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.

Tenby Arches Ladies v Milford

Fourcroft HotelTENBY ARCHES 61 v MILFORD 26

Saturday 23 July

Saturday afternoon the home side (sponsored by The Fourcroft Hotel) were host to Milford.  The weather was very kind, warm with a cooling  breeze. Rink 5 saw the side 28-5 up at tea.  They finished the game 38-17. Rink 6 were 14-4 up at tea and they finished the game 26-9 up.

Tenby team first (Milford skips only)

Rink 5 L. Delabertouche, A. Owens, H. Baggott, A. Redman  38  J. Collins 17
Rink 6 R. Silcox, G. Beeken, M. Marquiss, J. King-Thomas 26   P. Davies 9

Tenby Arches Ladies v St Issells

Fourcroft HotelTENBY ARCHES 36 v ST ISSELLS 49

Friday 22nd July

Friday evening Tenby Arches (sponsored by The Fourcroft Hotel) played host to St Issells.  Rink 5 saw Alison and co 12-8 up at teatime, but Ceris and co found the green after tea to finish with a win for the away side 17-23. Rink 6 Julia and co were 5-16 down at tea.  The 17 end they were 12-26 down.  They won the last 4 ends to finish 19-26 down.

Tenby team first (St Issells skips only)

Rink 5 L. Delabertouche, A. Owens, H. Baggott, A. Redman  17  C. Hewlings  23
Rink 6 M. Skyrme, G. Beeken, R. Silcox, J. King-Thomas  19  A. Lewis 26


Whitland v Tenby Arches Ladies

Fourcroft HotelWHITLAND 39 v TENBY ARCHES 50

Wednesday 14th July

The Ladies (sponsored by The Fourcroft Hotel) travelled away to Whitland for an evening game.  Rink 3 saw Alison and co 16-8 down at teatime, by the 17th they were 22-19down but didn't manage to score again.  They finished 27-19 down. On rink 4 Julia and co were 6-10 up at tea.  They remained in the lead throughout the match.  The rink on the 13 th scored a hot shot, well done ladies.

Tenby team first (Whitland skips only)

Rink 3 L. Delabertouche, A. Owens, H. Baggott, A. Redman 19  A. Thomas 27
Rink 4 M. Skyrme, G. Beeken, R. Silcox, J. King-Thomas 31  C. Jones 12

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