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”.