"All’s fair in love and war" - and apparently on the bowls rink as well. Tom persuaded Prince Arthur’s Captain Dave to accept a handicap of ten points, and we made full use of it Not that the result actually matters on days like this – but still nice for us to end on the right side of the scoreboard!

On rink 7, Shirley (her second match, not too long after deciding to try her hand) joined John, with Penny as skip, and with just fifteen minutes left it was anyone’s guess who would finish ahead. But Lesley, Derek and Eric took ten shots in the last two ends for a more emphatic Prince Arthur victory at 28-15 than was suggested by the run of the match. On rink 5, too, it was heavy Prince Arthur scoring in two ends (this time eight shots in ends seven and eight) that represented the margin of victory for our hosts Val, Robin and Dean by 23-15. Again, a very good show by Rosemary(on her debut), Barbara and Maurice.

David, Peter B and Hans looked as if they would hang on to the lead, still 17-13 up as the last two ends were played but a great finish by Susan, Barry and Malcolm took Prince Arthur home on rink 2 by the narrowest of margins, 18-17.

And it was even tighter on rink 6, 13 all with four more ends to play. Marian, Tom and Geoff moved into the lead for RBBG but Norman, John and Dave then took the lead for Prince Arthur as the final end was played. A single shot to RBBG tied the final scores at 17-17.

Ralph rarely plays for us, but what a super-sub he proved to be. With wife Mary and Bruce, on rink 3, he brought RBBG home for a 19-8 win; though if you look at the scorecard without that ten shot handicap, it was a 9-8 RBBG win over fifteen ends. You cannot get a much tighter contest than that.

But it was RBBG rink honours, on rink 4, for Pat, Mark (on his debut) and Mick. As a rueful Dave told the assembled teams at the meal, Mick had a phenomenal match for our 29-5 victory, which tipped the overall score in our favour, but the two Daves and Ted were simply up against a very good bowler on a day when he had a very good game.

And whatever the individual rink results, all the players had smiles on their faces (Dave suggested his was through gritted teeth!) because the match was played in the best possible spirit, the loveliest of atmosphere with friendly and generous people. And we topped it off with a great meal, courtesy of Nicola and Adrian. Altogether the best of days, and a superb introduction for a few RBBG players to the very special experience of friendly matchplay. Even if Dave will think twice about accepting that handicap on a future occasion!

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