Monday, 28 April 2014

Captain's Log, Stardate 26/04/2014 - where we were visited by aliens from Stechford

Welcome to Division 5

With the weather in the week being suspect and the doom merchants Like Totten forecasting a raft of postponements I was a little worried the game may not go ahead. After a few minutes of the game I sort of wished it hadn’t. The dreaded missall calls, the wafting opponents woods, shouting for woods to get of the green and general poor sportsman ship all round. Welcome to Division 5 indeed.

The day started well enough with JP handing out the cobs and the Juniors all getting off okay for their first game of the season. The green had drained really well and whilst it lacked the prodigious peg of the previous week it was all things considered in great order. The surprises started about quarter to 3 when the away captain came in to do the draw - I had barely written the cards out, hadn’t numbered them and was only half way through my cob.

The Raven seemed keen to get on with things so we started about five minutes early and after my first few ends it looked like I may be off before 3 o’clock. My opponent never really found the green to his liking and I came off winning to 3.

After the previous Thursday(see Moseley on the Volga - Ed) Jack wasn’t chuffed to be facing a lady and at 13-14 things were not looking to good for the swollen headed one. With his cheerleader in tow though Jacko pulled up those tracksuit bottoms and ran out.

Larry started off like a train before promptly getting shunted into some sidings half way through the match. Luckily he got back on the main line at the end to win comfortably to 10.

The Wiz rounded out the first four with a gritty performance against the pick of the Ravens first four, closing the game out to 20. After 4 we were 37 up

Wiggy started the second four off and came of roughly the same time as the Wiz. Reason number 3 the Moseley released Wigg from his contract – he isn’t very good. What Moseley failed to see though is he is the worlds luckiest bowler. Whenever an opposing players wood looks like its going to be a winner, Wiggs woods fall in their path or a conker appears in the line - I might start calling him the pope as he gets so many divine interventions. Wiggy wins four to come second in the sweep and share the 21-4 sweep with yours truly. I hope you spent your £5.50 on some sweets for the kids or some petrol station flowers to apologies to the Mrs for being late again.

Ritchie Continues his quest to get used to the worlds weirdest woods and after a sticky start he came good winning to 12.

King of the Cob JP had a bad day at the office but still made his way up to a respectable 15.

Bucko, who came dressed as John Cena, finished of the second four with a win to 8. After 8 we were 70 up.

The showers were coming down intermittently making the conditions harder and with the game dead it wasn’t easy for the last 4 but they all worked hard to secure another 3 ticks in the win column.

Chris Greenhill was steady with no histrionics in winning to 15. Earlier he had been listening to Tinie Tempah which strangely earned him the Tiny Tim nickname, surely a better moniker for Chris would be Mini Scott.

Savo never really got firing and got stuck on 12.

Chris James had an in an out game not helped by his opposite number pulling out great shots when Chris had bowled his best ends. Still his class shined through getting the win to 17.

Scotty Started the game again like his heart or head wasn’t present but only allowed 1 two to keep him in the game. After a slow start, some heckling and a little lie down on the grass Scotty rallied to win the second half of the game 16 – 4 and win the game to 17.

Overall a win by 75 and 10 winners. 75 on the Olton - especially a damp Olton - is a big win and with ten winners a real step in the right direction. Keep up the good work.

Whilst all this was going on the alliance side had made the long journey to Boldmere in the hope of Three points. After a great start however they just ducked out, but after having to take Gilly with them then not losing by 252 was a bonus.

As the only camera the team captain can use still comes with a blanket and a bird, it was left to our number one Gerry and the Pacemakers fan to provide some pics.

Old men at Woodlands

Last Thursday our intrepid Club Captain, whilst "working at home" decided to take a trip to Moseley. Whilst the Over 60's thought he was there to see them, he actually just wanted to see Woodlands. And he did.

The Codgers lost, by the way, as did both Heart of England sides in the cup that evening. The less we talk of that the better!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Where's Bucko

They Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday's Just As Bad)

Actually, it wasn't that bad at Ward End Social in the first East Birmingham League game of the season, but with a bit of rain at the end it was a tad inclement.

I was told when we arrived that the wonderful clubhouse at the Social was sourced by Pete Brewer - which does surprise me as I would imagine it would be more this

Than this

The green was in good nick so we hoped for the best - even whilst being assaulted by the wondrous smells from the local Curry Houses'.

There isn't a lot of point rattling through who played what and who did what to whom as most bowls games are the same. All that needs to be said is that Craig was a league apart (as he will be all season), I'm not very good at beating novices and Chris Greenhill would be a better player if he stopped chuntering!

Another win for the Olton Tavern in another league we should be towards the top of at the end of the season.

Tomorrow we return to last season's stamping ground at Kings Norton. I imagine that Craig will be lauded like Caesar crossing the Rubicon in 49BC, whilst I will be treated like Lee Clark at a meeting of the Birmingham City Supporters Club. Ah well - be cheered or be booed, just never be ignored :-)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

And new, Ken Hughes tag team champions of the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This post was written by the Club Captain whilst channeling the spirit of Gorilla Monsoon

With the sun intermittently shining down, plenty of people made there way to the green to watch as the titans of OTBC chose their partners and strode onto the battlefield to compete for the Ken Hughes doubles.

As well as the 9 pairs that were playing , there were spectators, supporters, well wishers and the occasional vagrant that had wondered in from the street. Wiggy, Savo and Jack all popped into to say hello, but nobody would play with them so they had to make do with spectating. Jack asked himself to play but both his personality's Egos' clashed and he spurned his own advances. I did hear he has made up now and was playing with himself last night.

The runners and riders paraded around the green as the punters got a good look at the form and commented on the quality of buttocks on show.

The prelim saw two of the more fancied teams facing off against each other. Richie with his shiny new woods and looking resplendent in his cap had teamed up With John Price. JP was taking this Easter thing seriously and pulled out a miracle of his own by feeding the 500 hundred spectators with a rather nice Cob each. I think he must have stolen Hermiones' bottomless bag as he kept pulling these cobs from a satchel that wouldn’t hold more than two exercise books and a He Man thermos. They played against Chris James and CJ - I am not sure Chris new what he was getting himself in for but he spent most of the match sat on a bench head in his hands muttering to a higher power to save him. Despite CJ barely keeping a wood on the green and on at least one occasion struggling to keep a wood in Solihull, the rotund two just ducked out.

In the first round proper RD & JP faced the newly formed tag tea, of Dodgewanna. Its always good to see an up and comer paired with a grizzled veteran and the two complemented each other well. Chris was very nice about Nee’s knee brace and shorts combo and Nee loved Dodgy's sunglasses. With the favourites tiring, Dodgewanna took the game by two pinfalls and a submission.

The Chuckle Brothers had Drawn H and a lucky loser from the first game - Lucky for H that loser was Chris and not CJ. Your favourite brothers from the entertainment world came through though as Craggers managed to find his one mark he is allowed to have on his 16 home greens.

Dave Evans and Bob Asquith took on another family duo in the Greenhill’s and this was another game where the fancied side started slowly, with Dave and Bob bowling very well and taking a well deserved lead. Pete and Chris though were not going to lie down and fought back to take the game into a winner takes all end and advancing in to the next round.

Bucko and our lovable Scouse rogue Karen James were next up against our third Family team of the Priestners. This proved to be a real coupon buster and left the brackets in tatters. The much fancied co-ed couple were beaten by the greater chemistry and guile on display from the father and son team. Karen assures me it was just new team teething trouble and they will be making a run at the title next year.

The semi’s featured Dodgewanna up against the Twin Towers? The Road Warriors? Demolition? Ok, how about the Dudley Boys - I'd settle for that? No okay then the Bushwhackers. Craig found his other mark and forced Dodgewanna to be disqualified as Dodge wouldn’t break the hold after a five count and Neelash got caught using the brass knuckles. Earl Hebner ejected them both as The battered and bruised Chuckles limped into the final.

The Greenhills Vs The Priestners was a tactical - game Chris and Pete wanting to keep things high tempo and The Priestners slowing the game down with their more methodical style of picking a body part and working it, slowly grinding down their opponents. Pete and Chris found another burst of energy before Hulking up, wagging their fingers, big boot, leg drop stick a fork in them they’re done.

The final then featured Chris and Pete Greenhill the father and son team vs. Craig and Scott Taylor the brother and monkey team, returning heroes from a bygone age.

The Greenhill’s played the right shots and were unfortunate as Craggers found his other mark which was suspiciously similar to the other two, and with Scotty calling his shots the final fell into the arms of the Chuckles. Confetti fell from the ceiling as the crowd went wild, mobbing all those involved in the epic final. Actually I think someone woke up long enough to notice the game was over, turned of the lights in the pavilion and locked up.

Presenting your new Champeeeens, the men with the gold, your Tag team champions of Olton - The Chuckles.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Moseley on the Volga

The Heart of England A team made the epic journey across the Urals to Moseley CC last night, and we were greeted by a positively Siberian weather front. The sole spectator was an old Babushka

As I walked into the clubhouse to change attire I was pounced upon by Timmy Bastock - always a pleasant experience but not someone you really expect to see plying his trade in Heart of England Division 3! None of us really wanted to play Tim, and luckily Kenny Twyford drew the wrong number - mind you, from this picture it's hard to tell which one is the sprightly pensioner and which one is Ken!!

Unfortunately, there are no pictures available of Jacks game as he was so annoyed he tore the film from my camera like a bodyguard defending Britney Spears. If you see him, just ask to borrow his bobble hat.............

The game proved to be quite tight, but a couple of cards swung it Moseley's way. Four winners away at the best club in Streetsbrook Road is no mean feat though, so not too bad.

I arrived back at the Olton just in time to see CJ's last end. When asked how they had got on, I was treated to a stream of invective and vituperation that would have shamed even the rudest of sailors. The rough gist was that they had lost, which made the following tweet somewhat confusing

Turns out the old man is as bad a captain as he is a dancer as his team had sneaked home comfortably

As Crags pointed out, the A team game tonight was the Olton's first defeat of the season. Early days I know, but as they barely won last year it's an improvement!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Taxi's and Tosspots

Post written by Captain Craggers and translated into something approaching English by me.

With 5 players going direct Captain Craggers crammed his remaining 7 players and supporters into two of the tiniest cars on the planet and promptly headed to the Forget Me Not. Its an apt name when after five minutes the four in your car all own up to knowing where the forget me not is but not having the foggiest about the route. Luckily we had forced Wiggy to down his pint at the pub and left in plenty of time.

The Forget Me Not is a green most of the side haven’t played much - this was exemplified by Jaymo telling everyone it is quick bowling towards the wall. The look of confusion on peoples faces when they arrived to find no wall was a tad worrying.

First to the green was me, once again drawn against Tony Dale. Tony hasn’t been playing long but has a great temperament, bowls the right shots and is a top bloke to boot. Despite a team mate of his being less than supportive he showed a lot of promise but my experience showed though and got me the win to 11.

Jack “top of the averages” Savage was next on the green. 40 mins and an upset later Jack “middle of the averages” savage came of losing to 14.

Larry Goodridge was number 3 and up against a player with a point to prove having lost to Jack last week. Larry bowled well and battled hard but Jim caught him on a devil of a mark leaving Larry with 16.

Dave Hosgood rebounded from his loss last week with a dominant display winning to 3 and winning the princely sum of £2.50 on the 21-4 sweep. After 4 we were 16 to the good.

The second four started with Mr Wiggins. We have learnt something recently about Mr. Wiggins, he didn’t leave Moseley he was thrown out after an emergency midnight meeting held on the cricket circle with the Moseley committee all dressed in black cloaks. They discussed the myriad of reasons why Wiggy should be axed then threw some animal bones in the air and trusted the way they fell. Last week we gave you the first reason for Wiggys axing, this week you get number two - Wiggly Cannot judge a running bowl. Wiggly cursed about 20 woods and singlehandedly made our margin of victory closer. Woods that would under normal circumstances stop and count sped up, turned 180 degrees or exploded into flame as soon as Wig says good bowl. So for all you readers reason number two for Wiggins leaving the Moseley, the Wiggins Curse.

He won 14 by the way he was okay.

New boy JP was at six. JP has settled in well since his arrival and now I couldn’t really imagine an Olton team without him. JP was 18 -13 down and looking like he would cancel the wigs card out, but he dug deep into his reserves of intestinal fortitude and clawed his way to 19.

Richie Dingley returned to the fold with a knee so swollen Jack's brain had started orbiting it as the smallest moon in the universe. Richie battled through the pain and avenged H's defeat by Jayne ( who was head and shoulders the best player on display last week) to 14.

Buck rounded out the last four and while his opponent bowled very well Buck was first to admit this performance was more horse manure than ice cream buck, finishing with 3. So after 8 we were now ten up.

The green hills of stranglethorn page 4 was up next (yes that’s a joke that 4 people in the world will get but sod ya). Chris was coming of two bad home results and the pressure being off away seemed to suit him as he raced into a big lead. His lack of experience showed a little as he allowed several two's in a late game wobble but he did however, close the game out to 12 and these things can only help him as the season grinds on.

Savo who only recently was suggesting he can no longer see his hand in front of his face was up next. His blindness explains his odd combination of clothes but does nothing to explain his searing start blowing away the worlds second worse team mate behind tom tom in his win to 10.

Jaymo and Scotty brought the side home in the strange atmosphere of a game already won. Neither player has hit any kind of form yet and Scotty wasn’t showing his famed Ultimate warrior like intensity after having already splurged that chanting the side on earlier and having to put a very rude geezer in his place.

Also he was playing one of the world's nicest men which is always disarming. Jaymo finishing with 14 and Scotty ten leaving us with the winning margin of 12.

A really good team performance but with better form to come from 4 or five of the team including myself then hopefully this is a start we can build on.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tales from Topographic Bowling Greens

The first song on "Tales of Topographic Oceans" by Yes is called "The Revealing Science of God". Walking round the corner of the Church Hall in Marston Green the revealing cruelty of god seems more appropriate. I can appreciate the difficulties that small teams have in maintaining greens but when the green seems no different than the grass that adorns the church hall's surrounds, then you know you are in for a treat.

The length of the grass suggested that it had been cut with a Flymo - and Lo and Behold it had. In retrospect, the groundsman probably regrets sending the mower for its pre-season maintenance on the 3rd of April.

Regardless, the green is in a nice setting and the team at Marston Green are a nice group, deserving of support rather than the cruel words of a bitter old maid like me.

The game itself plodded along in virtual silence, as a game on Church grounds undoubtedly should - no vulgar shouting here, but at 12 -5 down my muttering was disturbing the bloke playing the organ. The only real incident of note came when Cat Crane, deciding that at 19-10 up she wasn't getting enough attention, started rolling around on the green complaining that she had been shot by a sniper in a nearby house.

As can be seen from the board, however, Olton Tavern A triumphed!! Two out of Two - unheralded success!

As my lift on the way had done a runner to play darts, or deliver some chocolates we can't tell, I was left with the stark prospect of a moonlit walk through Marston Green and Tile Cross to the safe haven of Sheldon. Out of the blue, an angelic voice whispered softly to me "Eh, Eh calm down, i'll giya a lift wack" and I was ushered to a waiting Mazeratti.

As I opened the door, however, two homeless people leapt out of the car screaming "No more Gerry and the Pacemakers, please!" and ran off into the distance! I wouldn't say that car was dirty, but the Fleas didn't bite me, they roughed me up and took my lunch money!!

Anyway, whilst all this was going on the B team also won again - 4 out of 4 combined :-)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Community Day

Today the Olton Tavern welcomed AgeUK Solihull (@ageuksolihull) for a community day. Over 30 people new to bowls got their first taste of the sport and a few returned to the game after long term breaks.

After a meal in the club the visitors were given a little lesson and then split into groups of four and aided by club members embarked on a couple of doubles games each.

I would like to thank Christine and the team for organising the event and all the people who came and made it such an entertaining day. Hopefully we have converted some people to bowls and if not we have at least put some smiles on faces and made new friends.

With the visit of Reynolds Cross school to come this year, this wont be the last of our community out reach days. Watch this space for details on future events.

Unfortunately Ageuk Solihull refused to take CJ, one of the clubs elder and most venerable statesmen with them - much to his dismay....

Monday, 7 April 2014


As requested by a club member on Saturday, comments are now open to all and sundry.

If anyone is reading, please feel free to say hello, but please play nicely :-)

A sluggish start, the milk tray man and the real reason The wig was released from his Moseley contract........

As dictated by the first team captain, all hail him in his resplendence

The first game came round a little to early for my liking - with no real midweek games and with the weather not encouraging practice we were not expecting an easy match. How rusty some of the performances were though was a little surprising so lets hope the game has filed down the rough edges, buffed out any scratches and polishes what wasn’t quite a turd of a performance.

For the first game of the season at home in overcast damp conditions on a green where 60+ is traditionally a massive victory, then 24 shots and never in danger has to go down as a solid start. With Richie to come back in and quality players like Dodge waiting in the wings then better things will be expected in the near future.

The game started quickly for Solihull’s finest when Jack “of few trades master of less” Savage took to the green. Buoyed by a lady friend and dressed like he was about to deliver her chocolates, Jack's short straight marks proved to be deceptively easy and flummoxed his opponent winning 21-2. This also meant Jack picked up over fifty pounds in the 21-4 sweep. I think he has earmarked spending the money on another Basildon Bond outfit.

Next off was Club Captain Crags who, after a slow start, found a bit of form towards the middle of the game to run out winning 21-9.

Call him Mint jelly cus he’s on the lamb! Larry got away with murder fighting back from well down to win 21-20

Finishing off the first four was Dave Hosgood who never really got a run with the block but battled on for 13. The first four left us 22 up

The second four got underway with our debutant John Price. John did well on his home debut, getting to grips with the game early and winning to 16.

This started a little Tavern wobble with Chris (Rigsby) Greenhill oh woe is me'ing on his way to 11, Henry in as a late replacement for Ritchie fighting hard against an on fire opponent to reach 14 and Chris James getting stuck after a bright start and losing to 19. After 8 we were 8 up but with two cards going well already on the green we felt comfortable.

The last four began with dad of milk tray man Alan Savage who elegantly displayed Jack's one work cast-offs - boxers included. Alan raced into a 15 -5 lead but again was another to be pegged back at the death winning to 15. Wig proved men can multitask by winning 6 and offering to suck it off for bucko, he claims he was talking about his opponents woods but I have my doubts. Bucko started of slowly and was in need of Wigs help, he rallied however to finish with 18. In Bucko land though we are now 50 up and he won to two.

Back in Solihull Scotty is battling not only a gentleman in fine form, he was fighting his own lack of confidence, form, concentration and the Smelter Demon from Dark Souls Two

He defeated the smelter demon, levelled up his souls, managed to hold his confidence steady, improved his form moderately all while his concentration veered wildly and resembled a Uni student desperate to finish his dissertation while sat in a beer garden that is showing the football, giving away free beer and has the Dallas cowboys cheerleaders dancing on the table. Scotty finishes with 17 and the final four adding 16 shots to the plus left us with a winning margin of 24 (not 70 as Buck seems to think)

Many thanks to Forget me Not for a good afternoon and not turning us over, and thanks for the comments on the food - it cost us enough!! :-)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A slog through the thick stuff

Yes, yes, this is going to be a moan, but if you expected anything else from me you have not been paying attention.

I walked through the gate tonight and instantly lost the will to live. I'm not a short grass zealot but i do prefer the grass to be of an even length - on immediate inspection it was clear that the green was hardly even. Any undulations were caused by part of the grass being something like 10 mill and the rest being 10 inches. Seriously, if my todger was that long there would be a queue around the block.

Game started well with three winners in the first four, but for the second four it was less fun as the light dimmed, the fog deepened, the rain came and the grass started behaving like Japanese tentacle porn and gripping onto running bowls.

From a personal point of view I started this year as I ended last year - not having the oomph or desire to compete at a standard I'd have done well at three years ago. Is it all over? Maybe, who knows, but whatever it cannot continue.

Clubwise it was a good night as the B team won away at Triplex - their scores are as follows (Craig was too slow/dense to take a picture of the board):

Pete Greenhill 21-7
Maggie Wooley 7-21
Chris Greenhill 21-11
Graham Wiggy 14-21
Graham Scarrot 21-5
Chris James 21-4
Crags 21-10
C J 21-8

A picture was taken of the Triplex and we will try and get pictures of every green we visit. In this shot, Wiggy is wondering why in gods name he agreed to play.

Oh, we missed the result of the Club Doubles that was played over the weekend. In a delayed final, C J and Cat Crane (henceforth to be addressed by all and sundry as Dora the Explorer) beat Gilly and Neelash. Congratulations to both.

Onwards and upwards, and lets hope someone fixes the bloody mower!!