Round 1

John R & Peter R v Terry F & Bruce C Tuesday, February 20th, 2017

We get a lot of good matches in our competitions, but few can have beaten this. To all square after regulation ends, there were only two ends that were not decided by a single shot, and the sudden death finale saw the two sides separated by less than a half inch!

John’s wood took the first end, Bruce’s the second (narrowly) and with another at six inches, in the third, for John, he and Peter led 2-1, after three ends. All the players had woods within fifteen inches of the jack in the fourth, with Bruce putting his last into shot, for two, before Peter completed the head. He had perfect line and length… and it looked certain to be on the jack, but (just outside the head) it caught a short wood – it was stopped and two for Terry and Bruce put them ahead at 3-2. Another good wood, by Bruce in the fifth - another one shot win and they led 4-2.

The sixth was one of several key ends. John and Peter held two shots and Peter, again, sent his last with almost perfect line and length – almost being the operative word, as it caught their opponents’ short wood and promoted it into shot. What had looked like three up for a 5-4 lead became one down, to trail 2-5.

The seventh, also, was significant, as Peter and John held three, but Bruce carried the jack with his final wood, turning the end into one up in his favour - and a lead of 6-2. Yet again, in the eighth, John and Peter responded, holding five and this time Bruce, a pretty recent joiner and playing out of his skin, probably succumbed to the excitement and was too long with that last wood. With the five, John and Peter had snatched back the lead, at 7-6, as the pairs played the final end. Which had a lot of woods around the jack, but the one that counted belonged to Terry and Bruce - and it was all square at 7-7.

So on to a sudden death end, winner takes all. The two key shots were from Bruce and Peter, too close to officially separate without the measure. Bruce had gone just past, and his wood had fallen back, a fraction nearer the jack. Peter was just short and his wood, too, had fallen back, but in his case away from the jack. Those two adjustments were crucial, as it was by only half an inch that Bruce took shot, to take Terry and himself through.

All the bowlers had played a part in a match that really went to the wire. Congratulations to the winners, who worked hard for their victory, but huge commiserations to the losers, who will rue, especially, those two ends where three up was converted to one down with the last wood of the end.

Geoff C & Marian R v David N & Hans F – Tuesday, January 16th, 2017

The trial ends saw the competitors on line but with varying lengths and it was Geoff who adjusted best in the first end, with Marian adding two more to lead 3-0. Hans’ final wood might well have taken the end as it looked perfect for line and length, perfect but for the fact that the only short wood stood in his line.

Geoff again held shot in the second at eighteen inches on a thirty yard jack. Hans’ last wood was again his best, but it ran on an agonising couple of inches too far, so his opponents now led, 4-0. Hans did take shot in the third, with his first wood. Marian held second, and neither Marian could take the shot, nor Hans improve the count, close as they both were. David and Hans were now on the board, trailing 1-4.

The fourth end on a twenty-eight yard jack saw Geoff take shot with his first wood, at eighteen inches. Neither he nor Marian could get the right length with the rest of their woods. David and Hans, on the other hand, were very much thereabouts, but the final wood of the end left Geoff still shot from a ring of five opposition woods, all a fraction the wrong side, and the match score advanced to 5-1.

Marian promoted Geoff’s short wood into shot on a thirty yard jack in the fifth, but Hans moved into shot. Marian then moved the jack but only closer to Hans. His final wood looked odds on to add a second, but it wicked off line from a short wood and the gap returned to three shots, at 2-5. In the sixth it was David who initially took shot, but Geoff’s last took over at two feet on a thirty-two yard jack. Marian then played the perfect draw, sitting on the jack, touching wood, and another at eighteen inches gave them three for what was at this stage a huge lead at 8-2.

Marian again took shot in the seventh, David and Hans both close but not close enough and the score was now 9-2. David and Hans were again near the jack in the eighth where they needed a big win, bit was Marian who was closest and the single shot for 10-2 meant the match was over.

Penny G & Rosemary T v Pat S & Maurice W – Tuesday, January 31st , 2017

Another game with a big winning margin for Pat and Maurice, but Penny and Rosemary played better than the score suggests. And whilst Maurice played well himself, he was the first to acknowledge that Pat played superbly.

Most of the jacks were long, the match started at thirty-three yards and it was actually two of Maurice’s woods, plus another from Pat which gave them a 3-0 lead; in the second end it was Pat by a whisker for a single shot for 4-0.

The shortest jack of the day in the third saw the most activity. Pat had bowled to a foot for shot, before Penny finished ten inches behind the jack, but she had nudged the jack to the side en route and that meant that Pat kept the shot. Pat then nudged the jack back onto the centre spot, as she ran through - but she also took out Penny’s wood, so she now held two. Rosemary’s first caught Penny’s wood (but with only a glancing blow) and she ran through, just too far to impact on Pat’s two shots. Maurice put a third into the count, before Rosemary’s final wood took a wick off her own short wood to come in for shot, so that she and Penny were now on the scoreboard, at 1-4.

Pat and Maurice held three shots in the fourth on another thirty-three yard jack; Rosemary’s last was a great line and length, but was stopped by her own short wood and they now trailed 1-7. Penny and Rosemary held two, in the sixth end, before Maurice made shot (by an inch or so), the three woods in an arc at less than eighteen inches from the jack. Rosemary’s last wood again caught Maurice’s shot a glancing blow, moving it a couple of inches, but still on the line of that arc, so it was now 8-1 to Pat and Maurice. Slightly better contact could have meant three shots the other way, for 7-4. Small margins.

The sixth, another thirty-three yard jack, and Penny’s shot within a yard, only for Pat to put two woods closer and it stayed two for 10-1. The writing was on the wall, Penny and Rosemary needed big wins but two woods from Pat, within two feet on a thirty-four yard jack, kept the pressure firmly on. A third shot from Pat - and a fourth from Maurice - made it 14-1 overall and there was no way back.