Thursday, 20 August 2015

The five faces of Newey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

If Carlsberg did bowls games.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to the Chopper!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catching up on Mondays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Monday Malarkey

Carter USM
Danger UXB
Hadley USC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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