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.