Playing their first home league game of the season, the Five Arches entertained the Borderers of Whitland at the Sutton Street green on Saturday. The Arches were expecting a tough game, and this turned out to be the case. On a beautiful day for bowling, the Arches found the Borderers in determined mood and a hard game was assured. Rink two saw Gerald and his men involved in a tight game with Borderers captain Micky Williams, with the home rink leading nine shots to eight at tea. The Arches rink again finished strongly to win by four shots.
Rink three was the hunting ground for Tiger and his cubs, and they were soon on the prowl. After dropping one shot on the first end, they slipped into gear, winning eight of the next nine ends to lead at tea by 16 shots to two. Again with a strong finish, they ran out convincing winners by 30 shots to six. Rink four saw a very tough game for Ashley and his crew, leading by just nine shots to eight after 10 ends. This was nip and tuck all the way, with both sides on 16 apiece on the 20th end, and it took a superb drawing shot to an off-centre jack by Ashley, to see the Arches rink home by one.
Rink five saw Ken skipping for the first time this season in what was another tight game. Losing nine shots to three on the sixth end, Ken’s boys brought the deficit down to two shots at the tea break. Although winning six of the next 11 ends, they just failed to get their noses in front, going down 18 shots to 16.
Well done Arches, another fine win, picking up 12 of the 14 points on offer.
Rink scores (Five Arches first, Borderers skips only) were as follows:
Ron Hurlow, Bill Benham, Harold Ebdon, Gerald Hewitt 18; M. Williams 14.
John Rees, Steve Davies, Peter Hooper, Ray Taylor 30; S. Price 6.
Joe Hewitt, Fred Broomhead, Tony Powling, Ashley Hooper 17; L. Price 16.
Jim Taylor, Kevin Lewis, Jonathan Hubbard, Ken Lloyd 16; J. Addison 18.
The N. D. Toy & Partners Ltd sponsored Tenby team got back to winning ways after their disappointing defeat to Haverfordwest at their Sutton Street headquarters the prevous weekend by defeating Whitland 10-4 on Saturday (writes Le Shark) . Returning to the team for the trip to Whitland were Pat Currie, James Criddle, Luke Guymer and Joe Richards, with Dai Rees adding his support to the champions by making his long-awaited debut.
Unfortunately, players were again missing due to their participation in the Under 21 Academy match the following day in Llandrindod Wells and as such being unable to obtain time off from their jobs on two consecutive days. However, despite missing several players and fielding a team of 15 instead of the normal 16, due to the second division team also having many players missing for one reason or another, a very impressive victory was obtained against a very strong Whitland team.
The rink of Criddle, Currie, Guymer and Guymer started badly, falling behind 7-1 after only four ends. A count of ‘4’ on the next ‘end’ saw signs of a recovery, but then a further eight shots dropped to two saw a deficit at ‘tea’ of 15-7. The gap was too big to recover and a final score of 25-20 saw Whitland secure the two points for the rink win.
The Tenby captain, Andrew Muskett, led his rink to a very impressive win against the current Gold Cup holder, Steve Reese. The MVP award came from the ever-impressive Jon Webb, who is certainly starting the season in fine form. David Rees, on his Tenby debut, did not disappoint and I cannot remember any player having such a fine debut performance, especially away from home, and no doubt this will not be the last time that David’s services will be called upon. The rink was always in control and won 23-14.
John Roberts played against his international colleague Alan Whitehouse and certainly gave no quarter as he raced into a 15-4 lead after 10 ends. Neil Dickinson, at lead, staked his claim on why he should be playing for the county team this season with another solid performance. Ben Simmons has settled into the Tenby team with ease and with no little amount of skill and is another who should enjoy a spot in the Pembrokeshire side. Finally, the experience that double singles champion (Peter) Day brings to any rink is there for all to see. His calming affect on his skip ensured that more ‘drawing’ took place than the ‘usual running woods and drives’ and this was very much a foundation for success, the final score being 28-14.
Tenby’s own Gold Cup winner, Paul Diment, volunteered to ‘skip’ the triple (one player missing from the rink) and as the most prolific player on display for Tenby it was a justified decision from the Tenby captain. Cameron White was again very consistent and Mike Jackson again enjoyed a change of tactics which seemed more suited to his ‘drawing’ game.
However, it must be said that the Whitland rink were very impressive and, although lost the game 19-16 in terms of actual scoring, won the game after the compulsory 25 per cent was deducted from the Tenby rink’s score for having a player missing, making it 16 to 14.25 to the home four.
In summary, not only a very good win, but also an equally impressive performance against one of the title contenders. Another defeat this early would not have meant failure to successfully win a sixth consecutive league title, but would have definitely made the task much harder.
The next three matches see the start of the Welsh Club Championship, the Carruthers Shield, Tenby having won the title in 2009 and visited the semi-final stage both in 2010 and last year (2012) under the captaincy of Jon Webb. Tenby make the visit to Milford Haven next Saturday, followed by a home fixture against Fishguard and Goodwick and finally conclude their group matches against Neyland (away).
The Tenby captain, in his speech, congratulated the Tenby Five Arches who had defeated Whitland’s second string in Pembrokeshire League division two and wished those players selected for the Open Double Rink Competition in Llandrindod Wells and the Pembrokeshire team manager, Colin Wynn, success on May 12.
PEMBROKE DOCK PATER 39 (0) v FIVE ARCHES 129 (14 pts)
With both their early season friendlies falling foul of the weather, the Arches were eager to get their league campaign off to a flying start when they made the journey to Pembroke Dock to play the Pater team on Sunday. After receiving a warm welcome from home captain Steve James, both teams held a minute’s silence in memory of Derek Goodridge, who passed way recently. Derek was a former member of the Pembroke Dock Bowling Club and in recent years was a loyal supporter and helper at Tenby Bowling Club.
The game started in weather more suited to ducks and the rain never relented throughout the game.
On rink one, skip Dai Spencer and his men were leading 11 shots to 10 after 11 ends, but after tea they took control of the game, winning eight of the next 10 ends and picking up 13 more shots to Pater’s two. Ray Taylor and his cubs were also in the groove on rink two, with a 42 shots to 12 win, picking up 25 shots over the last 10 ends to Pater’s two.
On rink three, Gerald Hewitt was another new Arches skip to have a fine win. Leading 11 shots to four at 10 ends, they immediately picked up a six on the 11th end to go 17-4 ahead and from then on it was plain sailing as they ended 28-9 winners.
Rink four saw the captain’s rink skipped by Ashley also have a fine win by 35 shots to five. Joe and Jonathan laid the foundations for this win, which saw the rink finish strongly, picking up 19 shots in the last 10 ends. And so it was a fine start to the campaign for the Arches, picking up the 14 points on offer and winning overall by 129 shots to 39.
Rink scores (Five Arches first, Pater skips only) were:
Jim Taylor, Kevin Lewis, Ken Lloyd, Dai Spencer 24; M. Hyde 12.
John Rees, Steve Davies, Peter Hooper, Ray Taylor 42; Steve James 12.
Ron Hurlow, Harold Ebdon, Clive Webb, Gerald Hewitt 28; S. John 9.
Joe Hewitt, Jonathan Hubbard, Tony Powling, Ashley Hooper 35; R. Duncombe 5.
TENBY 76 v HAVERFORDWEST 78
Tenby began their League title defence against a strong Haverfordwest side keen to improve on their runners up spot last season. As predicted in the Captain’s speech it was going to be a tough match between two top sides in Pembrokeshire and this was evident from the first few ends.An extremely tight and keenly contested match followed and the result hung in the balance until the final bowl of the match which went Haverfordwest’s way by a couple of shots. Tenby must now re-group for the tough encounter away at Whitland knowing only a win will be good enough if they want to retain their League crown.
Rink 1 – L Rees, P Hooper, J Webb, A Muskett 22 - R O’Leary 16
Rink 2 – G Hewitt, S Davies, C Guymer, P Day 13 – J Dixon 30
Rink 3 – N Dickinson, R Taylor, M Jackson, J Roberts 16 – C Court 18
Rink 4 – C White, B Cloake, B Simmons, P Diment 25 – R Thomas 14
A big thank you must go to N D Toy & Partners Ltd, Independent Financial Advisors for sponsoring the new Tenby shirts.