Sunday, 24 August 2014

Esmeralda!! Esmeralda!!

With hope in our hearts and a plan hatching we decided to get over to the Bell early and take a look at the green. With only two of our team having bowled the Bell in the last twenty years we had hoped to get everyone as much time to see the green and as much time in the role up as we could. As with all best laid plans however, there where a few complications. The first complication was self inflicted when like a dullard I listened to Jack and decided to go through Acocks Green, only to sit in unspeakable traffic having to listen to Jack's vivid description of his recent bladder illness. The second error was going the back way to avoid Harborne high street. We came face to face with a four way temporary traffic light arrangement that gave you all of five seconds on green. To further complicate this issue the doofuses who were doing the repairs parked their van in in the way. This resulted in a van and a bus getting stuck and some hilarious face pulling From the bungee killer who was following behind. I have never seen him so animated oohing and ahhing, wincing, bracing himself and of course threatening violence to anything that passed withing 2 foot of his paintwork.

Due to an outrageously early set out time we still managed to arrive early for the game. It was a pleasure to see the pub itself doing well and the beer garden area restored to its former glory even if the clubhouse was looking a little tatty inside. We received a warm welcome from our hosts especially the Duggins who had come on a family outing to see us. It is lovely to see Chelle and Steve but i have no idea who it was they paid to play the part of Daisy but I'm she was ten years too old at least. With no game for the New Inns, Nodger also came up with OJ to laugh at us. OJ at five is alreadt a better bowler than Nodger, but to be fair OJ at two was better than Nodger.

The role up started well as we split in to four groups of three and then the heavens opened - two lousy ends was all that we managed and the green had started to flood. Once the rain had abated out came the Bell inn supersoaker and away went the puddles. I have no idea what pact The Bell have with the church next door but it appeared the rain came and went at their behest. The rain was heavy enough to convince us to shell out 50 quid for there old supersoaker but light enough to leave the green in good shape. I put it to the vicar in the bar that i suspected shenanigan's but he just smiled at me, refusing to confirm or deny that silver had crossed palms. He did look shifty though.

Graciously the Bell allowed us an extra five minutes role up while i did the draw, probably safe in the knowledge that divine intervention would step in if things got a little hairy.

The game got underway and it was Wiggys turn to lead from the front. Now Wiggy takes a lot of stick for getting the draw, for being a bit of an all round dick, for being selfish, for not being able to call a running wood and generally being a nause. The reason all this stick Comes Wigglys way is unfortunately its true - I try my best to put a positive spin on things but i can't hide it any longer from now on it will be a warts an all account of our Wiggy. With the game being delayed Wiggy had in true Wiggy fashion got himself in a round with JP. Unfortunately for JP he was having to buy 3 drinks to every sip Wiggy took. Wigs first pint is still half supped on the side at the bell. Reason 23 Wig was drummed out of the Moseley naked and singing Christmas carols - he doesn't pull his weight in the round. On the green a bright start from wig had ground to a frustrating halt as his opponent was one-ing him to death in the centre of the green and at 19-14 down Wiggy was staring down the barrel of his first loss of the season. This motivated wig far more than a big win giving us a good start in the game so he meandered on through the game pretty badly until the no more twos cry went. At that moment he tore open his shirt to reveal his super wiggy spandex and cape and stormed back, pulling woods out of thin air and triumphantly punching the air as he gained the grand total of plus one for the side. Way to go Wig, team player of the year award is winging its way to you as we speak.

Dave Hosgood returned to the side after his enforced lay off and came face to face with a Spencer seemingly possessed with the power of all the bowling Gods. Dave stuck at it manfully but couldn't stop the tide that was Spencer eventually losing 6.

Steve once again played solidly to pick up another victory maintaining his record as our other much nicer undefeated player this season winning 16.

So after 3 we were 9 down

Jack, who had spent all afternoon telling us he was cold and ill was on at number four against the pub landlord Fran. At this stage the sky turned black and a torrent of water fell from the heavens (surely a sign of his distaste of jack and his water inferction). Jack Battled on through the cold and the rain and the pain in his winkle to pull outra great last shot playing frans game winning shot out and counting for two to win the game.

Killer strode to the green, his fury level simmering after the atrocities he had promised to bestow on the bus and truck driver earlier. Killer was having a great game but at 14-13 down his opponent Alan Parker, wearing a shirt even i wouldn't dare wear, went into overdrive giving Chris no chance to improve his score.

JP, now owed 8 pints by the villainous Wiggins, bowled well and but for a slight wobble about the mid point was always in control before closing the game out to 19.

After 6 it was 3 wins apiece and a deficit of 14

Jaymo was on earlier than usual but was bowling beautifully to lead Steve Duggins 15-7. As was always par for the course with a Duggo card on the bell he just doesn't lie down and bowled very well haul himself back to win to 17. Chris wasn't happy with the way he ended the game and i can't blame him however i have seen this so many times before with Steve against some of the best in the game.

Richie and Keith was by far the best game on the green, two quality bowlers playing a nip and tuck game throughout. Keith was laying game on with two great woods before Richie completely overshadowed Jacks final bowl earlier in the game trailing the jack to win to 19.

Dodge was at number nine and played a good tight game with only a few shots in it until the last few ends. Dodge not getting the breaks when it mattered losing 16.

After 9 we had 5 winners and 4 losers but were now 23 down

Savo was on at ten and at 10 - 4 up was bowling well, but as i hit the green Tony started another of his annoying comebacks and even managed to step on a wood of mine that was going to win the end,scoring even more shots for his team. Savo eventually got the better of Tony winning 20 and was rewarded by being branded awkward by Tony. They are a perfect match for each other.

Mick made use of the Tony interruption to add 4 shots to the bell total with me winning 7.

Meanwhile George Ali was taking Scott on a real left handers mark and racing into a 13 nil lead with some great bowling and some great strikes when Scotty had beaten his leads. Once Scotty got in though it was a different story as he lead well and left George struggling to get back in. Scotty couldn't keep George of his mark forever though and one more run took George home to 14. Scotty had though won the all important second half of the game 14-8.

7 winners and a thirteen shot loss a good performance on a green our side was unfamiliar with against a side who bowled well and were up for the fight. Although its a loss its another step up on the learning curve for the Olton and we move on to try and win next week at the Warstock. Best of luck to the Bell in their pursuit of third place.

It was a day of reunions and shocks, Warks winning at the cricket, un-forecast torrential rain visited upon us from the clergy, Jack winning away, Daisy not being 11 anymore and me being asked to be a best man because they want the Job doing properly.

As Jack won away, I thought we would celebrate with an up to date photo of the young man

Chris Downes has very Kindly Challenged Scotty , Wiggy and Killer to the Ice bucket challenge, will they be man enough to accept ?

The week in review

Sat Juniors

The Juniors shouldn't be left out even if they haven't provided me with any pictures this week or a narrative. I am loathe to make up a report as i wasn't there but their great win away at the Colebrook should be commented on. Down by some 50 odd shots after five it took great intestinal fortitude to gird their loins, pull up their pants and pull their socks up, and do these things they did coming late on the rails to win by 10 shots and keep the promotion dream alive. If we can hold things together and win the final 3 fixtures we could still go up - not bad considering we haven't ever been able to put our top 12 out let alone on a consistent basis.


We went out of the cup for losers as we felt the success starved in the side the old man is picking deserve a go.


The Knowle visited our shores and promptly wished they hadn't. I am not sure how long the grass is on the bottom green at the Knowle at the moment but judging by the shock on the faces when jack after jack and wood after wood flew off id say it must be 6 inches. A big win for Petes side despite being controlled by the bungie killer.


We closed out the wednesday league at home to an Acocks Green side that came to win and played well unfortunately for them the Olton were in beast mode - eat sleep bowl repeat - winning by 60. We have no clue who has won the averages as Wiggy has neglected his duties as usual. He had been keeping the scores until he realised he wasn't going to win so swallowed them in the vain hope nobody would ever ask.


Anyone for Orange and cointrau sauce? our trip to table topping Black horse was a delight - the pub, the green and surrounds are gorgeous the beer is good and plentiful plus they now keep ducks. The only downside to this was need to constantly wipe Duck crap from your woods and the perils of kneeling while measuring. Over all though it was a great place to return to after a gap of what must be 20 years.

Scotty was a late replacement for Mr "i have an infection in an awkward area" Jack and was promptly embroiled in a barn burner of a game just ducking out to 16.

Dave took to the green well and bowled beautifully throughout but his game followed the same pattrern as Scott's with Dave falling short on 17

Karen lost 9 but was regularly having to beat foot woods just to save and her score certainly didn't reflect her performance.

Things were looking Bleak for Ken but true to form Ken scrapped his way back late in the game before losing to 9.

John started well before being pegged back by yet another impressive homester losing to 14

Steve was another of our nine brigade but much like Karens game bowled some excellent stuff to keep in the hunt as long as he did.

Catherine who was now looking like a ninja style garden gnome put in another quality performance before ducking out to 17, to cap a bad day she didn't catch any fish either.

I played and won despite being abused by my own team and likened to a duck as i ran up my woods, (i prefer the ostrich i was also likened too) although much like myself i doubt either feathered friend can bowl..

So a bit of a beating but we will look forward to getting our revenge next week.

With the midweeks winding down stay tuned for some info about a midweek comp that will keep us all practising and getting together.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

What a difference a day makes .........

The Bell, a club of infinite complexities, a place that made you tear your hair out. A place that was the most intense place to play, full of fun, excitement, political machinations, crazy drunks and bitter recriminations. Having said all that I would not have changed a thing from my time there, from falling through fences to sides showing up and winning away when high on naughty things. There are thousands of Bell tales to be told but this is the Olton Tavern Blog and if you look on talking bowls so much has already been written.

The weather was grey and overcast and the merest hints of rain drops were speckling the sky like a set of Scotty’s woods. The atmosphere was muted with lots of hugs and hand shakes and hearty greetings for ex team mates and good friends it was almost a shame a bowls game was about to start.

The game started with The Jack attack at number 1 against Rod Moore. Rod was trying to say how he is a part time bowler glossing over his 21-0 away win in Premier division 2 against the Greyhound (I was there and remember Mr Moore). Rodney started well but at home jack is a force of nature and soon found his feet winning to 12 against possibly the nicest man on the planet to carry a bath towel around with him.

Steve Myatt Continued his impressive form in the senior side bowling very tidily to win to 9.

I had a really nice game with the Bell captain Dave Rosten winning 8. I hadn’t met Dave before but really enjoyed his company he should stop listening Keith on the side though and just call tapes.

20 minutes after all this Liam Neeson came of winning 8 against Spencer. Neither are old or walk at the speed of a slug so I am clueless as to why this turned into an hour long marathon of a match. 47 up after 4.

Savo Was on five and bowled pretty well but George Ali was on fire bowling a sensible game and gluing his leads leaving Savaloy on 10.

JP was up against the legend that is Steve Duggins a man so fearless he has spat in the face of Chuckle. Ok he was aiming at his hand at the time but still. JP has a great record on the Olton and plays the green like he has been on it for twenty years not just one finishing of another fine performance winning to 9.

Richie was able to ease himself back into the game after a few weeks holiday as he drew a novice. tTey both seemed to enjoy themselves though with Ritchie winning 4.

Rocky rounded out the middle four against Tony Fenlon. The rock has been great this season but didn’t have his best day against the always awkward Tony losing to 13.

After 8 we were 59 up

The Wig was on at number 9 and had a spring in his step after recently agreeing to sell his house. I am sure this is also welcome news to JP. Wiggly was a man possessed, desperate to win the sweep so he can put it towards his relocation plans sticking on his favoured mark for a victory to 3. Reason 19 the Moseley paid for an all expenses trip to Skegness for me as long as I didn’t black ball wiggy – Good lord he is dull Yes you have sold the house, yes you are putting in cheeky offers on any property bigger than a tent in the Solihull area and yes it is a stressful time for the family but for the love of god if you tell me about it for the 25th time this weekend I think I will be investing in a gas cooker turning it on and placing my head inside. Also he can’t get a tan, you could get that level of brown by not washing for a few days Wiggly. Poor show fella poor show.

Dodge found the weight far to late against the very impressive Fran but from 17-4 down he managed to claw his way back to a respectable score. I will post the final score when the game finishes sometime next week.

Jaymo was up against Keith Rosten and had to bowl an excellent game to win 12. The last two games on the green were off a very high standard and Chris was the pick of the bunch.

Scotty was up against Beaky who was bowling marks no one else has ever played on the Tavern and made life very difficult before Scotty eventually got control and won to 16.

Saturday was a great afternoon that was enjoyed by both sides and it was lovely catching up with old friends and meeting the guys and girls involved in the re-launch of the club they are doing a great job and I am really looking forward to a visit there next week.


The rearranged game with the Pheasant was always going to be a different kettle of fish , with some needle from the home leg, the desperation of the pheasant to plus us, historical rivalries dating back as far as the Bell v West brom labour, some increasingly cranky shouts and the apparent willingness to cancel the original game as they were short allowing us to drive all the way to the pheasant to find no side to play. All these things fed into an already combustible atmosphere.

A big Thanks to Cat, Karen and Andy for coming to play their senior debuts this season on a Sunday afternoon.

Andy hasn’t played much this year because of work but fought hard and bowled well for his 12.

Karen Bowled some exceptional stuff with one wood to win to 16.

Cat had rushed direct to the green from work didn’t get a role up and played the always Quality Darren Hamblett but played beautifully for her 19.

Wiggy continued his winning run 21-11 but also showed reason 20 the Moseley tried to sell him at 3 car boot sales last season – he is the bowling equivalent of Johnny Giles. The game is going along, its a bit tetchy but is starting to peter out. Oh no no no thinks the Wig and he bites to the ever annoying one and winds him up into a frenzy which ultimately ends in the interruption to the final game. At this point, wiggly turned full circle and tried to play peacemaker to a situation he provoked. If you are too young to know who Johnny Giles is go home and ask your dad.

In other notable performances Savo was terrible then suddenly became the great savo showman until he reached 20 across and then became terrible sav again.

Chris James was brilliant as always winning 11 and Ian Hickeys favourite number 12 once again held his nerve at twelve despite all the kerfuffle to bowl brilliantly and win his game to 20.

Four Winners and a 37 loss was a great performance especially after the start we made . Thanks to the pheasant for putting on a second lot of food it was greatly appreciated especially by bungee Chris Greenhill who went up for seconds thirds fourth and fifths the boy has an insatiable appetite.

The usual (late) round up of the previous week.

Sorry the posts are late this week, your resident editor/typist has not been well :-(


Motorway Madness

Monday saw an early start for a rearranged fixture at the Grasshoppers. We set out in plenty of time from various embarkation points in a finely tuned plan not seen since D day. The motorway though took it’s toll, slowing to a standstill and leaving 4 of the team having to listen to the radio or speak to each other for long periods to avoid the boredom and keep their spirits up. I believe there was a sing song in Karen’s car - thank god she was driving alone or there could have been fatalities. To top of the madness it had started to hammer down and the feeling this would once again be a trip in the rain in vain enveloped us like the dark and brooding clouds forming above us. (oooh, very Emily Bronte! Ed)

Savo Cat and myself arrived on time to find the rain had abated and the green was playable. Five minutes of the role up were lost while we helped the elderly gent up the slight incline on a wet embankment. The grasshoppers were very welcoming and prepared tea for us all. Cat and I had a decent role up before retiring for a tea and to do the draw. Sav meanwhile slowly supped his tea, sorted his bowls and strolled to the green just in time for precisely two ends.

With 4 still on the Motorway and presumably turning to cannibalism and JL missing presumed having better things to do I completed the draw. It was my kind of odds but even a man like me wasn’t betting 50p that the three of us could pull the win out of the bag. With Me and Sav well down The Cavalry arrived and tried manfully to pull our games around. Alas it was not to be as I came of losing to 9 and half an hour later Savo came of losing 11. Cat though had found her range and had come of winning to 16. JL who went on the green straight from the car had a game that just about sums his season up, he played well but things just never fell into place and left him loosing 19. Ken got 6 without ever doing anything wrong. Karen cut a frustrated figure after her journey from hell ( my advice is to stop singing) and this never got any better as woods off line were had back and turned into touchers and while on a great run her jack came flying out the side of her hand going only 30 yards in the opposite direction of the corner she had been bowling so well. To top a miserable Evening for Cilla someone threw away the tea she was leaving to go cold before enjoying. Dave and Steve both bowled very well and could easily have won but fate once again seemed against us as both fell just short with 18 and twenty.

While we only amassed 1 point it could easily have been four and a much tighter game. Considering the circumstances and just how well the grasshopper guys played though it was a really good effort.


Tuesday saw us playing host to another community day with SoLO paying a visit. SoLO (SoLO Life Opportunities ) work with people with learning difficulties and it has been the clubs pleasure to host a number of afternoons with them. A group of 19 youngsters and 7 volunteers joined with 6 cub members to enjoy an afternoon bowling. We split into groups of 5 or 6 and after a crash course in the basics took to the green. It was great to meet the group and to reacquaint myself with a few youngsters like Adam and Jen again after previously seeing them with Reynolds Cross school. It was a lovely afternoon that was enjoyed by all and thankfully while we had the odd clap of thunder the rain kept at bay. I would like to thank SoLO, the volunteers and the children for coming and a big thanks to Dave Hosgood for organising the event from our side, and to Colin, Pete, Steve, Savo and Dave for their work on the day, It was great to see so many people enjoying bowls at its most fun. Bowls is a great sport that can be played and enjoyed by all irrespective of age sex or ability. Bowling clubs can be so much more than a closed shop of members hopefully with events like this, the Reynolds cross days and the Age UK Solihull visit we can continue to prove how much a bowls club can mean to the community and why they should be cherished and protected.


In sharp contrast to the late arrival on Monday we rocked up at the Acocks Green a full 45 minutes early, with the club not opening until 7 once again people were left to entertain themselves. Some took a wander to the shops, others pulled cans from their bags some chatted and told stories around a hastily constructed fire while others anti socially played with their phones. I am pleased to inform you that there was no cannibalism and nobody attempted a sing song. I think I will carry a pack of cards and some dominoes around in future just in case we get stranded outside a wifi zone.
First off for the Olton was the always quality Chris James winning 8 , this was cancelled out by Bucko’s card who bowled a much better game than his 8 suggested. CJ had a very up and down game with unfortunately about twice as many downs as ups losing 11. Scotty withstood a shaky start and Cj’s cut up his team mate tactics to win 15 and leave us 4 behind.

Once again a good card was cancelled out by the home team with myself winning six and Steve losing 5. Again the game was a lot closer than Steve’s five suggests and Dave Mahaffy’s performance against Steve was exceptionally good. Bringing up the rear Nee battled hard for 11 and Savo was Savo losing 16 and condemn us to a 20 shot loss. A huge thanks to nee and Bucko for filling in and to Julie and Jess for marking cards. It shows what a good group we have at the Olton when people are prepared to put them selves out some travelling across the city in crap traffic just to help the club out.


With Mondays game putting the final nail in our slim chance of promotion we headed to Moseley as spoilers and it was a role most of the side reveled in.

John has had a season best forgotten but the hammering he has been threatening for a while came at the Moseley - a fine all round performance gave him the win to 6.

On the Flip side Ken was giving everything but getting nothing in return as he lost 6

Karen found the corners to her liking and managed to stay on them just long enough to pick up the win to 20.

Cat proved she was a cool cat as from 19-15 against she put together a great run to win 19 which left us 3 up after 4 but importantly with 3 points in the bag already.

Like Karen Steve was enjoying the corners but couldn't hold on long enough eventiually falling to 12.

Jack was excellent well he was up until 18-9 up Pete began to claw his way back and you could see the beads of sweat on Jacks forhead and panic in his eyes as his arm turned to jelly. With the ghosts of earlier Moseley performances fresh in his mind though Jack managed to keep Pete to singles and flopped across the line winning 18.

Dave didn't find anything to his liking as Chris "wiggy carrier" pegg plundered a victory to 4.

I was on last and won 19, i was very pleased.

5 points and a 20 shot loss proves there is life in this side as we head into the consolation cup semi on monday evening in good form.

The B side had an anticlimactic finish to a successful promotion season when the Kings Norton brutishly put some ringers in the side and stole victory from our plucky underdogs. 200 points and a safe second in the league though is a great performance, congratulations to all who helped during the season and good luck to the few of you that will play in the cup semi final for b side.

Monday, 11 August 2014

The return of " Where's Bucko?"

12 (+1) go mad in Oldbury

With their performance last week and with us being 3 key bowlers missing we knew we couldn’t be over confident at the Wernley. It is a green we don’t know that well and when we have played it the heavens have opened an hour before. After a brief tease of Jack who bless him was ready to drive to Brum city centre and trawl bars to find Scott it was time to depart. We had a quick game of Tetris using bowlers as blocks in my car - how I ended up with all the awkward shapes ill never know - but I eventually filled the gaps and got everyone in and put some arcade fire on to keep little Lord Lowe happy in the back.

The last away day I had Dave in my car was a disaster. I followed the wrong person, going 3 junctions too far on the motorway before suffering a blow out at 80 miles an hour. With no clue even if I had a spare tyre let alone knowing where it was the repair duties fell to the inebriated Dave and Savo. How we ever made it home that night I will never know. You would have though Dave would have been happy getting home that night but when we did get back last orders had already been called and we didn’t have a fridge then.

The Green was a mixed bag lots of thick green and bare patches. The locals thought the green was the quickest it's been but after a few ends the general consensus was apart from one small area it was pretty heavy.

The green certainly didn’t agree with Larry who found Alan Turton once again on top form. Larry continued to scrap but got caught on a devil of a mark and lost 9. Alan is a lovely fella but he seems to have a hoodoo over the Olton so if we don’t bump into him again for a while we will be quite happy.

I came of the green second after an unusual game spent in the corners winning 8. After last weeks wood and steps smashing incident it appears I have a new nickname. It evolved from demolition man into wrecking ball and on to Miley Cyrus with constant shouts of twerk it. That evening we sat down the club house drinking as I watched twerking videos to pick up tips. We all agreed the winner of the UK 2013 twerking champs was rubbish - I know I can take her.

Jacko the good Samaritan has been struggling a bit away from home and the pressure seemed to be getting to him a tad. Our young stroker is learning though as he paused listened to the advice and played a top draw two shot instead of his usual miss by a mile strike. He closed the game out to 17 and hopefully this will be a turning point in Jacks away performances.

Steve Myatt continued his fine form in his unfussy way, bowling consistently well to win to 16 and put us 10 up after 4. The Messiah is pretty much the most underrated person at the tavern. He is a good secretary, shows up to help at all events, cancels personal arrangements to help fill sides, drives people about, supports and works tirelessly at the charity events and is pretty much the anti-Wiggly. Reason 18 The Moseley got rid of Wiggly - he isn’t Steve Myatt

Things were tight but old Ping Pong hasn’t lost since I put the blues stickers on his woods. Savo showed why he is my Bowls hero playing some cranky mark on top of the crown that left his opponent bemused and Savo with a win to 5 and the sweep in his pocket.

Jp’s game did feature possibly the worst end of all time but apart from that it was a really tight game with JP falling short on 17.

Rocky broke his opponent after a sustained run of beating excellent woods allowing him to close out the game to 14.

Killer was having a nip and tuck game at 11-10 against and the pressure was building. After last weeks no-ones supporting me tantrum, Chris changed tack and told us off for making so much noise he couldn’t concentrate. I wonder if Chris goldilocks makes his Mom do him 3 porridges for breakfast just in case ones too hot and ones too cold. After doing his best Johnny cash impression and flipping Scotty the bird he promptly run out just to show off.

After 8 39 up

Dave Lowe was on nine and just needed to keep things tight but at ten 3 down it was debatable whether there are actual lenses in his new glasses or he got them in a cracker. Lord Lowe is made of much tougher stuff than that and but for the rain storm may have won the game. Still a good 17 that took the last hope away from the guys from the Wernley.

Chris Downes was another to start of slowly finding himself 7-2 against, Dodge though is a man on fire recently and considering he only gets the one game a week has been brilliant since his return to the side. I am not looking forward to the endless miserable face book posts during the winter though.

Chris James was ten 8 down in a tight contest before a barrage of twos left his opponent shell shocked and Chris won to 11.

Scotty brought up the rear with a fine win to 12. Like Lowey the rain stalled his progress a little but he pulled out a classic two shot to finish the game and leave us with a victory by 59.

The tea was good with mild and strong cheese which is always a nice touch and Killer particularly fond of the array of cakes.

2 Swiss rolls, 3 cup cakes, a stroudle and half a gateaux later his appetite appeared sated. It was about this time that Chris had word from his informant and local gossip Cat that CJ had been scrapping with someone who stopped his bowl. Its a good job his sons are more even tempered.

Last week's Midweek round up

As all games were played Wiggly-less last week, Captain Craggers was unable to summon up much enthusiasm for events. He has managed, however, to sum up the week in a series of haikus' - Ed


Re-arranged home game
Water Orton get beat
Deluge of shots


Dead Slow triplex
Kill's Tavern title dreams
New woods do good


Both sides win
Some grumpy players did not
Happy captains smile

Craggers limps all week
Hobbled by woods I wasn’t
Yoda talk like I am

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

I act real funny, and I don't know why, scuse me, whilst i smash my wood against an edging slab....

This Saturday started badly with rain, rain and more rain. This leads us onto reason 17 Wiggly's picture is used as a dartboard at the Moseley - he is a selfish Pr*ck. While his team mates are preparing for a game, whilst some are racing back from a family holiday to play, Wiggy - who didn’t fly till 10 on the night incidentally - is busy doing a rain dance to get the game off. Secretly putting the water on at 5 am Saturday morning to try and make sure the game has to be rearranged for when he comes back. At a conservative guess by a chief OPTA analyst, Wiggys actions cost the side at least 40 shots, 3 corners and 2km per man in coverage. I hope a little metre squared rain cloud follows you on holiday.

By two the green had one puddle and lots of surface water. By three the puddle was gone and pockets of surface water remained and as the game continued it was any ones guess whether your wood would run on or stick in a hidden pool.

Larry was first up and continued his fine season with a great win to 8. Larry has been incredibly consistent all year and for me has probably been our best bowler (Wiggy is 6th before he asks).

Jack looked confident with his new woods but the look on his face when he dropped them in the club house was priceless. Relax Jack they are just bits of composite and mean nothing, do not get emotionally attached to them and don’t give them a name or take them to bed with you at night. As a Jedi bowler you should know love and passion will turn to hate and anger - emotions are your enemy young padawan. Jack looks comfy throughout and wins 14.

Steve Myatt made his season debut in the first team and after a wobble in the middle of his game bowled very well, showing why he is the reigning club champion. Steve ran out from a fair way down to win 18.

I was last of the first four. My opponent was excellent and I have no excuses for losing to 18. The green was wet and slow though and Alan was really lucky, add to that the slippy nature of the green that added to my injury I sustained last Monday resulting in me having to hop through the day and have only have one leg to balance on while delivering my bowls.

According to Russell Grant this was going to be the worst day of my decade and I should have stayed indoors. Mercury was battling Venus in Uranus which is particularly bad for a Capricorn when Wiggy is in your new moon performing a rain dance. The Tarot reading I had that very morning suggested I would be betrayed by a friend (wiggly I presume but friend is a bit strong), the weather, a card marker and a rogue tuft of grass that kept moving to whatever mark I was bowling. As I say no excuses Alan was just the luckier man. At this point I should point out that it wasn’t a fit I had at the side of the green but my Jimi Hendrixing of my bowl was suggested by my Voodoo master who had also seen the terrible nature of this day in his chicken bones.

A sacrifice was called for and with 3 players on holiday I couldn’t spare any. For those interested the Bowls have been found a loving home and are recovering from their injuries but should live a long and happy life together, I think they are planning to retire in Warley.

I will keep you updated on my health via facebook I am at the surgeons this afternoon to see if they can repair me again. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life walking around like Walter Brenan in Rio Bravo

Rocky was our number five. After a slow start rock had bowled himself into a winning position and then promptly lost. This game set the record for the most woods carried for no score and got Scotty singing again.

JP who once again came up trumps with the grub had a hard game and similar to my own just couldn’t lose his opponent anywhere before falling to 18 in a high quality game.

Savo was seven won to 14 in an inconsistent game. I believe Ping seems to go close to the jack But pong just goes up and down the side of the green.

Eight starred the killer who was magnificent up to 19 and then his opposite number decided she would be great until she got to 12 which I can only imagine she felt was a respectable score and promptly threw them all over the place allowing Killer the win that should have come 20 mins earlier.

9 featured the return of the Lowe who was resplendent in his new glasses. I think he was going for the Harry Palmer look but came out more Harry Hill. Lowey wasn’t at his best but still won 12 and had a sing along to my sharona.

Dodge was on at twelve but came of in short order bowling some excellent stuff with a win to 7. Thanks for cutting the holiday short Dodge hope the win proved it was worth it. Wiggy take note this is a proper team player.

That left Scotty and Jaymo on the green at the same time. They have been together at the end of most games this year and appear to have some kind of symbiotic link. Both Got the block at 16-15 down and both bowled the same mark at opposite ends of the green. These two are that much in sync they should replace that gay diver and his partner no one remembers at the next commonwealth games. It did come slightly askew at the end as Chris won 16 and Scott won 17 but their partnership on the green is uncanny and certainly makes my life as a captain easier.

245 -181 a win by sixty four on a very wet and tricky home green. On the day the Wernley were superb and made a mockery of their league position however we have been brilliant away from home all season and I can only see more to come from this side. Today didn’t all go our way and we know we have to continue improving to reach our goals I am confident we won’t let our standards slip again and we will push on stronger as the season progresses.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Midweek Madness


Solihull Marsh Lane is a short hop from the Olton - which is a good job as that is pretty much all I can manage in my weakened state.

The first four featured Savo and his Ping Pong balls bowling very well to win 13 against Keith Saunders. He claims he was much better that morning on Moorpool but I think that is a lot of wif waf.

Karen was well down against Melvyn but suddenly found some weight and was excellent in fighting back to 18.

CJ allowed his frustrations to get the better of him. Whilst having to battle man flu and an opponent who thought his brown woods were blue proved to much for him as he lost 19

Bob Horn was up against Ken Frost and couldn’t settle on a mark he liked and ken was very consistent leaving bob on 6

Scotty bowled well to win 11 while trying to show his novice opponent some of the nuances of the game.

With killer stuck working ungodly hours harming himself I was called upon to play and won to 19. After 6 we were 1 up.

BA came of winning and it left us with an insurmountable lead.

With the game won captain crystal consistently curled corking conkers in an exhibition standard game before finally succumbing 18 - inspirational stuff from the captain.

A good win away on a tricky green against a side with some very good players in it so good stuff lads and lass.


Xxx B were the visitors on Wednesday night and while the name looks like a porn film the bowls was anything but X rated for the Tavern. 8 winners including 2 7’s and 2 9,s led to a comfortable win on a green that was a tricky pace. The flowers were looking lovely though and a couple of spectators came down for a role up after the game. Jaymo promptly smashed them winning all their beer money off them and sending them home in tears.


2 and a half pairs of Olton members played in the over 60’s doubles on the Maggies. It was win one game and you qualify and a massive throng of Taverners had gone to support. Even Little Lord Lowe had left his chauffeur at home and driven to the venue. Despite all this effort our 5 bowlers were pretty terrible - Buck and Rocky came closest to qualifying but it was not to be. Before the dust had settled they were working out who is newly eligible next year and were busy swapping partners. Back to the drawing board boys.

Afterwards I went with the Savages to get some new bowls from the wonderful Mr Meddings at . Jack came away very satisfied with his new woods and itching to get bowling with them. It was the first time I had been to Stews and it was great to catch up with both Stewart and Jason again. I stocked up on Grippo before we left as nobody ever seems to have any at the Olton, I still have a couple spare so if anyone needs any give me a shout.

On the way home we stopped of for a drink a local hostelry, won some cash on the bandits and Jack showed what a pro he is handling a foot long sausage.

No lickey No likey

Jack decided he needed to follow me to the grasshoppers which condemned the captain to showing up late but fortunately Steve is an organised man and safely navigated the draw. With Jack wanting to go on first and being about five minutes away it was perhaps good fortune the heavens opened, the problem was they wouldn’t close even after we arrived. Two things Disappointed me about tonight. 1) The green flooded and the game was sensibly called off 2) The Grasshoppers never dress like David Carradine in Kung –Fu 3) that it was only males using tennis courts this evening.

By the time I returned to the Ranch the B side were down to the last 3 having already had 4 winners and 1 15 loser. The last 3 came home comfortably enough in a game that appeared to be played in an almost carnival atmosphere. The rearranged game will be played on Monday the 11th with a 6.30 start time

OTBC take Huddersfield then promptly give it back.

The Chuckles, the Taylor Twins, the nicest brothers in bowls, the epically talented and stunningly handsome Craig and his older brother. Whatever you call us Friday saw us travel to the all England. Well mostly we sat stationary on the M1 but eventually we arrived at the strange town of Brighouse.

A quick stop in the historic an beautiful local was punctuated by a news report on the all England that ran for 5 minutes and didn’t mention me once. The rest of the group decided on the tip of a local that we should head to Huddersfield. The logic seemed sound but well what can we say? Do not ever go to Huddersfield is what I can say. Apparently they have a great curry house but that was cordoned off by the police when we walked past. All the other restaurants (well fast food places) that looked less dangerous than the knife toting group goading police officers outside aforementioned eatery closed at ten. A quick taxi back found an adequate curry house before attempting to get some sleep in a stunningly hot hotel room.


Breakfast was a solid affair nothing especially great but it would garner 3 Wiggys out of five. Despite the All England being played only a few miles away in Cleckheaton the taxi drivers seemed clueless about its existence and we had to blindly guide the taxi to its destination. The all England started a few hours before the Olton Club championship and already we had local players out and people being insulted - Jacko probably wasn’t even out of bed yet. The weather was glorious and local bowler and friend to us all Ant Bracken was making his way steadily towards the final. In the meantime Jack was keeping us up dated with the scores at the Olton and was assuring me my £2 on him was safe.

Chris green hill beat Dave Evans
Andy carter beat Bucko
The messiah beat Chris James in what was probably game of the day
Wiggly beat Karen

In the battle of initials JP beat CJ no word whether or not JP had fed everyone.
Larry beat Alan its time to get 2.6’s sav
Rocky beat Lord Lowe
And Jacko beat Julie .

At around this point I had a lovely hot dog and chips entered a miserable selfie in Mandy Padgett’s selfie competition (see above piccy) and had long since swapped pop for alcohol.

Wigg beat Andy
Jack beat JP
Chris beat Larry
Steve beat rocky.

We had two w&w bowlers in the qtrs but to be honest the heat had got to my head and I was looking like a match ready to burst into flame if you touched me. A taxi was promptly called and given directions.

Steve Myatt beat the Wigg
And Jack beat Killer

With ex team mate and Solihull boy Bracken in the all England final and my bet at home on Jack this looked like it could be a dream scenario unfortunately it was not to be. Brack lost the big prize 21-20 and Jack cost me £7 when Steve gave him a kicking in the final.

See how many Warwick and Worcester bowlers you can spot trying to get in on Bracks success!

Well done Brack a great effort, hopefully wiggy will go one better next year. Congratulations to Steve for deservedly winning and proving once again what a quality player he is. Jack you should have used my woods and it is the last time you let me down I will never put money on you again.

Photos from the All England are from the Facebook profile of Steve Davies, all rights reserved.

The Heart of England Doubles

With two couples through to the heart of England doubles hopes were high of a good showing for the Olton Tavern. Jack and Dave had done superbly well to reach their first ever finals days but unfortunately the finals proved a big learning curve as they went out to the eventual winners 21-2

The chuckles meanwhile got home 21-19 in a game they were well up in and had dominated. In the Semi final they were up against a two time champion and got of to a very slow start. A few ends later and the game was once again in the balance. At 10-7 down disaster struck as Craggers calf gave out and left him in a crumpled heap in agony on the floor and we soon found our selves at 17-7 down. Scott took over the lead duties and a run brought us back into striking distance at 17-13 down before one bad end cost the game losing to 13.

All in all it was a good evening. The green isn’t the most natural fit for a doubles competition but ll the teams did there best and the standard of games was very high.

Tuesday the 22nd to Thursday the 24th of July

Tuesday saw the visit of Solihull Marsh lane. We are always happy to see the local boys and girls from the common end of Solihull - just as Yardley was the common end of East Birmingham when they all played for the Yew Tree. Please forgive the lack of details as this was a while ago and I have not only slept but have partaken in the odd glass of alcohol since.

I believe we won quite comfortably in the end after enduring quite a shaky start with Chris Greenhill pulling out a good win Over Melvyn Davey. Yours truly had a lovely game with a lady just starting out in the bowls world - It was a pleasure to bowl someone who was just happy to be learning and improving and she should be very proud of herself. Scott Saunders from the Moseley came watched some of the games before leaving in disgust at either his Dad's performance or the general standard but I guess that is a question best left to the philosophers.


Colebrook away

The Wednesday A side fell agonisingly short away at the Colebrook. I wont elaborate further on the game as Junior has already posted a report on talking bowls. The one thing I will comment on is I don’t think the Colebrook experiment of only cutting one side of the green is necessarily a winner.


Now Thursday I remember or, more accurately, I took a photo of the card so I can make everything else up from there.

The game started slowly for the Olton. Ken and Karen came played okay but losing 13 and 18 respectively. Thankfully Jack and Steve were bowling beautifully to win 8 and 9. Jack can’t take all the credit for his man of the match performance though as moments before the game the young stroker was deliberating which woods he would bowl with. Neither option was filling him with excitement and poor Jack had the look of a bewildered and glum puppy. With me in a non playing Captain capacity I seized the day and thrust my bowls into his hands. Jack weighed them carefully and said “are you sure I am allowed to play with them?” his baby blues looking up at me all gratefully, beads of seat beginning to pearl on his brow as his breath grew shallow with the excitement. I best stop here we are in danger of tripping into 50 shades of grey territory (on that note do not watch the trailer you girls will only be disappointed). After a few ropey ends Jack, playing with a proper set of bowls, proved he can actually bowl a reasonable game. At least one member of the Savage family should get themselves a proper pair of woods.

The next four games could easily have gone either way but I am pleased to say Dave ,Andy, Alan and John all gutted out great victories. John particularly had endured a rough trot results wise so it was great to see him not only bowl so well but get the victory.

The B team were meanwhile winning at the most boring green on earth Wootton Hall. With CJ losing to a lady who was inebriated celebrating her birthday, Savo and Peter getting 20 and 18 others would have to step up as tonight’s heroes. Scotty and Graham picked up victories to 6 but it was Maggie whose card gave us a chance, winning 14. Karen and Lesley both dug deep in their games to score the points that secured the away win. In other news, a dog chased the sheep only for the sheep to realise they outnumbered him 40 – 1 and chased him back. No doubt when they caught him they gave him a good shoeing.