Havelocked out of the Carruthers

Chandler RogersThe dream is sadly over for another year as Tenby were knocked out of the Carruthers Shield at the last 16 stage by Havelock Park from Llanelli.  Having beaten Milford away on the Wednesday night the green looked a similar surface and so it was. With this in mind the Tenby boys, buoyed by the sun finally sneaking out to play were full of confidence as they stepped on the green. When all finally did get on the green!

Rink one saw the Guymer twins facing Robbie Byrne. This was a tough encounter during the early stages, some good play by both Luke's keeping the Tenby side in the game. In the second half however the boys rallied and built up a comfortable lead. In fact going into the last end 9 shots up and holding 2 the boys looked like securing a decent win. More importantly as the fact that as the Carruthers is a ‘shots only’ competition as opposed to points for rinks, the two slender shots they were holding would have brought the Tenby team back to all-square. But with his last wood Robbie Byrne somehow managed to send his bowl down the tightest line of the afternoon and the bowl seemed to hold its line to the jack and pull it through for 4 shots, a turn around of six shots at such a crucial stage.

Rink two saw John Roberts taking on former Texaco pair’s winner Ritchie Hughes. This too was a tight affair. End after end Paul Diment or john would make shot only to see Ritchie spoil the party with some tremendous bowls. The game itself was a tight affair with there never being more than 3 or 4 shots in it either way. Sadly however in the last two ends, as the rink was the last on the green they dropped a three and a four in the last two ends. The score line however did not give a true reflection of the game. Tenby lost by 10 in the end by as I say, when chasing the game in the last two ends, dropping a three and a four is sometimes inevitable.

Sadly the damage was done on rink three on Saturday afternoon. A combination of short bowls, a loss of concentration in the middle half and sublime skipping by Howard Griffiths of Havelock was enough to send Peter Day and his men back to changing rooms having lost only their second game of the season. The rink didn’t get off to a great start, the front end still in the corner shop when the speeches finished, and a further 6 ends past before all the combined food offerings were digested, by which stage Peter was 9-0 down. However a rally brought them back into the game but sadly that 9-11 shot difference that built up over the first few ends remained in place for the rest of the afternoon. Try and the boys might, everything they threw at the Havelock rink was swiped away with a better more telling bowl by the opposition who all played well to a man. Sadly a few ends in the middle when there was a collective minor loss of concentration didn’t help and Peter found himself counts down on consecutive ends. Again the boys dug deep, Pat and Joseph really coming to the fore with touchers galore, only to see the opposition take the game from them. Every time we seemed to be close we’d miss, but with them it was always a hit! So after a valiant effort from that rink the deficit that was there at the start remained at the end.

Rink four saw the Captains face each other as Wigan’s warriors took on the family rink of Gwynn and Mark Williams. Again a tremendous display of leading was provided by Dai Spencer. Since reverting back to his usual position of lead Dai’s been on his best form since he led Tenby to the Carruthers in 2009. Ably support by Gerald and with some telling bowls by Webbie and Wigan this rink was always in front from the off. They could never however shake off the Havelock rink and every time a precious lead was built up a sloppy end followed and a three or four was dropped. In the second half there was more of the same with the Tenby boys pushing hard but a superb effort by the Havelock captain and skip who produced some fine shots to keep his team in the game and stop the rink from potentially winning the game for the team. In the end a decent final last end by the Havelock front end and that four on the twins rink lead to the side chasing the game a little with ends running out. A dropped 2 on the last end didn’t help the team score and it was scant consolation that the rink won by two.

So all told a decent effort by the boys in what can be seen as a re-building year. The youngsters will have gained huge experience from the campaign and the whole side will come back better and stronger next year.

 

 

The perfect 10

Chandler RogersWith an away fixture to Havelock Park in the offing at the weekend the Tenby side travelled down to Milford Haven for a tough test which would prove good practice for the boys in blue. Milford has always been one of my favourite places to play; the ground nestles in behind St Katherine’s Church, the Rectory garden over-laden with crab-apples, the distant sight of Chevron’s massive chimneys and dull rumble of powerful tug boat engines. Usually as the green is such a sun trap you can often top up the ‘bowlers tan’, complete with tanned face, v neck, and arms, leaving white upper arms, body legs and watch strap marks – lovely. Sadly last Wednesday was none of these, the weather started off well and sun glasses were donned for the first time on a while, in fact it was that warm John Roberts only wore three layers! But that soon changed and the weather resumed it’s usually dull overcast expression that has summed up the summer so far.

Thankfully the bowling from the Tenby side was not on a par with the weather as Tenby gained a maximum 14 points. The game over the first two rinks, in this case 2 and 3 were tight affairs. On rink 2 Peter was again in charge of his crèche of Cammo, Joe and the rosy-cheeked Gnome (I love that nickname). Playing against the age-less Peter Collins the boys were involved in a tough affair, but they stuck to their task well and ended up winners by three shots. On rink three there was a similar tough game between John Roberts and former Gold Cup and Silver Bowl semi-finalist Roy Thomas. As a left hander our deliveries always look a little suspect but Roy has one of the most unique deliveries I’ve ever seen, holding the bowl and a 45 degree angle he launches himself off the mat send the bowl on it’s way. However as different as the delivery may be, sadly the end result is all too similar with bowl after bowl ending up on or near to the jack. John Roberts knew that he was therefore involved in a tough battle as so it was the case, right up to the 20th end when a count of 5 secured the victory.  A tough battle against one of the County’s most under-rated bowlers.

On rink 4 the twins had the pleasure of playing against Donny Griffiths, one of the nicest characters in Pembrokeshire bowls. Donny has been there, seen and done it all. Skipping County winning rinks in ‘89 and ’90, County triples in ’97, ’94 and as far back as ’79, Pairs in ’84 and ’81 and the singles back in 1976, if you ever want to know who has been one of the most consistent players in Pembrokeshire over the last fours decades, here’s your man. Sadly nowadays Donny’s not longer in his pomp, the knees are shot and a stick is needed but with all that experience and the ability to still deliver a telling wood, Donny still finds himself skipping for Milford. He was up against however a rink full of confidence. Mike Jackson had one the County Rinks and Pairs, Luke Rees the County U18’s, Craig Guymer the County U25’s and Luke Guymer won the raffle! So it was that youth won out over experience on the night. Some great drawing woods by the front ends and solid play by the twins left Donny in a bit of a pickle.

Rink 5 was one of the toughest rinks to play on that night. One hand virtually straight and the other being almost un-playable. But if you want a man for a tough green then there’s none better than Spencer. He loves a tricky rink and this was right up his alley. Starting off on the first end Dai didn’t have more than 5 bad woods all game, even drawing a back toucher. However if he was good, G-Unit was better. In inspired form Gerald was up and down the green like a yo-yo, drawing shot, playing bowls out, calling the skips shots, it was literally the Gerald Hewitt show. Ably supported by Webbie and Wigan the rink again finished up top rink. Apologies for not having any scores but the score cards find themselves in the bottom of my bag and having to receipt three matches from memory is proving a step to far. I do know however that we won 14-0 and that’s all that counts.

DKT spoils the party

Chandler RogersOn another autumnal evening Tenby faced Pendine at home last Friday evening. On the eve of the County Finals Tenby had their full side out save for the working Joe Richards. However with Ben Cloake as sub the team aren’t missing out on any class.  On rink one Cameron White found himself once again on his favourite rink and was quickly into his stride, this time being backed up by Dai Spencer who has played in every rink so far this year. With Pat Currie and Peter Day supporting this rink came out of the blocks quickly against the rink skipped by Stuart King-Thomas racing into a 9-0 lead. However the boys from Pendine showed great resilience and determination in bringing the game back to 10-7 after 10 ends. But then the Tenby rink moved very through the gears and in the second half they made short work of their opposition, putting them to the sword by winning 9 of the last 11 ends before finally posting a score of 28-11.

It was much the same story on rink 2 with ‘Wigan’s Warriors’. With Cloakey leading and G-Unit backing him up the rink was again off to a flyer and similarly to rink 1 they found themselves 9-3 up after 7 ends. What happened over the next couple of ends will truly by un-recordable, not for anything to do with the play but the score keeping by both skips. This year the powers that be have ordered that all skips must keep the card, now we have to remember that most skips have been playing back-end for donkeys years and haven’t kept score for that long too, leaving it up to the lowly seconds to sort out. Well this causes difficulty when one skip messes the card up, but when one contrives to lose the card and Mal Evans’ card turns out to be a better piece of fiction than anything Wilber Smith ever wrote then you get the feeling a few shots may have been missed out. Still with the noble assistance of Noel Thomas, Mal was eventually put right, scores agreed (sort of) and the game continued. Fortunately the delay affected the Pendine boys more than the Tenby lot and almost mirroring rink 1 they took 8 of the last 11 ends and ending up comfortable winners 33-14.

Rink 3 was a much more sedate affair and to be fair to the Pendine rink they could have snatched a victory as the match was all square at 10-all (“Who to?”) after 14 ends. But Craig Guymer and his fellow Welsh Junior trialist, Brother Luke and Luke Rees together with the next days County Pairs and Rinks winner Mike Jackson are a tried and tested combination, they kept their heads and picked up 14 shots to 1 over the last third, winning 24-11.  Unfortunately a certain Dave King- Thomas spoilt Tenby’s perfect evening. This match was one that Tenby should have really had in the bag. From the outset the rink skipped by John Roberts were in control and were 14-5 up at tea. But fair play to Dai and his rink they never gave up and battled to the last. With only four ends left to play the Tenby rink still held onto a 6 shot lead, but after dropping a three and two singles the Tenby rink held a precarious one shot lead going into the last end. Again all looked good for Tenby, holding shot as the skips came to bowl. With only a bowl each left for the two skips Tenby held on still by the narrowest of margins, but with his last wood of the game in came DKT to draw the shot for Pendine, a fantastic wood. Sadly John Roberts wasn’t quite able to reply in the manner he would have liked and so in the end the rink had to settle for the draw.

So the Blue Machine rolled on in the League, remaining undefeated and racking up a considerable shots average. This 13-1 win and 49 shots the league title remains firmly in our sights.

Junior Trial 2011

Junior International Trial Team 2011

Congratulations to Luke Rees, Craig Guymer and Luke Guymer for being selected for the Junior International Trial team

Luke ReesCraig and Luke Guymer
















Further information here

Tenby v Skewen Carruthers Shield

Marching on together

Tenby v SkewenThe Tenby First Team continued their unbeaten run last Saturday when they entertained Skewen in the second round of the Carruthers Shield. Skewen are a perennial qualifier in the Shield over recent years and the Tenby side knew they would be a tough nut to crack, however the side played well and came out deserving winners.  Rink 1 saw John Roberts, freshly returned from the international series in Scotland, skipping Paul “too professional” Diment and ‘the oldies’. This rink was firing on all cylinders from the first end and quickly built up a sizeable lead. Through-out the game JR controlled the head well and with the quality of bowls being delivered by Dicko, County President John Baggott and former International Paul, JR have a fairly easy time of things, that isn’t to say he didn’t play his part and indeed some of his drives we almost heavy enough to be called that, must be Paul’s influence. Mind you, from what I heard it wasn’t just JR and Paul who were driving that afternoon, Mr Ed, get your £1 ready for next week.

Rink 2 followed a similar pattern, Craig Guymer welcomed back his twin brother Luke as third, following an enforced lay-off from playing with his right hand! This meant “Tie-Rack” moved down to second with Luke “no longer growing the ‘fro” Rees remaining at lead. The rink came out of the blocks quickly and almost mirrored the effort of rink one, by quickly establishing a good lead and going on and increasing it. In fact both these two rink ended up providing the winning margin of 4 shots that afternoon winning by 26 and 22 shots respectively. Sadly apart from Luke school boy error with his choice of socks there was little to report from this rink, they all played well and won well. Save of course from Luke Guymer trying to build his big guns back up by carrying 6 ham rolls onto the green – don’t you feed him at home Pat?

It was a different story on the tricky rink three for Peter Day’s rink that afternoon. Peter’s rink has been the most successful all year, so far unbeaten, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. In all honesty this wasn’t a case of bad bowling or bad luck but simply that on the day they couldn’t grind out the win. That said at 15 ends they were 15-4 down, only to claw their way back to only losing 17-14. In fact on the last end Peter almost played a miracle bowl to take out both Skewen woods which would have left them with Tenby v Skewen5 for a miraculous draw. Hats off t the Skewen rink though, to beat that foursome this year was no mean achievement.

Not without it’s fun moments on this rink however. As usual all matters daft feature the Club President. A bowler of such experience that he decided to walk on the green on Saturday with no measure! A bowler of such vision and concentration that he asked Peter who’s was the black wood near the jack, only to be told that all of his rink, himself included were playing with coloured bowls. Fairdoo’s, if ever I’m look for a fine, I just look to Pat! Talking about the rosy cheeked garden Gnome, to all the Tenby aces, you’ll find him up Sutton Street again on Friday night, so if you want to send Merroney up there to throw him round a bit I’m sure I’ll find 15 blokes willing to pay off his bet to watch!!

The other tough encounter of the match found Wigan’s Warriors (can’t see that sticking) facing former Short Mat International Steve Williams. This was a curious match in which the Tenby rink always seemed to be in control and indeed were in front for most of the game, but only to see them almost blow it on the last end. Dai Spencer returned to the rink, losing his D&G mantle and indeed after the first couple of ends was playing with as much aggression as he ever played. Sadly this wasn’t one of G-unit’s better games. Maybe he was worried about parking on double yellow lines, he shuld have been as he got ticketed half way through the match, and then got fined for his silliness, poor G! but with Webbie and Wigan again combining well if was only some good bowling by opposing Captain Ian Mellor that kept them in the game. Indeed there was only a few shots I  it all the way through, then, after dropping a nasty four with 2 ends to go the side dropped another single giving them a slender two shot advantage going into the last end. Now whether it was because it was the last end, last rink on and the match was won, or for any other reason the whole rink decided to fall asleep. Starting with Dai the whole four had their worst end of the afternoon and by the time of the last bowl we were 5 down with not a bowl within 4 feet and in danger of losing the game. But up stepped Muskey, wide, heavy and going nowhere his bowl managed to slam into one of Skewen’s front bowls and run on for shot, game over, three shots up, shake hands and off. Not a bad stroke of luck for a player who usually has either no luck or bad luck.

Tenby now make the short journey east to face Havelock Park of Llanelli. Havelock have already taken the scalp of multiple champions Pontrhydyfen and the side know that this is going to be a tough encounter, but getting past the next game will be another step towards the ultimate target, Finals Day in Llandod.

 

 

Halfway to perfection

Chandler RogersThe Tenby First Team continued their winning ways at home to Pembroke Dock on a blustery Thursday evening last week. This was a re-arranged fixture due to Tenby facing Henleys of Monmouthshire in the first round of the Carruthers Shield on Saturday and the fixture was a perfect practice match for the forthcoming event. Pembroke Dock had only played 4 league games to Tenby’s seven, but they were the only other undefeated team in the league, so Tenby knew they should not take them lightly. Indeed over recent years Pembroke Dock has been Tenby’s bogey side, albeit mainly in the Dock rather than at Fortress Sutton Street.

In any the game started well, once the mats and kit were finally put out by Dai “it wouldn’t happen in my day” Spencer. On rink one, or Cameron White’s rink as it is becoming, Peter Day’s boys had a tussle against multiple County Champion Les Davies. Les is one of the nicest bowlers your ever likely to meet on and off the green, he’s such a gent he even bought Pat Currie a drink! On the rink he and his men enjoyed a good battle with never more than a couple of shots in it, indeed matters were all square after the 19th end, but with Pat and Peter both adding a shot each they went into the last end two up. Again all the rink played a decent last end taking a three and winning by five in the end. It was a nice start back after injury for Pat, showing that playing away from his accustomed place of skip has not affected his bowls and whilst he may feel he could or should be skipping his attitude has been exemplary (that means good Pat!). As usually Cameron White continued to put in a good performance, Joe Richards being slightly off the mark that evening, no doubt his balance was affected by the reduction in hair following a trip to the Barbers.

With Luke Guymer still playing with his left hand it meant that Mike Jackson continued his role as third to Craig Guymer. With Dai Spencer coming over to second in that rink and Luke Rees continuing his good form this rink was in the box seat from the second end. After dropping a 2 on the first end the boys bounced back with two of their three counts of 5 on the evening and later added to this tally by picking up five 3’s. They only picked up shots on 11 of the 21 ends but such was their scoring ability that when they scored they picked up 2’s, 3’s and 5’s whereas they restricted the opposition to 1’s and 2’s, eventually winning 34-17. The Pembroke Dock boys were very complimentary to the rink afterwards saying that the whole rink had put in a great performance with Craig having one of his usual ‘special’ games.

Sadly the good form didn’t quite follow onto rink three. John Robert’s men were pitted against the canny Brian Dowling. Another one of Pembroke Docks gentlemen bowlers it’s always a pleasure to play against Brian, you know your going to have a hard game against him but he always plays with a smile on his face. That smile was sadly broader that John Roberts’ at the end of the match as Brian pipped JR by 3 shots. It just seemed to be one of those nights for JR. To be fair Luke Guymer is still bowling with his wrong hand and unfortunately it appeared that Dicko had an uncharacteristic off night – to yours truly anyway – I hope there’s not an editors comment in italics stating otherwise! The rink kept trying to the last and having picked up a five with a few ends to go they may even have got closer but time ran out and despite winning the last two ends they fell short by a few.

It was a happier tale on rink 4. Gerald “G-unit” Hewitt was drafted back into side and with swapping Ben Cloake to lead and Geraldo coming in at two there was a nice balance to the rink. Both boys gelling together well up front. Sadly however young Ben decided to play with black socks (“sorry Jon, I was hoping you wouldn’t notice!!”). So another message to his old man Nigel – well done on educating Ben into the world of rock with a foundation of Sabbath, Zeppelin and AC/DC, but try and teach him to remember his correct uniform next time, either that or give him an extra quid pocket money! In the match the back end of yours truly and D&G played well with Wigan having a cracking evening, even with weighted shots, and even though we lost the last three ends the damage had been done early doors and we were convincingly the top rink winning 31-11.  Another fine result the for the boys in blue – a perfect first half of the season, 8 out of 8 in the league, 103 out of 112 points and +300 shots difference. The business end of the season now starts, as we entertain Henleys on Saturday. Hopefully your scribe will be waxing about a good win when you read this, if not the match report may only be three words, something like “we lost – gutted”. But with the strength of the side, the balance of youth and experience and the feeling of camaraderie between the boys a trip back to Llandod may not be entirely out of the question.

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