Thursday, 24 July 2014

A wild and wet weekend


The seniors travelled to the Pheasant,stood in the Car park for a while, went in for a drink, helped the remaining Pheasant boys and girls eat the tea then headed home. The journey back was hellish - the sky opened wide and let forth a torrent of water that made Noah’s flood look like a kid in a paddling pool. Four times the car submerged, streets were washed away while houses were propelled by us with the force of the current. The thunder boomed, scaring animals and nearly waking Ssavo up. Lightening was striking 100 times a minute all around us and for once I was thankful my fillings had long since fallen out.

Eventually we came out of the other side of this most ferocious of storms to find The messiah had already won seven and the game was on. Shortly after our arrival there was another deluge - not enough to clean the grime of CJ’s neck but a good few millimetres of the stuff. During the break, Wiggly cleaned the pub guttering, the sandwiches were called for and cancelled several times and we checked our plants had survived natures ravishing.

The game eventually resumed and the RSJC didn’t seem to happy about it but with Bob and Eddie barely scoring again after the break the Neelesh comeback wasn’t a major gain. Rocky started his game right after the break and walked straight into a hailstorm of stunning bowls from his young opponent. Rocky stuck with it but nothing was going to unsettle the lad and I don’t even think he knows who Kenny Rodgers is. From that point forward though the side were excellent, eventually winning by a comfortable margin. The crowd of one 8 year old boy went wild, chanting for the Olton and proclaiming us the greatest side to ever play bowls.


Rearranged Sunday games are the worst but thankfully the Olton showed in force, with not only a full compliment of bowlers who had agreed to put themselves out but a fair few spectators. The green was still wet and slow but the weather was set fair and the green was drying by the minute. Timmy Bastock was in the Beer garden playing a game of spot the Sheldon bowler.

The game started slowly for us with the Hamstead first four bowling exceptionally well.

Larry came of first winning to 17, it was a solid but not spectacular match and I presume the carvery after was similar. I just hope they weren’t serving the lamb.

Jacko had come straight from football, no shower no change of clothes and no trainers. To avoid any unwanted aerating of the green Jack went on without his football boots and was the first of our players to play this season in their socks. Jack had to bowl well to keep in the game, eventually picking up a win to 17. Jack then curled up in a little ball and fell asleep. He looked so cute as he lay there snoring and talking in his sleep. “ please don’t drop me crags, I can bowl honest. I love you.” lets move on shall we.

With wiggy needing to go on last in case he qualified (cough cough) at the masters Scott took his place at number 3 and was the third in a series of close victories against opposition seemingly loving Sunday bowling. Scott came back from the brink of defeat to snatch a victory to 18.

Wiz was the final of our intrepid first four and again came up against a bowler on top form. Dave battled hard whilst trying every mark on the green but it was to no avail losing 13.

So 3 up after four

Yours truly took up the baton at five. With the game level and my opponent looking good I managed to lock into a mark and take the game to 12.

Please listen carefully This is an Olton Tavern service announcement. To all Taverners - bowling up and down the green is now banned and any jack within five yards of the top edge will be deemed in my way and sent back whether I am playing or not

At Six was JP. John has been a massive plus for us this year, a quality player and a top bloke his home form though has been a revelation and after another quality home performance sits with the fourth best home record in the club only 1 shot behind Jack Savage who lest we forget has not lost at home on a Saturday for 30 seasons. John bowled very well to win 7 and finally set us on our way.

With Richie unavailable Savo won the lucky number seven slot and Ping pong and his fly away woods didn’t disappoint. Great credit goes to his opponent who put himself out to play today when others more qualified wouldn’t. Savo won to 2.

Rocky rounded out the second four. For most of us so far we had been short of the block but Rocky played yesterday and was finding things a bit quick. Rocky though proved why he has been such an important part of our season battling the conditions and Saturdays harrowing experience but still showing huge character to come through with a win to 19.

After 8 we were 47 up

The Chris triplets were up next, Chris Greenhill having his best game for a couple of weeks to win 9. Chris Downes took the win in a very close and well contested game to 19. Chris James showed signs of holiday rust and couldn’t really settle anywhere on the green while his opponent really hit his straps bowling well throughout Chris losing 13.

As stated earlier I put wiggly on twelve to give him the chance to qualify for the midland masters at The Colebrook. It turns out he had more chance in the masters at Augusta. Reason 16 the Moseley changed the locks on wiggy – He just can’t do anything right. You enter the merits to a) bowl against better opposition. B) To qualify C) to win friends and influence people. Wiggy played a bowler about the same level , he lost and was roundly booed and hissed at for being Wiggy so he pretty much failed on all counts. The Boy can’t even lose properly! If you are going to lose then lose and do it in style, at twenty nil down lug both in the pit. Strike at someone else’s end. leave your woods where they are and make a break for it climbing the wall and escaping, do whatever you like but do not start a comeback. If you positively have to start a comeback, for gods sake don’t get to 18 and then stop. The comeback isn’t a heroic effort unless you win, it is just a humongous waste of time if you then don’t go on to win the game. You wasted your own time, you wasted your opponents time, you wasted all the spectators time and most of all you cost your team mates a whole lot of piss taking time. Wiggy I am disappointed in you.

To round off the character assassination, here is a picture of Wiggly showing us the washing in the boot of his car. Don't ask because I don't know!!

Fair play to Wig though he put his disappointment aside and bowled a tidy game to win 12 and close out the game , Final score 236 – 174 a victory of 62 for those without a calculator.

A big thanks to Hamstead, to all the supporters, to Timmy B and to all the Olton players who gave up their Sunday to play. You can all have next weekend off.

Reynalds cross assembly

As some of you may know we link up with Reynalds cross school over the summer term and they send a group down to come and play on the green. This activity is organised by Jess who works at the school and is Neelesh’s far, far, far better half. All summer on a Tuesday Steve Myatt and Cj have given up their afternoons to help facilitate the kids enjoyment and provide a different activity from the norm for them. We are proud of our links to the school and we have strived to show that a bowls club isn’t just for the current bowlers it is an important community asset. Hopefully we can continue this link up and have more with other schools and organisations to get more people using the green and more people interested in the game and the club.

This year we decided to run a raffle with proceeds going to the school. It was a bit last minute but we still managed to raise 185 pounds for the school so a big thank you to all that bought tickets. We were invited to present this cheque at an assembly that showcased the activities the school had partaken in. Unfortunately the assembly was held when both Steve and Colin were away - I know the school would have loved to have thanked them for their work and they would have loved to attend. In their stead I went to present the check and enjoyed a fantastic assembly showcasing how the children did at the activities. I hadn’t been able to get Tuesdays working from home so hadn’t been to any of the sessions but it was great to meet the staff and present the children with their certificates. It was an honour to be able to present Leanne with our cheque and I am immensely proud off the club and all involved in this endeavour.

The surrounds

The one thing I noticed about the tavern over the years is how the surrounds started to look drab and dull once Jimmy Bailey wasn’t able to keep up his gardening. On my return this year though it is great to have seen how much effort members have put into making the place look pretty again. O know it takes a lot to pretty a place up with Gilly and Dave Lowe sat there but it is working. Dave Hosgood has worked wonders with the hanging baskets , Jaymo and the chuckles have added plants to the border and Rocky has toiled hard not only planting and looking after his plants but has somehow managed to keep ours alive and impart some green fingered knowledge into us gardenaphobes.

The results are amazing so once again I would like to thank everyone for there hard work and Jaymo for buying colourful weeds. Hopefully we can continue this one and keep improving the surrounds. We should also look into selling cuttings after seeing the prices at notcutts we could be onto a goldmine.

Alan the Cowboy

On Monday we played Henley in Arden in the qtr final of the Heart of England constellation cup. I have no idea why its the constellation cup or which constellation my money is on Alan the Cowboy.

At home Karen and Kenny T both got twenty while Killer lost sixteen. Little lord Lowe, after complaining that he was to unwell to bowl, decided that excuse was rubbish and confessed to being too drunk to bowl. Never fear though we put the sprinkler on and gave him a cold shower. It appeared to do the trick as he won 6 to secure a home win by 8.

The away leg was an eye opener for me, apparently every time we drive past going to Stratford Scott informs me there is a green there but I think he is making it up. I definitely didn’t know it existed. If I had known I would probably be a member - posh ladies playing tennis is exactly the sort of place I want to be hanging about at.

Scotty won 13 snapping a sixteen game win streak for his opponent. I wouldn’t want to be cruel but I think Ray Charles was number 13 Helen Keller 14, Stevie Wonder 15 and Jack Savage was 16

John continued his run of bowling well but getting little for it as he lost 14

Steve got his monies worth losing twenty and once I stopped ogling the tennis players won 8. For a victory of 13 away

Next stop the Semis and a potential showdown with the b side.

Bowls bowls everywhere and none of them any good

Tuesday (not Tuesday just gone, the Tuesday before that!)

The Tuesday night titans team played host to the Pavilions. This return match was played in much nicer weather and we were back to having a proper captain in Mr PG Tips. This wasn’t a chimps tea party but I wouldn’t have been to surprised if my opponent had thrown a cream scone at me then blown me a raspberry. Disco Dave had been using one of those new walking stick wood picker up combo’s that are de-rigour these days. Toward the end of the match however, someone from the nearby houses put their stereo on and the distinctive throb of the Bee Gees disco era filled the air. That was enough for Disco Dave - he might not have felt like dancing but he stood on the centre of the green and cast aside his metal stick. Unfortunately for Dave the scene was more airplane than Saturday Night Fever and someone threw it back at him. Undeterred though Dave was a new man. Like the old ex leper in the life of brain he was cured and not only did he no longer need his walking aid but now he was running his woods up and stamping them home. It didn’t help and he lost nine but it was a whole lot of fun watching.

In other Tuesday news some less important people won, the team was victorious and we planted some flowers in chuckle corner.


Apparently there was no game but I have no recollection at all of Wednesday evening which is odd as I haven’t had a drink for some years and surely I can’t be of the age I forget whole days already. What I do remember is going to Edgbaston for a meeting and eating nice food and watching the cricket - it was lovely.

Stop the press!! We did play Wednesday and it was a rearranged game from a few weeks back against the good folk of mos eisley, but there was no Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes playing. They won, Greedo shot first and these are most certainly not the bowls you are looking for.
Talking of Bowls, at some stage during this week Alan Savage started to play with Painted ping pong balls instead of woods. They aren’t much use to strike with but you should see the top spin he can impart with the merest flick of his wrist. Savo has tried to change his name to a more table tennis friendly Won Tee Nil but nobody is buying that one.


Thursday all four of the Tavern participants in the heart of England doubles got a sight of the finals night venue and promptly wished they hadn’t.

Jack was the undisputed star of Thursday. He called up to tell us he was at the green bored and alone asking how long we would be. We arrived a few minutes later to find Jack sat with two friends who looked very peeved that their company was so badly valued. Jacko was also debuting his new central perm with shaved sides look #feartheperm . It caused great consternation as people battled to remember what he looks like most, Fog horn leghorn?, Kevin Keegan? a refugee from the 80’s? , the one from the flying pickets who used to act? The winning thought though was a prize prat. He also decided he was in Sesame street - Imagine the scene live from Hockley heath BC, the bowls comes on the TV brought to you by the letters J and S and the number 6. The screen splits into eight, the team members all taking up a square but only 7 are winning, one is losing and looking glum. The classic music plays and the scratchy voices of American kids sing “seven of these kids belong together seven of these kids are kind of the same. But one of these kids is doing his own thing” cue the count von, two, three, four, five, six Jack scores six shots.


Cup night against the Colebrook who are tearing up division four. It was a brave effort and everyone performed well with one glaring exemption, but I think enough has been written about this evening already.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Hailing from Death Valley................

Saturdays haven’t been the same since I acquired snap chat. This week in honour of black country day Jack sent me a picture of his right faggot. No body is going to be eating them with peas tonight I can guarantee that. I have since tried uninstalling it from my phone but it has a mind of its own, its like the TV in poltergeist it just keeps turning itself back on. Every time I think I’m rid of it I get a beep and 8 seconds of a half naked Jack Savage.

The other app I am having trouble with this week is the MET office who had convinced me Saturday was going to be dull and cloudy all day, when really they meant burning sunshine all day with spots of rain at ten and film at eleven. With the sun beating down I had managed to prepare my self mentally for the shocking display of legs that would be protruding from various length of trouser. Nothing however would prepare me for the shocking neon purple laces Dave Lowe had in his designer plimsolls, it looked like someone had shot, skinned and torn barney into strips. Thank god Darcy and Dexter didn’t show up until he had gone.

The horrendous heat had turned the Olton suntrap into something akin to death valley or the cricket square at Trent bridge. We had steer skulls protruding from the ground, tumbleweed slowly drifting by and an epic batting collapse before tea.

The green was as quick as I can remember and certainly the tavern hasn’t moved like that this century, but as yet we don’t have the epic cracks of the late nineties although there is an odd rutting in front of the club house. It is reminiscent of a George foreman grill so if Dave or Gilly have been cooking fry-up’s on the crown would they kindly stop or add hash browns to mine.

The Pheasant were the visitors this week and despite both sides being a few short from their best 12’s it promised to be a high quality affair.

The first four got of to a flyer with Larry Goodridge in imperious form. His opponent bowled some excellent stuff to make a comeback but it was to no avail as Larry’s form didn’t drop as he won to 11

Dave Hosgood also got of to a flyer settling on a good weight early and resisting a late fight back to win 13.

Jack took the opposite route to a victory as he started with a terrible run and was left 7 nil down and scratching his head. It seems that the splinters he now had from the scratching helped to focus him though as he found a tricky mark and won to 10.

I played Alan Cooke who definitely won best shorts with a lovely pick number, on the green though I managed to win 13.

So after 4 we were 37 up

Chris Greenhill was on at five. He had been going a dangerous looking red colour in the sun before the game and during the match things just got redder and redder. It was a bad day at the office for Chris and the speed of the green was definitely an eye opener for him. Tony Abbey though has to be given great credit as he bowled brilliantly throughout rarely giving Chris room to breathe.

JP had already gained the club shots my feeding jack and making sure he had enough energy to get to the green. Maybe there is something in those cobs though as John found himself 20 -14 down before putting a fine run together and winning to 20.

Richie never really settled but fought hard to keep on his partners heels never letting him get away before eventually losing to 20.

Rocky was another to have a close game with neither player ever getting a significant lead, rocky falling just short on 19.

After 8 the gap had closed to 23.

Savo continued his run of close but no cigar matches with a solid 16. Sav has spent the whole season cajoling people into a potential Sunday morning side as its the only day he doesn’t play at least once. Next week he gets the chance to play on a Sunday afternoon lets hope its to his liking.

Who dat? who dat? W. I.G.G.Y. I have recently been annoyed by crap rapper Iggy Azalea - maybe there is something about names ending in iggy that make people a pain in the back side. At least he hasn’t started dressing like her as that would be off putting. Reason number 15 Wiggins no longer has a key to Moseley - he is a clumsy oaf. The delightful duo of Darcy and Dexter visited us and proved that - thankfully - they take after there mother. They were beautifully behaved all afternoon with no problems tantrums or tears, that was until Wiggly dropped his woods on Darcy’s foot. On the bowling front though Wig continues to impress bowling a very hard mark well for his victory.

Chris downes managed to bounce back from his performance last week and with an evening of the Jameson’s put in a sterling effort to win 14

Scotty brought up the rear with the game secure and while both he and Allan bemoaning their consistency the game was a quality one with Scott another to duck out to 19.

A winning margin of 42 with seven winners two 19’s and a twenty is a really good performance against a side who probably would have turned last years side over comfortably. Still a lot of work to do for us to get where we want to be but this was a good test against a good side. If we can keep building, improving and growing the squad hopefully we can continue on our journey.

We will end this post with another in our series of "Alliance Action Shots", captioned by the clubs resident (only) humorous author.

Dave the Butcher can be seen here, stalking his bowl like its a pack of Bacon. Strangely, Allan Hemming appears to be watching from the side - how can he be in two places at once??

Here we see Bucko, preparing for his part time role as Mr Gumby in the new Monty Python show at the O2

Resident postman John Lloyd, trying to decide if taking a short cut down the gully and across the hedge will take 7 minutes of his route.

Henry, called to the green at number 11, decides that discretion is the better part of valour so hides in a bush.

And finally, the scoreboard. No jokes, just a good effort.


This post is not brought to you by Ned Sherrin, there will be no David Frost, no Millicent Martin, Roy Kinnear or Willie f’n Ruston. This post will not go better with Coke. This post will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath. This post will not put you in the driver's seat. This post will not be televised.

This post is all about the odd week I have endured on the bowls front.

Monday – a long trip to Nordley Liberals as our friends at Woodfield were short. What a delight - the green was in gorgeous condition and was rapid. The side had four winners of which I was one and just ducked out but a good effort against a strong outfit. The orange chip butties were also a bonus. I won and Savo didn’t play.

Tuesday - I arrived at the Pavilions, a green that saw 5 of the side book holidays to avoid ever having to go there. Even the captain for the evening booked himself into a plush A&E unit to avoid it. It was, as expected, a horrendous night of bowls, woods everywhere, torrential rain, measurers' disappearing, Savo winning and me having to run another side until Captain killer arrived to stand manfully in just his shirt showing of his newly acquired Wi-Fi sign scar. Its not quite Harry potters scar Chris. I won by the way

Wednesday – At home on the newly cut Olton tavern another night of captaincy filling in for the Wig. As I was replacing Wiggly I did a very Wiggy captaincy job, not writing cards, not giving cards out, not measuring, barely noticing there was a game on and generally not a *swearword deleted* was given. I struggled against a bowler playing very well but got home in the end. Sav won and promptly complained about marking my card for two nights in a row as apparently my games were shocking. Its a good job he didn’t mark Monday's.

Thursday – With no B team captain I picked two sides, only making a complete balls up of it all. I had planned to captain both sides simultaneously but decided Cat's strict authoritarian streak would do a better job at home. So I took a trip to the lovely bunch at Woodlands where tea and biscuits were available for all. One of their ladies did complain they were Aldi biscuits and she would prefer Waitrose but that was the closest you could ever get to an incident at such a pleasant place. Green was as heavy as lead though. Savo, now plus 1000 for the week, refused to mark my card as short bowls once again blighted my victory. Karen complained about marking my card and called the game shocking, I thought she was conspiring with Sav until the opposition card marker said the same. To top it all off I was then heckled by someone on the top deck of the 11 that passed by. “Shocking” he shouted. I felt like Darryl strawberry in the Simpsons.

Friday – No bowls yahoo but at work I took a short walk to our HR office to pick up some papers. It was about 10:30 in the morning and on my travels I found a girl asleep on a settee. A boy of about 15 being asked by a pensioner who could barely walk to go buy him alcohol from the offy. A school teacher accompanying a group of junior school children on a trip with her fingers rammed in her ears and humming La Marseillaise. Coventry really is a cranky place but working at a UNI in the summer does have the occasional shapely perk. So far today no one has told me I am shocking, still time yet though.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

She says "The jungle... it just came alive and took him". Or "Run, get to the chopper"

What a difference a day makes. Monday evening I was guesting for Woodfield in the Summit Garage league at a frighteningly quick Nordley Liberals. Tuesday I was playing at the Ppavilions with a jungle thick enough to be hunted by a predator in.

With our captain lounging about in A&E with a paper cut I was forced to start the game without him as everyone wanted to get home for the football. Early into the first four the heavens opened, resulting in much changing of clothes and putting on of hats - some very fetching some less so. I lost the lady I was marking with as once she had geared up you couldn’t see any of her face and she blended in to the conifers around the green. I walked past her four times as it was like she had a cloaking device.

Karen who was modelling the drowned rat look won to 11, Alan proved he likes big heavy greens winning 7, Arthur Priestner was very impressive winning to 9 and Tony overcame looking like a nana to get a spirited 11 against Disco Dave.

The weather conditions improved for the back four but the greens sticky grasp remained as we chucked through the treacle like substance that stuck to each and every foot long blade of foliage. Bob Askwith had a fun game getting his 50p’s worth before winning 18. Chris Greenhill got the better of a nemesis winning ten after 2 previous losses. Bob Horn struggled to extricate himself from a Venus flay trap and finished with nine. I won twenty, got malaria and found a Japanese sniper who refused the accept the war was over before hopping the fence and running down Cooks lane shouting banzai and looking for someone to bayonet.

We won by 32 whoohooo.

A guest post from Cilla

I am happy to reproduce below the most recent report from the intrepid Cilla - minimal translation was required, but just like Crags she has no idea where capitals and punctuation go!

The juniors, wounded from their loss by 1 at Drakes Drum, pulled together in true Taverner fashion with the will and determination to have their revenge.

First four out of the blocks what would the outcome be.....

Our Maureen bowled well and fought her battle valiantly but was eventually beaten 17.

The Messiah had a bit of a rocky start then just as he was on his way to victory his opponent stepped up his game and beat The Messiah to 16.

Eddie the Eagle stalked his pray and won to a very respectable 13.

Mr Horn was on fire each end had it's own hustles and bustles and he romped home with a win to 9.

Score board Tavern 75 Drakes Drum 64

This picture is misleading. Steve isn't far taller than Allan, he is just very close to the camera, and Allan is very far away - Ed

The first four had put us 11 in front

Middle four set out to to strengthen our lead...... go... go... go....

The Butch was his usual fashion conscious self playing in his PJ's but he definitely wasn't ready for bed as he beat his opponent to 15.

John Boy Walton was his usual calm and collected cool dude self who also won to 15.

These boys like to stick together.

I myself started off at a good pace then my opponent started to pull back but I eventually won to 14.

Bucko, fresh back from the spanish sun fought hard but was beaten to 11.

Score board Tavern 149 Drakes Drum 129
The second four had put us 20 in front.... come on you last four..... bring us home

Lloydy on at number 9 had a tough match with his opponent playing exceptionally well with most bowls no more than 6 to 8 inches away and in my opinion Lloydy had the drummers best bowler today and worked hard only to be beaten to 3.

No wonder Lloydy lost - look at that slope!!! - ED

Score board Tavern 152 Drakes Drum 150

Our lead had dwindled from being 20 in front to just 2 in front..... come on you Taverner's....... go... go... go...

Lowie was off to a great start and as the game progressed his opponent started to fight back but Lowie fought on and won to 18.

Score board Tavern 173 Drakes Drum 168

Taverner's were now 5 in front with Peter and Henry on the green and they were both fighting hard for their wins.

Peter lost his fight to be beaten 13 so it was now up to Henry to try and bring us home.... come on H.... you can do it

Score board Tavern 186 Drakes Drum 189

Tavern were behind for the first time in the match but they were only behind by 3 so it was still all to play for - we just needed Henry to beat his opponent to 18.

Henry was behind and started to come back at their skipper and he won 21-19

Score board Tavern 207 Drakes Drum 208

Lost by one for the second week in a row - OMG

A valiant effort by all and in a true Taverner's spirit we congratulated the drummers on another great match.

Willies, Wellies and Winning

We left the Olton early Saturday knowing there was some festival for young folk that we would have to drive past on the way. With the lifts organised, Killer had gone missing - we drove around the car park trying to find him only to notice this big grin peeking from between JP and Rocky in the back of the Wiggly Wagon. The fit was so tight in the back Chris had ceased to be and there was just a mouth like the Cheshire cat, his dental surgery white smile illuminating the darkness on the back seat. I threw my hands up in resigned fashion and followed them on the way to Hamstead.

Wiggy pulled off at the first MacDonald’s as Jacko needed to fill his face and we weren’t going to go past a subway. Five men crammed together for an hour, with a MacDonald’s and Wigs arse I can only imagine the horror. It must have been like the black hole of Calcutta.

We got to Perry park and we began to crawl to a standstill. Despite the warnings the traffic was fine, however the herds of young ladies in short skirts and wellies left my right foot with out strength and I just couldn’t get the accelerator to work. A spot of rain fell and they all dashed for cover - suddenly I was cured and off we were able to continue our journey.

The first four started slowly. Larry, Jacko and Wiz were all down but fighting hard. Larry looked like he could be on for a tailing before gritting his teeth and pulling out a fine 15.

Jack had a game of runs but unfortunately his opponent had the last one leaving Jack tantalisingly close to a win with 18. Four Big Macs is no way to prepare for a big game, now if you had a fillet of fish you would have won.

Dave Hosgood was 20-13 down before finding the corners en-route to running out 21-20.

Also in the first four was yours truly who won 21-8. 5 up after 4

Killer, less of a rose between thorns and more of a leaf between two stout books, managed to inflate himself ready to go on at number five. Chris had a frustrating game that was generally excellent apart from one mark that he just couldn’t find. Just a little tip Chris, if what your doing doesn’t work the first ten times try something else. Chris fell one shot short 20-21.

JP was on at six and was desperate for a win. At 7-1 down that wasn’t looking promising but JP had always been challenging and when he won the block had excellent weight, allowing him to race of with the victory to 12.

Richie made his return after illness and at 7-2 down was looking rusty. Richie though is pure quality finding a mark and beating good wood after good wood to close the game out to 7. Having Richie back makes us instantly a much better side but then again he would make nearly any side better.

Rocky rounded out the middle 4 with a typically obdurate display of tenacity and guts , like a pit-bull biting his opponent and never letting him get away from him rocky finished with an excellent 19. 25 up after 8

At Nine was the man you have all been waiting for, drum roll please, heeeeeeerrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeesssssssss Wiggy. Reason 10,11,and 12 Why Moseley refuse to let him touch streets brook road let alone come into the club.

The phantom illness. Wiggly is the kind of man that got out of tests at school by having 16 grand mothers 8 granddads 13 great uncles and aunts and 13 pets die unexpectedly. This week was a subtle variant on this theme as at about 8-2 up Wiggy lost an end. Suddenly he was asking for water as if he was crawling the Paris to Dakar rally. His opposite number became concerned and during his comeback kept asking Wig if he wanted to sit down for a bit or if he could get him some tablets. He came over to me and told me he had no problems Wiggly resting for a while and he should take as long as he needed to get himself right. Wiggy, sensing the drop in adrenaline and concentration, “bravely struggled on” taking advantage of the Samaritans kindliness by winning to 11. This migraine, the flashing lights, the pounding head, the blurred vision, the thirst and the lack of strength, all this lasted approximately 9 minutes or five ends. Hmmmmmmmmmmm add to this the phantom 30 second s*** from Harborne and the man is becoming a seething writhing mass of excuses. I am awaiting the "I can’t play at pheasant away I am having my arm amputated" excuse. Wiggy wins 11.

Savo who had wisely worn my hat all day was on at ten. Before we started Savo had told me how he would be happy with 15 away. Savo played well in spurts and terribly in others seemingly intent on getting 15 and only 15. Oddly enough Sav got 15. Next week tell me you are going to win single figures you dope.

Dodge was at number 11 and got 11. Dodge has been great since working his way back into the side and I am sure this will just be a blip.

Scotty completed the game for us and to be honest wasn’t in any sort of state to be bowling as he was tired, worn out, dehydrated and just not with it. Finding himself 15-5 down and with the game still in the balance Scott shrugged the cobwebs clear and made his way to a very creditable 16

5 winners and a 14 shot win showed a different side to the tavern today. It isn’t a green we know well, we had a couple of players who hadn’t bowled at all for two weeks plus and one of our most consistent performers on holiday but with some great battling performances from the side we proved we have the desire to keep winning. If we can get the quality back up to match it for the rest of the season I will be a very happy captain.

The Magnificent 7 go bowling

The Olton had 7 players representing the club in the Heart of England doubles qualifiers. Karen and Cat were at the Maggie’s whilst Jack and Butch took the equally short hop to Solihull British legion. The Chuckles got to sample the lightning quick delights of Bourneville sports while Wiggy and honorary Taverner Chris Pegg Had to get the satnav out for a trip to the white heart.

We arrived at Bournville and were not feeling welcome from the of.....

The phone started dinging, Karen and Cat had been unlucky and gone out early and it was then a long and anxious wait for more news. Finally I felt my phone shudder in my pocket, just from the way it shimmied to and frow I new this was wiggly and it vibrated like bad news. Wiggle and Peggle (see what a great nickname you could have if you join Chris) had lost 19 in the qualifying game. Whatever excuses Wigg was putting forth were ignored because after all, its all about the Wigg so he must have lost the game. Before I could taunt wiggy some more the phone went again, with an excited jack yelling and shouting down the phone - either they were through or the girl in the gym finally spoke to him. Yes you guessed it they were through. He couldn’t remember who they played, who else qualified or even where they were. Tthank god Dave the Butcher was with him, eventually settling him down, getting him home and making sure he was tucked up tight in bed.

All this was going on while the Chuckles were sat on the grass, watching intently the form of our prospective opponents. The all female game went on for what seemed like hours but that's not surprising as it did take hours. Eventually Faye and Kate fell to Michelle and Shannon. Always the gentleman we offered the ladies ten minutes to have a rest or get a drink, they declined and the game was on. With their adoring public cheering them on and booing your heroes the ladies bowled well but their efforts fell short and the Chuckles took the win.

Oh, and just when you think Bournville is a posh place, a dude walks past with his bin

So two pairs through to the finals evening - Kings Norton for the finals anyone?