Thursday, 28 May 2015

A Sobering Weekend

Friday night saw the Olton’s debut in the free press cup. With the club looking to improve I feel it is important for the players to challenge themselves and get experience against better players so duly entered us into the Free Press with the reward being a draw against WBFSC.

We had two winners at home against a really strong six and 1 winner away leading to an overall defeat by 86. It sounds a lot and it is but it translates as 7 shots a man. It did the job though as most people enjoyed the challenge and realised that that is the jump in class to a proper side. While we are unlikely ever to be challenging with the likes of West Brom it does provide a yard stick and our next step is to aim to cut the difference to less than 5 shots a man. Highlight of the evening was over at the Tavern where John Price was playing Greg Smith. With the game in its infancy and the scores level, JP has a pearler on the block and Greg decides he has to launch one. Boom! clean as a whistle but then disaster struck as the jack sprung up from the ditch and nearly sliced JP in two. JP staggered and took time out to regroup and check nothing was missing before continuing on with the game. Unfortunately for JP he didn’t score again and the Dastardly Greg Smith stole another victory.

Why isn’t WBFSC WBASFC? Is it not an Albion supporters club? Is it a club for all football supporters in West Brom? I think we deserve an explanation.

Saturday would see us take a trip to Boldmere Sports and really should be subtitled first world problems. Usually I write a big long report that is a laugh second, this one as Les Dawson might say will be a laugh an hour and be pretty short.

It wasn’t a great day in Olton history and the team and certain individuals will be spoken to individually and as a group. What is said will remain in house between us but essentially the gist of the speech will be that we are a team, we need to understand what each person needs and what each person can do. We need to work within those parameters and not react like petulant kids when things go wrong. Results are not all important as if you bowl and behave in the correct manner results will look after themselves and you will go as far as the collective talent will allow. If you start biting at your teammates, if rattles come out of prams and excuses are thrown around like confetti then disaster generally follows. I have captained a side that lost by 90+ at home in Division One but I will never forget that 12 and I will always be proud of the way each of them carried themselves that day.
This year maybe I have been to focused on the wins and challenging for promotion keeping people happy that way and ignored some of the more pastoral duties that come with the captaincy or maybe I shouldn’t have to baby sit 11 grown men.

The game started very promisingly with Action Jackson flying into a fairly unbelievable lead against Steve Carter. Yorkie was brilliant but Steve however was otherworldly in his comeback, running out from dead and buried on a very hard corner mark to win 18.

I will endeavour to enlighten you each week with an interesting snippet about the home town of our northern invader. Did you know Rotherham’s cultural relevance was boosted in 1991 when some scenes of Comedy flop King Ralph were filmed in the town? Some of those scenes weren’t cut and actually appeared in the film. As bonus fact Rotherham was until this week twinned with French town Saint-Quentin. Recently the French own had been wooed by the opportunity to twin with Alum Rock. The populous, filled with the optimism of stepping up in the world of twin-towning launched an in out referendum that was passed unanimously.

Larry was struggling and finally succumbed to 9 but the wiz was winning his game and held off a late comeback to win 14.

I started well but Steve Jones got back into the game and pipped me to the post winning 20

After 4 it was 9 down

Jack continued his improvement as a bowler and until this morning’s snap chat of him sat on the bathroom I thought he had improved as a person too. Ah well I should be thankful for the improvement as a bowler because let’s face it he was pretty rubbish before. Jack bowled very well losing 18 to Andy James proving he can think about his game and change game plan if needed.

JP had a great game with Tony Greening. JP was excellent today in winning 19 and had the older bowlers reminiscing about the Glebe in the seventies. Back then JP didn’t provide sandwiches but in typical seventies fashion brought Prawn Cocktails and Neapolitan ice cream on hot days.

Steve struggled against Paul Copson who appeared to be bowling a very tricky mark. Steve managed to get the block back and was bowling well enough to look like a full scale comeback could be mounted before a great wood closed that down, Steve finishing with 10.

It wasn’t a banner day for our Wiggy who came across a man bowling superbly and was left marooned on 11. No long story about wig this week but I did receive an email from a long time reader whom if they struggle with the concept of these reports must find wrestling a complete mind f***

Dear Craig
I really enjoy your blog and find you the wittiest and sexiest Bowler around but one thing has been bothering me about this season. If you and the team want rid of wiggy so much why you don’t just drop him instead of engaging in elaborate but doomed plots to remove him.

Yours in awe
Mila Kunis

Well Mila, it has crossed my mind and if the current form holds I may be left with no choice but this way is more fun and gives the big lug a chance. The Mountie could have simply locked up any wrestler on a tour to Canada leaving a straight fight between him and Dino Bravo for the WWE Belt, but I assume it was more fun to lose a lot and then cattle prod people.

After 8 we were throwing a wobbler and were 31 down

Savo bowled well in his defeat to Mark O’Connor 15

Chris Greenhill exploded a tad but thank god the nearest fence was as far away as his woods were from the jack - we managed to get away without Chris needing a million splinters removing form a "Hulk Smush" incident

Jamo got stuck on 11 against Villa groundsman and hull goalkeeper Steve harper but at this stage things had rapidly gone FUBAR so concentrating would not have been easy.

Scotty once again decided to come to life after giving his opponent a head start. His comeback though kept both teams entertained and managed to get some smiles going after a difficult twenty minutes with his cranky coppers and banter with the crowd.

A bad day at the office not for the score or the performance as I would suggest 8 of the side bowled very well and Boldmere were brilliant but we did fall shot in the attitude and behaviour stakes. This won’t happen again and if it does then changes will need to be made whether that’s in players or captaincy we will have to see. The Result of the next game does not define the rest of the season, how we perform and react to last week’s effort however may come to define the future of the club.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Forget France and put your clothes on

With all due respect to the teams we have already faced, The Pheasant lined up as the first potential banana skin at home. Last year we won by 40 odd shots on a green that was fairly rapid. The weather had been mixed all week and the green had been variable in the last few days with a return of our Cringer/Battlecat type mottling. With all this and my boys fixating on historical worries meaning they are yet to be completely convinced they can come good at this level, surely I could be forgiven for a few Friday night nerves.

The clement Saturday weather managed to convince some of our less leggy members to show off their short fat hairy legs, Morecambe and wise sand boy style. Both Killer and Rotherham Ian unfortunately came as Ernie Wise leaving Scotty to fill in for Eric with his Invisible man and paper bag tricks. Thankfully the sun went in and Killer Wise and Ernie Jackson covered up just in time for the sun to burn down on the hallowed turf causing a mini heatwave and speeding the green up a few yards.

About twelve from the pheasant arrived about ten past two and then another twelve and finally just before roll up the rest of the squad arrived. A record number of 14 took to the green to practice with at least one playing member not getting on. With Tom telling us hthat the recent assault in the pub had made the newspapers over in Warley world maybe they had come en masse for protection? Or maybe it is just such a great place to be they couldn’t resist a visit and the chance to send a few woods at the home of Craggers.

As I did the draw I started to think today would be our day as I was very happy with the way the games were falling and to see several good players on the side lines. With the draw done I handed the cards out and JP was the last one to recieve his marking assignment and had the ill fortune of it being mine. As it handed to him he said “thanks Craig I always like marking your card Scott” I always say if my mom can get it wrong so can everyone else they just don’t usually get it wrong in the same sentence they got it right in. I guess you can’t blame a man for covering all bases, and at least he didn’t call me Colin.

With Larry away I needed a new number one and felt the extra responsibility would help Jack in his development into a half competent player. This also presented Jack with a chance for revenge Over Alan who had metaphorically spanked his bottom red raw last week. Jack was pumped up and pimped up by his own admission his clothes may look like rags but they cost him a fortune. From what I saw which was quite a lot and what my minions had reported to me this was a high Quality game. Certainly it was the best I had seen Jack play. He was controlled, consistent and confident he was playing the right shots at the right times and was very impressive in his win to 15. Alan must also take the praise and bowls out green very well.

Dave Hosgood Got back to winning ways on his return to the side with a hard fought victory over the tenacious Steve Devonport 21-19.

Steve Myatt was up next and he has proved a conundrum this season. Up until this point the Club Champion hadn’t put a bowl right at home but had an exemplary and lauded away record. Well it was nearly exemplary but we had all forgotten about the Horror of his 1 in the cup when discussing it midweek. The game started in familiar fashion for Steve but to his great credit Steve dug deep refusing to be beaten again at home to secure and excellent win to 18.

With the San Miguel 2 for £5 I had decided I would have a drink for once and get the bus home but a drink before the game may have been a miscalculation. After years of driving everywhere and barely drinking my resistance to the effects of strong larger is pretty much non-existent. The combination of this strange Yellow stuff and an unseasonable blast of warm air had led me to be a little wobbly. Thankfully though I ran off the effects and hit a purple patch of form to race into a 16-4 lead. I managed to survive a late rally from the dangerous Rob Thacker finishing 21-9.

After 4 we were 23 up

Gwigg was up at five and wasn’t himself all day as the stress and strain of another week of my trying to rid the Olton of him had begun to show. Despite this,however and his long journey Saturday he managed to claw his way to 17 against Jon Saunders who it has to be said bowled the green as well as anyone I have seen in a long time.

After last Saturdays game I decided the best way I could rid us of Wiggy would be to intern him in a prison on an Island, preferably a series of three small islands in French Guyana that serve as high security prisons. I decided on such a hell hole not because of the poor food, baking heat and cruel guards, but because the uniform is red and white stripes and Wiggilon (as he would become known) looks bloody awful in red and white stripes. Honestly he looked like a large tube of Colgate being squeezed. I had paid a crooked screw 2 francs and some camembert to smuggle wiggilon into the jail.

Once there he was warned that escaping would mean a day in solitary. A second attempt would be 3 days and a third attempt would be the guillotine. Young Wigggilon was blasé about that until he realised he that not only would he be cutting paper with it, he wouldn’t get protective gloves and could easily get a paper cut.

Wiggilon was shocked by the horror that surrounded him: one man skinned his knee in an attempt to get taken to hospital but the guards just used a mediprep with no anaesthesia and threw him back into his squalid beach hut while another young prisoner was taken into the sea and pushed over while being mocked.

While being put to work catching butterflies, Wiggilon was attacked by a vicious gerbil. The guards laughed, put their Styrofoam bats away and forced Wiggilon to fight off and subdue the beast. After a long tiring battle Wiggilon eventually forced the gerbil back after kicking sand in its face. It was at this time he declared he would escape.

After making a deal with the guy who buys the butterflies from the camp, Wiggilon catches a butterfly then lets it go causing such a commotion it allowed his to escape. The butterfly collector betrayed our brave hero, however, keeeping his scratchings and 2 bob that had been used to buy freedom and had duly turned Wiggilon back over to the prison.

He is placed in a small cell with only an Xbox 360 and 4 games to play and a whole day to kill. His food was pushed through a gap in the door but Wiggilon threw his milk chocolate bounty back at the guard, as he prefers dark chocolate. As punishment he was put on half rations and Netflix was taken off the Xbox. Towards the end of the 24 hours wiggilon had become very weak and started hallucinating about his triumphant return to the Olton. He was reduced to the green chocolates in the quality street tub when suddenly he is released.

With his strength returning, Wiggilon arranges via a prison doctor to escape during the One Direction concert that was on that evening (starring John Price, subbing for Zayn). While Harry wiggled his hips seductively Wiggilon got a wiggle on and stole out of the camp and headed for the boat he had bought. Once there he realised he had one again been betrayed (it’s a bit of a theme for Wiggly)! The boat was useless but his luck was in when a strange man, who may have been Gilly, announced he had given two guards waiting for him a Chinese burn and helped Wiggy of down river in a pedalo. Downstream Wiggilon met a tribe of Flu sufferers who tested him by having him drink out of the same bottle of pop as the leader. Thankfully he wasn’t at a contagious stage and Wiggilon continued his Journey to Honduras.

Wiggilon lands his boat on a beach but is chased by a bunch of locals who probably drink in The Raven and was shot with a blowpipe. He awoke being tended to and nursed back to fitness by a large naked man. After a good sleep Wiggilon wakes up to see the natives have gone and all that is left behind is a bag of Haribo. Finding some new clothes on a handily placed washing line Wiggilon finds refuge in the nearest Church. What a surprise though that after 15 minutes they got shot of him and turned him into the prison guards.

3 more harrowing days with no Netflix and an amazon stream that wouldn’t play at the full 1080p and Wiggilon was eventually released from solitary looking a full week older for his ordeal. Wiggilon made one last attempt to escape the god forsaken butlins after finding a bunch of flotation devices from the swimming pool and launching himself of a cliff into the sea. Miraculously, the tide swept him up the canal and out by the Rover, just in time for this week’s game.

JP was up against Adrian Tudor whom has played two very good games against us. Adrian bowled very well to take an imposing lead against the cob. JP however had practised this on Wednesday when he fell just short of a miraculous comeback, today though John made no mistake timing his run to perfection dipping for the line at the perfect time and winning 21-20

Richie was enjoying playing against someone other than Eddie Lowe and won another fine game, this time against Tony Abbey 21-15

Action Jackson stepped into the breach against Eddie and won in a game that didn’t turn out to be a thriller, but definitely featured two off the wall competitors. The people of Rotherham I believe were suitably impressed when they took the result of the pigeon’s leg and rushed it round to the town reader who duly revealed the result. Rotherham haven’t had call to be this proud of one of their own since Jive Bunny topped the charts.
After 8 7 winners and we were up by 39

Savo made his season debut and after a slow start showed the kind of game that drives his opponents crazy. Invariably Sav would put the jack in the hardest position teasing the opposition with what they think is room before the rug gets pulled beneath them when they find you simply can’t get your wood near the block. It didn’t Help Mick that he didn’t get a roll up and must have been as confused as we were to as what had gone on. Savo though bowled well and gave me a selection headache in the future as he wins to 13.

Chris Greenhill would be the major suspect in the assault enquiry - if the assaulted were a fence or fish and chips or even the sensibilities of an innocent soul who happened to watch him bowl. Chris seemed agitated from the start, no doubt he had missed a meal or two this morning and calculating the amount of Pheasant supporters may mean less food for him had sent him into shock. At 7 Across I put on my Dog handling suit and riot gear before approaching to ask what was wrong. A string of expletives informed me he was getting hammered on his own green. Either the boy has sky high standards (we know that’s not the case) or he can’t count. Then it happened. It was like witnessing a live action version of the Bisto advert. The smell of cooking from a nearby house wafted under his nostrils, he floated above the ground as he filled his lungs with the smell of roast beef parsnips and roasties. Chris, refuelled by the fumes, was becalmed and his bowls did the talking as he finally got home against tom 21-19.

Chris James was meanwhile enjoying a game against Darren Hamblett, to be honest I haven’t a clue what was going on but there seemed to be hilarity and bemusement in equal measures for the most part. Chris Winning handily 21-12

Scotty was up last against Alan Griffin. This draw always looked favourable and although Alan gave it his best Scotty was running away with the game and looked set to win the 21-4 pot. One brain fart of an end though Gave Alan the block but Scotty closed down the comeback as soon as it started though to win to six and leave us with 11 winners and a win by 72.

Despite the pheasant having several good players on the sides it was still a strong performance from the team with players refusing to lose and even with the game won still fighting hard for every shot. It’s another milestone in the side’s development that a side as strong as The Pheasant can be dispatched in that fashion. Next week we travel to the champions elect for an adventure of an altogether different shape.

The teas under the new gaffer have featured and amazing array of cake matched only by the ornate, elaborate and in your face cake stands they are perched upon. With room at a premium we stood on the balcony chatting with Tony Rowley and hurling abuse at those still around the green. Someone had secured Tony a plate of grub including sarnies, nuts chips and a peculiar looking curry dipping sauce. Tony thought he'd give it a go and heaped a whole load of this sauce on his chip. Seconds later there was a gagging noise as Tony spluttered chip everywhere. The strange dipping sauce turned out to be Black Forest Gateaux. Tony tried again just to check he hadn’t stumbled across a new gastronomic delight but from the retching noises it was clear he hadn’t.

After watching Nee And Rotherham’s funniest man since Paul Shane bodge a watering system with a house brick and a hose it was into the pub to settle in for a long night of cheap san Miguel’s and outrageous stories about games CJ claims to have won. Lord Lowe got confused by the crowd and thinking it was the AGM followed us in. I didn’t mind until he voted against me for club captain.

Overall a really good day. A big thank you to the Pheasant forty who came and to my team for their performance and support. A big thumbs down though to West Midlands Travel who charge £2.20 to get me home and don’t even supply a roof.

In other, unreported and uncelebrated news, the Alliance team lost in a tight match away at Boldmere Sports. Its uncelebrated and unreported because once again no-one in the alliance side can be arsed to take a picture!!

Heath Town??

This has been pulled directly from Wikipedia.

"Heath Town is a district of Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, located ENE of the city centre. It is also a ward of Wolverhampton City Council. The ward forms part of the Wolverhampton North East constituency. It give’s its name to a Crown Green bowling league in the area that is overlooked by many and a distant 3rd to Monday night monster leagues like Summit Garage and Kingswinford".

On Monday the 11th May 2015 that changed. The Debut of internet celebrity, local legend and 6 time Sheldon rear of the year winner Craig Taylor officially put Heath Town back on the map. Already within just 24 hours they have received a record number of 1 new registration.

Now you may be asking why I was in the Heath Town league? Well it’s a long and sorry tale so ill cut to the chase. Andrew Strauss has taken over as Woodfield Manager and told me I can’t play because he has deep jealousy issues (he was second in the Sheldon rear of the year 2010). He did however ask me to advise the summit team. I declined the offer, politely wedging my bowl somewhere that would disqualify him from any subsequent runs at rear of the year.

Woodfield Number 2 green was quite an experience and I can imagine would be gorgeous and a real challenge if quick, although when I left we had only registered two winners so maybe we don’t want it any harder than it already is. I would like to thank all those who played and welcomed me into the fold and weren’t offended by my luminous presence on their green.

As I didn’t see the game on Woodfield number 1 I will leave you with what I believe is a truthful and accurate report. The winners played well, the losers didn’t play as well but did more than enough to allow the winning side to win while the winners for the losers didn’t do enough to prevent the losers from losing. Everyone was happy and the game finished with a group hug and a rendition of abide with me.

Tomorrow I hold a press conference to announce where I will be playing next Monday. Will a late mega money offer from the Kingswinford league sway me?

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Revisiting the scene of a crime

I am not the pheasant plucker, I am the pheasant pluckers mate, and nearly plucked the pheasant but we didn’t as they were stronger over 12 than we were.

The Pheasant is a majorly hard green and not one we play more than once a year, and with the side they put out they are a major challenge for anyone as was proved by their win over Boldmere by 40plus just a few weeks back. We go everywhere wanting to win, but using election jargon this wasn’t a target seat for us and despite a very strong effort Warley was a hold for the Pheasant but did see a 4 % swing in favour of the Olton from last year’s showing. There were a couple of mistakes in the polling that cancel each other out but unlike George Galloway we will not be appealing to all sorts of courts to overturn the result and have us declared supreme champions of bowls.

First off for the Olton was young left hander Jack Savage. His development away from home had been impressive this year, however he hadn’t played anyone who knows his green as well as Alan Hemming yet. Alan used the green well finding a very hard swinging mark that Jack just could not get the line for. With no obvious or maybe even possible turnover Jack was left with little option than to keep attacking. Jack tried manfully but Alan had too much on the day beating Jack to 6. It’s a big learning curve for Jack, as is watch with mother, but he is taking it all in his stride and growing as a bowler because of it.

Wiggy battled away but never looked comfortable with the pace off the green in his loss to 11 and is going through something of a slump at the moment. I watched Bull Durham recently for tips to how to get a young star out of a slump, or was I just watching because Susan Sarandon’s in the film. Either way that led me to suggest wearing women’s underwear and breathing through his eyelids - I am not sure wiggy approved.

This week has been a challenging one for me as without any religious leanings I have had to try and pass myself of as the voice for silent Franciscan monk Wiggli of Assisi. I thought if I could infiltrate the order and implant wiggly as a famous cleric and scholar who you aren’t allowed to speak to, I could just tape his gob shut (getting that much tape was a job in itself) and dump him in the monastery in Dubrovnik and no one would ever find him. Even dressed head to foot in sack cloth, hooded and his mouth gagged Wiggy can’t help but offend people. All was going well, we met with the head monks, and we mixed at lunch as I politely declined water and bread for Wigg and got through the first night well. The bed was a bit hard and bumpy but wiggly didn’t complain (or I couldn’t hear him complain as I chained him up in the corner of the room). The next morning I untied him, let him use the bucket in the corner and then we headed down for breakfast. That is where they saw it. Wiggy just couldn’t resist and while my back was turned during his bucket break out came the pink nail polish and his toes were duly prettified. They were apoplectic and for insulting the order by bringing such a creature before them I was demoted to nun in the Poor Clare’s where mother angelica is to whip me for 4 straight days. I wanted a fifth night but unfortunately we are short on a Thursday so I have to play. Poor Wiggy though wasn’t as fortunate he was scrubbed with brillo pads before being dragged through the great cactus fields of the croatian Adriatic coastline by six diarrhoea ridden pigs that were being force fed prunes. This though was a walk in the park, considering his poor teammates had to face up to the fact they have been let down once again and Wiggy will still be in the side this Saturday.

Larry was rock solid throughout his encounter holding off a spirited comeback from Rob Thacker to win to 19.

I was playing out an epic game in terms of length if not quality with Jeff Hildreth and won to 19, or it could have been twenty as there is some debate as to whether Jeff Managed a two during the game or not. The more I think about it the more convinced I am he did get a two, but with both cards saying no it was left as 19 and by happy coincidence cancels out a latter mistake in the match. It would appear nobody actually watched the games and people just guessed the scores.

After 4 we were 21 down but had some good cards in position.

Steve Myatt played Mac Saunders in a battle of two of the nicest men you can find playing the game. Steve continued his fine away form this season with yet another win 21-18.
Richie for the third game against the Pheasant running drew Eddie Lowe. The previous games had been tight but Richie stormed off into a big lead before being pegged back. Richie though pulled out some magical woods to get back into the game and win to 19.

John Price crossed swords With Wendy Hemming, and every time John Looked like he would get away Wendy would find a bowl and go on a little run. JP though kept up the pressure and won to 21-14.

JP provided the Chuckles with a cob each today and I can confirm John truly is King of the Cob. Not a fake king like King of the Ring, or Burger king, or Don Ammott king of Caravans but really the tip top of the scale no one makes a cob like John. Scotty ran the green for 6 ends and had just about finished it, mine was like the Cliff-hanger on old TV series Rocket Man which to my utter shock have just found out was written by Lenny Bruce. I took a bite and then another I was seemingly 2 bites from the end of the cob, I put it down to do a measure and when I picked it up it was full again and this time had gherkins on it.

Dave Follows was last of the second four and unfortunately for Dave who hadn’t seen the green for 40 years he got drawn against the very impressive Tony Abbey. Dave scrambled for four shots but certainly didn’t bowl badly. To add insult to injury I signed the card with Dave getting 3 and that wasn’t to offset the one I felt I owed Jeff, I just didn’t look.

So after 8 we were 26/7 down with 5 winners with all four on the green and bowling well it wasn’t outside the realms of possibility we would scrape 9 winners and lose and one good card could springboard us to an unlikely victory.

First off Was the Killer. The fence at the bottom by the boxing club has seen better days and in truth was in a state of collapse before Chris arrived. Word gets around the fence world whenever a serial slat abuser has been identified and this was no different. Every time Chris walked past the fence bowed, buckled and creaked in despair shying away from his glance in case his very existence fired the wrath of the Panel bashing beast. Chris launched into an 11-0 lead leaving Neil Essex feeling like Wayne Rooney had handed in a transfer request. Neil Though struck a blow for Fences of all descriptions everywhere battling back against the evil oppressor of inanimate wooden partitions. Killer though got his opportunity to dance around like a crazed loon when a toucher got him home 21-18.

Meanwhile Ian was bowling woods that were not for girls while enacting the war of the roses as our very own pudding took on the Lancashire might of Tom “Man U” Russell. “A two a two my kingdom for a two” Went up the cry from the house of York. Unfortunately that last two never came and the sixth Jackson blamed his 19 loss on the boogie.

Chris James bowled solidly but against fellow left hander Adrian Tudor the heroics of the white heart looked unlikely. Chris finished with 13 but probably deserved better.

Scotty fired himself into a handy lead but lazy second bowl syndrome stopped him breaking the game open and Steve hung in there before Scotty eventually closed the game out to 14.

So after 12 we finished with 7 winners and a loss to 27 or maybe 26 but probably 27. A great effort from the team but 2 single figure cards proved to be a bridge to far. Still a very happy captain with all of his troops and looking forward to the return leg at home leg next week.

Aftermath – Chris Greenhill had already eaten a Coast to Coast double cheese and bacon burger with two sides of fries and liquid cheese before he mounted his offensive on the pheasant tea. With the tea being made up of curry and assorted Indian starters, and Scotty and myself out for a curry on the evening, we didn’t partake but our share didn’t go to waste no indeed! Chris is a man who hates waste even more than he hates fences and launched himself into thirds and fourths if you count the handful of chips he stole from someone’s plate on the way out. You would think this was the height of his greed but NO!!! The insatiable human dustbin had phoned the Olton - this wasn’t to hear how the Alliance side had done but to check what the tea was like and to get someone to save him a plate and a few cakes as he had the munchies. Disgraceful.

Wiggy has driven to the last two away games transporting 6 fellow bowlers to games. After Saturday and a road rage incident where he chased a young women half the way up the Small Heath bypass I know have 11 bowlers who won’t get in the car with him, including Wiggy himself. Killer, who enjoys nothing more after food and beating fences than a good ruck has asked if he can go with wig to home games.

The Alliance win again, but I only know this because i looked at the board - the lazy b******s cant be arsed to take photos!!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Terrible Tuesday and Noobocalypse Wednesday


Precipitate lots

Gorgeous double rainbow

Bowling sucked bum

Noobs!! Bloody good noobs too :-(

No haiku’s for Wednesday as we travelled the not-as-far-as-I-thought-nor-was-led-to-believe
trip to experience the delights of Woodbourne, which is much nicer and
a lot less scary than Bloodborne - just as tricky a challenge though.

I hadn’t been before so I was looking forward to playing one of the few
greens left that I hadn’t played.

The weather was pretty lousy and the wind was blowing across the field
and through the hedge in an easterly direction, birds huddled together for warmth and the bowlers were all padded up in puffy jackets that
made them look like an advert for Michelin.

As the first four took to the green PG tips, who is struggling for form,
probably didn’t need a game on the monster that is Woodbourne, but true
to his nature Pete never shirks a challenge. Unfortunately it didn’t’
click tonight for Pete tonight as he lost 3.

Neelesh (spelt correctly) was up next. DHNEE hasn’t been bowling that
long and is much more comfortable at home or at work where he is king
to all the DHL employees at the Rover. The change in weights proved
too much and though he battled gamely to impress his other half it was
to no avail and finished nestled alongside Pete with 3.

Scotty was bowling very well until late in the game when the weight of
captaincy told on him and his concentration snapped like a twig that
had been flash frozen by Mr Freeze in that dreadful Batman film (saved only by George Clooney as Batman - Ed).
Scotty finished with a joint game high of 16.

I was enjoying a trip round all the cranky marks I could find, cursing
that the green was subdued somewhat by the weather and also cursing
Albert for beating my best woods. Albert really needs to start putting
away the rabbits when he gets them.

So after four my abacus needed more beads to help me work out the
minus but ill guess at 46

The second four started with Henry Dingley who was having a really
good game with Kate until she pulled away in the second half beating H
to 10.

Rocky was another who appeared to be having a good game but Tony Toal
eventually subdued the fire in the rock leaving him on ten.

At this stage we were invaded by tennis balls! I wish they had come
sooner as I might have played better with them. With one stuck on top of
the well-trimmed hedge Chuckle 1 called "42 blackpool 69". The call was
for me to jump and he would lift, but I thought it meant thump your
opponent. I would have done it too but Albert was the other side of
the green and it’s a long trot round and I was tired after reading a
long email chain at work. I jumped majestically like a salmon as
Scotty barely needed to do anything to support my lithe athletic
figure. The ball was the other side of the hedge though so couldn’t
reach. Ah well back to the bowls.

Dave Hosgood was grinding his way back into the game that looked like
it was heading for another single figure card. One bad lead though
cost him as Billy closed the game out to 15.

John Price was playing rock god Keith Richards and we did our best to distract
Keith with tales of Torquay. As it turns out it was his hat (or lack of) that caused
all the trouble though - people kept mentioning it, laughing and
pointing! At times it looked like it may fallen over his
eyes but still the homester used the green well at the end of the
game to beat the impressive JP to 16.

My abacus burst into flames at this point so I will guess we lost by
over 9000 I don’t think it’s a very good guess.

JP was being picked up for tonight’s game and had duly prepared Ian
some sandwiches. Once Ian remembered where we were and how hard the
green is though he put in for a triple overtime shift. The scones were
lovely so thank you Mr Price and cheers Ian you don’t know what you
missed. Well you do - you missed two scones and a kicking.

Thank you very much to the Woodbourne for not only the use of their
fantastic facilities but also for the warm and friendly way they
kicked us to death. Rarely have I enjoyed such a good thrashing and
not paid her for it.

Good luck for the rest of the year and look after that green it’s a
national treasure. Homework for next year is to learn topiary and sculpt a
bowls scene in the hedge.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Phil Silvers and Peter Butterworth are rolling in their graves

I hadn't been to the White Hart in what must be 20 years, and to be honest I can't remember anything about it other than it's in Redditch, which is never a good start.

The only other thing people remember the White Hart for is that back in the pre- sat nav days it used to take even the most practised of travellers two days to find the place. Indeed, on our last expedition there Ranulph Fiennes got so desperate he started chewing on the late Alf Powell’s leg while snuggling into Neil Drayton for some warmth. Amazingly, this years trip took us about 25 minutes and that included finding on street car parking. Wiggly had no such qualms and just left his motor on someone’s drive and waved at them through the window. Wiggy is a villa fan though so they probably saw he had six toes and thought they were related.

I drew Number 1 this week safe in the knowledge I would get shoeless fella Stuart Rice. It has to be ten years now he hasn't had footwear but there is a shoe bin on the carpark for god sake. I think it is a disgrace how in this 'year of someone’s lord' 2015 people cannot afford to be shod in an appropriate manor. I believe the WWCBA should act now and introduce a levy of 50p per player to buy the less fortunate new shoes.

Anyway after a nip and tuck game I let a run of twos put Stuart in the driving seat and I never really recovered. A decent card of 16 but a disappointing performance.

The Wiggster took the number 2 slot and showed true grit to carve out a solid 14 from what was looking like a single figure card.

The idea behind taking the Wiggly one to join the French Foreign Legion was to help him forget the pain caused by us not loving him and simultaneously allow us to forget him. My plan was to make sure he was settled then use back channels to secure my exit. This is a long and terrible tale, but please note any resemblance to carry on follow that camel is purely coincidental. I have just watched that and bloody hell! the only thing worth remembering was Sally Douglas and her heaving bosom as she played harem girl number 3.

We were greeted at Fort Cameo by the Camp Commandant, who was certainly a “CAMP” commandant. All seemed well as we were put through our paces doing the usual training routine of using a bayonet to stab sand bags, except i deliberately missed the sandbags and started bayonetting (that’s not an euphemism) Wigs wherever and whenever I could. The Other training we were subjected to was walking the desert with no water. Well, I had water but I wasn’t letting Wig know. It was hellish, the sun was burning down cracking his chapped lips and searing the flesh on his face. You cannot imagine the discomfort I was in watching as every few yards Wiggy would see a mirage of an oasis but when wiggy would arrive there all he would get is a mouthful sand. It was so disturbing I had to look away while enjoying my ice tea. It was after basic training that it became apparent the camp commandant had taken a shine to Bo Wigglet's less than pert buttocks. It was a coincidence too far for the commandant as he had joined the legion to forget a French man who played boules badly but was very lucky and went by the name of Le Wigglet (with an accent on the e). In a desperate bid to rid himself of this reminder of a lost love he sent the Wiggly one on a suicide mission and then sent me to keep him out of trouble. This was a tough mission that made the pacification of Algeria look like an episode of Don’t get Done get Dom. The local sheikh had been breeding a new killer elephant in order to storm Fort Cameo and crush the legion infidels. It was our mission to sneak into the camp dressed as mice and steal all the peanuts the sheikh was feeding the mutant Elephants on. Wiggy got confused and dressed as a peanut - I told him to stay back but he foolishly ran into the tent marked "danger killer elephants!!! No peanuts!!” I managed to squeak in just behind him, sending the elephants stampeding off into the sunset. Alas I was too late as one elephant had bitten off Bo Wigglets right arm.

I carried both Wiggle and the detached arm back to camp. The commandant broke down in tears guilty he had put his lover’s doppelganger in harm’s way and with immediate effect gave us dishonourable discharges back into the custody of the Olton Tavern. Once back in the country I took our wig to the hospital and they managed to reattach the arm. I asked the Doctor if Wiggles would be able to bowl after the operation. “Of course he will” declared the very chipper doctor. “That’s great news Doc, He couldn’t before”

And with a line as corny as that we are brought full circle. Wiggys adventure in the sun a distant mirage and another avenue of retribution for us poor souls shut forever

Back to the action, where Dave Hosgood's oppo was bowling some great stuff but Dave dug deep doggedly for some vital shots finishing with 10.

Larry though must have Australian blood as he was right at home in convict land, showing a light fingered touch to steal a win to 8.

After 4 that left us 10 down which is not a position we have been in that often recently. I was confident, however, that at least 3 of the danger men were now out of the way.

Steve Myatt held his nerve during a spirited come back to put our second winner on the board and swing the momentum our way. 21-16

From Seven across Richie turned it on winning to 8.

JP was awesome and was smiling nearly all the way through the game. A late fightback in the corners tested Johns resolve and the last end was notable as the whole of the White Hart minus Stuart were calling John down, while Richie and I were all in on Pricey counting. Hearing Ritchie wager a grand on him being on, Pricey decided to attack and played his second up short. Measures were called, John was on and won 14. Richie never got paid his grand but he did win 2 quid on the sweep as joint second

Dave Follows, despite not being happy with his leads bowled a very steady game, keeping things tight with a loss to 16.

The second four had propelled us back into the reckoning taking a 10 shot lead into the back four.

Jack doesn’t agree but I am right - this was the best game I had seen him bowl away from home. That being said it was not without its wrinkles. At 17-4 up Jack was excellent, but his opponent had done nothing wrong and was still dangerous. As she mounted her comeback, Jack got a little wobbly and struck himself off to give an easy two away. Jack settled down though to nip back in and close the game out to 14. Jack, look at the state of the game. We were ten up and you had your shots on the board early. Yes we all want to win and win big but relax, she was bowling well on her green the comeback can happen. 17 up at that stage was already nearly what we needed and any win in that position is a bonus do not stress because you didn’t put the card in that finished the game. Good game though away bowler.

Chris Greenhill has really taken to life in the back four, scrapping away for shots and never giving in. This was apparent again though as he fought from well down to finish with 17. He needed a little “Super Brat” style histrionics to get there though, arguing with a guy in a chair and a blazer that he had definitely seen chalk dust!. With his McEnroe stylings not completely working Chris punched the fence. Thankfully his punches were as powerful as those thrown in the super hug that was on PPV later that evening. I was going to say he hits like a girl but didn’t fancy finding out how hard our female readers can actually hit.

Chris James has had a rough start to the season with one thing and another but his class has never been in doubt. With Chris down, Jack starting to wobble and Scotty at this point not really bothering the scorers we were in need of a Jaymo performance. Well we got one all right, a picture perfect game winning to four and settling some the nerves of some of our less confident team members.

Scotty had begun to walk slowly between the ends at 12-1 down and at 18-3 was examining and cataloguing every blade of grass he trod on, hoping to be told how many he needed before it was too late to get any. With Just Jack off we were 17 up Chris struggling and Jaymo still on anything could happen. Ken as he had all game bowled a classy lead which Scotty had beaten. Kens second had invariably nestled on the block all through the claim, but this one looked a bit big and so it proved as Scotty duly put in a second claiming 2 within 8 inches of the block and the crowd went wild....... Jaymo had just won to 4 and putting the game out of reach and Scott's fine shots into irrelevance. Scott’s game had been of high quality as Ken and his tiny blue woods had put on a masterclass up until that point, but now it was Scotties turn to entertain the crowd playing and naming a series of outrageous shots that earned him a very stylish 18

So a win by 27. I know not all the team thought we would win at this game but I knew we would and I told them so. I know where we can win and by how many and know what scores are acceptable. This is a good side and with Ian Jackson missing, Savo in the wings and Dodge hopefully to make a comeback shortly we have a strong squad. We work well as a team and we shouldn’t look past how well we can do if we all keep putting the effort in and improving our games.

During the tea I felt the need to try to put Killer off as with his normal appetite he may well have finished of the scram before the away team had gotten a sniff. I somehow succeeded without it costing me an arm, but I am told he moaned whinged and started getting the shakes on the way home. Crying and whimpering as wiggy passed each takeaway.

Thankfully when we got back to the Olton the new gaffer had put on a brucie bonus and there was tea and coffee left with plenty of gateaux and cakes. Despite ladies being present Killer went full on beast mode burying his face in the chocolate gateaux while grabbing greedily at a nearby Eccles cake.

Eventually he was sated and unbuttoned his trousers in order to sit down. That’s when it slipped out “ooooh Betty, I dropped a little cake on the carpet” Chris Greenhill is Frank Spencer!! Images of him going home on roller-skates attached to the back of the 957 filled everyone’s minds.

Oh, and the Alliance won at home - well done peeps

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Mid(Last)week Madness

The Wednesday average league began with a visit from the noobs at
Woodbourne. We sat chewing the cud about the weather, the state of
Loweys liver and whether Pitt the elder was a better prime minister
than Lord Palmerston when suddenly a jack and then another followed by a
wood went flying across the green. What fresh lunacy was this we
thought? A roll up on a Wednesday! I wondered across and calmly
informed the lovely peeps at Woodbourne that such a thing wasn't
allowed in this league. They very politely apologised and left the
green under a volley of abuse from our resident wind up merchant Dave

Alan savage was first to the green and his old bones were feeling the
chill. The slightly younger Faye Montgomery dealt with the windchill
well bowling superbly to have Alan of to 7.

Gentleman Ian Jackson continued his fine form on his new home green
leaving Kate to take the fall 11.

Captain Scotty, who has defied the bookies by surviving into his second
game, was successful against Rob Dreher winning to 15.

John Price came from behind to beat Jim Orr 15 to round out the first
half and securing a lead of 8.

DHL Nee on his Wednesday night debut beat Albert Ashford to 19.

Dave Hosgood was very impressive in his win over Tony Toal to 10.

Henry Dingley played out an epic with John Bishop. Henry didn't find
the Liverpudlian comics punchline funny though as he lost to 19.

Rocky celebrated his birthday in fine style bringing us home winning
to 16 and securing us a 24 shot win.

Captain Scott must be delighted or it could have just been wind.

Thursday cup chaos

Thursdays are always chaos at the Olton. Throw in cup day and its a
double delight of lunacy - all i can tell you is the A team won and the
B team didn't. The B teams away leg was a tight affair considering
how good the RABL 4 were. Yours truly being the 1 winner and Scotty
getting 19 against Gary marsh. CJ and Pete fought hard but to no avail
as we lost at home by a bucketful.i took some nice pics though.