Tenby v Whitland

Molson CoorsTenby 108 (14 points) v Whitland 50 (0 Points)
22nd July 2015

The Molson Coors sponsored Tenby team played strong local team Whitland in their latest division one fixture, trying to secure a record-breaking 8th consecutive league title. Having lost to the Whitland team around a month ago, Tenby knew that this was a and knowing that Tenby Five Arches had dealt a blow the night before to nearest challengers, Haverfordwest, Tenby knew that a win would give them much needed breathing space in the race to the league title. Tenby are well aware of the challenge that they face every time they play Whitland and therefore the start was vital.  Rink 1 saw John Roberts return from London, still nursing from the £36 he had to pay for a cheese toasty at the Dorchester Hotel over the weekend.  He was aided by the County rinks winners’ ‘front three’ of Jon Webb, Huw Nicholas and ‘Grande Rouge’, Luke Rees.  A very cagey affair over the first few ends with nothing much to report other than the fact that at 10 ends, the Whitland Rink, skipped by the likeable and talented Dan Jenner, lead 5-7.  At 15 ends, there was still nothing between the teams, but the lead had been reduced to a single (9-10).  Then, as so often is the case with Tenby rinks, overdrive kicked in and a sequence of scoring ends of 2, 3, 4, 2 saw the Tenby rink lead after nineteen ends by ten shots (20-10).  A single for the Whitland rink followed by a double for Tenby secured the win by eleven shots (22-11). Rink 2:  Internationals Ryan Thomas and Chris Court teamed up with Captain Joe Richards and Cameron White.  They played against new County pairs champion, Liam Price and new County Under 35 singles champion Ashley Reese.  The Tenby rink got off to a flier and took at 10-0 lead after three ends (2, 6, 2). Liam and his rink responded winning the next two ends, albeit singles (10-2).  Then another dropped count of six gave the Tenby rink a commanding lead 16-2 after only six ends.  The consistent scoring continued over the next few ends, with a count of four, followed by a two over ends thirteen and fourteen.  The lead was now 27-4.  Liam and his rink did respond well and won five out of the next seven ends, but another dropped count of six on the 20th end ensured a very good night for the talented Tenby rink who were outstanding.  Final score 34-15.

Rink 3.  Longshanks replaced Lee Williamson and once again was joined by dependable Peter Day and the very formidable front-end combination of Gerald Hewitt and new under 18 Elite player, Aaron Lloyd.  In a similar way to developments on rink 2, the Tenby rink ‘switched the light on’ very quickly and raced into a 13-1 lead after six ends, helped by a count of six shots on the third end.  Once again, good consistent scoring of two’s and three’s helped extend the lead and also kept the score board ticking over.  At fifteen ends, the rink led 25-5 and although the Whitland rink, skipped Steve Reese, came back slightly, the final score was 28-11 to Longshanks and his very impressive rink. Rink 4.  Although I have put rink ‘4’ – it was actually rink ‘5’ as players have expressed frustration on playing on rink ‘4’.  With the game against Barry Athletic looming, it was decided to try out another rink and reports from internationals, Craig and Luke were that they were happy.  The ever-dependable Dai Rees played lead and Rafa Jackson, second.  They competed against County player, Glyndwr Thomas, father of current international player, Katie.  Glyndwr teamed up with usual ‘third’ and former Five Arches Bowl and Pembroke Dock open winner, Nigel Davies – a very accomplished player.  The Tenby rink started well, leading by 6-3 after eight ends.  Glyn and his rink started getting a foothold in the game and took the lead after nine ends, 6-8 (thanks to counts of three and a two).  Then, in a similar way to the Saundersfoot game, wakened the beast and the rink took control with a scoring sequence of 2, 1, 5, 2, 3 to lead after fourteen ends 19-8.   Two singles, either side of a count of three for Tenby followed by a share of two singles resulted in a final score of 24-13.

Watching the game, I was totally impressed with the performance.  Whitland are a very, very good team and over the last two years have beaten Tenby and they have players whose quality is beyond question.  Andrew Muskett played against Steve Reese who is a former Gold Cup Winner and two-time County Singles Champion.   In addition, Steve is a regular County Skip and has been for many years.  The way Andrew’s rink won and the manner in which they won was superb.  Ryan Thomas skipped against won of the most talented, competitive players I have ever come across in Liam Price.  The way Ryan and Chris controlled the game was tremendous.  Ryan has developed so much as a player and the future is bright for this very talented and likeable player. John Roberts’ quality has never been in question but the support of Jon Webb was invaluable.  Jon never gets the credit he deserves at times and is a very experienced player and is one of the best seconds I have seen.  Huw Nicholas or Beano has been very unlucky not to feature in the Tenby Carruthers Team but is very much part of that team and is always there to support.  Coupled to the fact that Beano is the  current county rinks champion shows the quality in the Tenby Team. Craig and Luke are beyond question the outstanding back end partnership in the team.  They are the partnership above all others that the team looks too.  A few years ago they did not perform to the best of their ability in the semi-final against Jon Tomlinson, but knowing them as well as I do, they would love nothing more than to have that opportunity again and they playing as well as I have ever seen them.

The team that played against Whitland were without three Carruthers skips in Williamson, Diment and Peregrine in addition to Simon Evans.  That is not to discredit Whitland in any way, but to emphasis the tremendous win that was achieved last Wednesday against a very formidable opponent.  Tomorrow (Saturday 1st August) the Tenby team play Barry Athletic in the quarter finals of the Welsh Club Championship. Barry Athletic are an exceptional team with many internationals and a team, which I have enormous respect for.  Two of their members have been inspirational in my development as a player and they are Gareth Humphreys and J. Russell Evans.  Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I can state, without question, that this Tenby team, will dominate Welsh Bowls in the same way as Penylan, Brynhyfryd and of course the mighty Pontrhydyfen have done in the past.  I have done some research and noted that all great Welsh Carruthers team have a ‘y’ in their name.  (Probably why Saundersfoot and Whitland did not beat us! - That’s a joke by the way).

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