Rochester Ladies

Bella v Marian

We managed to play just two this year’s competition matches in June, and with the grass so long I gave Bella and Marian the opportunity to pass on their first round match in the Rochester Ladies competition. I repeated the offer after the trial ends, it was a little wet as well and very holding, but Bella insisted on giving it a go. She paid the penalty by being short in the first three ends and conceding nine shots, but then she got the measure of it and was thereabouts, but too far behind and Marian took the win. A shame I did not save her from herself, as she had played remarkably well at Marden and Biddenden, but Marian would always have been a tough opponent, and she bowled very well in conditions she did not like either.

Wadsworth Shield

Mark v Michael

The next week the grass was still very long, but again Mark and Michael decided to play. Mark was ready to defer, it was Michael who insisted, and his first two woods in this Wadsworth Shield match were very short. Mark held three, including shot at ten inches, but Michael’s final wood of the end arrowed into shot at six inches!

Mark took the next three ends to lead 4-1, it could have been more had he not promoted Michael’s short wood into second in the third end so that he took a single shot instead of three, but Michael was still getting the odd wood into the picture and they traded shots in the next few ends so that with two to play, Mark led 6-3.

The eighth end was a cracker, with five woods all within a yard of the jack. Mark holding three, but Michael’s final wood of the end slipped into shot and he was now 4-6 playing the final end, needing two shots to go to extra time. To the surprise of both Mark and myself as marker, he set the longest jack of the match at thirty yards. I thought he had made a mistake, but he proceeded to put all three woods within four feet, whilst Mark’s first two were wayward. He was now holding three for the match at 7-6. Mark could still win 6-5 if he only got second wood. He pretty well got the right weight but it drifted to the backhand. It was two clear shots to Michael (which would mean the extra end) and a measure, which could give Michael the match. The measure gave it to Michael, by an inch, and the win at 7-6.

Michael had been behind pretty well the whole match but produced the key shots when he needed them. And as befits the friendship that exists between these two gentlemen, who joined us at the same time, the game was played throughout in great humour and Mark was full of admiration for the knockout blow Michael had pulled out of the hat. A thrilling match in pretty tricky conditions.

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