Tenby 177 Welsh Presidents 90
Tenby entertained the Welsh Presidents on Tuesday, May 11. The weather provided a very pleasent afternoon for bowling. This is a traditional fixture for the presidents to visit the home of the current Carruthers champions. Tenby team captain for the day, David Spencer, welcomed Noel Tippett and the Wesh presidents to Tenby Bowling Club.
After the match, the Welsh president Noel and his member presidents were overwhelming in their praise of such a wonderful playing surface at the club. Noel said that it was the best playing surface they had played on in Wales and England in their busy early season fixtures.
A lot of credit goes to our greenkeeper Chris Jenkins and also the green's chairman, Tony Brown, for all their hard work in providing a playing surface of this quality. The six rinks consisted of four rinks made up of winning Carruthers players and two rinks - a cross section of club players (Five Arches).
It was played in a very friendly and competitive atmosphere.
L. Rees, D. Spencer, J. Roberts, A. Muskett 15 N. Tippett 31
N. Dickinson, M. Jackson, J. Baggott, P. Currie 27 A. Hodges 15
G. Hewitt, J. Richards, C . Guymer, J. Webb 48 R. Davies 3
C. White, D. Silcox, P. Day, P. Diment 31 G. Humphreys 8
E. Maher, J.Taylor, A. Hooper, T. Brown 31 D. Evans 15
H. Meads, T. Powling, J. Hubbard, R Powling 20 D. Mort 18
Tenby 98 Saundersfoot 56 (Tenby 2 Points)
After two league matches the Tenby side started the campaign of retaining the Welsh Club Championship (Carruthers Shield). The Tenby sponsored Layton and Company Solicitors and Chandler Rogers Estate Agents won by 42 shots and took 2 points.
Saundersfoot were missing a number of players but took the game to the Welsh champions and it appeared they were after revenge for their league defeat to Tenby only two weeks before. At five ends the scores were level but then the Champions held a 9 shot lead after ten ends and increased their lead at 15 ends to 34 shots. Tenby maintained the 34 shot lead at 18 ends finishing with a comprehensive 42 shot win.
Rink 1 saw the rink of Pat Currie take on the Saundersfoot Captain Steve Dick and the Tenby quartet went into an early 4-1 lead. At 10 ends Pat’s rink still led by 1 shot (10-9) but then fell behind at 15 ends, 11-13. The Saundersfoot foursome surged ahead at 18 ends to extend their lead to 11-18 and completed the first win against a Tenby rink for three games winning 16-19. Although disappointing to lose a rink for the first time this season, credit to the Tenby rink who albeit 11-18 down outscored their opponents 5-1 over the last 3 ends to close the gap.
The rink of Andrew Muskett played Stephen Poole again after beating the Saundersfoot rink two weeks ago by 1 shot. This usual reliable rink were slow out of the blocks and were behind by 2, 8, 5 and 1 after five, ten, fifteen and eighteen ends respectively but played extremely well towards the second half of the game to earn a draw. The second half saw a much better performance and they were unlucky not to snatch a win but no doubt will settle for a draw. The sign of a quality ‘rink’ is even when things do not go their way, they still avoid defeat and this is very much a quality ‘four’.
Phil Carpenter’s rink was against Berwyn Dennis and went behind at 5 ends 2-4 and a dropped count of 3 shots saw a deficit of 2-7. Then the Tenby four went into overdrive to lead by 6 at 10 ends and 16 at 15 (ends). A run of 11 shots without reply on the last 3 ends saw them run out comprehensive winners by 28 shots. Looking at scoring consistency, from 6 to 21 ends they defeated their opponents 35-2 which is an incredible performance. This young rink with the ever impressive Luke Rees being backed up by former club champions Luke and Craig Guymer and Welsh International Phil Carpenter are playing so well that they just blow their opponents away scoring three shots or more for 16 out of the 63 ends they have played so far this season with the highest score against them being a 3 – which has happened only 3 times. This rink has now won their first 3 games by 15, 20 and 28 shots.
Paul Diment’s rink played once again against Simon Evans’ rink; with the Saundersfoot four trying to revenge a two shot defeat in their recent game. The Tenby foursome took a narrow 5-4 lead after 5 ends but then took control emphatically to win the next 8 ends to extend their lead 21-4. The Saundersfoot four did their best to stick in and limit the scoring damage for the next 9 ends and at the finish went down by 17 shots.
Gerald Hewitt was superb and was so good, decided to try out the Robert Weale ‘stance’ half way through the game. Gerald is the most naturally gifted player I have ever seen and when in full flow is outstanding. His attitude and desire is second to none and together with the ever impressive Mike Jackson at ‘second’ totally outplayed the Saundersfoot ‘front end’. Former Welsh and British Isles Champion, Peter Day was absolutely brilliant and left Paul with the job of consolidating what these players had set up to leave Simon Evans very much on the back foot. Peter Day does not get the recognition he deserves from national selectors and this talented player always performs at a very high level. I cannot praise the Tenby front three enough for the way they mastered a very difficult ‘rink’ and set up great positions end after end.
To conclude, credit must be given to Saundersfoot who gave Tenby their sternest challenge of the season so far. Although they must be disappointed with two defeats in close succession, they can take a lot of credit for their performances against the Welsh Champions and in my opinion will have a great season and my best wishes to them for the remainder of the season.
It seems only like yesterday Tenby were crowned as Welsh Champions on that glorious day in Llandridod Wells and how quickly the campaign to retain the title starts. After two great league wins against two top Pembrokeshire teams (Saundersfoot and Haverfordwest) Tenby had not lost a rink. . This trend would never continue but the impressive nature of this team is that when ‘rinks’ struggle they do dig in and let the other ‘rinks’ ensure victory and having only lost one out of 12 rink matches this season is a very impressive statistic. The Tenby team play as one and they are relentless in always asking the questions of their opponents. A Saundersfoot player told me after the game that the Tenby team are a blue wave coming again and again until we can’t keep it back anymore. I cannot be more proud of all the players in the way they have applied themselves in three tough opening games not only in their application during matches but their dedication in putting in hours of practice to ensure that we are in the best possible position to win these games.
The next two weeks see Tenby complete their group matches and face a potential banana skin against Neyland (Away) next week. This is followed by Milford Haven (Home) the week after. The Saundersfoot match was the key game and Tenby will be firm favourites to enter the knock out stages of the Welsh Championship.
Rink 1: G Hewitt, M Jackson, P Day and Paul Diment 26. S Evans 9
Rink 2: J. Richards, D Spencer, J Roberts and A. Muskett 19. S Poole 19.
Rink 3: L. Rees, L Guymer, C. Guymer and P Carpenter 37. B Dennis 9
Rink 4. N Dickinson, J Baggott, J Webb and P Currie 16. S. Dick 19
5 ends, Tenby 16-16 Saundersfoot
10 ends, Tenby 44-35 Saundersfoot
15 ends, Tenby 67-43 Saundersfoot
18 ends, Tenby 76-52 Saundersfoot
21 ends, Tenby 98-56 Saundersfoot
Pembrokeshire League Division One.
Tenby 124 (14 points) Haverfordwest 47 (0 Points)
The second league game of the season saw current defending Pembrokeshire League Champions, Tenby, travel to Haverfordwest. The Tenby sponsored Layton and Company Solicitors and Chandler Rogers Estate Agents won by 77 shots and took the maximum 14 points to add to the maximum haul from their first league match against Saundersfoot to storm to the top of the Pembrokeshire League with a huge shot difference of 100 shots and no points dropped.
At five ends, Tenby took control of the game and led by 27 shots. At 10 ends, the lead had increased to 48 and increased to 69 at 15 ends. Tenby stretched their lead further by the 18th end, to 81 and ran out comprehensive winners by 77 shots.
The rink of Andrew Muskett got off to a good start, containing a strong Haverfordwest combination and at 5 ends was level at five shots all. The Tenby rink pulled away to lead by a couple of shots, 9-7, then the rink charged ahead at 15 ends to lead 18-8 and at 18 ends led by 18 shots to further forge ahead and finish with a huge 24 shot margin. In fact, from five ends on, the Tenby rink defeated the opposition by 28 shots to 4. A major reason was because at 10 ends, the front end went into overdrive with Joe Richards deciding that he is not a ‘second’ but a ‘lead’ and peppered the ‘jack’ for the remainder of the game. The future is bright for this talented player and to be recognised for International honours, Joe will achieve this target quicker as a ‘lead’ than a ‘second’. Dai Spencer has developed into a quality player having represented Pembrokeshire over 30 times as a lead. Dai moving to second is a great move by the Tenby selection team as Dai can add another dimension to the team as a ‘second’ as he can ‘draw’ shots or play ‘weighted’ shots to help the team. John Roberts was superb all game and has been a major reason why this rink has been successful over the last 2 years. John is a Welsh International ‘lead’ indoor and outdoors and this rink, with three ‘leads’ (in reality), provide excellent scoring opportunities and restrict the opposition to scraps. Andrew Muskett has always been a great ‘skip’ for Tenby, but with John Roberts has formed a partnership which provides a solid basis from which to exert his repertoire of shots. Andrew has won two out of the four Welsh disciplines outdoors and last year narrowly missed out on making it three out a four which would have made him the most successful Pembrokeshire player ever in Welsh competitions.
The class of the Pat Currie’s rink carried on from where they left off against Saundersfoot. Last week saw the rink take a 16-3 lead at five ends against ‘the foot’, and that would be a hard act to follow. But not for this ‘rink’ as they led by 14 shots at five ends, 19 shots at 10 ends and an incredible 29 shots at 15 ends. The lead at 18 ends was 28 shots and at the finish, 29 shots. This rink has seen the loss of Simon Evans from the victorious Carruthers Shield team but has he been missed? Jonathan Webb has been moved to play ‘third’ in this rink and has been an inspiration. Jonathan is an experienced campaigner for Pembrokeshire in the County Team and after success in winning the prestigious club championship trophy and the Chevron Open Pairs tournament has further improved his ‘game’ which was already at a very high level. Pat Currie, multiple Welsh Champion, has been the longest serving member of the Tenby Team and has seen the lows in relegation to in 1987 to the highs of seven consecutive league triumphs finally leading to the holy grail of the Carruthers Last Year. I have had the pleasure of witnessing the great man over the years and his composure under pressure is second to none. If there has been any better ‘lead’ performance than I witnessed from Neil Dickinson on Saturday then I have suffered from a dose of amnesia. I have had the pleasure of playing international bowls with and against the best ‘leads’ available to countries and never has one played with such panache that he produced on Saturday. Neil has to be the best lead never to, surprisingly, play for his County but surely this honour will be coming soon the way that he has performed over last few years. John Baggott has to be the most competitive player I have ever witnessed on the green – outwardly anyway (!) He backhand is like silk and never I have I seen such accuracy until he reverts to his forehand. Joking aside, John has had an excellent attitude and this extremely talented player has a great personality which is infectious and makes him a very popular member of the team. John’s play consolidated all that the excellent Neil Dickinson did, and what a partnership they have formed. Never did the County Skip, Richard O’Leary, have a look in against this talented quartet.
Paul Diment’s rinks had a narrow win against Saundersfoot last week and were looking to maintain the 100% rink record. They did so narrowly by winning by 4 shots, but the rink were in the main restricted by the excellent Peter Jenkins who played them, in reality, on his own. Gerald Hewitt was steady as lead on a difficult surface but Mike Jackson was on a different planet as ‘second’. Mike’s first season as a Tenby player saw him win the Carruthers Shield but he has over the last 5 years been specialising in the indoor discipline with Heatherton. Mike, narrowly lost the Welsh ‘rinks’ title only a few weeks before and over the two games this season has proved what a talented sportsman he is. Mike having played snooker at a high level was introduced to bowls by John Roberts, and has taken to the game like a duck to water. Mike has a tremendous competitive edge to his game but also is very sportsmanlike to the opposition. His attitude is so attuned to the whole team’s that he has settled into the team as if he has been involved for years. Peter Day and Paul Diment played solid bowls as they always do but Mike Jackson was certainly a major factor in the ‘rink’ winning.
Phil Carpenter won against Roger Price by 20 shots. At 5 ends they were 12-0 up and the further five ends saw them drop 2 shots but in return they managed to score 11 shots. They increased their lead to 32-3 at 15 ends and by 18 ends the lead was 35-7 and by the finish they won by 38-9. Luke Rees playing at ‘lead’ has impressed with his maturity and unflappable composure that I can see great things for this player. He was backed up by the impressive Welsh Under 25 International, Luke Guymer who once again produced a very high class performance and seems suited to the Phil’s style of play – which in the main is “play it fast”. Craig Guymer also performed well and with Welsh International Phil Carpenter in total control as ever, the Haverfordwest foursome had a torrid afternoon.
Following on from last weeks win against Saundersfoot, this was, on paper at least another stern test against a strong contender for the League Title but Tenby strolled to a record win against Haverfordwest which left their selectors ‘on the bank’ scratching their heads. One County player for Haverfordwest approached me after the game and said that he looked at our team playing and he could not see any weak link and although not overcome with joy at the result, had to sit back and admire the Tenby team in action.
After the success of last year, this was always going to be a testing season for the Tenby Team. Although it’s very much a marathon and not a sprint the Tenby team has had the perfect start with 100% rink success and a shot difference after only two games of 100 shots. The challenge of beating the Welsh Champions is on every team in Pembrokeshire and Wales’s agenda and it shows when they start the match off. But such is the confidence and players belief not only in their own individual ability but it their team mates abilities that they have risen to the challenge and have upped their performance levels. Beating sides like Saundersfoot and Haverfordwest so early in the season when they could have been caught cold was always the fear, but what a start and the question will be, can it be sustained. Time will tell, but at this moment, I cannot see anyone beating this team.
Next Saturday see’s the return of Saundersfoot at Sutton Street to play against the defending Carruthers Shield (Welsh Championship) team. The competition starts with group stages with the Pembrokeshire Teams separated into two groups. Group one features Tenby; Saundersfoot, Neyland and Milford Haven. Group two contains Whitland, Haverfordwest, Pembroke Dock and Fishguard. Saundersfoot will be looking at reversing the result of two weeks ago and will once again provide formidable opposition.
The Tenby team had been criticised for not fulfilling a full strength side in friendly matches leading up to these two league games but the Tenby Captain felt that the newspaper reports were very unfair as the team has been a victim to their own individual success’s during the indoor season with players either having a break from bowls or from still being involved in Welsh Indoor Finals and World Indoor Championship Bowls. At no time is the appearance in friendly matches a stipulation. The recent newspaper reports are quoted as “…I hope that this is not a sign of things to come”. From the recent performances from the Tenby team, I think that the team has answered this statement emphatically. The issue with friendly matches are that Tenby team players have a very heavy schedule with WBA qualification competitions, the League Matches and the qualification from the group Stages of the Carruthers Shield. Therefore any time to take to spend time doing other things is well welcomed, even this early in the season.
Rink 1: G Hewitt, M Jackson, P Day and Paul Diment 20. P D S Jenkins 16.
Rink 2: J. Richards, D Spencer, J Roberts and A. Muskett 33. Paul Jenkins 9.
Rink 3: L. Rees, L Guymer, C. Guymer and P Carpenter 33. R. Price 13
Rink 4. N Dickinson, J Baggott, J Webb and P Currie 38. R O’Leary 9.
5 ends, Tenby 37-10 Haverfordwest
10 ends, Tenby 64-16 Haverfordwest
15 ends, Tenby 97-28 Haverfordwest
18 ends, Tenby 114-33 Haverfordwest
21 ends, Tenby 124-47 Haverfordwest
My personal congratulations to John Roberts, Phil Carpenter and Andrew Muskett having Welsh International trials - which are well deserved. There is a tinge of disappointment when other players have not had an opportunity but with sustained success over the year we may see more players being involved.
The Tenby Club’s success in the Carruthers Shield Last Year has seen an invitation from the Welsh Bowling Association President who has requested that his select team play against the Tenby Carruthers Winning Team with two further ‘rinks’ being provided by the remainder of the club. Captain of the day will be the victorious Tenby Captain of last season, David Spencer and the match will start at 2pm on Tuesday May 11th.
Five Arches 79 Haverfordwest St Thomas 73
The Five Arches first match of the 2010 2nd division campaign was played against the St Thomas team from Haverfordwest, these games have historically been very close and this one proved no different. Captain Ashley welcomed the visiting team and with the promised rain not appearing, the fine weather was enjoyed by all. With their new shirts shining in the sun, the Five Arches were looking forward to a winning start to the season.
On rink 3, with Roy Powling back at skip, ably supported by Dai, brother Tony and Gwyn, they were involved in a tight game all the way through. The loss of four shots on the 20th end broke the deadlock in St Thomas' favour to open up a six shot lead but the Five Arches boys immediately hit back with a four of their own to go down by only 2 shots which was to prove crucial for the overall result. Rink 4 again was a tight affair, Clive at skip marshalled his troops with aplomb, Eamonn and Ben providing a solid a front end and vice captain Mike chipping in with telling shots at third. In an evenly matched game seven shots in 3 ends opened up a gap which was never closed and Clive and his rink ended with a well deserved 6 shot victory.
Rink 5 saw Tony Brown's much changed rink win by 7 shots, they were never behind in the game and eased to a comfortable victory. With Doug at lead, Johno at 2 and the returning Ray at 3 the rink looks very solid and much more success can be expected. Lee and his rink of Ken , Ben and Ashley were involved in a close tussle on rink 6. After a good start, they were pegged back after tea and a fine shot by opposing skip and county regular Mark Thorpe which made four shots on the 19th end decided the game and the St Thomas quartet went on to win by 5.
Overall a great start to the season which we can hopefully continue in our remaining games.
Many thanks must go to the Five Arches team sponsors, The Welsh Shop, Stena Line and the Farnham Hotel for their generosity and also to Lawrence for once again preserving the match for posterity with his wonderful photos. The Five Arches have no game this weekend giving us an opportunity to watch the mighty Tenby team in Carruthers action against Saundersfoot. League action resumes on the 15th May, away to St Issells and on the 16th home to the Borderers.
Dai Rees, Tony Powling, Gwyn Beynon, Roy Powling 19 H Hicks 21
Eamonn Maher, Ben Simmons, Mike Gouldingay, Clive Webb 23 T Harries 17
Doug Silcox, John Hubbard, Ray Holly, Tony Brown 21 R Harries 14
Ken Lloyd, Ben Cloake, Ashley Hooper, Lee Richards 16 M Thorpe 21