As the season nears its climax, it would appear that the bowlers from Ottery St Mary are becoming more proficient and successful in their games, whether they be friendlies or competitive competitions.
On Saturday, under a very warm sun, the annual Redfern Trophy, sponsored by Redferns of Ottery, was held at Strawberry Lane. This is an invitation competition with invites being sent to many of the clubs in the locality, and the match is played on a round robin basis with all teams playing each other.
I am pleased to report that Ottery won the trophy and also two of the Ottery teams gained second and third places. This is the first time in living memory that Ottery have secured the top three places.
The winning team was made up of Eric Richardson. Margaret Treyhurn, Shirley Fewtrell and skip Ray Luscombe. After a superb high tea provided by the catering team, the Director of Redferns, Mr Lee Maddicks, made the presentation to the winning team. It should be recorded that Ottery St Mary Bowling Club are extremely grateful to Redferns for their continued support of this competition, and of the club throughout the year. The team from Lyme Regis voiced the appreciation of all players in thanking Ottery and Redferns for organising such a superb afternoon of bowls, and everyone commented that they are already looking forward to next year’s event.
The success continued into Sunday, when Chardstock travelled to Ottery, but went home with a resounding loss as the home team recorded an overwhelming victory. It is interesting to note that the players in the top
team are totally different from those mentioned in the Saturday match. On this occasion they were Keith Thorley, Brian Hammond, Sharon Kenny and Chris Hawke.
Individuals are also making their mark on the County scene with Sue Cole, playing four woods, winning through to the last eight of the county competition for un-badged players. A men’s triple consisting of Richard
Bland, Tony Panzeri and Ray Luscombe have similarly won through to the next round of their county triples competition.
Success does breed success!
It seems that the ladies of Ottery can’t stop winning! As well as a delegation from the club going up to Leamington to represent the county in the national finals, a team from the club entered a local invitation event organised by The Exonia Club. The Babs Barlow trophy was duly handed over by The Exonia captain to The Ottery team consisting of Carol Keating, Eileen Burston, Gail Hawke and Terri Ward. Very well done ladies!
In my last update I concluded by saying that it is true of the game of bowls that ”You win some, you lose some!”
This trend has continued this week as firstly Ottery travelled to Starcross where a very warm welcome awaited us. However, this did not extend to the match itself, where Starcross were the winners, but not by a huge points
This match was followed by two home matches on Saturday 9 th July and Sunday 19th July respectively. Sidmouth were the visitors on the first occasion and Ottery, enjoying playing at home, ran out the winners by 71 shots to 55. On this occasion, the top team comprised of Jill White, Graham Ward, Gerard McCarthy and Brian Baker.
The second match was against Exonia who travelled the short distance from Exeter. On this occasion the visiting team won on 3 out of 4 rinks, but it was the sterling efforts of Richard Chapple, Celia Russell, Tessie Hill and Terri
Ward that saved the day for Ottery by winning their rink by 34 shots to 9.
In the Top Club Competition, the men’s team beat Seaton by 98 shots to 84, and therefore go through to the Semi Final of this competition. Furthermore in the East of Exe League, Ottery have had such good results that they are
top of the league by some margin.
There is a saying which states that “Success breeds success”, and this has been the case at the Club in the last two to three weeks.
At the beginning of the season, there are numerous regional and County competition matches to be played, and if the teams are successful, it can lead on to being part of the National Finals held annually at Leamington. To the uninitiated, Leamington represents Lords to a cricketer and Twickenham to a rugby player.
Firstly our ladies foursome consisting of Sharon Kenny, Gail Hawke, Marion Kelsey and Dot Luff overcame all opposition to become Devon’s representatives in the National Finals. They are not yet champions of Devon as they have to beat Tiverton West End to claim that title, but both teams are going to Leamington. We wish them every success and without putting pressure on them, it would be a great achievement to have national champions as part of Ottery St Mary Bowling Club! It should also be noted that for three of these ladies, this is the second consecutive visit that they have made it to the finals.
Not to be outdone, there have been successes for the men as well. Tony Panzieri and Richard Bland won section’ B’ of the men’s county pairs competition, and then had to play winners of another area. However, they could not overcome the team representing The US Services from Barnstaple. It was a great achievement for them just to get this far. Two
other gentlemen, namely Steve Hall and Terry House, won The Group ‘A’ Final of The Grater Pairs by beating Madeira, and are now through to the last eight of this Minor County competition.
A further success in the Foxlands Trophy preliminary rounds followed when one of the Ottery teams
included a young man who promptly helped beat his grandfather who was playing for the opposition.
Finally in an evening competition entitled “The East of Exe League,” Ottery are doing very well and find themselves sitting on top of the league.
Regular friendly matches continue to be played and as much as I would love to report roaring success, the results are best described as “Win some, lose some”. Perhaps more gratifying is to see new players proudly wearing the
blue and gold club colours and playing very well in these matches. In the internal competitions which are proceeding at a pace, some of the new players are making a name for themselves by winning against more established players.
With the continuing success outlined above, one can probably say “The future is bright, the future is Blue and Gold!"
At this time of the year, matches tend to come thick and fast, almost to the point that there is no time to draw breath!
The first match of the week was against one of the Tiverton clubs, Tiverton Borough. Not such a good result for Ottery as we lost by 62 shots to 68, losing on 3 out of 4 rinks. The only successful rink and also the top rink for the home team consisted of Celia Russell, Gerard McCartney, Richard Bland and Tony Panzieri.
The next match was an away match to old rivals Madeira, which turned out to be a very close game, with Ottery winning by one shot. On this occasion Dot Luff, Jean Rainton Brian Baker and Gail Hawke formed the top team.
It’s always good to welcome visiting teams and Old Basing Bowling Club arrived on Saturday 14th May as part of their Devon tour. Ottery certainly pulled out all the stops, winning by a handsome margin, with six out of seven rinks triumphing over the tourists, and a draw occurred on the other rink. The top team on this occasion was Eric Richardson, David Rose, Leighton Burston and Gail Hawke.
A proper Devon Cream Tea was provided and we think that the visitors creamed and jammed their scones in the correct manner!
Finally, it was the turn of Brixham St Marys to visit us at Strawberry Lane. It appeared that the age old comment borrowed from another game would be applied, namely “Rain stopped play” But the sun came out and the match started only 10 minutes late and an afternoon of good play and laughter ensued. At the end of the afternoon, it was found that the scores on most rinks were close with the exception of Ottery’s top team, where a win of 21 shots to 6 was recorded, thereby ensuring that the home team won the match. Carol Keating, the anonymous CR, Jan Richardson and skip Mike Kelsey proved too strong as a team for the opposition.
The second week of fixtures proved the saying that all good things come to an end!.
Firstly Ottery experienced a heavy defeat against Seaton, with the home team winning on all four rinks. An away match at Hemyock on Sunday produced a similar result, as Ottery lost by 65 shots to 54. Perhaps, it should be described as a bad week at the office!
It would appear that the weather last week was mixed, as were the results for our club!
On Sunday 1st May, it was good to welcome back Westlecott Bowling Club who have been visiting the club for over 25 years as part of their annual Devon Tour. To hear some of the more senior of their members say how much the facilities at the club have improved over the years was gratifying.
Not so pleasing was the result as Ottery lost heavily by 72 shots to 106, and losing by four rinks to one with one drawn. Keith Thorley with John and Terri Ward forming the only winning team
The next day, the club ventured into foreign lands by visiting Chard Bowling Club, and the result was more satisfactory as the winning margin was 86 shots to 49. John Ward featured again in the top team along with Dot and Tony Luff.
The green keepers had barely the time to cut the grass before Bovey Tracey crossed the River Exe to become our third visitors of the week. A much closer match resulted, although Ottery went down by 67 shots to 70. On this occasion the top team comprised Margaret Trayhurn, Jan Richardson, Sue Cole and Terry House.
Our final visitors of a busy week were Tiverton Park Bowling Club. As the games were drawing to a close it looked as though Ottery were being severely beaten. Somehow, the home teams found their line and length, and ended up winning by one shot. The top team consisted of Brian Baker, Tony Luff and someone who prefers to remain anonymous, but his initials are CR.
Sometimes bowling fixtures can be like the proverbially buses – none for six months and then suddenly, at the beginning of the season, there are three matches in five days! I am please to report that Ottery won all three matches!
The first match was on Tuesday 26 th April against Crediton, which was won by 107 shots to 93, with the home team winning on three out of five rinks. On this occasion, the top team consisted of Maurice Flower, Melvin Trayhurn and the husband and wife combination of Leighton and Eileen Burston.
On Friday 29 th April, Portishead Royal British Legion Bowling Club visited Strawberry Lane as part of their early season tour. Ottery came out winners with a score of 127 shots to 86. The top team was made up of Dot Luff, Dave Roberts, Richard Bland and Terry House.
The final match on Saturday 30th April will go down as the match that nearly never happened. Due to a computer glitch, an agreed match against Bitton Park from Teignmouth was omitted from the fixtures list. It was only by chance that this error was realized and very hastily 18 players were rounded up, cajoled, persuaded or bribed into playing at a moment’s notice. It is thought that The Fixtures Secretary, who is usually so proficient, has gone into hiding! Despite the panic, Ottery came out as winners by 104 shots to
80. John and Terri Ward together with Carol Bennett formed the top team on this occasion.
All in all, not a bad start to the season.
The bowling season started with two away fixtures.
On Tuesday 19th April, we made the short trip to Exmouth to play against Phear Park. Fortunately, Ottery had some reserve players as due to a last minute withdrawal, the club had to supply Phear Park with two players.
However the result was never in doubt as Ottery won by two rinks to one with one rink drawn, the scores being 69 shots to 54. Unusually both winning teams had the same points difference, so it is impossible to identify the top team on this occasion.
The second away match needed a longer trip, this time to Tiverton West End Bowling Club. Not only did they give us a warm welcome when we arrived but the day itself proved to be exceptionally warm as well, to the extent that for the most part, the players discarded their fleeces. There is a saying in bowling circles that says “Everything changes after tea”. This proved to be the case in this match as Ottery went into tea with the scores fairly even, but after tea, Tiverton moved into a substantial lead, winning the match by three rinks to one with one rink drawn. The total of shots scored amounted to 78 for Tiverton against 66 for Ottery. The top team and our only winning team was ably led by Chris Hawke, assisted by Eileen Burston and Richard Bland.