Tenby 76 (2 Points) Whitland 100 (12 Points)
The undefeated Tenby sponsored Layton and Company Solicitors and Chandler Rogers Estate Agents welcomed Whitland in this top of the table league clash.
Whitland have consistently figured in the top three over the past 4 seasons having won their only league title in 2007. Both sides were in confident mood after both navigating through their respective Carruthers Shield Group. After 5 ends Tenby were 6 shots in arrears after Whitland came out ‘of the blocks’ quickly. Tenby rallied at 10 ends and led by 12 Shots. The usual break for tea came and Tenby looked to press their advantage home but Whitland came fighting back and led at the 15th end by 7 shots. With their confidence up and with scent of a famous victory against the defending Welsh and Pembrokeshire Champions, they led by 12 at the eighteenth end and won comfortably by 24 at the climax. Tenby had a solitary rink win and picked up 2 points to Whitland’s 3 rink wins and 12 points.
Rink 1 saw the rink of Andrew Muskett take on Stephen Reese and the Tenby quartet were behind at 5 ends by 4 shots (5-9), Closing the gap by 2 shots by the 10th (end) saw encouraging signs that they were beginning to take control but a dropped 3 shots the following end saw the momentum swing back to the Whitland four. This was short lived however as Tenby took 4 shots to close within 1. Surely now the rally would come? Unfortunately another 3 dropped shots the following end followed by dropping a 1 and then 2 shots, saw Whitland increase their lead to 7 shots. A single to Tenby followed by Whitland winning the next 4 ends saw Whitland running out comfortable winners 15-28.
Craig Guymer’s ‘Young Guns’ rink played against Alan Whitehouse. 0-13 down after 6 ends, it all looked bleak. But the rink is made of stern stuff, and rallied superbly to take a 4 and a 3 the next two ends. 3 dropped singles on the next ends saw Whitland pull slowly away but then a 4 and a 2 brought the game 13-16. The following ends saw the Tenby four play brilliantly and were consistently holding 4’s and above, end after end until Alan Whitehouse play ‘all or nothing’ shots and got maximum results each time. Luke Rees was once again outstanding and was backed up by Cameron White. Luke and Craig were also superb and together, this rink showed great composure and no little skill to recover from an awful start and with a little more fortune would have won the rink.
Paul Diment’s rink was always in control against a Whitland four with Colin Wynn at skip. Going into a 7-2 lead at five ends, the Tenby rink took two singles followed by 2 ‘fours’ to race into a 17-2. The lead increased by 18 shots but then four dropped ends of a single, three, two and a further single saw then only leading by 20-9 at the 15th end. With the team game slipping, it was time to take chances which unfortunately did not come off and a dropped 4 and 3 on the 19th and 20th ends gave a feeling of satisfaction for the Whitland four as they went down by only 6 shots at the end (23-17). In a normal situation this ‘rink’, who totally outplayed their opposition, would have won by 20 shots. The rink did have to push a lot harder and had to make things happen than play on their tried and tested tactic of waiting for things to happen due to Whitland taking control of the overall match. Once again, Credit to Gerald Hewitt who was superb again. I am running out of superlatives for Mike Jackson as once again his performance was of the highest level. Peter Day once again produced his usual high standard and as previously mentioned the score line flattered the Whitland Four.
Pat Currie, took on the Whitland Captain, Glyn Thomas, and once again blew their opponent away which has been the ‘norm’ for this talented rink – taking a 13-2 lead into the 9th end. The some reason, the ‘rink’, after tea, could not contain their opponents and lost the rest of the match 8-27. This was due to a damaging run from ends 13 to 17 which saw them lose a 3, 6 and a 7. The final result was 21-29 to the Whitland four.
After a perfect start to the season this result was not expected, especially at home. The Tenby team have always been gracious in victory but also in defeat and I must thank my players for their reaction after the game. Obviously disappointed in the result, it is fair to say that the best team won on the day.
Tenby have been so successful over the years that a defeat is always difficult to take and also trying to find reasons for the defeat. Whilst other teams may over react the Tenby Captain has, since as long as I have been playing, never panicked into making changes. The players under my tenure as team captain are the best in Pembrokeshire. I am not going to list the accolades that players have won, but they are by a distance the best in Pembrokeshire. The team will bounce back from this defeat and I have no doubt that when we look at our achievements at the end of the season, this was a defeat which helped us rather than hindered us in our objective of defending both the Pembrokeshire and Welsh Title.
Next week see’s an un-changed side, with no positional changes take on a Milford Haven side who not only have been struggling for performances but even a team. Only two weeks ago they pulled out of a tie against Tenby but strangely fielded a full strength second team the day after to play Five Arches. As the Carruthers Shield is a club competition it is obvious that the Milford selectors had enough players to choose from. However, as the match is to be played at Milford, I would edge my bets that the game will be on.
Rink 1: J. Richards, D Spencer, J Roberts and A. Muskett 15 – 28 S Reese
Rink 2: L. Rees, C White, L. Guymer and C Guymer 17 – 26 A Whitehouse
Rink 3: G Hewitt, M Jackson, P Day and Paul Diment 23 - 17 C Wynn
Rink 4. N Dickinson, J Baggott, J Webb and P Currie 21 – 29 G Thomas
5 ends, Tenby 19-25 Whitland
10 ends, Tenby 47-35 Whitland
15 ends, Tenby 60-67 Whitland
18 ends, Tenby 71-83 Whitland
21 ends, Tenby 76-100 Whitland
Congratulations to Craig and Luke Guymer on being selected to take part in the Junior International Trial on the Sunday June 20th.
Five Arches 89 Borderers 73
Sunday brought a chance of redemption after Saturday's disappointing defeat. After the promised sunshine failed to materialise the game began in a steady drizzle. Captain Ashley (Five Arches) welcomed Captain Ashley (Borderers), which surely must be a first for the Pembrokeshire league. In the last three years the games between these teams have always been friendly , competitive and close fought. This one was to prove no exception.
Rink 3 saw Lee and his rink of Ken, Ben and Ray play some awesome bowls in front of the crowd on the balcony, within 7 ends they were 17 -2 to the good and cruising to a comprehensive victory. However the Borderers do not give up easily and in the space of 7 ends scored 14 shots to leave the game nicely balanced at 18-16 to the Arches, but an equally determined reply of 9 shots in 4 ends allowed the Five Arches to pull away to a comfortable 28-18 victory. Age is no barrier to success in bowls, with 13 year old Cameron leading well and ably backed up by the (slightly) older Dai and Gwyn , Ashley's rink had a tightly fought battle on the tricky rink three. The match was close but the Five Arches team had a strong finish winning the last 6 ends to pull away to a 23 -15 win.
In another close match on rink 5 , Tony and his team of Ben, John and Doug enjoyed a topsy turvy afternoon, after dropping 9 shots in the middle of the match, they fought back well to close the gap to 2 shots. Unfortunately the Borderers picked up 3 on the last end to win by 22 - 17. Steve, after his 25 year hiatus from bowls, was promoted to skip in only his second game back but well supported by Eamonn, Aaron and Mike led to his team to a solid 27-18 win with another strong finish by again winning the last 6 ends.
The match swung back and forth throughout the afternoon and after 17 ends, it was all square, but with the Arches winning 13 of the remaining 16 ends they pulled away for a good win against a strong Borderers side and a return to form after Saturday's defeat.
The Five Arches team is traditionally a mixture of youth and experience however on Sunday one quarter of the team were under the age of 16, they all played extremely well and are a credit to the club.
The next game is against St Katherines of Milford,
Ken Lloyd, Ben Cloake, Ray Taylor, Lee Richards 28 Ken Davies 18
Cameron White, Dai Rees, Gwyn Beynon, Ashley Hooper 23 John Addison 15
Ben Simmons, John Hubbard, Doug Silcox, Tony Brown 17 Ashley Reese 22
Eamonn Maher, Aaron Lloyd, Mike Gouldingay, Steve Williams 27 Dave Jenner 18
Five Arches 73 St Issells 77
Saturday brought our first away fixture of the season with a trip to sunny Saundersfoot. After the win in the first match, hopes were high to continue this good start but St Issells have proved to be a bogey team for the Five Arches in the last couple of years. So a tight, competitive match was expected.
After a warm welcome from Captain Barry , the action commenced on a glorious afternoon. On rink three, Clive led his team of Eamonn, Ben and Mike to a useful 10-5 lead at tea, but then the wheels fell off. They failed to score in the next 6 ends and trailed by 19-10 , after a brief rally by the rink, the Saundersfoot quartet piled on the pressure once again to pull away and run out eventual winners by 26 shots to 14. Rink four saw Captain Ashley standing in for the holiday bound Roy Powling as skip. A close fought affair saw the St Issells rink have a 8-6 lead at tea. The reviving effects of PG Tips and digestive biscuits, aided by good performances from Dai, Tony and Gwyn encouraged the rink to move head and win by 23 shots to 15.
The remaining two rinks had extremely close games, Lee and his team of Ken Lloyd, Ben Cloake and new Five Arches player Ray Taylor edged their match by one shot in 20-19 victory. There was never much between these two rinks, a decisive three on the 18th end gave the Five Arches rink a small lead which they held onto. Tony's rink of Doug , John and returning Steve, playing his first league game for 25 years had a ding dong game in the far off realms of rink six. With the sound of village cricket in their ears, they failed to score for the first 6 ends but a fine comeback ensured a nail biting finish and they just fell short to lose by one shot.
The game was played in a good spirit and was not decided until the final bowl. After the win against St Thomas in the first game, this was a disappointing result for the Five Arches, however full credit must be given to the St Issells team for their great team performance.
Eamonn Maher, Ben Simmons, Mike Gouldingay, Clive Webb 14 R Pring 26
Dai Rees, Tony Powling, Gwyn Beynon, Ashley Hooper 23 B Lee 15
Ken Lloyd, Ben Cloake, Ray Taylor, Lee Richards 20 S Howe 19
Doug Silcox, John Hubbard, Steve Williams, Tony Brown 16 K Rowlands 17
Neyland 55 Tenby 113 (2 Points)
After starting the defence of the Welsh Club Championship (Carruthers Shield) with a win over local rivals, Saundersfoot, last week, the Tenby sponsored Layton and Company Solicitors and Chandler Rogers Estate Agents travelled to Neyland and won by 58 shots and took the maximum two points.
Neyland is always a difficult team to face due, in the main, to their ‘green’ which is a very heavy and tricky surface to master. Tenby however were in no mood to surrender their unbeaten start to the season and took a 17 shot lead as early as the fifth end. At 10 ends the champions had increased their lead to 21 shots before a surge over the next 5 ends to lead by 33. The victory never looked in doubt as at 18 ends they had amassed a lead of 46 and concluded with an overall victory of 58 shots and picked up a two further points to ensure that one more victory would guarantee entry into the knock out stages of the Welsh Club Championship.
Rink 1 saw the rink of Paul Diment take on Neyland’s Bill Barratt and the Tenby quartet went into an early 8-3 lead. At 10 ends the Neyland rink played very well to level the match at 9 all and then surge ahead by the 15th end by five shots (11-16). The Tenby rink did manage to slightly close the gap at 18 ends (13-17) but went down at the close 15-18. It is ironic that the rink performance mirrored the defeat of Pat Currie’s rink the week before and recorded Tenby’s second rink defeat all season. Both defeats by 3 shots. Gerald Hewitt and Mike Jackson both played well as did Peter Day but some bad luck ensured that the Neyland four took the honours.
Pat Currie’s rink was still smarting after their first league defeat of the season against Saundersfoot. A quality sign of a good rink however is their ‘bounce back ability’ and boy did they do that. After dropping a single shot on the first end, they then won the next nine (ends) to lead 21-1. At 15 ends the lead had grown further to 27 shots (30-3). This quality rink were not letting things lie at this and they continued to punish the Neyland four by taking five shots on the last end to win by 37 shots (41-4). What a great performance by the Tenby four who only lost 4 singles in the entire match. Neil Dickinson once again impressed as did John Baggott who was superb. It is such a shame that John cannot play for Pembrokeshire as he is the Team Manager and rules do not permit player managers. If not for this rule, he would be one of the first names on the County Teams team sheet. Jon Webb and Pat Currie showed what a great combination they are forming by their overall play and leadership on the rink.
Andrew Muskett’s rinks were, like Pat Currie, out of the blocks quickly and took an early lead of 12-0 after only 4 ends. A spirited comeback back the Neyland rink lead by Gordon Robson saw that lead whittle down to 4 shots at 10 ends (15-11). The Tenby rink proved however that they are very much second half experts by taking a further two ‘fours’ and a ‘five’ to win by 33-19. Dai Spencer was very impressive on what he has described as his favourite green as to was Welsh International John Roberts. Joe Richards has matured quickly into his new position and played extremely well. With these front three players playing so well it allowed Andrew to experiment on the new delivery he has adapted after a brief conversation with Gareth Humphries the previous Tuesday.
Phil Carpenters rink saw a late change after the withdrawal of Luke Guymer due to work commitments. The ‘rink’ still maintained their 100% winning record. Cameron White came into the rink as ‘second’ and was very impressive. This likeable young man has composure beyond his years and I must applaud his attitude during the first three games of the season. Being a part of the Carruthers winning squad, Cameron has failed to make an appearance for the Tenby Team this year. This is not down to his ability but rather that all the Tenby ‘front end’ are playing so well. Luke Rees, Welsh finalist (with Ben Cloake) in the Under 16’s pair’s championship last year once again played well. It may have been considered a risk, in some quarters, to put two young players together as a front end combination. These two players however, have no fear and are playing as well as any experienced front end players in the County. Craig Guymer and Phil controlled matters well and although they were 2-7 down after 5 ends (same as last week) they rallied to lead by 4 at 15 ends (16-12). After 18 ends they led 22-12 and finished with a 10 shot victory (24-14)
To conclude, credit to the Tenby Team who looked upon this game as the crucial match in qualifying due to the nature of the Neyland surface. Tenby now face Milford Haven next Saturday at Sutton Street to conclude their group matches. A victory or draw will see them qualify and even a defeat will probably be enough as the Team has amassed a shot difference of 100 shots in only two games. The win would be expected however against a Milford Team very much in a transitional period.
It is also my pleasure to report that two further Tenby team players have been selected for Pembrokeshire for the first time. Luke Rees and Neil Dickinson make their debuts against Montgomeryshire in June at Milford Haven.
Rink 1: G Hewitt, M Jackson, P Day and Paul Diment 15-18 B Barrett
Rink 2: J. Richards, D Spencer, J Roberts and A. Muskett 33-19 G Robson
Rink 3: L. Rees, C White, C. Guymer and P Carpenter 24-14 A King
Rink 4. N Dickinson, J Baggott, J Webb and P Currie 41-4 G Nuthall
5 ends, Tenby 30-13 Neyland
10 ends, Tenby 52-31 Neyland
15 ends, Tenby 80-47 Neyland
18 ends, Tenby 96-50 Neyland
21 ends, Tenby 113-55 Neyland