Monday, 21 September 2015

Classless in Shrewsbury

It was the last game of the season and with nothing left to play for the Woodies bowlers decided this was the time to abandon ship.

Some booked holidays or decided to work overtime for the first time in their lives and one even managed to pick up a painful sporting injuries just to avoid visiting Castlefields on a wet and windy evening.

This last minute spate of absenteeism to Scotty making his only summit appearance of the season and long time measurer and full time Baggeridge competition runner Dave Goddard being drafted in as well. Despite driving 42000 miles from Coventry to Castlefields, the Chuckles arrived first and early only to find that a club of such stature play in a park/wasteground and parking within a mile is dependent on luck. Well the luck of foresight, as Chris Marshman knew the score so had put cones out in front of the house opposite the green, "Bread" style to ensure a short walk to the green.

The green looked like it had seen better days, the green and brown mottling did its best to make us Taverners at home as did the lack of a cut. Rather than feel at ease, however, the gut busting heaviness put it about the same pace as a green in New Orleans minutes after Katrina passed through. The side, minus Ade, arrived and John Newey did the draw, making a deliberate point of putting Ada on first despite his ETA of sometime on Wednesday. With all this happening it was always going to be hard to concentrate on the task at hand but moments before the game came a bombshell bigger than anything found left in dresden - Lyndon may be shaving !!!! It could be to late for you but I have already put all my money into stocks of Gillette and chainsaws. He plans to start this autumn and finish minutes before the first game of the Next season. S and J landscapers from Cambridge have won the tender and you can follow their progress on facebook and Instagram.

The game itself was a bit of a non-event. Nick Wyer managed to be our only winner and in a burglary so audacious it could have been planned by George Clooney in oceans 11 stole the MVP, averages and Johns County call up from under the nose of everyone’s Favourite MG Salesman.

The game ended in an uncalled for and unseemly display of fawning and poor sportsmanship from some of the Castlefields contingent but they can be forgiven somewhat as it’s not easy being from Shropshire. They did however provide very tasty apple pies in one of the strangest pubs I have ever had the pleasure of drinking in.

All in all it has been a decent Monday season. With a cobbled together side, we challenged for a play off spot despite losing at home first game of the season to our main rivals the Windmill, and finished a respectable 3rd. I will leave you to decide whether this was down to the tactical nous and captaincy skills of nick or whether we were carried on the back of the charismatic driving force of the unforgettable and unmistakable Lon Dewey.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The five faces of Newey

The Woodies welcomed top of the Table Castlefields on Monday in what was always going to be a hard game. Short of of Average leader Nick Wyer and old Treebeard himself Lyndon, however, it was looking a mammoth task.

Talking of the hairy Bowler, whilst at Kings Norton last week I noticed this stamped into the wood of their new shelter. It would appear Lyndon is branding every green he has won on, leaving his name immortalised (even if it is upside down) for all to see. So all you folks out there in the bowls world check your tables and benches now as you could be in possession of a rare stamping.

With the team a few down, John Newey was aghast to find that neither Jon Dewey nor Don Jewey had been selected for tonight’s match. John Immediately leapt behind a bush and began working on a Dick Dastardly style scheme to ensure he wins another MVP that he can frame for his wall of fame.

Here we see John sending poor Craggers to clean the toilets - one less MVP candidate to worry about!

The game started well for us with Nick in imperious from beating Andy Judson four. Nick bowled superbly throughout and it could only be a nefarious Neweyvillian plot that could keep him from MVP.
Chris Marshman was excellent in dispatching Homester Mark Taylor to 15 while Ade managed to scramble to 14 while never really bowling well.

Stuart Jones closed out the first four with a 21-20 victory over Paul Williams in what turned out to be a wonderful match from two classy bowlers and left us 17 shots to the good.
Keith Walton started off like a train against John Newey but the train turned into a British rail one and was shunted into the sidings as Newey number twoey clawed his way back into the match, eventually winning to 15 and supplying us with the buffer that we would need later in the game.

Port was beaten 17 by David Lloyd who quite rightly romped home with the mvp vote before returning to commentate on the cricket. Beating Ian anywhere is a good result beating him on woodfield is a feat for anyone.

Nick Howells succumbed 21-10 to Callum Wraight but Bowled very well. Half the time I looked over he was bowling bosters to count the, other half I thought I was watching a German porno. I have never seen so many faces in the same bush since RTL showed Busch-Bingers eine to vier.

I brought up the rear (steady now) against Clay Flattley who bowled a superb last few ends to win 21-18 and leave us four winners a piece and clinging onto the match win by funf shots.

It was later revealed that John Newey had been awarded MVP. In a totally unrelated incident, Castlefields came rather cramped with supporters in 2 cars between them, when they left they had two each.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

If Carlsberg did bowls games.

If Carlsberg did Bowls matches, this Saturday would be how it went.

The Olton is like most bowls clubs: a unique place full of strange and disparate creatures who more fall together and coexist in a generally fractious manner, than lovingly embrace each other’s foibles (ooooeeeer missus). There is always the chance for high drama, implosion, explosion indeed any kind of osion you could name. This Saturday though was one of those days where pretty much everything came together in a perfect blend. A drunken pseudo sporting riot that left everyone pretty happy. Even the ones recovering from the bitter disappointment of a loss could at least look back on an amazing day, where a great match was played in the proverbial correct spirit at a thunderous decibel level. Afterwards, two sides came together to literally drink the bar dry. Ok, with the pub shutting the next afternoon it’s not so mighty an achievement but screw it I am probably still drunk while I type.

After a day of rain the green wasn’t at its quickest but with Kings Norton coming from a smaller quicker green that may not have been that much of a disadvantage. The atmosphere from the start was electric for the not-quite top of the table clash. A win for us would mean if we win our home games our opponents would need to win every game to catch us and was played in a very winner takes it all manner.

Larry and his little woods started brilliantly against Colin Simpson and this was a game that certainly drew my eye while I was playing (when you should be concentrating on your own game and leaving the rest to me!! Ed). Colin though hit a big shot and whether it was because things were going so well Larry kept attacking, but the momentum had turned and a flurry of twos bought Colin back from the dead. Larry managed to get back in and start the day of with a win 21-17.

Dave Hosgood was up against Martyn Batty who is having a very impressive year. Dave Bowled really well but got stuck on 16 as Martyn eventually wore him down. Still, 16 against a danger man was a fair card.

Steve Myatt was playing young prodigy Kieron Wilkes who was immaculate, bowling the same mark Ian fry had so much success on earlier in the season. Steve though is a dogged competitor and a much better bowler than given credit for and dug deep to pull out a very good 14 and keep the game tight.

I played my Ex Kings Norton team mate and most talented gap toothed youngster in the country, Dan Bowfinger. With the game close Dan managed to knock me up and that proved to be the difference as I closed out an erratic match 21-14.

So one down after 4 but I felt they had used 3 of their stronger players and with a strong middle four I was confident we could build a lead quickly.

That Confidence was eroded quickly when Jack Savage, a tall talented left hander with a home record of 1 loss in 3 years and that was to 18, was dismantled by a relative novice. Nothing went right on the day for the off white shirted one. In the morning he stubbed his toe ripping the nail off and coating his mom’s best towels in blood. Tesco Sheldon also still appear to be out of Daz as his favourite white shirt was a grubby grey stained colour. Try as he might Jack just couldn’t put anything together today and Paul Norris bowled very well to earn a 21-8 victory and put Kings Norton 14 up and firmly in the driving seat with two other cards in good position.

JP has been in sparkling form lately but found himself up against it as Peter Eaton bowled some very tidy stuff to lead early. JP though has a history of sterling comebacks and produced another here at a major time. As JP was making his comeback the returning Richie was showing rust against Paul Knight who bowled tremendously throughout. Richie found some form later in the game to scramble to what could turn out to be a very valuable 16. Meanwhile on the green Bucko had started well against Paul Tombs but with the line in sight and a single figure card beckoning the white line fever hit and Bucko Refused to reach. At this point it felt like the game was getting away from us and Kings Norton were ramping up the noise and drowning our superior numbers as doubt was creeping in. I would like to declare that at this point I jumped forward in heroic fashion, launching into a crazy spell of running, shouting, whirling of limbs and general tomfoolery to reignite our belief and to quieten our noisy visitors, but in truth I had finished my drink and was fed up Of Bowie not noticing my pleas for a fresh one. I decided to launch into an unprecedented "look at me" performance that singularly failed in its attempt to garner a drink but did have a unifying and galvanising effect on our side. As the breath left my body and I continued to wail and exhort, Kings Norton exes just looked on with awe or sympathy - I hope the former but secretly believe it was the latter. Just as Paul tombs comeback was gaining the momentum of a stampeding bull Buck managed to coral the raging beast and win to 14. JP was still going his marathon comeback with his game evenly poised on 18-18. At this point we were nine down and if JP could run out, 6 down was a decent return if Peter did 12 down was looking a difficult get. 3 other games were underway at this point Chris James had started well and we were hopeful of a card. Yorkie hadn’t started well at all and was looking like cancelling Jaymo out but Chris Greenhill had got off to a flyer and the game was looking like coming down to the last end.JP eventually completed his comeback victory 21-18 and left us six behind.

Scotty hit the green with Ian struggling, Jaymo up and Chris Greenhill still up but being pegged back. At this crucial stage, Scotty needed a good start and thankfully delivered.

Chris Greenhill was first of the last four off beating Rob Eels 14 and putting us a head for the first time since I came of the green.

One up and Jaymo was flying. A quick check on the cards and Jaymo was 10-2, Yorkie was 1-10 and Scott was around 7-2 it was all to play for. Jaymo was always looking good value for a big win against Janet lovesey who hadn’t been able to make the roll up and was struggling to follow lefty J on a mark made for his delivery. Jaymo came of winning to 5 and putting us 17 up and Leaving Ian and Scotty needing 26 between them for the win.

In a normal match you would think that would be easy but today nothing would come easy. At 18-3 I haven’t seen a Yorkie marmalised in such a fashion since they did a Yorkie Mcflurry or since the trucker in the 80’s adverts took a more than manly bite. He certainly wasn’t being treated in the sensitive and seductive fashion a female rabbit would treat a caramel or countless young ladies treat a flake, oh good lord no. This was brutal and uncompromising. Yorkie's delivery that usually looks like he is sending Cadburys cream eggs had developed in to him rolling Tobelerones down the green.

Scotty needed to win to save the game and was bowling some fantastic stuff. His leads were exemplary as he took a 12-3 lead. About then though something started stirring in deepest darkest Rotherham, some miller spirit long since extinguished surged to the surface and Yorkie started to slowly turn things around. People looked on aghast as woods sent seemingly the wrong bias and wrong land wobbled and bobbled to the block like a drunk weeble managing to get home after a night on the lash at Barbie’s place. 20-10 down, Yorkie was down to one chunk left while Scotty sat pretty against Dan Hickey 16-5, one shot was all we needed to secure the victory. In all the emotion and relief and dryness of still not getting a drink I can’t remember who got the winning shot. In true sporting movie style they scored it at the exact same moment. Yorkie went on to finish with 19 and Scotty completed his epic performance winning to 5 and leaving us with the least comfortable 28 shot victory in the history of bowls.

After the game Yorkie went home to shower and get the protractor out to try and establish if his woods are actually an isosceles triangle or a right angled triangle. Its true what they say, they do breed em different in Yorkshire.

I waited for as long as a polite man can for a drink from Bow and then the heavens opened and somehow I got involved in countless different rounds that frankly I couldn’t keep track of with an abacus. With The Somersby and Bulmer’s now dry the craft ales were down to £1.50 a bottle and going fast.
After a serious amount of drinking we somehow found ourselves on the green. The light had all but completely gone as Dora and I took on Dan Bowe and Paul Knight while Scotty and Killer took on the Rob Eels and non-bowling celebrity supporter Kevin Keegan. I have no idea what happened but apparently myself and Cat lost, meaning another trip to the bar before ordering our guests a taxi home somewhere around ten before retiring to the bar to chat with Solihull’s elders Ken Twyford and evil Grevillite Emerys Davies. Lots of people laughed at my drunken state and posted rude things about me the next day on facebook the rotter’s.

My thanks to Kings Norton ex’s for a wonderful day a great game and their company.

Special thanks to the alliance players without a game: Cat, Henry, Dave, Pete, Kaz and CJ who all showed up to support with Pete even ending up measuring for us, and to Brian who went to the Greville to watch as nobody told him the game was cancelled but still came back and gave us a shout.

Get to the Chopper!

Today was a massive game and a real must win for the Olton and their half-hearted attempt to reach the promised Land/poison chalice of Division 3. The West Warwick’s have been struggling at home and only won 2 games so far this year. Our main rivals for promotion, Kings Norton exes, had a tricky home game to get through but with their freaky home green they are always likely to squeak home by about 6 I think. This would make a victory away all the more important.

I had never seen the new green before but had heard stories about it being trickier than the last one and also that it would be a fair bit heavier than the quickish Olton last week. In fact only 1 or two of the side had played the new green or even new where the West Warwick’s was, which considering it is very nearly in walking distance is crazy.

While sorting the lifts out, Compo James had dressed in his best vest andad been promised a life by Dave Hosgood but hadn’t come up to the stringent dress code enforced in Dave’s car. Quick as a flash and as if superman exiting a phone box, he left the clubhouse like Compo and came out looking like he was making his Newcastle debut. Wiggly left on his own after everyone refused a lift and some even started walking to avoid five minutes in a car with him.

Parking up you are struck by how good and professional the complex looks. Unfortunately you go up a few steps and then you see the green. There was a deafening thudding sound of Jaws hitting the floor as the only places where the grass wasn’t at least an inch thick were carpeted with luxuriant Moss.

The roll up was disastrous and mostly featured myself, Scotty and Pricey telling people to remain positive. Yes the green was soaking wet, yes it was heavier than lead and yes it bumped more than a jobbing wrestler but we have what we have and we have to make the most of it. The roll up wasn’t a pleasant experience but we did find out a lot more about the green. We found up by the shed there was a nest of snakes that were quite bitey and David Bellamy was nearby to them having a rummage through the undergrowth. Lenny Henry was next to him yelling compost corner (at least it's a step up from the premier inn adds). In the next corner Some POW’s were completing a bridge from Burma and as you come on to the green you had to be careful not to step in front of the camera as Rubbish Ant and Dec were filming vignettes for I’m a celebrity.

I went to do the draw and the news that the West Warwick’s were one short was broken to me. I went back to tell the team and announce I would let them put a blank card anywhere from 1-12 so I didn’t have to choose Bucko to miss out. The draw was complete and I took the long journey hacking through the long grass with a borrowed machete to deliver the news to an unlucky or lucky player. Bucko was the unlucky one to miss out and was instantly inundated with offers to swap.

Starting 21 up gave the game an odd feel because as long as we were up after the first four I had no doubts we would win. The combination of the heat, the malaria, and the pressure of the day suddenly being released and the poor bowling conditions led to a really strange game that unfortunately some didn’t handle that well (I am looking at you Jack and Killer).

Despite having bowls that barely protruded over the Grass, Larry played well to beat the very promising josh Huntley 21-14.

Dave Hosgood put in a sweep winning performance using his natural advantage of height to see over the grass, winning 21-8 while picking fruit from some of the lower hanging branches.

Steve Myatt battled hard on a green that really doesn’t suit his natural game and Graham Holder took advantage winning to 14.

I enjoyed a few rubs in my game but that was okay because no one could see below my waist. A few wicks aided my progress to a 21-13 win over Brian Wetton.

On his way and the car empty, Wiggy attempted to pick up a few hitchhikers for company. Well I say hitch hikers it was actually an old couple minding their own business awaiting a bus to take them and their shopping home. Wiggy Bundled them in the back, shot of at 70 miles an hour cutting up countless cars and having 2 very vocal rows with passers bye. The two old goons got out at the west Warwick’s disorientated and confused - I have still have no idea what CJ and the old girl were doing there he should have been having his roll up at home. Poor friendless Wiggly cut a depressing figure wearing Dexter’s shorts to bowl in. I am not sure how a man can hold his breath so long but a career in free diving beckons. Despite his woods being christened rubbish by spectators, Wig bowled pretty well throughout to win 15.

JP was Up against Andy Taggert and started well briefly threatening another Murder. But Andy found a very tricky mark and led well to it. JP kept him down to singles but couldn’t manage to get the block back and eventually succumbed 21-14.

Bucko got the Bye and after winning a measure on the first end never looked back.

Christopher Greenhill didn’t enjoy his game but I am not sure what gave me that impression as he went about his job in a quiet and stoic manner of which we have become accustomed. Actually he blew a fair bit and let everything get on top of him a little which today for the first time in a while undoubtedly cost him his game, as he struggled up to 15 against an opponent I would have backed him to beat most Saturdays. At one point Chris bellowed "why has that gone over there", a little old lady popped her head out of the bathroom and shouted “ it’s because you sent it there you dopey sod, now let me finish my shat in peace”. Still no fences were hurt and he managed to put that disappointment aside and not eat all of the chicken wings the second they came out of the oven.

Jack was another to need a hug after and during the game as he struggled to put away a lady who was getting some Savage family support. While Chris is an exploder a whirling dervish of language threats and fence panel bashing fists, Jack is more of an implosion man - maniacal laughs glum faces self-mocking applause and knuckle dragging. Jack, when you bowl a bad wood relax smile and just be determined to do better next time and if you don’t smile to yourself in the knowledge you have a lovely girlfriend to go home with while invariably your opponent ( not this one) will be going home to masturbate. I used to use this ploy but it was mostly contenting myself that my trainers were much cooler than theirs.

Yorky has hit the stage of Wiggly earlier in the season where his form has become so bad and worrying I am having to stop the Rotherham insults. He drew Mike Hancock who bowled some masterful stuff to have Yorkie off within the half hour 21-10. Yorkie kept fighting though and pulled out some good stuff. The form will return, you just need to relax a little and let the bowls happen. I am sure a big performance is just round the corner. Or, more pertinently, I hope so coz I have a ton of Yorkshire jokes I am desperate to get out there.

Chris James started like a house on fire and I thought was coming off to 1 or 2 before a late rally had him settling for 21-12.

Scotty bought up the rear and early on had to work hard to keep the score close but as the game wore on he got better and better closing the game out really well winning to 15.

So a comfortable win. Would we have played better if the West Warks had their normal side out and still won? Maybe, it certainly wasn’t the easiest set of circumstances to play under but it couldn’t have been any fun for West Warks either. Looking down from the balcony where we were having the tea it’s hard to imagine how a success couldn’t be made of the set up at the West Warwick unfortunately it looks like unless another team loses its green and moves there we won’t be given the chance to play the green when it is in good condition.

Next Week the youngsters from Kings Norton pay a visit and the pub closes for another refit. At least after the kids come to play there won’t be any beer left behind, they will probably take the light fittings with them too

Catching up on Mondays

It was a lovely evening as Woodfield welcomed Heath Hayes and tried to banish the thoughts of Saturday’s disappointing home loss with an emphatic victory. Heath Hayes arrived looking resplendent in their blue away tops. Tony “Gunny” Statham though had come in the black home kit. Because of this error The Heath Hayes team, including 84 year old Fred, were forced to Jog from Heath Hayes to Woodfield Heartbreak ridge style. He seems a lovely Man does Tony, but underneath there is a steely heart.

Before the start, Nick tinkered with the order and entered into a pow wow with the team’s elders. It’s nice to see someone making such an effort and not just simply throw them in the air and see how they land.
Ada was drawn against Keith Anderson and bowled superbly throughout the game and even when Keith had beaten Ades woods, Dave Goddard used his Mystical powers to make bowls fall in or out at his behest. Ada won 21-13.

Ian Porter bowled consistently well but could never break the evergreen Fred Statham who appeared none the worse for the cross country run before the game. Ian won 21-13.

Lyndon was distracted as he was enroute to a fancy dress party and he hadn’t had time to sort out an actual costume. On the way in though he had a brain wave! He picked up a pair of shades from the table, slipped them on and asked who we thought he looked like. I think Lyndon was hoping for Tom Cruise in Risky Business, I think he would have accepted Rowdy Roddy Piper in They live but unfortunately he looked like Cousin it from the Adams family. Still at least he has Halloween sorted. Lyndon ran out winning 21-8 against Chris Hayward.

Chris Marshman was always behind against Mac Gittings but once he had realised he was bowling with odd woods he made the necessary adjustments and won a close game 21-20.

The second four started with the real Newey, Nick who was typically excellent in beating Darren Gittings 8.
Nick Wyer and Dave Hayward contested a quality match with Nick edging home 21-18.
I continued my run as the MVP maker and picked up the dubious honour of being the only loser. Gunnery Sargent Tony Statham was excellent and fully deserved his win 21-18.

Nicks Brother J Newey (is it Jim) returned from holiday to beat Colin Hayward 4. The game was afterwards described by John as incredible, adding that Nick would have only got one or two against him. The MVP was nailed on. In fact, so incredible was the performance an invite to the champion of champions has been issued , and is being flown down by winged monkeys as we speak.

It would appear though, that the Heath Hayesians were less impressed and promptly gave Nick Newey the MVP award. Incredulous, the other Newey demanded to know if he was next in line and if Dave had shit in his eyes. Dave listed his order of for MVP:

Nick N, Lyndon, Port, Nick W, Nick N again, ADA, Chris, some bloke called Nick, Dave Goddard, Chuckle, Nicholas N, then the other fella. I thought that was harsh as Dave G should have been higher.

Next Week John has a nefarious plan to finally win the MVP award that has so long been denied him. Next game will see the debut's of our new signings Don Newey, Non Jewey, Bon Newey and Lon Newey. Surely with 5 goes at it and nobody suspecting all these new players are actually all John, the MVP will finally be his once more.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Monday Malarkey

Carter USM
Danger UXB
Hadley USC

We played one of these last night but I am not sure which one as I am easily confused.

Most of the pre-game chatter was centred around Brummies’ love for standing on greens during large events, during league games, before games and just generally. If you wander into Kings Heath Park at night after the gates have been locked you will often find 20-30 bowlers aimlessly standing there. It’s an addiction we just can’t break. Each county has their own foibles though. It’s Like keeping Ferrets down your trousers, picking sprouts you don’t eat, marrying your sister or spending the day checking where all the plates in Debenhams are manufactured.

The second hot topic of conversation was The Midlands Masters and the newly formed Staffordshire post code lottery to fill their spaces. Due to lack of entries, Fiona Philips (who once had a career annoying people on morning TV) will draw 5 postcodes at random and any bowler living in that post code gets entry into this year’s Masters. After falling asleep and missing out on a guaranteed place, John Newey is busy buying up every house for sale in the Staffordshire area. Winning the Midland masters would go a long way to securing him that prized call up to the staffs county team.

On now to the game against Carter USC. No, Danger USM. Ah sod it, who cares!

First Ade was the earliest finisher today but unfortunately for Ade and us it wasn’t a positive result with the opponent bowling superbly throughout.

Stuart Jones has been going through a rough patch recently but bowled very well for the most part tonight and pulled out some great shots at the death to win 21-19

After the Horror of Kings Norton shook Nicks very faith in the physics of bowls he took a few weeks to recover but back on the terra firma of Woodfield grass his class returned as he romped home, winning 9.

Having recently looked into his family tree, Lyndon realised he has some Dutch blood coursing through his veins. Add this to his beards hostile takeover of the air surrounding it and his name change to Lyndon Van Winkle is just a formality. His rumoured move to darts is unconfirmed at this time but after today’s performance it wouldn’t surprise me. Lyndon limped home 21-19.

Nick Wyer was solid racking up yet another win and continues to prove he is more than Just Jamie’s Brother.

Nick Neweys brother started badly against Jamie Elliot but came back strong with one of his cranky marks to win 21-14 and surely seal yet another MVP and edge ever closer to being parachuted in as Staffs county saviour.

I won in what I thought was a reasonable game against a very pleasant chap

Chris Marshman had the pleasure of a rematch with Chris Simpson and at 20-19 up he was potentially sitting two down for game. After much prevarication, Chris eventually asked Dave if it was one or two and seemed disappointed with the answer. It was probably one which denied Mr Marshman the chance to play a game winning boster, but still he did manage to get everyone watching as he played the perfect bowl to win the game. Show off.

While enjoying a pint and pork pie, Nick intimated that Hadley were going to give me MVP. Quick as a flash, the lesser Newey brother asked what it would take to get that MVP off me. Before I had a chance to react and ask for an MG he was off. Seconds later what appeared to be the gremlin who dressed as Marylyn Monroe had appeared and perched on my knee twirling its hair, blowing kisses at me and tracing its finger nails across my rippling Muscles. It was a mighty fine effort but whoever his source was gave him some duff info. I was always a Jane Russell Boy and along with everything else in them the MVP was staying in my pocket thank you kindly.

A 9-1 win by 28 shots was a pretty good return for the night considering the weather and the fact they picked me

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Yet more Mondays!!

Nordley away was a really nondescript match, really nothing happened of any note at all, I lost twenty and only really went on the off chance they did orange Chips. MMMMMMM orange chips. We lost by 6 so it was a good job they did serve the aforementioned orange chips as it saved the evening from disaster.

Hadley United Service Club

This one was a new one on me so the chance to see a new green tempered the annoyance of a long 60 mile journey there from work via the lovely M6. Despite the usual M6 and the M54 being reduced to a crawl because of non–existent road works we arrived with a minute to spare. 5 mins later we were trying to work out how to get to the green when Port got so flustered he forgot he was being accompanied by his young lady and rushed of leaving her banging on the door to get in. We arrived at the green at 7.03 Nick went to do the draw at 7.05 and Hadley finished their role up at about 7.07!! There were a few things tonight that seemed alien to a Warwick and Worcester boy, things just seem so relaxed around this area, I think they have the same attitude to time keeping as the Greeks.

The first four started slowly with Adi Burchall finding himself well down before managing a comeback to get to a respectable 11 against an impressive Aaron King. Ade must have come off 10 minutes before number 6 and 20 minutes before Nick came off but for reasons that can only be described as Shropshire, the back four stood around like melons until drinks had been purchased cards given out and everyone had the chance to choose their favourite seat. The Bearded lady Lynda Hazlehurst always seemed in contention until a late run against him left him stuck on 12. Ian Porter bowled excellently well to win 11 and Nick Newey fell on the wrong side of a 21-20 score line with his opponent counting with the most bizarre last shot ever seen.

After 4 we were 11 down with just the solitary Figure of Ian in the winners enclosure.

After the half time break that sadly didn’t feature any oranges or team talks the second four could begin.

Chris Marshman went one further than our unlucky captain, beating Chris Simpson to 20. John Newey stood on top of the crown two woods inches from the block below him, lord and master of all he surveyed. Seconds later, boom! His woods parted like the dead sea as he stood crestfallen, helplessly like the captain on the deck of the titanic, viewing the carnage before him. In the distance a band played "Nearer my God to thee" as Johns Hopes of a win, an mvp nomination and a county call up sank without a trace as he lost to 14. I didn’t see any Of Nick Wyers game but his opponent got MVP for beating him 13 so he must have played pretty well. I finished of the match beating Jamie Elliot to 19.

After the match I asked how we got on against ECC, who I am pretty sure we started playing the night after we won on Boldmere, here we are six weeks later and its just due to be finished. To add to this Penn seem to be angling to play 1 player a week for the next 12 weeks. The first game would be a normal bowls match, the second would be darts followed by pontoon, tiddlywinks, monopoly etc and finally the game will be decided on which captain can answer more questions correctly on the bowlers of Penn bowling club. I know clubs have pressures on players but if you tried this in the Warwick and Worcester you would be lucky not to be assaulted, let alone laughed at. To have to play 4 or 5 Saturday games a year on various nights of the week is beyond ridiculous.

Double Monday Madness

Some Monday's ago I took the medium length trip to the site of a few failures - Kings Norton.

Amazingly, my very expensive polo shirt from a well-known and much loved department store was exactly the same shade of blue as the Club shirts of the Norton. I could easily have passed for one of their team except for me being far too handsome to play in a team with such an ugly person as large bottomed Mikey Tierney. It’s nice to see some things don’t change however. The green was in immaculate condition as always and the elderly bar staff were still pouring my last pint I had there from 18 months ago. It still wasn’t quite on time for the start of the game but it was close. The major change to the Norton is a new electric fence but as Sully was on the green rolling up it doesn’t seem to have worked.

The Draw threw together a battle of the Beards as Lyndon and his 18 ply angora beard was pitted against Adam Easthope whose beard compared to us mortals is a luxuriant mass of wire wool. Against Lyndon though the nickname "the beard" started retreating through "the stubble" to ""the five o’clock shadow". Lyndon won 13 in a game that both players can take great credit for. It’s a good job we aren’t very continental and playing boule though. Kissing at the end of the game could only have led to a Velcro like attachment that I fear would only have been uncoupled by industrial strength shears.

Nick Newey continued his dislike and complete bamboozlement with the green but did manage to register a personal best with 13 against the much improved and impressive Paul Baller.

Adi Burchell drew Sully and between them there bowls looked like a packet of Rhubarb and custard sweets. Sullys custard woods looked the business but couldn’t get close enough to beat Adi’s rhubarb red rockets as Adi covered Nicks score 21-13. To be fair, Ades woods look more like radishes but what pillock puts Custard on radishes, saying that I usually put manure on my Rhubarb.

Ian Porter was drawn against Mikey “Son of Mossy” Tierney. Mikey sends me messages a lot asking if the people he has beaten are any good or not. Usually I say nah they must be rubbish cus you beat them. Today though he played a very good and experienced player and used nearly all the things Mossy taught him to beat Ian to 16.

With the first four off we had 2 winners and had the mammoth lead of 3.

Chris Marshman stretched the lead to 10 with victory of Pete Rose 14

Sepp Newy put his case for MVP beating the younger better and more handsome Baller to 16. Dan really needs to undo that top button though because he doesn’t look like the style Guru he believes he does, but more like a badly dressed manakin in Primark's window. Sepp then held a rally in front of the bingo players getting of the ring and ride to further the cause for his MVP and county campaigns.

I drew the ledgend Ian Hickey. Both of us will feel we didn’t really hit the heights but it wasn’t a bad game by any means. The highlight was the last end when at twenty across I managed to put two around the block, ledge struck and hit but only scattered the one leaving me on for game. Ledge from 7/8th the way across the green did his best Oddjob impression, frisbeeing the matt all the way to the club house sending a pint flying and carpeting the slabs with shards glass.

Nick Wyer closed out the game with a victory beating Chris Baker 21 -19 in the predicted tight match.

So six winners and a an 18 shot victory. It was lovely to see some good friends again less so to see Mikey Tierney but you can’t have everything. A big shout out to Carol and Pat who still do great grub

Another rainy home game as we welcomed a youthful Nordley B to Fort Woodfield. Before the game got underway the new Sepp Newy banners were unveiled. "John Newey OBE,CBE,MBE,MVP "- a shoe in for your county". "Make your voice heard Vote Newey!!! MG’s all round".

Lyndon was first to the green and has recently shaved and his head to looks like a newborns arse, his beard though just continues to grow at a rate of knots. If you dyed his beard and turned his head upside down he would be the spit of a troll.

The beard does have its bowls advantages though. If Lyndon walks up the line his beard manages to brush the grass hiding those pesky lines your wood leaves in this weather and making things harder for his opponent to judge. This proved to be the difference today as Lynd wins 21-19 against the surprisingly tall John “not Ronnie” Corbett

Adi Spider Burchall has gone up class changing the spider to spidre - his new found pretentions haven’t affected the bowls though as he beat Dan Bodley 21-14.

Nick Newey had a tight victory over Trevor Lunn 21-17 and Ian Porter put in a MVP performance beating Ross Edwards 17. Will port win MVP or will the marketing juggernaut of Sepp Newey secure the votes of the Micronesian countries and pip Port to the accolade? Find out in a few hundred words and a couple of pictures.

4 winners to start but only a lead of 18. With me to go one and a single figure card more than possible the game was still in the balance.

John Newey took the best result honour, surely a prelude to another MVP beating Gary Jones 21-12 and Chrish Marshman guaranteed victory with an impressive win over Andy Jones 21-14 putting us 31 up.

I played Mark Hall who bowled exceptionally well to earn best result MVP and the I beat Craig Taylor Badge that is awaiting a fresh reprint due to me having to give them out like Blue Peter badges. I lost to 17 which is about par for me on Woodfield. We play on the wrong green :-(

Nick Wyer closed the game out winning 21-18 against Roy Joinson in another tight encounter.

After the game Lyndon decided he would try and kill people with tiny sprinkles of some California reaper Chilli. All I can say is I am so glad I didn’t get any up my nose in my eye or god forbid somewhere worse .

Away at the Richmond. No, The Erdington Richmond? Maybe Richmonderdington?

Chaos and carnage was the order of the day. We had people dropping like flies through illness or work and we were working the phones for replacements like a coked up Jordan Belfort. After a few positive answers and a few negative we arrived at their green with the possibility of having to use the highly contentious double up rule. Chris Greenhill volunteered to double up, partly because he knew what the spread was like at home and really had his eye on the sausage rolls and partly because we wanted to see if it was possible for him to turn into the incredible shouty sulk twice in an afternoon. Luckily, a volunteer sprung forth, or more accurately was dragged off a passing 957, and we were saved. Unfortunately for the Richmond this did mean Chris was clear to devour their apple pies and drink the double cream in between his plates of sarnies. As it happened with so many people out over these two weekends we had to double up in the rearranged game on the Sunday anyway, but it is something we are more than keen to avoid if possible.

Larry and Jp left early so they could get settled in with plenty of time before the game, and as I was leaving it became obvious I was leading a team of halfwits and would need to lead a procession of 4 cars( Chris was at this stage still doubling up and we had supporters). As I was the only one who hadn’t been there before, this seemed potentially problematic. Savo was in the convoy and had missed a vital turn so missed half the roll up. More worryingly JP and Larry missed nearly all the roll up after driving past the place 3 times, slavishly following the sat nav that was intimating the green was a mile away from where it was. We resorted to guiding them home via mobile which proved difficult. “What can you see in front of you Larry?” “ Cars” “Are there any landmarks nearby?” “there are some buildings” “what road are you on?” “f*** knows it’s a bendy one near a park” thank god they can’t see your eyes rolling on a phone. An hour after setting out they arrived and managed to squeeze in a few ends before the roll up ended.

Forewarned with a rough idea where the Richmond would place their players I set out my plan! This was scuppered in seconds as Mick told me they had a few out and some had to gone on first. This was welcome news as we were without a couple of players and are still a side of walking wounded and the fit ones we have aren’t all there.

I went first on Against John Hutt who bowled it really well and took advantage of my slightly distracted state as I looked nervously for UFO’s and tried to block out the memory of a thousand probes to my delicate area. I couldn’t get a run anywhere on the green and john closed out the game 21-15.

Chris Greenhill was up next, retaining his position up front even though he could now stay for the duration. At 8 nil down and the veins in his neck bulging I was wishing we had come with 11. Scotty pulled his Black Widow duty to The Hulk of Chris and some calm words and a hand stroke and the beast was subdued. Chris Managed to buck his idea up and beat Ivy to 12. It has now become apparent I can’t put Scott and Chris on at the same time as Scott is the world’s first "Chris whisperer". Scott did try Horse Whispering but found it only works on animals with a lower IQ.

Larry was another who started slowly, possibly because he missed 9/10ths of his role up, but eventually dropped on a length and finished his game with Meryl who had by this time stopped her earlier marauding and won 11.

Dave Hosgood paired off against ex Sheldon Team Mate Bob Bastock and in truth never found his form at all. The Wiz was More Whizz as he was off the green in the shake of Muffits tale scoring 4.

So after a four in the first four we were four down and time for the less fashionable players in the middle four to dig us out of a whole.

Wiggy returned to winning ways Beating Neil Billingsley 10. It has been a long time since I have felt able to insult Wiggy as his epic run of losses had made me feel quite guilty for taking the proverbial from the poor harmless and brainless fella. Now he has won though all bets are off and he is going to get a merciless mauling.

Due to the general low quality of Wiggy’s play and his unceasing wiggyness having a detrimental effect on my health and the quality of the team I knew I had to do something drastic. I had to Take Wiggy out of the equation but needed a replacement. Someone who the club would accept overlooking the little difference and learn to accept this as Graham, just a slightly less annoying version who can win the odd game. I searched low and I searched high. I trawled the far flung bowls leagues from Heath Town to willenhall, from the Erdington league to the Chinese Taipei league. Try as I might I couldn’t find a bowler bad enough that has a more bearable version of the Wiggly traits. Suddenly it hit me like a Wiggins strike! Okay, it missed me by a yard but I still got the gist of an idea. Wiggy is no good so I’ll get a non-bowler who reminds me of a more palatable Wiggy and teach him to bowl.

Despite his rampant narcissistic nature wiggly still has 4 allies in the club so I had to be careful they didn’t suspect anything. I tricked Wiggy into putting on an iron mask by promising him it was a new facial treatment from L’Oréal and imprisoned him in the perpetually flooding ladies toilet. In case anyone went in I informed the club that we were renting the toilet out to David Blane for his new stunt and no one was to go poking around. My new Wiggy showed up to watch during the rearranged game on Sunday. I was a bit nervous but I have to say Sid Little was the perfect choice: plain, vaguely annoying, completely unfunny but with a sympathetic quality, or is that a pathetic quality I can’t really decide.

In order to carry off the disguise Sid stood next to the players who get most annoyed by the watering off the green and announced how he had come down in the night to put the water on during the worst storm at the Olton of the year. As usual, steam was coming out of peoples ears and much ranting was going on. Sid Gave me a little wink and slinked off into the back ground. I called Sid to express my pleasure with his performance but had to remind him to act a little Less manly than usual as Wiggy hasn’t got Sid’s animal magnetism. I also asked him if he could inject a bit more femininity in his walk.

Meanwhile Wiggy had tried to find favour with a family of rats that nest in the toilets and while he was making headway with the youngest the parents didn’t want their children associating with such a strange creature. After he tried watering the Ladies Toilets while it was still flooded - remember Olton’s Biggest storm in decades? - the rats moved in with Gilly for a better class of conversation and a better smell. Wiggly didn’t go without though as he found Dave Lowe's new secret stash of cider in the cistern of the second toilet.

As the week rumbled on Wiggs allies were starting to notice the change in their friend as he was generally more pleasant, spoke about other things than wiggy and also seemed to start showing an increased and irrational loathing for not very funny funny man Eddie Large. Scotthos had said while in the men’s reading the Telegraph he thought he could make out an SOS Being tapped on the pipes but had previously put it down to the age of the plumbing. Killermiss had noted less competition from this Wiggy at the Buffet, Savos moaned the green wasn’t quick enough and J’Acktagnan said he received a text from Wiggy saying Craggers had trapped him in the ladies toilets. The scales finally dropped from the musketeers eyes (see, this would eventually come back to the Man in the Irton Mask! Ed) when the imposter went 18-9 up at the Colebrook. Despite Sid’s frantic efforts to lose he eventually won 21-18 and the jig was up. The four Sh*ts plotted for days, planning an elaborate coup d’état that would allow Wiggy out of him mask and imprisonment to take over command of this ramshackle outfit at my expense. After many hours of putting their heads together there was a spark of an idea that included the council, Solihull police, a lock smith, two strippers, an episode of 30 minute makeover and local celebs Jeremy bates and Lucy Davis. Fortunately for all involved especially Jeremy bates who was dressed in drag and given the job of keeping me occupied for a few hours while Lucy Davis played tennis Sid couldn’t continue the façade anymore. He went down to the club to let Wiggins out, apologised profusely and borrowed his woods. I am giving you a tip now if William hill will take it put a tenner on the headline Deadie Large:Unfunny fat comic found dead choked on a bowl in bizarre sex game, Sid missing presumed boring.

John Price played Mary Everill and while Mary played some good shots John never really hit the heights of recent weeks and was probably showing fatigue from the hour plus drive around Erdington. The Journey included 3 visits to the high street, a drive up and down the slides at Pype Hayes park, a visit to the underground car park at the Fort and having to listen to whatever oddness Was booming out from the Lambs Stereo. After having the dubious honour of having to go to Erdington high street a few times with work I can sympathise with JP and fully understand why he looked jaded and depressed, the fact he could bowl at all after such a journey is a miracle. John came of winning to 13.

Richie was up against ex-team mate Paul Plimmer and started strongly before Paul Showed his pluck coming back strongly to finish with 17. It is never fun pPlaying friends and I know this wasn’t an enjoyable experience for Richie there was however plenty of cheese and onion on the buffet so at least he got fed.

At this point your hero, your Idol, your sex symbol won the card. All hail me!!

Steve Myatt had gotten a bad draw picking on form Paul Freeth. Steve wasn’t alone in thinking double figures at this point would be a good card. but Steve though had one of his Messiah Days and will feel a pinch of disappointment he didn’t pick up the W. In what was a quality game from start to finish Steve held his own when the Richmond were looking for a big card. Steve finished with 17 and robbed the Richmond of the forward momentum they needed.

After 8 we were 15 up.

Bucko took on Gladys at nine and for 3 qtrs of the match traded shots. Once Bucko settled and held the block for a couple of ends though his weight gained consistency and his card was never in doubt as he ran out winning to 13 and putting us 23 up.

The last 3 had a hard job. Savo hasn’t been playing much recently and came in as a very late replacement Against Mick Everill. Jack was on 11 and while the draw wasn’t overly terrible to him it isn’t jacks kind of green and is learning the art of bowling in the back four. Scotty our resident 12 had drawn the legend that is Tony Freeth and continuing his run of bowling top players nearly every game this year.

With he game as it was the Richmond needed shots early. Mick had got off to a good start but as Jack and Scott went on Savo had started to draw level. With Jack on 11 and Scott bowling brilliantly to take 9-3 lead over Freethy and Savo on 17 we only needed a few shots more. The game slowed to a crawl as Freethy had started finding his rhythm and the bits he had watered and Jack was having a rough patch and Savo’s game was going at an end every five minutes. Jack asked Scotty for words of Wisdom and he imparted exactly what I was thinking - slow the game down and see how Sav Finishes. The next end Scotty played in a real un as Sav continued his move to victory and that was the game won. Savo came off winning to 13 Jack got to the last end but fell short on 20 and Freethy 12 ends to late found a really tricky mark to secure his win over scotty to 11.

The Back four added another 5 to the total to secure a win to 20. With both sides weakened we would have liked the difference to be a little higher, but considering at half one we didn’t even have a full side and the travel palaver 20 wasn’t too bad especially considering the bad start we had. It does seem though me losing inspires the team to be better. Maybe that is my new plan.

The B side who were really down to bare bones came through beating the drakes drum who stole a 1 shot victory on the tavern last year. Then followed that up with another home win in the rearranged Game against Sutton park to complete a successful weekend.

What month is it??

I should have realised something was up. Bright lights whizzing past in the sky, intense heat and light emanating from the shoe cupboard every time I walked past and a strange fixation with molding my mash potato into the shape of bowls or a big top. Yes you guessed it I was either quitting my job to go to clown college or something bizarre was happening involving aliens who play basic tunes on a Bontempi organ. I didn’t pay attention though and I didn’t heed the warnings.

Sometime around 3 weeks ago I was abducted by aliens, taken up to their mother ship and had experiments performed on my fragile mind and body. I was briefly transported to earth to play on a Monday night but on all other days my place was taken by my dopple ganger alien buddy, Squiggy who unfortunately modelled his bowling on Wiggy hence the recent downturn in results.

My memory of what happened to me on the ship is sketchy. I do however remember a ritual and a big headed thin bodied form sat on a flying saucer enchanting "klaatu barada nikto" as some little pig looking men performed several procedures on me. What I also remember was that the space ship looked like badly rendered version of the Starship Enterprise, complete with a Canadian pretending to be Scottish, a drunk doctor, some gruff bumpy headed fella and some pointy eared people. I looked and looked but couldn’t find Marina Sirtiss in an implausibly tight and low cut uniform.

I was left to wonder the ship freely in between anal probes and struck up quite a friendship with an alien that reminded me of Gilly, as all it could say was akkk AKKK AKKK a lot. Thankfully I didn’t have time to learn Dejarik as the Wookies (just typing that word gets a cease and desist email from Lucas arts) big hairy creatures on the ship lose like Chris Greenhill but I did get reasonable at 3D chess and spent hours on the holodeck playing classic bowls matches like Olton v The Raven 1994 and OLTON B V TALLY HO B 1992 (Probably the only game that anyone was actually pleased to see Ted Randall! Ed). It was only after these games and as I was leaving the ship for good did I remember I could do anything I wanted with anyone I wanted and blew the chance to misspend my teenage years a second time.

A friendly Thark sent me on my way, which took a while as I had to shake all his hands, and I awoke with a nasty case of pink eye back in my bed. I looked at the clock it was 1 o clock on Saturday meaning I could still make the Richmond game and put right the damage wreaked by my useless double. Bowling was going to prove difficult as just bending to put my socks on would mean a satellite dish protruding from my rectum and everyone in a 20 yard radius becomes Owl Jolson and launches into “ I like to singa”.

Friday, 26 June 2015

A week of firsts, or thirsts as I was waiting for CJ to get up the bar!! Boom Boom!!

Having played for about 28 years, covering the Business Houses, W&W Premier and Alliance divisions 10-1 and a myriad of local leagues, there aren’t many greens in the region I haven’t played on. This week however saw visits to two such places.

Tuesday night we visited the Brookhill's new home. They are doing an amazing job with the place and the green is coming on leaps and bounds and should be a hell of a thing when they have it how they would like.
The side were facing a big challenge with the a green we don’t see and a side featuring 5 first teamers but this side doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit. Then again, it doesn't know the meaning of the word bowls either. The team gave a big effort and there were some good performances but ultimately we fell short with only two Chuckle shaped winners.

On Wednesday we travelled to the Colebrook and after a good effort lost by 24 with 3 winners for a comprehensive review please see juniors post on talking bowls.

The Thursday A had six winners at home to the White Hart but only won by 27 as the curse of injury continued and we are now up to double figures of people suffering physical or mental injury this year. The evening did give us a new nickname for one poor unfortunate player though.

The B side took the trip out into the county to play the delightful king George the sixth. The game started badly for your favourite side with Maggie not finding the green to her liking but showing Great Spirit to fight to 7.
The other games all started slowly with Scott, Ken and Cat all taking a while to pick up the amazingly tricky weights but all 3 picked it up pretty quick. Cat kept her composure despite a random jack up call from the side to win 21-18. Kens equilibrium wasn’t too disturbed, despite a jerky journey thanks to Fast Eddie, as he finished with 17. Scotty rounded the first four off with a win to 16 in another excellent game. After four we were 11 down.

Fast Eddie took longer to get round the small fence surrounding the green than he spent on the green during his win to 3 and with me winning to four the game was secured. CJ overcame a shaky start when he obliterated Leslie’s end that was at least 3 yards of land to bowl well in his win to 9. Captain Leslie brought up the rear and kept us out later than intended, being bit to buggery by belligerent bugs the breadth of which has never been beholden before, as she fought back late to get to 10.

I think that’s a win by 25 or something akin to that.

The crazy world of Arthur Land

This year we thought we would take an adventure into the Crazy World of Arthur Land super cup. It wasn’t so much "fire I wanna see you burn", as "water I wanna see you drown". Due to the inclement weather we played the away leg the weekend before last and the home leg last weekend.

The away leg was held at Burslem Cricket Club, a large green that had 3 sunken corners and was made more difficult (or easier depending how you like things) by its poor condition. Steve Myatt exasperated his opponent, current county star Aaron Steel on his way to 24, while I beat ex county bowler and confirmed Greg Smith beater David Lunn 20.
Chris Greenhill battled gamely against left handed ex county legend Alan France for his 13. Paul Charlesworth was so impressive in defeating an excellent Scotty to 21 he was rewarded with a recall to the county side.
Overall a 24 loss away to 4 county standard players was a fine effort and set up an interesting second leg.

The hoped for hot weather didn’t materialise for the home leg, and with the green a little sluggish the hopes of holding off another four county bowlers were decreasing all the time. Dave Hosgood bowled some incredible stuff trying to hold on to the coattails of Josh Towey finishing with 17.
Jack got to 21 across against Joe Melvin but the experience of 31 up told as jack ran out of steam losing 23.
Larry was very impressive in securing our second win 31-23. Jaymo found a man on fire and bowled well to get to his 15. So a big loss but a great experience for all concerned.

With the cup out of the way people went for food or for a relax before heading to roll up. Unfortunately, that was when the heavens opened to pour fourth on us for the first time with the sun managing to come out just in time for the Lea Halls roll up.

The game started innocently enough with Dave Hosgood continuing his fine from the mornings encounter winning to 7. His result was so good this week he could tell people that actual score without it going up by 2 after every pint.
Chris Greenhill was next off and at 7 nil down his head went all cartoony on us and he started to resemble a whistling kettle. He went bright red and steam gushed forth from every hole like a mini geyser, issuing forth a sound akin to Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan call. Birds took flight, herds of cows stampeded and worms wiggled extra wiggles in the ground. Chris, tired after his tantrum, calmed down and realised he can bowl, eventually winning 14. One day he will listen to me and realise if he learns to control the incredible hulk clothes splitting nonsense he can be really good. A quick tip: don’t draw attention to bad woods. Smile and let them go unheralded. Shout and bawl when you get a good one, its them you want people to see.

Larry started well but late in the game the wheels came off a tad and his opponent came back to win to 18. The morning game seemed to effect different people different ways and for Larry it was a game to far. I guess 39 shots is Larry’s limit per day.

Wiggy was another to start pretty well but get caught as the game went on and the rain started to fall. Wiggy isn’t quite right at the moment but then again has there ever been a time you could say Wiggy was anywhere near right. Thankfully the falling over on the green and driving into large stationary objects has stopped but he does still possess the spatial awareness of an Italian cruise ship captain. Watching him struggle to fit his woods back into his oversize bag and witnessing him mark the scores on his arm instead of the card is a worrying development and takes him up the yampy league table to 15th yampiest in the club.

The rain started falling heavier and heavier from about half 3 onwards and was starting to have a major effect on the game. I had raced into a lead before the rain and that was being eaten into as the precipitation became so heavy the game was suspended. At this point I was 15-8 up, Richie and JP were up but, Steve was struggling.

With the deluge not letting up we broke for tea and waited for the inevitable sunshine later in the afternoon. With time ticking we bit the bullet and resumed the game probably half an hour earlier than we should have but with the weather changing every five mins and games already to rearrange we had to ensure we got the claim played.

With the green now very heavy Richie and I managed to limp home 21-16 and JP won 21-15. The green though was proving a nightmare for the home bowlers and Steve especially who likes greens a lot quicker and got caught on 8.
Thankfully Jack likes his greens the opposite of his ladies so a rough and heavy green was perfect for him allowing him to cancel out Steve’s result with his own win to 8 giving us a lead of 30 with the last 3 on.

During my time at the club our back four have always pulled through when we have needed them and usually even in heavy defeats have added a healthy plus to the side. With 3 of our best performers at 10, 11 and 12 even with the conditions would be looking at a comfortable win but today was one of those days.

Ian "Yorkie" Jackson has the least imaginative nickname in the club but has been a massive bonus for us this year and when he isn’t falling of tables is usually bowling very well. So I guess we were owed a day like today Tony bowled very well but nothing Ian did worked. At 17-1,however, he did have a brief flicker to get to 4 and who knows those few shots could be vital. I think his poor performance was down to his excitement at meeting Rotherham Commissioners Stella Manzie and Mary Ney at the upcoming meet the commissioner’s event at Rotherham town hut that is held this Friday afternoon.

As well as Meeting the high flying pair there will be a breakfast of local delicacy dripping cake, lightly toasted and smothered in dripping cake with a small glass of dripping cake on the side. After the meeting there will be an important commemoration of the new exhibit at the Magna science museum. They have got hold of a piece of modern tech that will be making its way to Rotherham homes in the next decade. Half of the town are expected to turn out to gasp in awe at this modern wonder. The other family in Rotherham are expected to boycott the event. In an exclusive interview with the local paper the leader of the tribe was asked “what ‘sup wit tut new way tut wush” “we av plenty o rain in this neck of tut woods”. This argument looks set to run and run.

The Pheasant and Boldmere are the only sides to beat us when Scott and Chris have played 11 and 12 and I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else in their place. Although with Chris nip and tuck and Scott 10-1 down that faith was being tested but never broken. A brief flurry from both got things level before suddenly things started to look shaky again as both Scott and Chris found themselves 17-11 down and the lea hall pair of Steve Porter and Wayne Phillips had the block in hands. It was now or never and both players responded perfectly giving me a chance to scream shout and dance like a mad man as Jaymo played a dead un to beat a 6 inch wood and Scotty showed nerves of steel to cleanly pick up the jack and convert two down to two on. From that end onwards the shots were always going to come and a few ends later the game was won. Both Chris and Scott will be disappointed they didn’t win their games but they aren’t in that position to win, they are there to get as many as is needed and that is exactly what they did.

A very close game played in exceptional circumstances in previous years this was the game we would have lost so we can take great confidence and credit that we have grown as a side and hopefully this will spur us on in future games.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Winter wasn’t coming, winter was here!

The weather was more than inclement as I drove up the drive at Boldmere St Michaels. The wind howled across the football pitch, tiles blew from the bungalow roofs and the odd cow whizzed past. I was stopped by 3 rather attractive ladies in a small family runaround asking where Boldmere Sports was. Having been there only a few weeks earlier and driving past only 10 minutes earlier I gave a good stab at directions. A thousand apologies to all at the Sports if the strippers didn’t arrive.

The Conditions were artic. People put on parkers and huddled together for warmth and even tea was made in an attempt to get warmth into player’s extremities. Lyndon strode out to the green in what appeared to be a very impressive knitted jumper that captain Birdseye would be proud of. On closer inspection Lyndon was actually shirtless and his beard has now formed a protective cocoon around his upper torso. Coincidentally the world’s first toasty chin competition was taking place in the bar at the Greyhound. Officially Jonjo Macrory from Gravelly Hill won after recording a chin temperature of 91 degrees (after he placed it in a panini maker). Unofficially, and quite smugly, Lyndon stood in the wet on the crown at the Boldmere, the wind blowing in from the Urals and ice biting in with every gust and downpour knowing he really had the most toasty chin that night.

Lyndon led against Paul Walker but the fast and furious star who faked his own death so he could research his role as notoriously shy bowler Tony Freeth staged another comeback to win 17.

Nick Newey once again showed his class and nouse in picking me. He also played well to beat Greg Walker to 14.

Adam Walker played the corners and the conditions well in beating Stuart Jones to 13. Stuart did extremely well to scramble some important shots at the death.

Chris Marshman was immaculate in his victory over Colin O’Shea, coming in with some great second shots to keep Colin stuck on 9.

After 4 the team were 7 up.

John “shoe in for the county” Newey went to great lengths to prove he could get MVP with any result. His opponent Dave Aldritt bowled very well to leave John a third of the way on 7. Always in with a shout though, John Lost MVP on a coin toss with Chris after a blind ballot of the 8 Boldmere players suspiciously finished 8 hand written votes for Chris and 8 printed John Newey MVP tickets for John.

Sepp Newey is seen here preparing another MVP and Staffs County selection campaign

Nick Wyer was again impressive keeping his 100% with a victory over Terry Gibson 11.

I won in a very pleasant but wet match against Mark Denman, our waterproofs only lasted a few ends before I proved to everyone in their coats and sleeping bags what a real man is like in my Pink polo shirt. I won 14

And Carl Hazlehurst, despite already securing the victory, decided he would keep everyone out as the winds uprooted small towns mounting a comeback to win 19 against Phil Cole.

A good win for the side is it too late to make a charge for promotion?

Bad day at black rock wasn’t as bad or black as today at the Olton

Some days are just crazy, hold your hands up, wipe it from existence and move on.

The day started with me awaking in painwith a left elbow the size of Etna and twice as hot. The condition was later diagnosed by Doc Scott and google as bursitis. Dodge later confirmed this from previous experience and the doctor next morning agreed and gave me antibiotics. My arm was working well enough to text Wiggy to see how he was while he sat in the walk in centre. He informed me of the tests they wanted him to undergo and said he should be okay to bowl. With Ian’s illness all week, Wiggly and his problems and me and my elbow we were a team of walking wounded. With the early start looming and Jack still asleep in bed just getting a side out was proving a challenge.

The Game itself started badly and wouldn’t improve for quite some time. Dave Hosgood liked the film Big hero six so much he thought he would make a play as the lead. Unfortunately to be a big hero he would have needed to win six not get 6. Some people may be confused by that score as Dave told everyone he got 11 and by the end people just accepted it. I did ask him if he was going to make up a score why he didn’t make up a winning score. Quick as a flash, Les answered for him “People wouldn’t believe that”

Larry who is normally Mr reliable up front for us had a very forgettable day struggling to 9.

Jack started slowly against Steve Jones but in showing his growing maturity changed his game plan, bowling long and the change worked well as Jack came roaring back to win to 19.

Wiggly fresh from the walk in centre battled hard all game and considering he was barely able able to feel his hand (that, along with being plain daft - Ed) bowled very well to gut out an 18 loss. If only when things got tight he would have shouted Kiss me Hardy and flung himself from the club house roof.

With the first four shipping 28 the next two up had to eat into that lead quickly. Unfortunately the scores JP and I returned handed the game to Boldmere. Paul Copson bowled very well against JP as did Scott Wilson against me but with the side down we had to find a way back into the game and sadly today we were lacking the quality to do that, dropping 30 shots between us. This not only handed the game to Boldmere, it left the other players on the green shell shocked.

Richie fell below his lofty standards as he lost 13 and Killer sort of listened to the warnings but still moaned an awful lot for someone who at this point had posted only the 3rd half decent score with 16.

Three o’clock rang and the final four took to the green. This didn’t prove any better for Savo who never found top form losing nine to Mark O’Connor.

The normal start time though had worked wonders for Casper the friendly Northerner as he won 16 against Brian Edwards. Did you Know Rotherham has more swings without adequate seating over non child fall safety ground stuff than any other town north of Dover? Also, In the 1480s the Rotherham-born Archbishop of York, Thomas Rotherham, instigated the building of a College of Jesus or Jesus College, Rotherham to rival the colleges of Cambridge and Oxford. It was the first brick building in what is now South Yorkshire ands subjects taught included being tight, being opinionated and how to go to the foot of my stairs. It was a great success and managed to spread these lessons all over Yorkshire.

Chris James had a Quality game with Mick Grundy using all of his left handed cunning and guile to win 16.

At this point I should admit I had a game plan to be in and around maybe 10 down going into the back 3 where my big beasts would come good and drive us to victory. For this to be a success I needed Scotty to win and the first nine to be 70 shots better off, but that’s a minor detail.

Scotty fresh from a big win on Friday had a rematch from last week and once again as has become the norm this year delivered. From 7-1 down Scotty took over and bowled some very tricky marks beating Alan to 15 and, somewhat depressingly, winning the sweep.

During the last four there was a shocking incident. As you know I am much beloved by many and worshipped by some. These good looks, the wit, and the talent the born leadership though also makes me a marked man. There are lots of jealous people who want to hurt me and bring me down. On Saturday jack up was called. I ran heroically, gliding across the ground majestically when bang I went down. A pain shot through my ankle then into my toe before shooting back up into my knee. I turned in midair trying to avoid falling on my badly swollen left arm. My shoulder dug deep into the ground my ribs cracked with the force. People were rushing from all corners to see if I was okay. I waved away the first aider and the paramedic and pulled the busty barmaid close in and kissed her, causing her to feint with joy. I got up dusted myself down and the game continued. Despite being shot in the ankle that magically entered and exited my toe before entering my driver nicking a neck of a man waiting for a bus at the 957 stop and reentering my knee I didn’t complain or make a fuss.

The Sniper I believe is a member Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei a terrorist group based in Greece who are anarchist Nihilists who especially believe that Crown green bowls is an imperialist game and that as the sexy face, the beating heart and the brains of bowls I am a particular risk. Or the sniper could also play for Kings Norton exes and work at the rover where he could easily shoot at me on a Saturday afternoon. I am not sure who that could be but I have a feeling the assassin will be back to try and nobble me again.

So a massive home defeat but looking on the bright side the last 3 were tremendous, Wiggy Showed sparks of form and Jack is starting to become the bowler we want him to be. Boldmere will win this league and they are equal to any side I have played since the Norton went down from Divison 1. The season isn’t about beating them its winning more than the rest. The next game isn’t a must win as we have plenty of opportunities for away wins but we do need to pick ourselves up brush ourselves of and get back to somewhere approaching our best and challenging in every game we play.

Would the last man standing please turn of the lights?

Friday night saw the return of Olton Tavern skittles.

After last weeks incident of JP gets hit with ball in groin,

this week it was Wiggy's turn. With his game against Maggie Pailing in the balance, Graham became a character in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s celebrity deaths with his impression of the death of Genghis khan. Lowey and Gilly immediately threw up their scores while Eddie Waring announced he had moved into 3rd place behind Marat and St Stephen and his stoning.

The game itself was a close one. We lost by 16 at home with two winners and two 18s. I would have more details but the controversial low scoring of Wig's fall was the only topic of conversation. It was later announced Wiggy had employed a stunt double for the fall, damaging his chances and eliciting an unfavourable reaction from the judges - he didn’t even get a ten from Len.

The away leg started promptly as I had taken Scott with me this week, ensuring the magical mystery tour of last Friday wasn’t repeated. It was a Kings Norton reunion with no fewer than 6 ex Norton bowlers on show. I lost the first of the Norton battles 21-20 against Mark Rose. Neither of us will believe we bowled that well, Mark having the distraction of builders that could appear on a daytime BBC expose program whilst I was watching Steve being 11-0 down, thinking he must hate me dragging him all over the shop to play in these games after I left him out for Saturday. Thankfully, Steve was bowling pretty well against Simon Wilcox and that showed as once he got the jack he won the second half of the game 13-10 before losing to 13.

Savo was up against Superstar stirrer and bane of the Warwick and Worcester committee Simon Totten. Savo bowled well for his 14 against Tott and certainly made a positive impression, even getting Totty to declare him a real gent (I always said Tooty was barmy! -Ed). Chuffed with his victory Totty went home via KFC. The local kfc has added a new Bucket to the menu solely for Mr Totten - The Simon Totten super bowls extravaganza bucket featuring 21 pieces of chicken, 21 wings, 21 crispy strips, 5 chips, 10 sides, a Vienetta and a small diet coke.

Bucko was bowling very well against Jamie broadhead and managed to squeak home winning 19. Julie was top notch once again not only in her steadfast support of the team but also for marking cards allowing the rest of us to wander round chatting.

Ian the friendly ghost had been ill all week and was sheet like in his appearance and shite like with his woods. Martin Perks caught out the plucky patient with a devil of a mark. Ian, despite defying the wishes of medical science battled on and made a good ten.

Scotty rounded the evening off with another Kings Norton battle against Dave Wilcox. Scotty continued his fine form this year with a very impressive win 21-16.

We lost by 21 with the handicap and 37 without it or 3 shots a man. A really good effort especially considering we are generally without 3 of our top players on a Friday night.

Monday, 1 June 2015

A double dose of Mid Week round up

I do apologise but the last few weeks have been rather busy, and as such we haven’t done a midweek round up for a while. In all honesty I can’t remember all the results and others I don’t care to remember. Bullet points of things you may have missed.

**I won a Monday game in the summit and there was a bank holiday where I enjoyed a rather lovely curry.

**The Tuesdays lost on the Bradford but handily won the cup game versus the Raven

**Wednesdays lost at the triplex and Pete had to park 1.27 miles from the green due to the amount of spectators that showed up to perv at, sorry, watch Wolves young ladies defeat some other teams young ladies at football.
The Wednesdays followed up that loss with a home win over the British oak with 8 winners by 82. This was a special result considering CJ played.

**There were some Thursday league games I think we won them both but I could be wrong
The A side went out of the cup losing to the Maggies while the B side cruised home against the RSJC. On the way home from the away leg CJ called everyone in his address book to suggest we had four winners away. We actually had 3 and CJ lost 20 but in his book that’s close enough.

**The chips from Cranes Park Chippy are amazing. Just add a little sweet chilli sauce from the world food aisle in Tesco and you have a taste explosion fit for a king.

In other news, the W&W try to complicate the simplest thing ever, get slaughtered on social media and promptly relent. Sepp Blatter attempts to run for WWCBA president in case he loses the fifa Job. To secure his election he starts buying votes by purchasing everyone in the business houses a new mower, and moving the secretaries of division 6 sides into penthouse flats in the Rotunda.

There is much gnashing of teeth at work as despite Coventry University jumping up the guardian league table, leap frogging Birmingham (not in The Times proper league tables they didn’t), the University will soon be known as Greater Birmingham university. The airport is to be renamed little Birmingham airport and premier rugby side Wasps to be renamed "playing somewhere in an inconsequential borough of Greater Birmingham Wasps". The town centre will still be called a shithole.

I hope you enjoy the pictures they are pretty shots of the sky above some of the greens played on this past fortnight. Yes I know you wanted close ups of the footballers but we can’t have everything we want in life. Instead there is an action shot of Alan with a pen artistically protruding into the foreground to give depth and meaning to the shot.