An evening to rival the grandeur of Royal Ascot was held at Ottery last Saturday night. Despite some minor technical difficulties with the sound system, a good time was had by one and all as can be seen from the pictures above...
The winners were:-
Fancy Man Handicap (sponsored by Andrew Thomas) won by Ollie Pops owned by Gail Hawke
Bowling Green Stakes (sponsored by Carl Gilleard) won by On the Cheek owned by Ryan Seers
Come on you Blues Handicap (sponsored by Brian Hammond) won by Looking Good Babe owned by Ryan Seers
McCarthy Classic (sponsored by Gerard McCarthy) won by Sophies Choice owned by Chris Hawke
The Ottery Oaks (sponsored by Jane Hammond) won by Kebab Potential owned by Jo Hawes
“This season has been a very good one” is now being widely said around the club
A season that started way back on Easter Sunday and ran throughout the summer until the final drive held on the weekend of the 25th. During that time over 50 friendly matches have been scheduled to be played, although the intense heat in mid-summer played havoc with the fixture list. Several matches were also cancelled as a mark of respect for the late Queen.
In addition, the club has entered a total of six teams in the men’s area Over 60’s League and the ladies Over 50’s league. The East of Exe League also featured heavily in our fixture list, a league that Ottery won comprehensively by winning all matches.
As I have previously mentioned, four of our ladies became Devon County Champions in the two woods competition, and therefore represented the County at the National Finals at Leamington. Finally, the annual Redfern Trophy, which is an inter club, regional competition, was played, and for the first time ever, Ottery succeeded in attaining the
first three places.
It has been a real pleasure during the year to welcome several touring teams to the club in Strawberry Lane, one of whom has been paying us a visit every year since the inception of the club. Full credit must go to our Fixtures
Secretary, Steve Hall, who despite a computer malfunction, succeeded in making sure that there were sufficient players available to fulfil all the fixtures.
A traditional afternoon tea has usually been provided by the club, and the catering team led by Sharon Kenny together with Events Co-ordinator Carol Bennett, have excelled themselves in providing a sumptuous tea for the visitors.
Internal club competitions have been played throughout the season and all have now been completed (see separate report under the 2022 results tab). the winners will be receiving their trophies at the annual dinner held later in the year.
Two new trophies (see above pictures) have been donated to the club, and these have been given in memory of relatives who have played for the club. Firstly, there was the Maureen Phillips Cup which is a two woods ladies competition and was won by Sandra Brockington. The other cup is the Pete Knight Cup, which was won by Leighton Burston in the men’s two woods competition. It was a real joy to recently welcome to the club family members of each individual to present the trophies to the club. It is interesting to note that three of the four Devon Champions mentioned above were coached in the early days by Maureen Phillips.
New players, both ladies and men, have joined the club and having received initial instruction from one of our qualified coaches, are now proudly wearing the royal blue and gold club shirts, and representing the club in
friendly matches. It is to be hoped that some of the new members will, in years to come, be representing The County at National level.
And so the season closes, the green has been shut down and is being repaired and cultivated for another busy season. The changing rooms have been cleared of all the mislaid kit, and the outside equipment has been put away
until next year. The whites have been washed and ironed and hung up in the wardrobe, only to shrink during the winter lay-off! This season has definitely been a very successful one for the club, but success on the green is
always superseded by laughter and banter, much needed exercise in the open air, quality companionship and friendly competition.
What else is there to wish for?
Season 2023 will start on 16 th April, and it is hoped that a “Come and try out the game session” will be specially arranged early in the season for anyone who would like to give the game a try.
When the bowling club started in Ottery over 30 years ago, no-one would have thought that the words “Champions of Devon” would ever be applied to any of the playing members! However, four ladies have now nullified that statement by beating Tiverton West End to be afforded that accolade.
Already area champions, the team of Dot Luff, Sharon Kenny, Gail Hawke and Marion Kelsey won the grand final by two shots and are now proudly known as Devon Champions. Both teams will be representing The County at the National Finals held at Leamington in September. The first opponents for our ladies will be a team from Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, and we wish them every success in the finals.
Turning now to a local competition, in the East of Exe Evening Triples League, Ottery have played 12 and won all 12, and have won the league by a huge margin. Congratulations to all players who have participated in this
Recently it has been necessary to cancel a few fixtures on account of the "extreme heat", and the club’s duty of care towards the players. However as the temperature dropped, matches resumed and over the weekend Ottery played a team from Hemyock on the Saturday, and recorded a win. The winning run was continued on Sunday with Taunton Bowling Club being the visitors, and the winning margin was 104 to 90. All good things come to an end and on Monday a team from Newton Abbott visited Strawberry Lane, and the home team were beaten by 17 shots.
Saturday 23rd July was Presidents Day at the club. This is an opportunity when all the volunteers who help the club so assiduously throughout the year, are thanked. This year’s president, Norman Lawrence, decided that he wanted to treat all the members to a meal, so he involved all his family and with help from club members Ann House and Russ Brockington, they prepared a wonderful two course meal that was enjoyed by all the members at the half way point in the afternoons bowling.
Because it was an afternoon of bowls rather than an actual match, the players were organised into teams and a round robin format was used. At the end of the day, the winners with the best score advantage proved to be Jo Hawes, Gerard McCarthy and Steve Hall (not forgetting Graham Ward for winning the Spider prize)
Over the years we have enjoyed some really great President Days at Ottery, and Saturday was to be counted in with the best! Normans family did a fantastic job with the catering, it all felt so professional. No fuss, everyone had a seat, everything to hand and the clearing up as if by magic!
The whole day seemed to fly by! After the meal, while the bowlers were completing the remaining ends, the club house was put back in order, ready for drinks, the raffle and the presentation.
Thanks to the generosity of Norman and everyone else who donated raffle prizes! Including bar takings, we raised over £450, which will go towards the upkeep of the Green.
Congratulations to Tony Bushell, Richard Bland, Chris Hawke and Kevin Vernon for all reaching 30 points enabling them to get their County badges.
Tony will collect his badge on the 16th June at South Petherton, playing for Devon against Somerset while Richard, Chris and Kevin will collect theirs next year...
Well done all!
Suddenly it was Platinum Jubilee weekend when the whole of the country joined in the festivities to celebrate 70 years of the Queen’s reign... not to be outdone, we decided to forsake the traditional whites and club colours and change the dress code. After much discussion, it was agreed that Red, White and Blue would be suitable!. As can be seen from the pictures everyone entered into the spirit of the day. It was a special treat to enjoy the company of our oldest club member, Ken Pollitt, who is now 99. Although his playing days are long over, it was a real pleasure for him to come out, be treated like royalty, and to meet old friends.
A round robin tournament was well organised by Mike and Marion, new playing conditions were introduced which produced no end of confusion and hilarity! Over 40 members took part in the day, and they were treated to a high tea at half time. The efforts of the catering team were greatly appreciated to the extent, that no-one wanted to return to the green for the second half! Perhaps the words of a small child who ate too much at a Sunday School Tea Party resonate when he was heard to say ”Pick me up or put me down, but don’t bend I!”
Eventually the matches finished and the winners proved to be Tony and Dot Luff, together with Ron Spedding. The Queen was duly toasted by all the players, and everyone agreed that the festivities had been thoroughly enjoyed, but the real winner on the day was the game of bowls.
Easter Sunday 2022 was a day to remember, because after what seemed an endless winter of rain and restrictions, that was the day that the new bowling season started. As most of you are aware, during the winter the club did not hibernate, regular Friday night skittles sessions took place in the clubhouse and during the day, short mat bowls could be played in the main social area. Other social activities included quizzes, and a bring and buy sale in aid of the Ukraine fund raising campaign was held in April where over £350.00 was raised by the members.
However, nothing compares to actually being out on the well tended green and playing the first match of the season. The new Club President Norman Lawrence duly performed the 'opening' honours.
Over 40 members enjoyed the sunshine by playing a series of friendly games. As usual, the laughter and banter could probably be heard from the cricket ground as old friendships were renewed and the ever present friendly rivalry was revived. The winners of the day proved to be a selection of the young, the not so young and a senior statesman, as Ryan Seers, Carl Gilleard and Tony Luff came out as top team.
Now that the season has started, the club nights will be recommencing on Friday 22nd April at 6.30pm, when anyone can come along to try out the game, assisted by qualified coaches, In addition the club will be holding an open day on Friday 6th May from 2.00pm until 8.00pm. Everyone is welcome, but we do ask that you bring a pair of flat shoes with you.