Welsh Club Championship (Carruthers Shield) Quarter Final
Tenby BC 90 Barry Athletic BC 73
1st August 2015
The Giltar Hotel Sponsored Tenby BC played their latest game in the 2015 Welsh Club Championship last Saturday. Tenby have not lost in the quarter finals since 2008, losing by 15 to Penhill BC of Cardiff in 2008 and prior to that Morriston Utd of Swansea in 1996. Tenby have not lost a home match in the Carruthers Shield since their one shot defeat at the hands of Llanelli in 2002 (source: Peter Day). Both sides have been successful in the competition, commonly known as the Carruthers Shield and had high hopes of success in this years competition leading into Saturdays fixture.
Rink 1: The successful international pairing of Kieran Peregrine and John Roberts teamed up with their reliable front end of lead and under 25 International Luke Rees and former Captain Jon Webb. They played against Current Indoor International Martin Clarke, who had former Welsh Triples Champion, Kristian Harris as his third, under 21 academy player, Gwynfor Parr as second and the vastly experienced Jack Belland as lead. A great start for Pegs saw them take a count of ‘4’ on the first end. The rink consolidated by taking a single on the next end before Barry Athletic hit back with a count of four of their own. A run of three winning ends for Tenby (2, 2, 2) saw their lead increase to 11-4 but then another dropped count of four shots saw the gap narrow to three. A count of three for Tenby followed by a single saw the gap restore to seven shots. A single shot for Barry and then a double for Tenby saw the lead increase to eight, before Barry again scored a single. Pegs and his rink were playing to a very high standard and took another count of four shots to lead by eleven (21-10). Barry Athletic to their credit rallied tremendously and scored on the next seven ends, albeit all singles and doubles to reduce the lead to a mere two shots (21-19). A count of three shots to the Tenby rink saw them win 24-19.
Rink 2: Another International back end combination for Tenby in Paul Diment and Ryan Thomas combined with the excellent Tenby team captain, Joe Richards and junior international trialist, Cameron White, saw them play the legendary Nigel Leigh former Carruthers Shield Winner with both Cardiff (Sofia Gardens) and Dinas Powis in addition to multiple Welsh National champion indoors and a former Welsh outdoor international as well as being Captain for Wales indoor. That was the task that faced Diment – in fact in 2000, Nigel and Paul were both British Isles Rinks Champions – Nigel with the indoor discipline with Jonathan Forey, Richard Morgan and Jeff Webley and Paul with the outdoor version together with Peter Day, Andrew Muskett and Pat Currie. Paul got off to a great start with a superb trail shot to make a count of two shots which were followed up with two more doubles and a single to lead 7-0. Paul was aware that it would not take Nigel long to ‘work out’ the rink and so it proved to be. Nigel drew shot to make it 7-1 and then a change of mat and jack length saw the Barry rink score on the next four ends to tie things up 7-7. A double for Diment saw the lead regained but with the Barry rink starting to show signs of confidence, the Tenby skip knew that the tide had turned. The Barry Athletic ‘third’ started to play some truly outstanding bowls which set up the platform for the talented Nigel Leigh. A winning sequence of five consecutive ends for Nigel and his rink which included two counts of three shots and a five in addition to two single shots saw them grasp the initiative from Diment and take an eleven shot lead (11-20). The Barry team grew in stature across the green with the events that were unfolding on rink 2 and momentum started to swing across the green. However, Diment is an experienced competitor and had to call upon all his knowledge in ensuring that what was happening on his rink did not lose the match overall for Tenby. Out of the last five ends, Diment won four by very careful and cautious tactics to restrict the high flying Barry Athletic rink. The last five ends were a two and a single for Tenby, a single for Barry and then two doubles for Tenby. The last end was not played as the game was won overall, and the final score of 16-22 for Barry Athletic.
Rink 3: Another International back end combination for Lee Williamson and Andrew Muskett teamed up with Welsh and British Isles rinks champion and triples finalist with Malcolm Brace and Ian Badham. The lead for this rink was double under 18’s Welsh national pairs winner (with Cameron White) and Elite under 18 player, Aaron Lloyd. They competed against former under 25 international , David Wright, son of former international, Jeff Wright. David Wright played some very ‘big’ bowls in this game, none so much than in the opening exchanges when he limited the Tenby rink. After 5 ends the score was 4-4. Then a dropped count for Williamson four followed by a double saw the Barry rink take a six shot lead (4-10). Williamson rallied with a three and a single only to drop a double before taking two counts of four shots to take the lead 16-12. A single for the David Wright rink reduced the deficit but then this talented rink upped their game again to take a single and then a count of five shots, just as Diment was conceding his count of five shots. Back though came David with a double and then after Lee had taken a single, David took a count of four (23-19). Williamson then took another single before David took a double. With the Williamson rink sitting pretty on the last end, another great bowl by David Wright made a count but Williamson played a great bowl under pressure to narrowly miss making shot but did get second shot to concede just the single. The rink won 24-22.
Rink 5: The final rink and the final back end international combination of Craig and Luke Guymer who teamed up with International Chris Court and former Welsh rinks champion Mike Jackson. They played against another formidable opponent in former Welsh International and three time Welsh champion Glyn Thomas. A count of four on the first end followed by double and a treble but the Tenby rink into a quite 9-0 lead. A single for Barry followed by a two, three, two for Tenby extended the lead to 16-1. Barry Ath responded with a two and a one only for that to be cancelled out with a two and a one for Tenby. Glyn and his rink did rally, as would be expected from such a talented player to score on the next five ends (1, 1, 2, 1 and 1). The score at end sixteen was 19-10 to Tenby. The Tenby four rallied superbly with all player having excellent games, but top place has to go to Chris Court who was superb. Winning all remaining five ends helped Tenby fight off the Barry fight back with consistent scoring of 2, 1, 1, 2, and 1 to win 26-10.
In conclusion, a great game played in tremendous spirit. Barry Athletic were a credit to their club and gave Tenby the fright of their lives and the momentum was with them in the closing stages. Barry Athletic also had two skips missing with the World Championship player, Robert Horgan missing and Dean Rees. However, Barry Athletic in my opinion did not miss those two players and all of their team can be extremely proud of their performances. After the game I said that I would be delighted to see Barry Athletic win the Carruthers Shield as I have many friends at the club – especially Russell Evans, whose father won the famous Tenby Gold Cup. Russell has recently had a heart by-pass operation and the Tenby Club’s best wishes go to him on a speedy recovery. Tenby face RTB Ebbw Vale who overcame the challenge of Swansea side, Old Landorians – both former winners of the Carruthers Shield. This will be the third time that the two sides have meet in the semi-finals – previous occasions when Ebbw Vale won were in 2013 and 2014 on their way to the title. The Ebbw Vale side are very talented and also a very sportsman like side who contain players who play the game in the right spirit. This is the best team that Tenby have ever seen represent them in the Carruthers Shield but Ebbw Vale are equally a good side and without a doubt will be favourites against a developing Tenby team and it will be a very interesting contest between two talented sides.
Five Arches 69 Pendine 96 ( Five Arches 4pts Pendine 10)
8th August 2015
In the blazing August sun, the Five Arches were hoping to get back to winning ways after last week's defeat to Whitland. First up, in front of the crowd on rink 1 , were Ben and his rink of John , Jon and Steve who continued their fine run of form this year. Starting slowly, at one stage 13 shots to 2 down, they played better and better as the game progressed. They picked up 13 shots through ends 14 to 18 to take command and ran out winners by 27 shots to 13. Next door on rink 2, Neil and his rink of Peter, Jimmy and Mike played a much more patient game , edging ahead by 4 shots at tea , they scored a well-timed 5 on the 18th end to open up a gap on the Pendine rink and eventually won by 21 shots to 15. Unfortunately for the Five Arches, the further away from the clubhouse , the worse we played. Captain Ben and his rink of Roger, Tony and Kevin struggled in the latter stages on rink 3. Trailing by only 4 at tea, they fell away in the second half and succumbed by 32 shots to 9. Out on rink 4, Ashley and his rink of Tom, David and Dai had a similar experience, only scoring on 6 of the 21 ends to lose by 29 shots to 12. A disappointing result for the Arches but we continue to have a fine season. Next up, away to Fishguard on Saturday.
John Rees, Jon Hubbard, Steve Davies, Ben Simmons 27 Stuart King Thomas 20
Mike Day, Jimmy Thomas, Peter Hooper, Neil Dickinson 21 Geoff Hale 15
Roger Thomas, Kevin Lewis, Tony Powling, Ben Cloake 9 Mal Evans 32
Tom Lewis, David Lloyd, Dai Spencer, Ashley Hooper 12 Arwel Edwards 29
Five Arches 66 Whitland 104 (Five Arches 2 pts Whitland 12)
25th July 2015
After Tuesday's fantastic win away to Haverfordwest, hopes were high for another good result for the Five Arches. However we were soon brought back down to earth by a strong Whitland team. On rink 1, Ashley and his rink of Dai, David and Ken played a tight game against Steve Reese up until the 14th end , afterwards the Whitland foursome went into overdrive scoring 17 shots in the remaining 7 ends to run out comfortable winners by 31 shots to 14. Rink 2 saw Ben and his rink of John, Jon and Steve play well again. They stormed off to lead by 20 shots to 2 at 10 ends and fought off a great comeback by Dan Jenner and his rink to win by 24 shots to 18. Captain Ben and his rink of Roger, Tony and the returning John Cully were involved in a tight game on rink 4. Leading by 9 shots to 7 at tea, the game edged back and forth with the Whitland rink eventually clinching the game by 22 shots to 17. Finally on rink 5, Simon with Mike, Kevin and Neil had a day to forget, trailing by 12 shots to 7 after 10 ends, the Whitland rink steeped up a gear in the second half to win by 33 shots to 11. Next game, home to Pendine on Saturday 8th August.
Ken Lloyd, David Lloyd, Dai Spencer, Ashley Hooper 14 Steve Reese 31
John Rees, Jon Hubbard, Steve Davies, Ben Simmons 24 Dan Jenner 18
Roger Thomas, John Cully, Tony Powling, Ben Cloake 17 Mike John 22
Mike Day, Kevin Lewis, Neil Dickinson, Simon Evans 11 Glyn Thomas 33
Tenby 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).