns out that this was Terry Meddings, a former county bowler from The Cock, Bartley Green and Lightwoods Park. He had stopped playing for a number of years, but was interested in starting again. Thus began The Bell's second resurrection, with Terry largely being the driving force. From calling Craig at ungodly hours on Saturday morning to discuss the order to always being the last to leave on a Saturday, drunkenly falling into his taxi to Old Hill, I've never met a bigger personality than Med. He makes me look like a fieldmouse.

8) Apart from getting your hand shaken by your benevolent and superior leader Craggers, what is your biggest personal achievement in bowls.

Winning the West Bromwich Bowling League's single's merit at The Churchfield Tavern. In pouring rain I battled through a full field of 32 bowlers to win the coveted trophy.

Also, qualifying for the Civil Service National Championship at The Waterloo. Craig and I stopped the night before and I prepared like any athlete would. Next morning the tannoy calls me to the green and I'm introduced to my opponent. "Where are you from Son?" he says. "Birmingham, you?" I reply. He wins the toss, turns to me and says "Blackpool" and throws the block full corners. A snappy 7 in a shithole town on a shithole green. No wonder its referred to as West Bromwich by the sea (by me anyway).

9) Crankiest bowler or moment?

Crankiest bowler is also responsible for the crankiest moment. Whilst playing for Kings Norton in the Summit Garage league we had to play in Telford at St Georges, which has a crown more in keeping with a mountain range than a lump of grass. Anyway, Stuart O'Sullivan is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, but would be in the "Top three barmiest bowlers" category of anyone who'd ever met him. His opponent sent a jack corner to corner, so last bowl of the end, Stu chases it up and runs to the end with his patented "Eye-Eye" shout. To this day I have no idea what he was cheering at, because his bowl had barely got over the crown and he'd ran past it!

Another mad moment was one of the aforementioned Terry Meddings' first games for The Bell. We had journeyed over to Woodfield in Wolverhampton to play, and Terry was on first. At one end, Crain and I looked over and saw Terry's bowls both within a foot of the jack. We were most impressed and told him so very loudly, to which Med replied "They'd be good woods if they were to my ******* jack!", picked up his bowls and walked the 6 yards to where he was two down!

10) What is the Worst green you have had to bowl on, with or without the god like Craig present?

The worst greens aren't the ones with poor surfaces, it's the ones with poor surfaces where the home team positively revel in the sheer crpaness of their facilities. I will forgive The Pavillion's in Kingshurst as their memberships IQ barely breaks 80, so they know not what they do. Step forward then, the Beech Tree Miners Welfare Club in Stourbridge - on the night we played there it had been cut with a Flymo, some weeks before! Pustulent, reprehensible, ghastly, horrendous, deviant and repellent are just some of the words to describe the team. Compared to them the green was like a night out with Naomi Watts with enough money left over for a taxi and a kebab.

We lost (predictably) and Craig and I were very vocal in our disapproval (perhaps more predictably). There is a happy ending though - they turned up for the return game (we were playing for Stourbridge Labour at the time), complained about Ian Ball's legs, complained when I referred to some of their spectators as "scum" and promptly got absolutely bollocked :-)

I'm sorry for the verbosity, but when i got going I take some stopping :-)

The Russell Harty Show

A while ago, Captain Craggers asked some questions on Facebook of our club members. Replies were slow to come in and, if I'm absolutely honest, were rather boring, but I have finally got around to adding them here for your delectation. Apologies for the wall of text, I hope it doesn't crit you for over 9000.

Oh, and these are copied and pasted, so your spelling mistakes are your own.


1)What is your favourite green to play on (this can be with the worlds sweetheart Craig Or Not)?
My favourite green ever would probably be Stourbridge labour , a 3 ender with major corners it's a terrible loss to Bowls. Favourite to bowl on currently would be Boldmere St Michaels and I was just getting used to the Kings Norton green
2) Best team you have played in (it doesn’t have to feature the great one Craggers, but we will know it's a lie if it doesn’t )?
The Greville arms Summit winning side around 2008 a side so good even I struggled to get many games 
3) Apart from the first time you were captained By Craig, what has been your best moment in bowls?
Being Promoted to division one for the first time with the Bell, Finishing fourth  the next year in the league in our debut season in one. Captaining the Bell and Kings Norton to Cup Wins.
4) Apart from your beloved and esteemed captain Craggers, who is the best bowler you have played with?
Either Anthony Bracken Or Terry Moss. Brack for Just being consistently amazing and Terry for an immense drive after winning the all England and county caps etc he still refuses to lose into his 70’s
5) Apart from any game you have played that hasn’t featured the worlds greatest person Craig Taylor, what is your worst moment in bowls?
Losing to Kings Norton in the final of the 8 man team for the bell. We needed one more shot for what seemed like hours as we sat huddled around one phone waiting for the result from home. Relegation from 1 a few times and losing the green at Stourbridge labour. Losing the big crown league because West Warwick’s played one short at Home
6) What is your funniest bowls story that doesn’t show your hero Craggers up in a bad light?
So many , reversing over a shopping trolley while Following Carl Niblett around West Bromwich. Steve Duggins Spitting on Scotty, Ian Ball declaring He would never Pick Mick Harper cus he is useless as Mick looks on stunned from behind Ian Bucko bowling under the influence at AGBL. Falling through the fence at the Bell.
7) Who is your second favourite bowler - a long way of course behind the manly and amazingly sexy Craggs?
I have been blessed with some amazing team mates -Terry Meddings was amazing to play with especially after his medicine – Wayne Curran and Matt Ryan Always kept you laughing but I guess my favourite Bowler goes to Nodger never have I seen a player enjoy himself less  while giving everything plus he tried to stop me reacting and starting a mass brawl once.
8 ) Apart from getting your hand shaken by your benevolent and superior leader Craggers, what is your biggest personal achievement in bowls.
Bowls for me is a team game and individual accolades count for Naught but I did win the Olton Saturday senior averages when I was 18. Anytime I bowl a jack and its long enough to be legal.
9) Crankiest bowler or moment ?
The Crankiest Moment was when I saw a gent bowl his rag, it didn’t go very far and I think he sent it the wrong Bias. A fellow once threw his hat on the middle of the crown and jumped up and down on it like the short bald moustachioed villain in the Laurel and hardy movies. Who knew losing to me would be so painful. The Bowls world is choc full of Cranky Bowlers like disco Dave who used a walking stick at the start of the game but was running and stamping woods up by the end. I guess we are all a little bit that way as bowlers  but Trevor Bate , Alan Savage and Pete Watts and Dave Bagnall take some beating as being cranky in the nicest possible way.
10) What is the Worst green you have had to bowl on, with or without the god like Craig present?
The beach tree  would have been better played on an actual beach and  the pavilions is possibly in worse condition than greens like the original Broomfield and West Brom labour that have been abandoned for years.


1) I have 2 favourite greens the tavern and the towers.
2) Best team you have played in (it doesn’t have to feature the great one Craggers, but we will know it's a lie if it doesn’t )?
the best team I’ve played in was the valley playing in the 1st 2nd divs amazing days
3) My best moment in bowls I’ve got 2 really, being one game away from the all England merit, and secondly the best game I ever played which was on wcwmc in the semi final of the sat cup against foden, I beat Paul breslin 21-7
4) the best player I’ve ever played has to be Steve Williams at the goodies and player I’ve played against was pinky porter, beat me 3 times, every time I improved mind you 4, 8 12 ha ha fantastic bowler in his day,
5) worst moment in bowls was losing a championship final on the valley 20-21 he won the game with his last wood, it gave me nightmares for weeks ha ha
6) I don't know about funniest bowls story, a crazy one was playing for the valley at home and the game was tight, my game was 20-20 his wood was hanging on the edge of the green and mine was two feet short, I called measures knowing I wasn't on, as they came over his wood fell off the green which I hoped it would, so I won the game 21-20 we won the game by 2 shots and I nearly got my head knocked off lol.
8 ) best achievement again was being one game away from all England
9) crankiest player ever played against has to be the late bob jinks
10) worst green ever played was the s.h.a.g,


1) Beside Olton it would be Triplex
2) Too many to mention
3)Prescott Manor - Liverpool
4) My Dad
5) Slam dunking myself at Triplex on a rainy day and mossy green
6) When a team member was being pointed at with a pen and they simply snatched it from them and threw it over the hedge - wasn't funny at the time - but it makes me chuckle every time I think of it now.
7)Don't really have favourite or second favourite bowlers.
8)Esselle Welsh Ladies Champion
10) CO-OP


1)The Olton tavern (only venue I have ever won a game)
2) Haven't been around long so it has to be this current team
3) Winning my first ever senior game 21-4 after being 4-0 down
4)Best player I've played with in a team has to be Russell Easthope- said I haven't been around much ;)
5) Worst moment in bowls is losing 11 at home to the maggies and then throwing handbags with Graham Wiggins
6) Funniest moment in bowls? Wow erm there's so many - maybe watching Dave Evans bow down and praying to Mecca on club championship day?
7) My favourite bowler to watch is probably Richie Dingley or Paul Buckley, close call
8) Club champion 2012? Sheltered life I live!
9) Crankiest moment has to be the last 4 at the raven, no more needs to be said
10 )Worst green? That one at the back of the church on a Thursday evening cut with a flymo, that bad I don't even remember the name. Wow


1)The Sheldon preferably before the houses were built on it with the distinct 1920’s  toilets smell wafting across the green.
2) Snrs class of 2014
4) Richie Dingley waterloo years
5) Losing the cup final to the yew tree on hollyfields due to celebrating reaching the final too much immediately prior to the match.
6) Leaving Alf Powell behind at ansells 2 hours later we realise and return for him he hadn’t noticed we gone
7) Freddie flintoff
8 ) Getting to the food before Chris Greenhill
9) Not getting in for 2 with 12ft of room to draw
10) Tyseley wmc


1) King George V, even if I ain't won on it yet, best surface ever.
2) 1st game back this year. Realised what I had been missing.
3) Got to be team that won Div 5 before this year. Won the league despite having Jack as captain.
4) Russ Easthope, never met anyone that wants to win as much or hate losing as much.
5) Too many this year but shaking a guys hand before the game had finished does still make me cringe.
6) Seeing Gilly fall over in the nettles at Minworth. Still cracks me up - "Lowey help me they've stung me balls" lol
7) Richy Dingley. On his day head and shoulders above everyone else.
8) Sorry guys but going unbeaten and winning the averages was great this season, but it has to be winning on the brookhill my dad old club. Felt like he was telling me where to bowl.
9) Too many to mention. But Colin wrapping tapes around his arm and declaring mark is the best I've seen.
10) The gospel oak ended up losing a bowl in a fox hole.

For those struggling, the original questions are in Craig's responses, and the numbers in the following interviews tally with those.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


As you can see from The Club Captain's report on the presentation, there was a major injury during the prize giving. With the assistance of The Red Cross, FEMA, The Second Parachute Battalion and a bit of bog roll, disaster was averted.

I must warn you that the following picture is graphic in content and viewer discretion is advised.

It is clear from the photo that the incident was horrific for the following reasons:

1) The wearing of trousers that were purchased from an advert in The Sunday Mercury at £12.99 for two pairs and a free wardrobe tidier

2) Patterned grey socks that, if i'm not mistaken, are hand me ups from Craggers when he was a babby.

3) Tan shoes!! Tan!!! It's not bloody 1974!!!

Fortunately for all, CJ survived this harrowing incident. The Trousers, however, has to be put down.

Presentation Night

As the club did not have a presentation last year it was decided that this year we would do something low key, just to ensure we actually managed to hold one. The venue and format was chosen and skittles at the Highwood was set. It was a good job we did as it was a year of unprecedented success and unbridled harmony and that was something that needed celebrating together. As always, ticket sales were slow until the week before the event when suddenly everyone came out of the woodwork all clammering to see what wonderful and stylish outfit I would arrive in. Despite some misgivings about the venue from some of the younger hipper members of the club a good turnout was secured.

The preparation started in Earnest when the chuckles bought raffle prizes. The chuckles have a long history of great raffle prizes - from DVD players and MP3 players to exotic drinks or Anne Summers vouchers - you get no cheap wine and stale biscuits from the chuckles. The other raffle tradition we have is for is winning our own prizes back and I was hoping this would be a trend that would continue tonight.

After a quick drink at the Olton and a look at the progress the green is making, I gathered up the raffle prizes and my bag of special awards and headed to the Highwood. The prizes and trophies were arranged and Scotty went up the bar to order a couple of milds. 30 seconds later Scott went ashen as the barmaid declared the round as £6.60! Thankfully she just wasn't the sharpest tool in the box and that was his change. With the pricing sorted and relieved I wasn’t on the water for the rest of the evening we hit the quiz machine. It must have been a case of too many cooks spoil the broth and the mild being rather strong as the chuckles plus jack, cat and JP got as many questions right as the first one voted of a weakest link does.

The pairs for the skittles were drawn and it all started well with skittles being knocked down left right and centre and the team of Killer and your Captain took an early lead. Due to the excessive alcohol intake by the second round gaps were being found left right and centre and some people were finding it difficult too hit the lane let alone a skittle. As we went into the break we still held the lead but with the food being served next it was debatable if we would ever see Killer again.

The food saw several visits from Chris and no one has been reported ill yet so that has to go down as a success although we were only seconds away from a blazing saddles like food fight. I felt like Hedley Lamar as I returned from the little boy’s room to have an egg sandwich whistle past my ear.

A hush came over the room and it was presentation time. Steve Myatt was doing the MC duties and CJ was a less than impressive Dolly dealer even managing to walk into the skittle alley that he had been playing on for the hour previous. He let out a girly like shriek, dropped the trophy while letting loose a barrage of expletives, claiming his leg had been sheared off by a large wooden splinter and generally making out like he had trodden on a land mine. The damage was latter photographed. Unfortunately the skittle alley didn't come of as well and was survived by 9 pins and 3 balls.

Highlights of the presentation were the chuckles winning the Ken Hughes doubles, myself winning the Wednesday averages the (hardest to win in the club) the Dodgewana doubles victory and Cat and CJ winning the handicap doubles - CJ being the handicap. Jack won the Thursday averages but as it was Jack we withheld the cup. Jack reacted like rumple stiltskin stamping his foot until it went through the floor and needed six of us to pull his leg out. I was called to the stage to present the 21st cup to a very deserving winner in Karen Burton and my speech unified and enthused everyone in the room into such a religious fervor that I am officially counted as a cult leader. I then presented the special awards, Scotty winning the king of the Taylors trophy, Wiggy winning the 9/10s of a season undefeated hat of luck and a special leaving present was given to Cat in the hope she doesn't forget who we are when she is off on her travels. Congratulations to those who won awards and a big thank you to everyone that played in the teams encouraging and pushing everyone to achieve their best.

A surprise presentation to my self was made for being just as ace as I told everyone I was. The bottle is very much appreciated but I only prodded you all in the right direction - the club had to react in the right way and you should all be proud of yourselves for how far the club has come in 12 months. Me? I am just glad you didn’t all leave me looking like a melon, dick in hand waving it at the enemy on my own.

Raffle time had finally come around and I was feeling lucky but first we had to sit through the Downes' clans unprecedented run of family member ticket drawing. Thankfully for all concerned they didn't make a beeline for my prizes. With Pete Greenhill taking the picture of a turkey (I can’t wait for the reaction when he realises its just the picture he won and not a turkey) and another guest taking an advent calendar, there was still hope I would come out with a win. Jack got pulled out and he went straight for our Havana club bottle, lime squeezer and pack of limes combo and promptly pulled out my ticket while crashing the Havana, what a legend. I went up to the table to find 10 bottles of wine left and the toffee popcorn vodka and sensations popcorn pack so generously purchased by ourselves earlier in the week. Without hesitation I took the good prize and settled in to watch everyone fight over what is the least worst bottle left to choose. Eventually the raffle drew to a close with pretty much every table winning something so once again a big thanks to all who brought tickets and provided prizes it was a huge success and contributed to the almost £200 pound profit on the night.

The final round of the Skittles was interesting. Balls flew everywhere the odd skittle that was hit were being launched into the air and one reveller who had too much of the free spirits actually sent one ball down Highwood Avenue and into someone’s garden. It was very embarrassing having to knock on the door and ask for my ball back. It all came down to mine and killers last go we needed a combined 11 to win. I got unlucky with my split and ended with a solid seven. Bungee took three down the left hand side with his first and victory was assured, but hold!!! Not so fast - Chris had spied the remains of the buffet and sent his wood down the empty side of the alley while reaching for a sausage role. I tried to stifle my cries but couldn't and gave a strangled yelp of frustration, killers next ball was as terrible his arm had gone to jelly. Thankfully though he hit a kink in the wood and managed to topple a pin with the wind of the wood as it whistled by. We won!! Champions Champions Champions!! I was duly awarded a bottle of wine no one took during the raffle.

All that remained was a game of killer for 50p a go. Lots of big guns went out early and it came down to a shoot out of the Downes clan Sue, Chris and Lisa against the Bell connection of Scotty and Bally. The ladies blinked first before Chris, Scott and Ian went a few rounds without missing. Just as I was getting bored and about to turn the lights out and declare a draw Scott and Ian missed while Chris held his nerve to take the cash.

I hadn't known what to expect but it turned into a really good night we do need to look at what we do with the presentation next year but at the moment i think we should look into having the presentation and organising another skittles night as well.

Thanks to everyone who came and everyone who contributed to making it such a good night. Next Stop Cats leaving do and the Warwick and Worcester presentation.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Chuckles light up Stockingford

Sportsworld were opening a new shop last Thursday evening and as per the norm the shop was opened by world famous sports direct enthusiast and clothes horse Jamie Carter. This left a space open at the Stockingford Pairs competition and that space was duly filled by the Chuckle brothers.

With the weather set fair we entered the directions into the satnav and were told it should take us 30 mins or thereabouts, but with the road works as they are and rush hour to boot we set out with over an hour to spare. I had gone about 50 yards before I guessed the route the satnav would take us was going to suck. Remembering a rough map I had seen of Nuneaton’s relationship to Birmingham, I decided to wing it. For the next twenty minutes the lady voice was telling me to turn round, her suggestions turning into proclamations to orders and then on to threats but I pressed on undeterred. The traffic heading through Coleshill was problematic, and being stuck in lower whitacre (or some such village) behind a lorry that shared the size and turning circle of the USS Nimitz was a scary experience.

The time was getting on and we were dangerously close to being late but the traffic cleared and we found our way to where the satnav reliably informed me was my destination. Apparently it was well hidden, so we stopped and asked some slack jawed youths who, judging by their answer, had been glue sniffing. We stopped at a nearby school and asked some parents who also appeared to have been glue sniffing. The young daughter of these feckless adults, meanwhile was coming up with a suggestion that the parents adjuged to be rubbish and loudly announced that was a different club. If I am ever lost in Nuneaton again I’m listening to the five year old who just had the bad parents evening report and as it turns out she was spot on. From the adults garbled answer of "hit Wall left turn shops before and bobs your uncle aye lad" we cobbled together some kind of plan. We turned at the wall before the shops and there it was behind a 10ft locked gate that was patrolled by East German soldiers with vicious yapping German Sheppard’s. We decided discretion was the better part of valour and turned around and asked a few more Yokels if there was an alternative entrance. It was at this point we started to believe that our Birmingham to Nuneaton phrase book must have been misinterpreting phrases like “where are Stockingford allotments” into “my nipples explode with delight” and promptly gave up looking. I dropped Scotty out by the gates and, dodging between the search lights, he bravely made his way over the barbed wire and into the club in time to sign us in. I took one last desperate attempt to find an entrance and was quite disgusted to find it was exactly where the failing school child had suggested it was. Perhaps she is failing at school as she is spending to much time planting spuds, marrows and such like at the allotments.

There were plenty of friendly faces about - the Baldwin Bunch with new superstar finals day performer Mick Tandy, The Moseley mad house were represented by Dave Clarke and Billy Kinchin and The Millers were flying the flag for the Brookhill. The rather clement weather allowed us to settle down with a pint and watch the competition. In the top half of the draw county stars like Mark Burdett, Paul Evans and Craig Barker were entertaining themselves by impersonating the goon show in between the quality bowls. Bill and Dave were on for close to two hours and the Millers lost a very close encounter to a pair that qualified. The Baldwins first pair of Bob Marklew and Emily Kernick also just fell short. Once Bill and Dave had completed their magnum opus of a bowls game we were called to the green to face Tony and Paul Freeth. You drive out of the county and you play someone from a club with roots two minutes walk from our first club. That said, we have bumped into Tony when holidaying in Torquay as well so I suppose these things happen. The game started with both pairs swapping ends before we settled into a rhythm and were holding a commanding lead. Freethy though, playing with one yellow wood and one wood that looked like he found it while rummaging through bomb sites during the blitz, gave it one last big push and pulled a few ends back before falling to the handsome brothers with the cheeky smiles.

The green was still very wet after the battering it has taken this week but was playing quite well and, despite its lack of round pegs, could be quite tricky. With the night drawing in my start time at work fast approaching we went straight on to face a lovely pair from Atleborough. After a decent start and counting 2 Kevin ran the block for four and our opponents flew out into the lead and we were struggling to find the form of the previous game. Something clicked, however, as we stormed back to take a 20 – 19 lead. We went long and with 3 woods left were counting 3 with two woods within a foot. Kevin once again pulled out a pearler, nestling next to the block. The order went up (From where I was it was more like a Magnus Pike lookalike had entered the green and was trying to flag down a bus- Ed) and Scotty duly obliged, running the block to leave us game on with the jack an inch from the edge and our closest bowl within two foot. Kevin though had been excellent all nigh and once again bowled the perfect wood to take it to twenty across. Unfortunately they took the one they needed on the last end with a very cluttered end that never really opened up to allow us a shot. Congratulations to all the qualifiers and I hope the finals day goes well thanks to Carol for running another great comp and to all at Stockingford for there hospitality - we shall see you next year even if you are a villa club. The Journey home proved very disconcerting as we came a completely different route and drove in what appeared to be a straight line home taking twenty minutes and bringing us home via the other side of the A45. Directions have never been my forte but at this minute i have no idea which way I'm facing.

There is an art to bowls teas - from the highs of the College and their roasties and Bournville with their bangers, down to the Penn offering on a Wednesday night of six sandwiches’ and half a scotch egg (which Ian Ball promptly devoured, thimking it was an individual serving) or one of Kenny Everett’s legendary Pigeon Curries. There is a charm to the good old fashioned bowls tea and great delight can be taken from any offering no matter how meagre. I recently had the pleasure of a sit down chat with the baronet of the buffet Chris Greenhill. For a small fee, and with editorial veto granted under threat of physical violence, Chris shared his thoughts on etiquette and on what makes a good buffet, his favourite items of snap and tuck and if those two words along with scram are ever sociably acceptable (They are not. Ever. Absolutely never - Ed).

What was the best away day for tea this year?

It may surprise you but my favourite, apart from a wasted journey, a personal hammering and a mini riot, was the pheasant. Not only did i get fed twice but the second of the meetings had a bit of an edge to it and as it was a Sunday not many people came in for the tea. I managed a record six and a half sittings munching threw a whole chicken, half a pig , a large tray of sandwiches and more cakes than Kipling can throw out in a week.

What was your least satisfying tea of the year?

The final home tea was a disgrace. Nothing wrong with the idea of sausages and burgers with chips but good lord, there were more buns than burgers and sausage ,no finger roles, no onions, the chips were cold and the burgers 100 for a quid from Poundland - they were made using real sawdust none of your cheap stuff. The look on their face when we asked for sauce was amazing. I didn't even go up for thirds this time.

Any honorable mentions?

The Queslett served up a chicken curry or bolognaise or something that was meaty, it was okay i suppose but the fact they brought out a veggie platter for the odd veggie we have in the club was a nice touch. I asked the Olton to do this after sausage and burger gate but they assured me there was more meat in the chips than the burgers.

What should make up a bowls tea?

Well first of all get rid of that green shit - salad i think it's called. It has no place on my plate or sitting in a buffet like a land mine waiting to go off in your mouth. To be honest what goes into a buffet is only of a mild concern to me as long as i get to keep picking at it at 6 plates an hour until about 8 o'clock. Sandwiches are good, but no egg and not a massive fan of salmon. Any pork based product that doesn't have an egg in the middle cant be bad. Chips, fries, crisps, croquet's, chicken skewers, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, black pudding, pigs blood, angels on horseback, devils on horseback, a horses back, pigs in blankets, devils in blankets, blankets covered in sauce, duck, spring roles, samosas, pakora, kebabs - sheesh and sharmi, kofka's, a cheese board, bread and cake of all varieties. Bang it all on just keep it coming - Wallop.

A wafer thin mint perhaps to finish?

God yes I'm never stuffed me. Make it a packet.

What do you think of your nickname that came from your prodigious tea eating?

You can call me anything just don't call me late for the tea.

Can any other word be used to describe the said food after a bowls game.

I love the word tuck, and snap is an aural delight. I have asked the committee if we can get it formally changed to the bowling snap tucker for tea and tuck with scram for afters.

From the Chris Greenhill archives, here he is with an appetizer from illustrious Michelin starred  restaurant Kings - open till 3am on Sunday mornings peeps

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Egypt here we come!

The Olton took a trip to Giza for the Sphinx open doubles and a look around the statue. I guess my suspicions should have been aroused when the satnav told me it would take 30 mins and I had to drive past my office to get there, but I was still hopeful if astounded something so famous and hot looking was so local.

Arriving At the venue I realised I was still in Coventry and despite the sun shining and the warm welcome everything still had the strange grey tint that hangs around the city.

With the realisation it wasn’t in the sub Sahara, we headed to the bar for some very reasonably priced beverages , and settled down to watch the games and try and pick up some ideas of how the green plays. At 14-4 against and Scotty keeping the score down it appeared I hadn’t learnt much , but a decent spell on top of the crown brought us back into the game and sitting 3 to draw level momentum seemed to be with us. Doubles is a fickle mistress though and a wick of an errant bowl dashed our hopes and sent us back to the bar.

Off the green The Sphinx and Carol did such a good and friendly Job we ended up going Back on Thursday to watch Stroker and Stroker play. There still wasn’t an actual sphinx but the welcome was just as warm and we had an unparalled win ratio on the tombola. Savo winning two prizes and Scotty won a third and boy these were not your average run of the mill kind of prizes either. Jack, who was sporting a knocked off ladies handbag and new bouffant further showed the generation or species gap at the Olton by wondering round muttering worldy a lot and wearing Savs first prize neckless.

I have no clue what the boy is on about half the time and looking around the university where I work I realise they are all the bloody same. Meanwhile Savo continues his metamorphosis into Bob Horn by bemoaning that everything in the world is rubbish - he probably would have said the great Sphinx of Giza was rubbish had it sprouted from beneath the disused green singing the bangles hit that wasn’t about Mondays.

Jack and Wiggly drew the Baldwin pair of Spindle and Jim Kernick, with neither team having an advantage on green knowledge the game settled into a pattern of straight marks early on with Spin and Jim taking the lead before a spirited fight back From the Olton boys plucky and lucky. Two Bad ends or some misfortune swung the game in the favour of the Baldwin team whose supporters would have looked much more at home than me carrying Jacks bag around.

The bowls wasn’t a huge success but it was good experience and nice to get out and about catch up with the bowls gossip and try in vain to understand the sexually confused left handed youngsters of today.

I scored more than you

Yes it's true, its Damn true check out the WWCBA and you will find that yours truly, your beloved leader, star player, benevolent captain and Olton pin up boy scored more shots for his team than any player, not just in the divison but the whole of the Warwick and Worcester. I left closest challenger Ant Bracken eating my dust a massive whole shot back on 447.

448 that is a big number I know and its hard for you pencil neck geeks to visualise the size of my achievement so let me help you. It is the amount of beans in 6 cans, its the amount of wine gums in a large tin and the amount of grains of sand in a very small egg timer. The number 448 is also significant in history and popular culture.

Year 448 (CDXLIII) was a leap year that started on a Thursday of Julians Calender. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Praetextatus and Zeno. Just think about that for a moment, the year of Praetextus and Zeno - that is heavy stuff that even Scott may not know about (Yes, Yes I did - Ed).

448 Was also a classic episode of the Bill. It was episode 71 that was shown during its 22nd season. DC Perkins is asked to supervise an ex-con, and PC Hemmingway deals with a boy bullying a homeless man. Meanwhile, PCs Noble and Hollis are called to deal with a drunk man at hospital, only to realize that it's troubled PC Valentine. I remember vividly the look on Reg's Face when he discovered it was Valentine that had just hurled in his helmet. Great stuff.

It is also the most fiendish of candy crush levels that I am sure none of you have managed to reach. It's okay though only the best can be 448.

As you can see from the photo, I have been awarded many awards from numerous bodies that award awards.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Working Party

Friday Over 60’s

The Friday over 60’s side gathered for one last blast on Friday morning and were persuaded into taking a group photo. The side aren’t a team hell bent on winning but by all accounts have enjoyed themselves this season and it shows that the Olton caters for all types of bowler and we welcome everyone into our loving arms. The Friday side did feel a little left out of the celebrations this year though so they awarded themselves the super duper Friday cup league type thing, and don’t they look delighted.

Working party

Sunday saw the green hollow tined and the majority of the work on the green completed. I would like to say a big thanks to all the club members that attended and apologise to those that would have come but were not informed, but due to the pretty quick nature of the hollowtiner being available there wasn’t a great deal of time to advertise.

WooleyWanna - Our hard working engineer and grounds man who showed real graft - especially when Jess arrived to see if he was doing anything.

Dave Lowe – Hampered by a life fully lived and every illness known to man but once again does more than his fair share of the work.

Graham Wiggins – Gets a little tetchy when work is to be done but he is a Trojan with a broom so we ignore his grumpiness. Sweats more than Bernard Manning and Chubby Brown roasting on a spit.

Chris Greenhill – I have never seen someone so eager to do his day job for no pay on a weekend - the lad is crackers but I imagine he enjoyed the ladies badminton tournament on the afternoon especially after sabotaging the thermostat in the sports hall.

Pete Greenhill – Stopped longer than Chris as he is far more committed to the cause and less easily distracted.

Chris James – Sterling work with the wheel barrow and broom coming to the aid of your captain just before he collapsed for good.

Dave Evans – came made the tea and kept the troops entertained with Bad Jokes

John Price – arrived with breakfast and put in a shift on the green.

CJ – did nothing of note but order a sandwich from JP whilst forgetting to order his sons one.

Scotty – the hardest he has worked at a working party for many a moon and saved my embarrassment with some good lopping skills. Broke the mower to ensure a longer lunch break.

Craggers - Apparently I have a condition that stops me breathing while concentrating and that makes work a dangerous game but the benches aren’t comfy enough to sleep on so I did a bit.

Dave Hosgood – came late fresh from causing a riot at telford in the Torquay end and becoming new Torquay fans forum sensation.

We will need more working parties before next season to look at dykes (steady Killer) and the surrounds, but these will be advertised thoroughly.

Once again thanks to all that attended and helped get the work done and make a good day of it.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Captain Cragger's end of Season Awards!

Luckiest moment of the year the contenders

Wiggy's strike on lea hall where he hit his 4 yard wide lead and ran the block.

Wiggy's "shake hands i have lost oooo what happened there i have won" moment

Wiggy's draw on at least 14 occasions

The winner goes to Wiggy for us allowing him back after the Moseley tried to bury him under the green.

Nickname of the year

Chris Greenhill - Killer, Bungee, Bungee Killer

Cat Crane - Dora the explorer and latterly Dora the informer

Chris and Neelesh - Team Dodgewana , Dodgetanion and Wooleywana

The winner - Cat Crane with Dora the explorer

Stroker of the year was a 1 horse race won by Jack Savage who's stroking of his balls at home is so legendary he even shared them on snap chat. Here we see Jack at last years presentation

Movie bad ass of the year

Scott Taylor goes William Money and insults the raven threatening to burn down the pub and kill their pets (Allegedley!!-Ed)

Wiggy goes all Travis Bickle and asks shard end if they are talking to me (That ones true, I was there - Ed)

Chris Greenhil goes all Liam Neeson from all the Taken films, vowing a bloody revenge and torture upon someone for talking to his bowls. (That happened at least 11 times! - Ed)

The winner, for sheer menace and being more up to date in his referencing, Chris Greenhill

Caterer of the year is a straight fight between the pub and JP

JP takes it by unanimous decision120 -108 120-108 120 -108

Supporter of the year

Scotts sterling work in the seniors and juniors and having to sit through 1 and a half painful over 60's home games.

Jacko's pained screams that sounds like he is giving birth

JP's attendance at every game the Olton are playing.

The winner is JP for attending 214 games this year even ones he didn't know were on and he'd just come to have a sit down.

Crappiest appearance at a bowls game -

Chris Greenhill's impossibly dirty trainers

Jack's basildon bond ensemble

Jacks 12 year old straight from football look

The winner - Jack and his shorts and football socks with no trainers ensemble

Tag team of the year


The Chuckles

the twins in the carvery

Due to the twins no longer working at the pub, tag team champions of the world have been declared as The Chuckles

Club men/ladies of the year

Lesley Christmas

Maggie wooley

Karen Burton

The winner - Lesley Maggie and Karen all win for paying full subs just to play a handful of games mostly for little reward but never letting anyone down and hopefully enjoying every minute.

Captain of the year

PG- tips 1 promotion

CJ- promotion and stealing a cup final

Rocky- champions

Wiggy - picked a side occasionally

Craig - Genius

a surprise winner with CJ stealing the trophy and shuffling off at a very low speed.

Jack of the year

Jack Savage

Eddie priestner

Another shock win with Eddie winning best Jack of the year for his double attempt at returning a jack to the green and managing to strike the lean-to roof.

Nominations for King of the Taylors

Scott Taylor – Number 12, chief supporter, role model for Chris Greenhill and paladin tank, beat both Craggers and CJ in one day .

Craig Taylor – Club captain, Saturday Premier Captain, Thursday A Captain, counsellor, confidant, motivator, blog writer and god damn handsome man

Taylor Swift – Pop princess, warbler, Katy Perry Feuder , Nice legs

The Winner Scotty for beating the club captain by the terribly underhand tactic of turning over.

Renovation of the year

The ladies toilets – lighting, painting, water proofing Neelesh worked tirelessly for the ladies of the club

The borders – Plants provided by Chris James , Rocky, The Chuckles, Dave Hosgood , Produced by Dave Lowe Dave Hosgood and Rocky. Directed By Rocky

The steps that lead to nowhere – Craggers noticed the steps were in disrepair and selflessly used his wood to knock them back into shape.

The Winner Craig’s raging fury

Twerk of the Year

Nicky Minaj - anaconda

Miley Cyrus - all day everyday

Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Lopez – in a new video I didn't watch with the sound up

The winner is Craig Taylor for shaking his pert buttocks in the beer garden leaving his fans clamouring for more while throwing underwear and room keys at him.

T Shirt of the Year

Craig Taylor is the only nomination as he wore an incredible assortment for every game, but for sheer geekery this is the winner :-)

End Game

As the acorns fall to the ground and the leaves are swirled by my autumnal wind, the realisation dawns that this is the final day of the season and what an anti climax it proved to be. With the side already being crowned champions we went to Lea Hall and played with a listlessness and lethargy. It wasn't a conscious "ah it doesn't matter any more" type performance but i think emotionally we were spent and the adrenaline had gone somewhat.

Lea Hall bowled the green very well but we toiled and laboured with nobody really putting a full game together. After four we were 23 down without a winner. The second four mustered two winners but dropped ten shots as did the final four all in all it was a performance to forget and move on from.

As we were having the tea, which Bungee rated at 4 Chris Greenhills

despite the Curry being a little mild for his tastes, 8 county bowlers showed up not realising they were too late to watch Lode lanes finest. Thankfully the good people of Lea Hall put some impromptu competition on to keep them from rioting. I have no clue what was going on but it appeared the Greville won. In the stands the crowed were getting Rowdy - Savo declared them all rubbish and any of The tavern would have qualified (I guess he hadn’t watched much of the game earlier). During one discussion over how bad or good Paul Rodgers is as a singer, normally mild Mannered lord Lowe lost it over Chuckle's assertion that Rodgers was a better bowler than singer and managed to plant one on Scotty soiling his regal hands on a commoner in the process. The Joke is on Dave though as if he had seen Paul’s performance for Greet in the Yardley and District cup final in 91 he would have to agree with Scott. Besides Paul Rodgers told me just last week how much he can’t stand Lowey.

Division five was never going to be able to contain the Tavern squad we had this year and hopefully four wont be able to either. We have, however, had a few hiccoughs we need to eliminate going forward.

We lost two close away games at the Bell and Marsh lane and we should have put those games to bed long before the end and yesterdays game was a one off but we had several games at home that we should have added another 20 plus to. We have had a great year and should rightly be proud of ourselves but we have to look honestly and objectively at what hasn't worked and when things haven't gone to plan and strive to improve.

Congratulations to Wiggy on going 20 games unbeaten and winning the divisional averages. He has taken some stick over who he has played but he doesn't chose the number(well, not all the time just the odd occasion) and the last two weeks were wins over good bowlers and he has deserved the accolades and plaudits he will get at the awards dinners - he may not enjoy playing number 1 every week next year as much.

Its time now to look forward to next year have a pleasant winter come back refreshed with a renewed vigour for bowls and as soon as the green opens we can get practising this was the easy year things get tougher from now on in and we all need to improve our games.

Player round up

Alan Savage

Alan had the distinction of having a better away record than home one this season and played for 4 promoted sides, winning two championships and 1 cup before calling it a day early to hit the showers first and use up all the hot water

Dave Hosgood

Wiz was apparently worrying for his place in the A team at the start of the year but was always part of the plans. big wins at the Forget Me Not and the Raven helped get the season of to a flyer and bowled well throughout the season.

Chris Greenhill

An able deputy for captain Parental Guidance tips in the triumphant Tuesdays, but it was the selection of Chris that appeared my most controversial decision. I am happy to say though Chris grew as the season progressed and now is an integral part of the team. His temper needs managing but his bowling has come on leaps and bounds always prepared to listen and desperate to improve.

Jack Savage

The home loving left hander has had another fine home campaign. His fine run at home is almost mirrored by his disastrous away record, however. Jack's willingness to improve this will surely bear fruit next year and with a job with more sociable hours hopefully on the horizon we could soon broaden his away day horizons and hopefully improve his fortunes.

John Price

JP joined this year and has been a vital cog in everything the side has done and bought into and changed helped change the ethos of the whole club. His presence has added much needed experience to the middle four and his form at home has been amazing considering his lack of time on the green.

Richie Dingley

Despite playing once a week playing with cranky bowls and missing several games, Richie kept pulling out the cards home and away for a plus of over 100. When Richie clicks its frightening what he is capable of.

Larry Goodridge

Larrys consistency made him the obvious choice as a number 1 this year home or away. His performances were brilliant and it took some amazing performances to get the better of him. A reassuring figure to be on the green at the same time with.

Chris Downes

Chris started in the B team and wasn't sure if he would be bowling at all this year but seemed more assured and confident with each game if he can continue his rise back to the talent he was i am sure and even more successful year will come his way next season.

Chris James

A bowler of rare skill and touch chris is always a pleasure to bowl with and capable of some woods even more mouthwatering than JP's cobs. A bowler of beautiful bowls and the classiest bowler in the club. His back two tandem this year with Scotty worked wonderfully.

Graham Wiggins

Wiggy had a fine year on a Saturday winning all the games he was available to play and finishing with a whopping plus off over 190. the man has no mercy no soul and is as much of a bowling machine as he is a ****. A great performance all year and his determination and single mindedness to achieve marks him out from the pack.

Scott Taylor

The best twelve i have played with. For such an emotional man who feels he has let the side down whenever anyone scores let alone beats him to be so good at number 12 is crazy. His performances when required at the Green Man and Queslett were of the highest quality.His support and work around the green is the major reason you have me as captain but I'm not sure if that's a plus or not. Scotty also battled through the end of the season to his own personal detriment but to the clubs advantage.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

A Christmas Miracle

You may all recall one of our first blog posts where I recounted our trip to a quaint little place in Marston Green.

Regular readers will remember that the highlight of the evening was my trip home in a certain club members car. When I threw my woods on the back seat I was treated to some eastern european swearwords from the back set as I had disturbed a family of immigrants. The 7 of them had jumped in the back seat some 6 months ago in an attempt to get into the country but couldn't get out because of all the rubbish. Luckily, they had survived on half drunk coke and packets of crisps.

Anyway, said bowler's other half has bitten the bullet and tried to clear the back seat. After 6 weekends, the assistance of the 1st Armoured Brigade, and a full bottle of Mr Muscle, look at the result!!

Now I do not believe in outing people on a public forum, but if KAREN JAMES does not keep this car in this state, I will be forced to name you!!

The Alf Powell Cup

The Alf Powell cup is a rare thing in that its a memorial trophy for a member that 90% of the club remember well and all have a story or a memory off. Whether it be the mirror falling on his head and him being told not to accept anything from the pub, before he greedily accepted a compensatory pint of mild within seconds, or having to do his braces up during a game Alf was a one of a kind and it is nice to play for a cup in his memory.

14 people showed up which considering we had a few away and some drunk - Killer we are looking at you - is a good turnout.

The first round saw Karen conquer BA after she conned him into flying.

Eddie saw off a spirited comeback from Dave Evans to extend his afternoon further.

Andy beat birthday boy MaggieWooleywanna and didn't buy him a card.

I beat chad who has improved at an amazing rate and will surely improve even more next year with regular bowls.

Scotty mercilessly beat the old man.

Pete Greenhill was having an epic encounter beating Lord Lowe of Olton.

Chris Downes and club champion Stevey M had received a bye and were in the same half of the draw as the second battle of the Taylor's. Chris beat Steve after a tight game and Scott beat the best Taylor 21-20. I want a rule brought in for internal competions - turn overs only count as half a point especially when it allows you to avoid a remarkably hard mark over the crown. Congratulations goes to Scotty who wins the King of the Taylor Tournament, next year their could be a couple more to beat.

in the other, far easier, half of the draw Pete beat Andy and Karen won through against Eddie.

In the first Semi Scottty and Dodge played a high quality game with Dodge getting the vital final run late in the game to seal his place in the final.

Pete and Karen were bowling an exceptionally tight game with Karen cursing her luck as pete advanced.

Pete and Chris swapped runs with the block in the first half of the game until Chris found a very tricky little mark too control the second half. Commiserations Pete and congratulations Dodge who capped off an excellent weekend.

To all those reading the work on the green will start on the 26th off September so we may hopefully - weather permitting - be able to get together again next Sunday.

Please don't forget our presentation night tickets are available from the committee. It has been a hugely successful season so we would love to see as many people as possible there. If anyone is interested in coming to the WWCBA presentation please let us know as soon as possible - the tickets are £5 and will need to be ordered Asap.

Do not despair at the thought of a Long winter without updates. There are plenty of things going on and ill try to keep you as informed as you are entertained.

The Final Home Game

The Final Home game of the season had rolled around and it couldn't help feeling a little anti climactic. Having secured promotion sometime in the summer (probably after the second game - Ed) and already having been crowned champions there wasn't much riding on the visit of a very experienced Lea Hall side.

With no junior game the green was awash with spectators - unfortunately due to my whisky providing exploits they were awash with alcohol and with the sun, party atmosphere and a happy music background from lowey's favourite band The National it was almost like Mardi Gras, just minus the boobs and beads.

A selection of hangers on, there only for the Whisky

In all honesty it wasn't one of our better home performances but after the season we have had these games need to be taken as a blip. Our focus should be on next year and continuing our success and growing the club for the future.

First to the green playing his last game of the season was Larry and, while it has been another excellent year for our Yam Yam friend, he started far too late in this game getting to 14 after a late run.

Wiggly was on at number two and while he has had a lot of stick for some of his opponents this year today he certainly didn't get the draw. It was nip and tuck for Wig until i came off and my calm assured guidance seemed to soothe his nerves, allowing him to run out from 15-13 down. if the roles were reversed i think its fair to say Wiggly would have been booing me but i am safe in the knowledge that i am the bigger man. Despite his performance he did remind us of yet another reason the Moseley eighty-sixed the goon - at the end of the game, Wiggy was clapping like a drunk sea lion trying to balance a ball on his nose and shouted "well done Steve still undefeated". Under normal circumstances that would be the mildly annoying sort of behaviour that always comes from wiggy. What was particularly callous about this episode was that not only did wiggy mark Steve's card he measured his last end and got the call wrong leading to Steve's heartbreaking loss to 17.

I was on at number 3 and the game was unremarkable but very pleasant until Jayne requested a break to take a tablet and promptly went on a run of six shots from 18-7 down. I was miffed to say the least but Wiggys smirk suggested he was in on the ruse and you can't stay mad at him for long not with that dumb innocent grin of his. I regained my composure and won to 13. I would also point out at this point if you don't drink whisky don't try it directly before a game and need three attempts to pick your mat up on the first end.

Dave Hosgood is finding form at the worst possible time with his second 21-5 win of the week again just missing out on the extra sweep.

22 up after 4

Jack continued his home habit of racing into a big lead then getting pegged back at the end Jack this time managing to win 14

JP once again proved a bostin Cob maker but never really got to grips with the pace of the green losing 14

JP spots someone eating his cob - amused he is not

Richie had a game of runs and was facing a heavy defeat before something clicked and he went on a run nudging him home 21-20.

The stark reality that he is a late replacement from the Juniors and has drawn a former county player hits Shredder's opponent

Steve as mentioned earlier lost his first senior game of the season to a very creditable 17.

26 up after 8

Killer kicked of the back four in knockout style rampaging home 21-3. Bungees opponent did not appear happy to be playing at all and in tribute to killer kicked his woods all the way home.

Dodge continued his fine weekend following up the winning of the oft delayed Toyota doubles with Neelesh by winning his game 21-9

Chris James won to single figures yet again bowling superbly this time winning 21-2

Scotty rounded out the twelve with possibly his worst performance for a long time but still scrapped up to 17 to leave the winning margin at 65.

The gaffer tried out a new tea for the end of the season and it appeared he is a big fan of Peter Andre or Len Goodman by the standard of the food that was provided.

Killer didn't engage the Bungee and walked off in disgust after 1 plate. This tea gets one Chris Greenhill

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Day we won the league, and hello to Mr Phil Brown

With the juniors off safe and early on their crusade for promotion, all attention at home turned to securing the title at the first chance we could. Scott was taking his paladin act to the British oak and had taken intimidating shout with him but we were determined not to let the bulwark's omission from the side let us lapse in to bowling in a library.

I hadn't completed the draw and i was already missing him - i was thirsty for a start and the bar is sooooo far away. I was also missing his board filling skills as today's board was half scribbled by Killer while Steve's half was much more measured in his calligraphy but it did mean i was off before the board was completed.

First to the green was Larry and he had an awkward game against the ever enthusiastic Alan Francis. Larry was always a few behind and couldn't break away from Alan until the death when he managed to put a small run together winning 18.

I was up next and first off winning to 4.

Wiggly's recent run had been a little rocky as the undefeated streak and the chase for the averages had appeared to start to take its toll. To not put undue pressure on him it was felt we should go on at the same time, which leads us to reason number, oh god i can't count that high, that Wiggly was thrown from the Moseley in a trebuchet - with the averages in the balance, Wiggly looked up and saw i was 14-1 up and like Dick Dastardly plotted to cut me up, putting his jack exactly where i had been bowling and then spraying his woods around so badly i was almost forced to bowl into the beer garden.

Here we see Wiggly Dastardley and his best buddy Jackley, errrm, I mean Muttley

If he continues to feel the heat next week, Wiggly intends to go all Hooded Claw on me and get the bully brothers to kidnap me. Heyelp! Heyelp!. At 16- 6 up Wiggly asked me how i had finished - the blood drained from his face and his knees began to knock as his arm skipped the jelly stage and become blancmange, stumbling across the line winning 12

Dave Hosgood was facing a late replacement and while she played well Dave was on fire bowling some exceptional stuff to win five

After four we were 45 up and i was apparently wearing to much orange and it was clashing with my pink and neon purple top. Apparently pink is my colour and i should wear more of it.

Jack was up at five and bowled some good stuff to take a 10-1 lead. His opponent doggedly stuck in there however, and with Jacks concentration faltering the game rumbled on a few ends longer than Jack would have liked before he won to 13.

JP, it has emerged, has favourites and has been providing more than excellent quality cobs to some members of the side. It now turns out that pork pie has been spotted changing hands and i am not amused as I love pork pie. Jp was enjoying the pacy conditions considerably more than his opposite number and came of winning well 21-2.

Steve was hoping to maintain his unbeaten run and went about it in a much less farcical fashion than Mr Wiggins. Once again Steve bowled impressively to defeat a very good Alex Buchan to 16

After 8 we were 89 up. My clothes were still clashing but god damn my beard was looking fine.

The Bungie Killer was having a nip and tuck game and, even though he was itching to get into a row as Scottys designated arguer, he held his nerve and temper to put together a great run to win 9.

Richie showed form reminiscent of his county days, with his woods constantly caressing the block like Jacko caresses the face of his young uncertain lovers - just before they say how dare you and slap him. Richie was simply brilliant winning 3.

Savo was on ten and had a bad day at the office. Although Jackie did bowl well Sav just wasn't his normal self. Savo has played a lot of bowls this year and with the exception of Wiggies Wednesdays every side Sav has played for has gone up. He has more than earned an early bath for the season to recharge for next year. Sav rallied late to finish with 11

Jaymo was Jaymo. Adrian had a fair game, in fact he bowled well, but Chris is a beautiful bowler and capable of exquisite things and today was one of those days winning 21-4.

Dodge was at Scotty's anchor position and with big shoes to fill Chris stood tall and bowled a belter. Each good wood was welcomed with a booming wall of noise, while the occasional loose shot was greeted with Chants for Scotty to return. Chris though loves the atmosphere and powered on to record a great win over a very good bowler 21-11

11 winners and a win by 124 was a great performance. I think it was a little harsh on the Warstock who i didn't think played that badly, but with confidence high and some pace in the green it was always going to be a good day for us. The Warstock played their part thoughout, producing a wonderful friendly atmosphere and I hope they enjoyed the day.

Killers Grub round up - The tea at the Olton is okay, its nothing special and not worth the cash but it is far from the worst i have ever eaten but to Chris it was a veritable banquet. A bounty of delights. A cornucopia of treats that were so enticing he had to climb on the furniture several times to get more morsels on his ever growing plate. For the benefit of those not having had a tea at the Olton, the plates are a standard size, it's the ones they use for the carvery, a good sized plate if I'm honest. That size just doesn't cut it for our Chris though as he opens his bag up and comes over all Alan Partridge pulling out a plate of his own with some two inches extra diameter. 3 Killers out of ten.

The Alliance side fell agonisingly short away at the British Oak. If it does prove that we stay in Division 3, however, the side should still be proud of the way they have bowled and conducted themselves all season. The club is still on a learning curve and next year will be our year of that i have no doubt.

At today's Crossfield Cup final it was confirmed we have a North Midlands readership! Step forward Phil Brown it is a pleasure to have you viewing. It should also be noted that Phil's county record makes him the best confirmed bowler to be reading the blog. If you are from Staffs, Shropshire or further afield and read drop us a line on the blog, twitter or facebook. It's nice to know who all 3 of the readers are. Also if you think you are a better bowler than Phil and want to be crowned the Blog readers best bowler stake your claim now. We may also expand our bowls blog next year and visit a few places, so if youd like a visit from The Chuckle Brothers - the talented ones not the two old fools from the telly - let us know!

The Olton win a cup!

The Thursday B side were aiming to cap off their fine season with a victory in the consolation cup. Bold (or is it Bald) Captain CJ had been ruthless bringing, PG tips back into the pot and leaving Fast Eddie Priestner on the sidelines in the only change from the Semi Final.

A tricky Wythall green and the Colebrook was what stood before them and a pot, although looking around the side most of our players are carrying a pot or two around with them already.

A large crowd showed up to watch and i am pleased to say a good number of those were Olton bowlers who either wanted to cheer on the club or couldn't resist spending a few more hours in my delightful company.

Rocky was first man up and had a ding dong battle with Ben Cosnett. Rocky bowled it well and save for a few knock ups could have come off winning by a bigger margin than the 21-19.

Dodge had started slowly against Dennis Parks but kept himself in the game long enough to find the weight battling back to score 15 valuable shots.

Dave Evans continued his "show the club captain up by defeating everyone that has beaten Crags" this year with a strong performance winning 8 against Bob Jones.

Pete Greenhill bowled some very tidy bowls before ducking out to 18.

After 4 we were 6 18 when you factor in the Handicap.

Chris James was up next and after a tight start Chris began to show his class finishing with a victory to 9.

CJ was feeling the heat and struggling against Neville Hughes. Try as he might the Captain couldn't find his way back into the game losing to 7.

Savo had started strongly but a determined run by Richard Edwards had taken the game away from Sav and we were staring a bad card in the face. At the same time Wiggly was struggling as well and things were looking a bit ropey. Thankfully, Sav and Wiggly are made of stern stuff - Sav came roaring back from the dead to reach a very creditable 16 and Wiggly found a rich seam of luck to run out winning to 14. A victory by 6 six without the handicap

Craig tried to find an action shot of Captain CJ but the camera lens wasn't slow enough to pick him up. Instead, we have him taping on of Dave The Butcher's many sub 14 yard marks.

Crags was also tasked with capturing a team photo, and this is all he could manage. Lord Lichfield he ain't

And finally, the winning card held by the Captain Beefheart himself