The Clarence Bowls Club in Weston-super-Mare is proud to be carrying the torch for West clubs – and is setting a shining example that others should follow.
Going one better than they did last year, when they were runners-up in the national Drake’s Pride Club of the Year awards, they have landed the top accolade in English bowls and can call themselves ‘Club of the Year’ for 2012.
Clarence beat off stiff opposition from top Hertfordshire club Berkhamsted to win the prestigious competition, while the Lockswood club in Locksheath, between Southampton and Fareham, was highly-commended in third place.
According to the judges, the Clarence club demonstrated to the judges its continued efforts to promote the club, recruit new people to the sport of bowls and provide a range of services of benefit to all its members.
The highlights of its work were daily open sessions throughout May and a local school now uses the club for weekly sessions, a move that led to the formation of a junior section.
Bowls England CEO Tony Allcock, once a top bowler in his own right, said: “I am delighted to announce Clarence Bowls Club in Somerset as winners of the 2012 Club of the Year title.
“All three regional winners were of an exceptionally high standard and Clarence is a worthy winner of the overall title.”
Although the honour of winning the title means everything to the club, Clarence will also receive £250 in cash, four sets of Drake’s Pride bowls, The Tony Allcock Trophy (to be kept for one year), two free tickets to the Bowls England men’s annual dinner, a Bowls England pennant and Club of the Year flag, a framed certificate, a badge for each club member, and, in 2013, they will play a match against a team led by the national president.
Members of the dispossessed Yate indoor bowls club, who must feel as if they have no friends in the world, were bucked up last week to hear some words of support from Derek Severs, the long-serving – and long-suffering – secretary of the Gloucestershire Indoor Bowls Association.
“Many Yate members were extremely loyal supporters of the GIBA before they found themselves out in the cold due to the unreasonable closure of their green at Yate Leisure Centre,” Severs said this week. “Although they have nowhere to play, the Yate club still exists in theory, and is still affiliated to the English Indoor Bowling Association, so, as a goodwill gesture, we decided that its members could register with the GIBA,” he added.
“We will send them availability sheets and will consider them for selection for friendly matches, as we have done in the past. Not only will it give them the chance of a game of bowls, but it will help us with numbers.”
The beleaguered Gloucestershire association is without a president, senior vice president and junior vice president this winter, but Severs soldiers on as secretary.
“We have taken a realistic view, and curtailed our fixture list to just 12 matches throughout the winter,” Severs, who has just completed 25 years at the helm, explains.
“I saw the county’s fortunes gradually improve during the 1990s as we moved into the new Millennium, only to crash dramatically in recent times – these days it’s become a real struggle to field teams, particularly for away matches.”
The good news for Gloucestershire is that they are back in the Liberty Trophy, and, under team manager Keith Bedford, from the Gloucester club, will take on Worcestershire at Bromsgrove on Saturday, November 10.
“Keith will be helped by MidGlos player Rob Griffiths, who is also in charge of the county’s under-25 squad, with Andy Coldrick, who has injected new life into the Gloucestershire Bowls Youth Development Scheme,” added Severs.
Somerset got just what they wanted from their Liberty Trophy trial against British Civil Service at the Taunton Deane club on Sunday – a thorough examination that exposed any weaknesses.
Terry Perkins was the only Somerset skip who returned a winning card, but Chris Keating lost by one shot, and Alan Colebrooke by six against a team that included top players Brett Arkley, Rob Paxton, Neil Collett and Chris Gale – as Civil Service won 128-92.
Bristol’s Paul Brown, who bowls from a wheelchair, reached the final of the Dolphin leg of the Co-operative Funeralcare Masters, but, after a gruelling day in which he won five consecutive matches, he gave best to Devon’s international star Danny Denison.
England, with Yeovil’s Kayley Manns in attendance as reserve, dominated the British under-18 team championship in Stanley, County Durham, at the weekend, when the B team struck gold with 36 points, and the A team bagged the bronze medal.
Bowlers in North Somerset are mourning the death, last week, at the age of 73, of Brian Deverill, a formidable all-round sportsman, who made a huge contribution to bowls on and off the green.
A keen footballer in his younger days, Brian also played squash, badminton, table tennis, billiards and snooker, and was a fine cricketer.
He also spent some time as a football referee before turning his hand to bowls, at which he excelled.
A few years back, as a member of the West Backwell club, Brian won the Clevedon Open singles – and he was part of the Nailsea quartet that qualified for the national over-60 fours championship as recently as last February.
But, as his close friend and West Backwell club-mate Roger Spragg, who is secretary of the Clevedon & District League, said this week: “Brian’s firm of financial advisers generously sponsored our league for many years, which made him a household name in the area.”
He added: “On the green, he always maintained the highest standards of play and sportsmanship, but, while he was always striving for that extra special shot to frustrate the opposition, he was the first to praise his opponent for a fine response.
“He may have lost his last battle against cancer, but he was a regular visitor to the Nailsea indoor club at Mizzymead until the end.
“He was a keen sportsman and a true gentleman and will be sorely missed.”
Brian’s funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, October 22 at Bristol South Crematorium. Mourners are invited to attend Mizzymead Recreation Centre in Nailsea, for refreshments after the cremation ceremony.
Co-operative Funeralcare World Bowls Tour (PBA) Masters at Dolphin (Poole) – Quarter-finals: Danny Denison bt Shaun Jones 7-6, 5-8, 2-1; John Williams bt Caroline Wilson 9-3, 12-0; Gary Fountain bt Brian Hawkins 10-1, 8-4; Paul Brown bt Keith Gates 7-2, 6-6. Semi-finals: Brown bt Fountain 7-3, 2-10; 2-1; Denison bt Williams 7-4, 10-0. Final: Denison bt Brown 7-1, 6-1.
British under-18 team championships at Stanley – Singles quarter-finals: E Elmore (England A) bt R Videgrain (Channel Islands) 11-5, 8-8; G McLaughlin (Scotland A) bt T Jones (Wales B) 9-6, 16-2; R Atkins (England B) bt J Slaven (Scotland B) 10-8, 12-6; R Millar (Ire) bt S Hill (Wales B) 6-11, 9-4, 1-0. Semi-finals: McLoughlin bt Elmore 5-6, 9-4, 1-0; Atkins bt Millar 11-1, 19-1. 5-8 play-downs: Hill bt Videgrain 9-4, 13-5; Jones bt Slaven 7-7, 12-4. Final: McLoughlin bt Atkins 5-8, 11-5, 1-0. Bronze medal play-off: Millar bt Elmore 4-10, 10-4, 1-0. Fifth place play-off: Hill bt Jones 14-6, 8-2. Seventh place play-off: Slaven bt Videgrain 9-6, 8-6.
Pairs – Quarter-finals: M Paterson & J Banks (Scotland A) bt K Rednall & T Meller (England A) 13-4, 7-10, 1-0; A Rees & J Philips (Wales A) bt R Videgrain & C Staples (Channel Islands) 10-3, 14-6; B J Byles & C Cinato (England B) bt J Hancock & T Jones (Wales B) 5-6, 9-5, 1-0; J Meikle & K Clinton (Scotland B) bt R Millar & C Watson (Ireland) 9-4, 16-2. Semi-finals: Scot A bt Wal A 8-8, 10-4; Eng B bt Scot B 13-3, 7-10, 1-0. 5/8 play-downs: Eng A bt CI 12-5, 7-6; Wal B bt Ire 7-14, 7-6, 1-0. Final: Eng B bt Scot A 12-3, 11-7. Bronze medal play-off: Wal A bt Scot B 11-6, 8-8. Fifth place play-off: Eng A bt Wal B 13-1, 8-6. Seventh place play-off: Ire bt CI 7-9,11-2, 1-0.
Triples – Quarter-finals: J Brown, J Watson, S Coleman (Ireland) bt J McCarthy, N Salmon, B Cloake (Wales B) 7-2, 2-7, 1-0; E Elmore, M Ray, N Cummings (England A) bt S Murray, K Simants, J Slaven (Scotland B) 7-12, 8-2, 1-0; S Gove, L Sabatini, R Atkins (England B) bt C Rabey, B Le Feuvre, L Batiste (Channel Islands) 7-2, 3-10, 1-0; K Harrison, B Maywood, G McLaughlin (Scotland A) bt K Thomas, S Hill, G Parr (Wales A) 7-5, 5-6, 1-0. Semi-finals: Ire bt Eng A 7-5, 8-7; Eng B bt Scot A 8-3, 8-7. 5-8 play-downs: Scot B bt Wal B 8-3, 6-5; CI bt Wal A 7-4,6-7, 1-0. Final: Ire bt Eng B 3-5, 7-6, 1-0. Bronze medal play-off: Eng A bt Scot A 6-5, 8-3. Fifth place play-off: Scot B bt CI 5-6, 17-2, 1-0. Seventh place play-off: Wal A bt Wal B 5-6, 10-3, 1-0.
Fours – Quarter-finals: Rednall, Cummings, Ray, Meller (England A) bt Rees, Thomas, Phillips, Parr (Wales A) 7-5, 13-2; Paterson, Harrison, Maywood, Banks (Scotland A) bt Rabey, Le Feuvre, Staples, Batiste (Channel Islands) 13-1, 10-7; Byles, Gove, Sabatini, Cinato (England B) bt Watson, Brown, Watson, Coleman (Ireland) 9-6, 7-6; Meikle, Murray, Simmants, Clinton (Scotland B) bt Hancock, McCarthy, Salmon, Cloake (Wales B) 11-4, 9-5. Semi-finals: Scot A bt Eng A 8-7, 4-17, 1-0; Eng B bt Scot B 9-8, 6-5. 5-8 play-downs: Wal A bt CI 5-11, 16-6, 1-0; Ire bt Wal B 2-12, 12-7, 1-0. Final: Eng B bt Scot A 8-4, 11-7. Bronze medal play-off: Eng A bt Scot B 7-6, 8-6. Fifth place play-off: Wal A bt Ire 4-10, 8-5, 1-0. Seventh place play-off: Wal B bt CI 4-12, 6-4, 1-0.
Overall standings: 1 Eng B 36pts; 2 Scot A 31; 3 Eng A 21; 4 Ire 20; 5 Wal A 16 (188 shots); 6 Sco B 16 (187); 7 Wal B 9; 8 Channel Islands 7.
Liberty Trophy – trial match at Taunton Deane: British Civil Service bt Somerset 128-92 – Rink scores (CS skips first): N Collett 19, A Colebrooke 13; P Smithson 12, T Perkins 24; B Arkley 28, R Francis 6; P Cater 24, N Pearce 13; R Paxton 22, G Shadwell 14; C Gale 23, C Keating 22.
Warner Leisure Hotels Wessex League – Coastal Region: Bournemouth bt Bridport 110-48 (14-2); Five Rivers bt Bournemouth Royals 101-59 (14-2); Dolphin bt East Dorset 86-69 (14-2); Dolphin Blues bt Dorchester 74-66 (14-2); Moonfleet bt Moonfleet B 88-65 (16-0). Eastern Region: Oxford & District bt Rivermead 81-74 (14-2); West Berks bt Carterton 80-66 (13-3); Westlecot bt Chipping Norton 115-58 (15-1); Oxford City & County bt Loddon Vale 74-67 (12-4).