Subject: NWCBL MERITS
Just a quick note to say that Margaret did us proud yesterday . She played extremely well and went through to the second round . In the first round she was against David Williams , the captain of Llanrwst B who is second in our Division and only lost 2 games this season . In the second round her opponent was Peter McNeany from Craig y Don ( from a Division above us ). Margaret played a very good game , but eventually lost to 15 . An excellent effort Margaret – THANKYOU !👏
Diane was also there as our reserve thank you Diane .👌 I am a firm believer in the importance of a reserve player because you never know what will happen and a sudden replacement is required . A reserve is not a requirement of the Merits competition , but it is in my RULE BOOK !
Thanks to all our supporters who came along – your contribution was very valuable and very much appreciated 👍
Hope to see you all very soon
NWCBL PRESIDENT’S DAY QUALIFIERS SAT.SEPT.14th 2019 @ OLDCOLWYN BC
I accompanied Marc, whom I had selected to represent our A team, to the President’s Day Qualifiers at Old Colwyn this afternoon. Although Marc had finished 2nd in the A team averages this year, he has had a very successful season with a 75% win average and finishing 10th overall in the C Division.
Furthermore Marc has few opportunities to play and represent our Club, but by the end of the afternoon, a number of spectators and fellow bowlers were enquiring as to where he was from (despite him wearing our burgundy Club polo) – the reason being he was ever so close to making it through to the last 8 next week at Sunny Rhyl. The Old Colwyn green looked in good condition on a sunny September afternoon, and Marc drew no.21 in a pool of 22 bowlers, each representing their Club in a bid to qualify for the closing finals on President’s Day next Saturday. The draw did not look too favourable, for despite avoiding the preliminary round, there was a wait of 2 hours before his game, and he drew Steve Lawley (Rhos Park A). Rhos Park A finished 3rd in A Division last season but Steve actually topped the A Division averages with just the ONE defeat from 22 matches. So he’d actually been drawn against the top qualifier, but even with a +4 advantage, the odds were stacked against him. To be honest both players struggled to get their length early on, (as did many others as the green was quick in places and sluggish elsewhere) and neither could lead well with the block. As a result the score fluctuated but they were level at 8 across, again at 14 and 17. At 20 across Steve bowled corner-to-corner and placed his 2nd wood just 18 inches past the block, but Marc produced the wood of the match to beat it and win the game. Quite by chance Marc drew David Jones (representing Mochdre) in the next round, David had been quite a convincing winner versus John Cooper (Kinmel Bay) about 15 minutes earlier. Marc bowled far more accurately at the start of this game and with just a +2 advantage, he quickly built up a healthy 16-6 lead, but we all know how lethal David can be, and by shortening the length and finding some consistency himself, he started to claw back into the game. A brilliant recovery in the end saw David eventually win 21-19 in a game that drew the attention of a number of spectators around me. WELL DONE MARC you did the Vardre Club proud, and we still retain some interest with David playing in the final stages next Saturday at Sunny Rhyl.
FOR THOSE INTERESTED the FOUR qualifiers from Old Colwyn were;
DAVID JONES (Mochdre A) 21 Marc Morris (Vardre A) 19
MARK BALL (Llandudno A) 21 Gari Williams (Penrhyn NH) 20
CHRIS SLATER (C Bay Legion) 21 Eddie King (Llandudno B) 18
JOHN HUGHES (Conwy B) 21 John Bailey (Llanrwst A) 20 ALL CLOSE GAMES!!
An enjoyable 4 hours of bowling (AND Ann, I actually marked 3 cards!!) We had a brief visit from Tom and wife Clare, but they opted for trying the other venue at the Oval when they realised there was quite some time before Marc would bowl. It was so nice to just sit (in the sun) and watch, no pressure, no measuring and by the way a number of clubs came over to congratulate OUR TEAM on our promotion… Ian
SAT. SEPT. 7th 2019
DIVISION C VARDRE 10 EIRIAS PARK 2
WELL what a brilliant way to end a very successful season with an emphatic win against a strong Eirias Park side, who have eventually finished 4th, courtesy of Llysfaen’s 8-4 home victory which lifts them into 3rd place, just behind runners-up Beaumaris. After a quite tense 2nd half of the season we will be crowned CHAMPIONS of C Division with an 8 point margin over our nearest rivals, and be promoted to Div. B of the NWCBL for season 2020. WELL DONE EVERYONE in what has been a great team effort over just in excess of 5 months since early April !!!
As in many matches this season our opening quartet gave us the almost-perfect start, even our loser (Dave L) led 17-14 at one point, but this week he was the recipient of a late surge as his opponent rallied to win the next 7 points. Rhona played an excellent line and length throughout to defeat Ray Goosey (who plays our green regularly); as did Bill who struggled to shrug off his opponent, until a good run into (and out of) “pipe” corner, and a couple of successful (uncharacteristic!!) strikes gave him the advantage, and both won to 13. I was pleased for Gwyn who ended a recent “dip” in form to beat Carole 21-16 as she is a consistent performer for the Eirias Park side. With the green gaining pace in the afternoon sunshine, the middle order performed just as efficiently with another 3 winners. Shan had a tough game with Jackie and trailed for quite some time with some very close ends, but with “coach” Eddie marking her card and offering encouagement and advice throughout, she pulled away to also win to 16. David P had an excellent start and led 12-0, but his opponent suddenly found her length and bowled some marvellous woods on the green edge to claw back the early advantage somewhat, before David rallied again to run out 21-15. Alan adjusted well to the increase in pace of the green and used his experience to full advantage to out-bowl a difficult opponent in Bob Pearce, but unfortunately JC had “one of those days” and did not play anywhere near his potential – take nothing away from opponent Joe though, as he bowled our green well. With a lead of +29 on aggregate and leading 6-2, and with the entire green at their disposal Marc (at No. 9) and our captain at 10 were able to pick out their marks and won quite convincingly to 7 and 8 respectively, thereby almost doubling the aggregate margin and making the final score a very impressive 10-2.
Thanks to Shan and Rhona for providing scones and cakes to supplement the normal refreshments on the day, and I believe it was Shan who also provided the celebratory “tipple” to mark our achievement (which we enjoyed briefly after the match – along with some of the Eirias Park team I might add) and thank you all for my Captain’s gift. As I mentioned prior to the match our success this season was the result of a great team effort both on and off the green, the consistent availability of a small squad of players, the support and encouragement around the green, the acceptance of all to share match-day duties which all culminated in a good team spirit and bonding, that are the hall-marks of a successful TEAM. Thanks to Bob and Tommy, ever-present and still supporting us after their ordeals; to Bill, who was just as supportive when he wasn’t even playing, until he became a regular replacement; and to Dave L, Katherine and Dave H who assisted us in “emergencies”. Not forgetting Ann of course, who did everything for us except play – kitchen duties, selling football card, sorting markers for the cards she actually WASN’T marking herself, chief cheer-leader and mentor ETC. – a captain’s dream, as too was Shan who as vice -captain also fulfilled all these roles, that made my job all the easier and so less stressful.
Final thanks to Gwyn who has had the patience to transfer my matchday reports on to the Club web-site (and I believe our audience is increasing, Gwyn). Hopefully I shall publish some remarkable statistics from this season and display them on the notice-board in the Clubhouse later this week. UP THE VARDRE, UP INTO B DIVISION. Ian
above our Vardre A championship winners
rear left to right Marc Morris, Bill Holden, Alan Bullock, Bob Mason, David Leech, Capt. Ian Wilson………front left to right David Pritchard, Tommy Roberts, Ann Bullock, John Cartwright, Shan Eccles, Rhona Wright and Gwyn Hughes……….below two players unable to attend the photo shoot . …Kathryn Parnell and Dave Holland.
Sat Aug 31st
C Division BEAUMARIS B 8 VARDRE 4
Our first League defeat since June 22nd (10 weeks) but one that we expected being away to our nearest rivals in the promotion race, especially on their very difficult green. Some morning rain was possibly to our advantage, as there was little grass on the Beaumaris green, and one can only imagine how difficult it had been to play in recent weeks. We got off to the perfect start recording 3 wins against the experienced opening four of our hosts. Messrs Begley, Thomas, Ormond and Davies have been regulars in the Beaumaris team for countless years and must know every blade of grass (had there been any) on the “Happy Valley” green. Gwyn’s recent indifferent form continued on the short marks over the crown, but excellent wins from Rhona and Katherine, and an amazing run of 14 points from Dave Leech at 7-16 down seemed to break the home team’s initial confidence.To their credit they rallied superbly and won the next 5 games to secure the aggregate. Alan at no.8 was perhaps the only one of our team to lead at some point in those 5 games, but some good bowling at the death by his opponent, and little luck going Alan’s way, saw the score go from 18-13 to 18-21 in the last 6 ends. However Shan, David P, John and Marc all made some strong come-backs in the mid-point of their games, but were unable to sustain them to record that elusive 4th win. That was left to our captain who finished strongly for once to win narrowly to 19.
A 4-8 defeat, but it ensured that we stay 2 points ahead of 2nd placed Beaumaris, and the result from Eirias Park that confirmed that neither they (3rd) or Llysfaen (4th) can now possibly match OUR points total, means that we are definitely promoted. We now need to match (or better) Beaumaris’ score on the final Saturday of the 2019 season next week to confirm that we are promoted as CHAMPIONS!! We should have the advantage of being at home whilst they travel to Llysfaen, but one can never be certain (as we have witnessed on many occasions)…. Whatever the result next Saturday I can confirm it has been a great TEAM effort since early April. The squad of players has developed an excellent spirit of support for one another so that when certain players fail, others stand up to the mark, and every ONE has played his/her part in the success of the team. Had it not been due to illness, injury, the odd holiday or other commitment I feel sure the 10 players who started the season would have ended it, but thanks to Bill Holden (who has become a regular) and Dave Leech, Katherine Parnell and Dave Holland (as emergency players) we have continued to field a strong squad, and my role as captain has rarely been onerous, occasionally nerve-racking perhaps but mostly pleasurable.And we must not forget Ann, who is the best non-playing member one could wish for, and certainly a vital ingredient in the team’s compatability and success.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH and CONGRATULATIONS. WELL DONE. UP THE VARDRE!!!
SAT. AUG. 24th 2019 C Division CRAIG Y DON B 5 VARDRE 7
Another very tight affair on a blistering afternoon on the Craig y Don carpet!! The home team certainly belied their bottom of the table position and gave us a very difficult game in the Bank Holiday sunshine. Despite having just the one winner in the opening 4 blocks, we only trailed by 2points, courtesy of Shan’s excellent 21-3 victory. Bill had an excellent game also but lost on the final end to 20, and Rhona and Gwyn struggled with consistency (and the heat!!) to score 15 and 8 repectively. The middle order edged just in our favour as we gained the 3 winners this time. David’s score of 10 was cancelled out by John’s good win to the same score, and Dave Holland (deputising for the injured Tommy) ran out 21-18 over their captain, Christine. Ian moved to no.8 and made heavy work of a 21-15 success, but these latest results had pushed the advantage to us to +7. That’s how it stayed as Marc and Alan saw us through in a tense finish against strong opponents in 2 exciting encounters, Marc losing to 18 but Alan successful by the same margin to be our 5th winner. WELL DONE AGAIN TEAM on a very hot afternoon.
A FEW STATISTICS TO BE PROUD OF; We are now unbeaten in the 2nd half of the season with just 2 more games remaining, we have now won the last FOUR consecutive away games in a run of 7 wins and 1 draw, in the 1st half of the season our HOME average was a remarkable 10.2, and away it was 5.4 – as predicted I said “we would struggle to maintain our home average but we could possibly improve away” – in the last 8 fixtures our Home average is 7.8 (down 2.4) but our away average is also 7.8 (up 2.4)
AN INTERESTING FINAL 2 WEEKS;
Current tables; 1st VARDRE 140 2nd BEAUMARIS B 134 3rd LLYSFAEN 125 4th EIRIAS PARK 124
SAT AUG 31st Beaumaris v. Vardre Eirias Park v. Llysfaen
SAT SEPT 7th Vardre v. Eirias Park Llysfaen v. Beaumaris
A couple of weeks ago I said watch out for Llysfaen as they recorded 3 consecutive 10-2 wins, and they are now in the equation with a big say in the promotion race, and all to play for themselves, following an impressive 9-3 away win at St.Asaph on Saturday.
SAT. AUG. 17th 2019 DIV.C VARDRE 6 BENLLECH 6
Our very first draw of the season but perhaps the result is of secondary importance as we all hope that Tommy hasn’t suffered too much discomfort and pain with his dislocated elbow sustained following his fall part-way through his game. We all wish you well Tommy!!
This was a game that looked well and truly lost probably before Tommy’s fall as with just the one winner in the first 7 blocks we trailed Benllech by 36 points, but with the last 3 blocks all winning and securing the aggregate by a SINGLE point, we managed a draw at the finish. Even David (our only winner early on) trailed 6-11 at one point before running out 21-14. Our other winners Alan (21-14 also) Marc (21-5) and Ian (21-7) at 8, 9 and 10 turned the game in our favour. Marc’s result was exceptional as he played an experienced opponent in “O.P” and he was 5-5 across before scoring 16 consecutive points. We must also credit our losers on the day, as in some cases they made minor recoveries in their individual games, which had they not done so, the aggregate score would have been well and truly lost. Dave Leech (0-8 and 11-18 down) before reaching 20; Bill (5-11 and 13-18 down) to reach 19; Rhona (2-12 and 8-18) before making 12; John (2-9 and 5-13) and he eventually scored 17. Gwyn would be the first to admit that he had a real off-day (but we’ve all had them) by his recent standards, and Tommy’s match had to stand at 11-21 wth him trailing 11-16 at the time of his fall. Benllech must have been very disappointed but they were gracious in letting loose such a margin, and we must thank them for their response during and after Tommy’s accident, and in particular the lady (possibly Cerys’ mother) who was so helpful at the scene.
I was able to pass on a message to Jenny at the hospital on Saturday evening that we had recovered to draw 6-6, but apparently Tommy perked up far more when she told him the result from Sunny Rhyl!! UPDATE; X rays confirmed dislocation of the elbow but no broken bones, Tommy had surgery at 11-30pm Saturday night and is now home (left arm in a sling and in plaster from wrist to beyond elbow) Needless to say he was back down the green this afternoon for the Charity Fun Day event in his usual boisterous manner, but Jenny insisted he be super-glued to one of his benches.
SAT. AUG. 10th 2019 C Division ST. ASAPH B 4 VARDRE 8
On a day of heavy rain and squally winds more suited to the middle of the football season rather than an August bowling day, we gained our 6th consecutive League win and our 3rd successive away victory (quite by coincidence all 8-4) The St. Asaph green has certainly recovered and has a good covering of lush grass, which combined with the rain made the going much heavier than in previous visits, which was also possibly in our favour. Katherine Parnell was a late replacement for Shan, and we started with our now almost customary first 4 blocks who once again gave us a near-perfect start. Bill was first off with an excellent win to 7 (he trailed 0-4 at the start), he was followed by an apologetic Gwyn who moved from 5 across to game having stretched his opponent to longer lengths and then David who beat youngster Luke to 15. Luke’s game has improved and he can certainly reach the corners, but David restricted him to marks across the crown and finished strongly. Rhona almost made it a 100% opening but lost narrowly to 20 having recovered from 7-15 down part way through her game. However 3-1 up in games became 4 winners each after the middle order, as the home side responded with 3 winners of their own. Both Tommy and Alan met youthful (by comparison) opponents who were both over 6 foot tall and could reach the corners with ease -needless to say that was where they gained the advantage and we suffered losses to 8 and 12 repectively. Katherine had a much closer game but trailed throughout before managing 18 and John’s was perhaps the recovery of the day as he led 10-7, before going 11-18 down just nine ends later. Fortunately he regained his composure and ran out 21-19. If Tommy and Alan had come unstuck in the corners, Marc and Ian at 9 & 10 used them to their advantage to overcome their opponents who were a good match on the shorter lengths.
So another 8-4 away success (but Beaumaris closed the gap again by winning 9-3 at Craig y Don, although Eirias Park faltered in a 4-8 defeat at Old Colwyn) The win keeps us top with a lead of just four points and with FOUR matches remaining, it is going to be very close!!! I believe good scores in our next 2 matches (Benllech (H) and Craig y Don (a)) might just improve our advantage before we travel to Beaumaris in the penultimate game at the end of the month, but then one can never tell in this game!! UP THE VARDRE
SAT. 3rd AUG. DIV.C VARDRE 7 OLD COLWYN 5
Well I suppose it was long overdue but we struggled to win a home game for the first time this season. Having won all previous home games with an aggregate of greater than 44 points, this week against a strong and experienced Old Colwyn side we scraped home with just the 7 points to spare after managing 5 winners apiece. I suppose we were due an off day but also full credit to our visitors for taking full advantage of our poor display. Perhaps I am being too critical, but I think more than half the team would reflect and say that they did not hit their usual form for most or part of their individual game. In fact only Rhona and John (who bowled exceptionally well throughout and won to 10 and 9 respectively) could claim any credit for the consistency of their performances. Our other winners of Tommy, Shan and Marc would probably agree that they too struggled at times (as their close scores suggest) but also well done to the latter two who both recovered from staring defeat in the eye. Quite unusually we had 3 losers in the opening four blocks this week, but Old Colwyn did list an experienced first 4, and despite getting very good scores of 17 or 18, I have witnessed Gwyn, David and Bill play a more consistent game. Alan shot into an impressive 13-1 lead before the rain and his opponent began to take effect, and our captain was 1-13 down after 10 ends, but sadly made little recovery. These occasions do happen but I’m sure Alan and myself would agree that as fairly experienced players we should not surrender such a lead, and we should not find ourselves so far behind at the start, particularly on our own green. However we DID win, and we still lead the Division C table, and we still have time to put small matters right.
On greater reflection and some hind-sight perhaps as captain I am creating more pressure on my players, by contiually highlighting the race for the title and promotion!! So in future it is merely “Go out and enjoy your game” I know you will always give of your best….. (and remember get as many twos as you can and stop your opponent from scoring!!) No…. it must be playing for the enjoyment, and if the success comes with it then that is just a bonus. IAN
SAT. 27th JULY 2019 DIV.C BALA 4 VARDRE 8
After a dry week of little rain and record temperatures one would have expected that the Bala green in the south-eastern foothills of Snowdonia may have been slightly quicker than normal. However despite an early morning cut, the green was mostly sluggish (and even heavy in parts) much to the home team’s advantage. We went for the same opening 4 jacks that performed so admirably at Rhyl a fortnight ago, but David unfortunately drew Liz (whom I expected to be somewhere in their first 4) and despite bowling some very good ends, he lost to 9 as she hit line and length consistently throughout the game. Once more our “openers” bowled the green very well and Gwyn (21-8) Bill (21-17) and Rhona (21-16) all had slightly easier encounters to give us a 3-1 lead and +10 on aggregate. Tommy at no.5 continued his recent good form to overcome a fiery lady opponent to 16, and Shan had a brilliant start before being pegged back slightly, but ran out 21-14. The middle order was 2 winners apiece as Marc met an opponent who bowled exceptionally well on the edges of the green (10-21), and John never recovered from a slow start (1-11 down at one point) but did make 14. So we led by just 4 points with the last 2 blocks on the green. Fortunately Alan recovered from 2-9 down to win impressively 21-13, but Ian lost the battle of the captains, losing out to 18 in the end to Liz’s husband Merfyn. SIX winners and a final aggregate of +9 gave us not only our THIRD away win of the season, but maintained our average of 8.0 points over 14 matches so far. Beaumaris recorded a similar score away at Copperfields, but Eirias Park got just the 4 winners at St.Asaph, and watch out for Llysfaen who moved into 4th after an impressive 10 points away at Old Colwyn (their 2nd ten point haul in consecutive weeks)
Six weeks remaining as August approaches and there will be many tense matches in the run-in, not one single game is a certainty but if we can sustain our unbeaten home record to date, and possibly pick up an average of 5/6 points in our away fixtures, then we shall certainly be in the frame come the final match of the season on Sept.7th. UP THE VARDRE and keep practising!!!
SAT. JULY 20th 2019 C DIVISION
VARDRE 9 COPPERFIELDS 3
After almost a day and a half of constant rain (that the green was in great need of) the pace had changed dramatically from the condition of the green earlier in the week. Our players were quite happy to keep to the original order of play, as with the green drying out in the afternoon sunshine, it was going to speed up as the afternoon progressed. Bill Holden retained his place in the absence of Alan, and Dave Leech was a later replacement for the unwell Bob, but with both having morning commitments that may have delayed their arrival at the green, they came into the side at nos. 9 & 10. Rhona recovered remarkably well from 10-17 down to win 21-17, whilst Shan and Gwyn led for most of their games, eventually winning to 18 and 14 respectively. David had another epic game and raced into a commanding lead with some precision bowling, however his opponent lengthened the mark slightly and scored 15 consecutive points to change the game around. So after the first 4 blocks we led 3-1 on games but just 11 points on aggregate. This altered greatly in our favour as Tommy at no.5 and Marc at no.6 both bowled consistently well to win to their exact team order score (21-5 and 21-6) John was out-bowled and out -talked in the final stages as he went down to 16, and our captain had to resort to longer lengths to overcome their previously unbeaten player, Maureen Luke 21-14. It was 6-2 on winners now and a far healthier 44 points advantage on aggregate, and the honours were shared in the final 2 blocks. Len Wilson recovered well to beat Dave to 16, whilst Bill continued his excellent recent form to beat Len’s wife, Pat by the same margin. Considering the green was far more playable by the opposition after the rain, a 9-3 success was very rewarding – and it was even more satisfying as later results came in that Beaumaris had only beaten Benllech 8-4 and (better still) Sunny Rhyl had gained SIX winners at Eirias Park, but lost the aggregate. I think it only proves that (as I quoted previously) there are other elements involved in the final run-in, and possibly this week it was the weather!!! Another tough match next Saturday as we travel to Bala, where we must hope that the advantage that we gained this weekend is not too badly affected by other results. As we are aware and have already experienced, the game of bowls has so many variable outcomes.
UP THE VARDRE.
SAT. JULY 13th
DIVISION C SUNNY RHYL 4 VARDRE 8
Apologies first of all for not having submitted an on-line report of last week’s 9-3 home win over Llysfaen – must have had a senior moment, or having had a bye the week previous I forgot my usual routine. Anyhow I did remember to display a written account on the notice-board which Gwyn was kind enough to photograph and then copy on to his web-site, although according to our editor only he and I ever read them. A 2nd away win of the season keeps us in contention in the title race, but Eirias Park went one better again by beating Bala away 9-3. Beaumaris were without a game so we currently lie 2nd, 3
points behind Eirias Park but with that game in hand. We are 7 points clear of Beaumaris but now on equal games, and we still have to travel to play them away. It’s going to be very interesting!! We could not have wished for a better start on Saturday as the first four flew out of the blocks (so to speak) Twenty minutes into the game David led 14-2, Gwyn 10-2, Rhona a more modest 11-6 and Bill 13-1. Some of their opponents recovered well however but after the first 4 we had FOUR winners and led the aggregate by 27 points. Tommy at no.5 kept up the momentum by going from 10-7 up to 21-7 in the next 6 ends. so we now led by +41 and not one single loser. However just over half an hour after this euphoria and it was suddenly 5-4 on winners to us, and the aggregate had been drastically reduced to just +1. Shan and Marc met opponents in excellent form and actually recovered to score 9 and 7 respectively. John was 0-10 down, recovered to lead 13-12 at one point, but like Alan, eventually lost to 14, but fortunately our captain (playing some very poor woods) managed to win to 15 to be our 6th winner and claim the overall aggregate +7 (a far cry from the 12-0 drubbing and +122 points we beat them by at home in April !!) PRIME EXAMPLE of how a bowls match can change. Excellent wins by Bill (21-3) and Tommy (21-7) also Rhona , Gwyn and David had put us in such a commanding position at the half-way stage, and then the remarkable Sunny Rhyl recovery. It also shows how important it is for our losers to score as many as possible – Shan trailed 3-14 and Marc was 0-15 down at one point – AND it also shows the value of having the jack – David’s, John’s and Gwyn’s games were all fine examples of that as the game fluctuated depending on who delivered the jack. Nevertheless a hard -earned win and I don’t believe any match is going to be any easier in the next 8 weeks. WELL DONE AGAIN TEAM, you continue to do the Club proud !!!
v Llysfaen at home – 6th July 2019
SAT. 22nd JUNE 2019
C DIV. EIRIAS PARK 9 VARDRE 3
On a beautiful day and a very warm afternoon the Eirias Park green was dry and bumpy in certain areas and lush in others. Bob and Rhona returned to the side and both had very close games in the first 4 blocks to win to 19 and 20 respectively. No such joy for Gwyn and Shan who both struggled for line and length in uncharacteristic results of late. So two winners apiece in the early stages but we trailed on aggregate by 21 points. The middle order failed to produce a single winner this week although 3 players had very close games to 19. David P. Tommy and John all led at some point in their games also, which made a nil return far more painful (but such is the game and this week it was not in our favour) Sadly Alan had a slow start and although recovering to score 14 he also lost his 100% record at the mid-point of the season. So 34 points down at this stage and only 2 winners things did not look good. Marc rattled up three doubles in his opening 3 ends but the experienced Sue Vayro recovered and also won to 14, and our captain led throughout to eventually win to 15 in what proved to be our heaviest defeat of the season. If last week’s game versus Beaumaris was “a bad day at the office” for them, it was a case of “after the Lord Mayor’s show” for us this particular Saturday. It only emphasises how the close games affect a result and had the games to 19 and 20 been different, we could have had SIX winning cards (but conversely it could possibly have been just the ONE)!!!
So we’ll take the 3 points which retains our top spot at the exact mid-point of the season, with all Clubs having completed 10 matches. However Beaumaris also won 9-3 and with them and Eirias Park trailing us by 10 points at the start of the day, the gap is now just 4 points, with all to play for in the 2nd half of the season. It should be very interesting and on current form one would have to say it could well go down to the final Saturday of the season in September. Many thanks to Ann and Bill for their support as always, and it was good to see Izzy and our Head of Morale, Brian (fresh from his most recent Canada trip) at the green also, altough our morale was slightly deflated on the day!!
SATURDAY 15th JUNE C DIVISION
VARDRE A 11 BEAUMARIS B 1
WELL WHAT A RESULT!! At home against fellow leaders Beaumaris, we managed to get an almost perfect score, and inflicted the heaviest defeat on our visitors for quite some time. We won by a massive 74 points on aggregate (199-125) and in fact it was the most points scored against Beaumaris since July last season when we AGAIN beat them . It was 200-191 that day and much closer as there were 4 games of 21-20 as we won by only 9 points and an 8-4 result. Dave Leech was a late substitution for the unwell Bob, and with Rhona still away Bill Holden once more made himself available. We had the best possible start as I played an in-form quartet knowing our visitors normally include 1 or 2 of their “star” performers early on in the game. Gwyn made light work of his opponent to win to 10, Bill bowled consistently well on long and short marks to overcome the experienced Robin Davies, as did Dave to beat possibly their top block in Ken Thomas, and Shan at no. 4 performed another of her recent come-backs, this time scoring 19 uninterrupted points from 2-7 down to beat another experienced player in Brian Begley. We led by an incredible 40 points after 4 jacks and the momentum was set. Unfortunately Tommy was our only loser, but he had little luck as youngster Daniel appeared to get every knock in his favour, however having watched almost all the games I commented to Tommy that I thought the Welsh junior player probably played our green the best out of all the visitors on the day. He was always on land and he managed the length well also. David P had a bit of a struggle with their female player – they were 11 across at one point before David opened up a 7 point lead, eventually winning to 16. John, although not feeling too well himself and losing 0-6 at the start, rallied against their captain Trevor, and ran out from 10 across to game, and Alan sustained his 100% record with a good win over the experienced “giant” Mike to win to 13. I think Marc and myself felt a little pressure as we went on at 9 & 10 (particularly as we had both lost our 100% records the previous week – at home also) but we both overcame our nervous starts to win to 10 and 11 respectively to complete an outstanding afternoon -well for us anyhow. As their player Ken Thomas said on the far side of the green as I was playing “It’s a bad day at the office for us today” Yes we’ve had them too, Ken and a couple (at least) away on your green at Beaumaris!!!
Eirias Park away next Saturday and another stern test as they currently lie 3rd, and then the first half of the season is complete, so we will have a better perspective of our overall position as all teams will have completed 10 matches (5 home/5 away). Incidentally Gwyn’s game was one of his quickest in recent weeks, having had a series of come-backs in tight games to 19 or 20. Not quite as quick as his 21-0 success earlier in the season but well under the 57 minutes I had predicted as he stepped on the green.
Sun 9th June
SAT 8th JUNE 2019
VARDRE A 9 – CRAIG Y DON B 3 C DIVISION
A 9-3 home win over near-neighbours Craig y Don B lifted us back on to the top of Division C, as previous leaders Beaumaris (who had a 5 point advantage going into the weekend) lost 4-8 at Eirias Park. Whilst we should be happy with our success, I am somewhat disappointed that the margin of victory could have been greater, particularly as our 3 losers were quite capable of a win had they played with some customary form. Credit to their opponents however for taking full advantage and bowling well to record wins over Bob, Marc and Ian. (Marc and Ian losing their 100% records in the process) Again 3 winners in the first 4 blocks gave us the momentum, with Bill, Dave and Gwyn all performing well on a green that was remarkably dry considering almost 24 hours of persistent rain since Friday lunchtime. Tommy, John and Alan kept up the ratio of winners in the middle four and Shan at no.9 recorded another excellent come-back from 8-13 down to win 21-14. As for our losers Bob led 14-10 at one point before losing to 16, Marc was ahead at the start and 13 across before losing to 15 and sadly our captain also led 14-10 but never scored again as his opponent rattled up 11 consecutive points on a 35metre mark. My disappointment was a little short-lived when the Beaumaris result came in, but I am still annoyed at my own performance when I should be congratulating the team on another significant win. WELL DONE TEAM
Next Saturday looks to be an interesting day as we host joint leaders Beaumaris B (forgot to say earlier that we are top courtesy of a better overall aggregate) and then the following week we travel to Eirias Park whilst Beaumaris host Llysfaen. That is the exact mid-point of the season so there is still a long way to go, a lot of different greens to sample and different weather conditions to overcome before the C Division is finally decided, but I hope, and I think, that Vardre can (like last season) be amongst the front runners.
Sun 2nd June
Saturday June 1st 2019 C Div BENLLECH 7 VARDRE 5
A rare visit to the impressive facilities and surroundings at Benllech is over-shadowed somewhat by the immensity of the crown on the green, and despite the lovely views across the bay to Puffin Island and the Great Orme in the distance, you feel you have a job on your hands to come to grips with the green. Bob was our only winner in the first 4 blocks, with his opponent claiming that he talked too much (seems like you did your talking with your woods to me, Bob) Tommy was upset at letting a good lead slip as his young opponent rallied well on the longer marks to narrowly win to 19, and Rhona and Gwyn just met opponents in good form. Rhona was out-done on the longer marks whereas Gwyn’s opponent really bowled well on a short mark up to the top of the crown. David had a solid start against another young opponent but once she gained her length and accuracy she also made a good recovery. Bill and Shan both bowled well in the middle order with Bill bowling accurately throughout to beat the experienced Owen P. on his own favoured short marks, and Shan rallied from 2-7 down to eventually win 21-8 with some accurate and consistent bowling. John was probably mesmerised by his opponent’s orange woods (which matched her team top) but again she bowled well on a variety of marks, rarely allowing John any use of the jack. Marc and Ian at 9 & 10 both preserved their unbeaten runs, but neither comfortably as Marc won to 16 and Ian at the final end with 2 woods both 5 yards off the jack on a short 22-25 metre mark.
We should be pleased with the 5 points gained (losing the aggregate by just 12 points) as we rarely do well on trips west of Bangor (Beaumaris,Holyhead and Pen y Groes spring to mind) and especially as we have not played the Benllech green for many years (and some for the first time on Saturday) We now have 2 consecutive home matches where we can hopefully gain ground on leaders Beaumaris who moved 5 points clear at the top at the weekend. Incidentally Beaumaris play their next 2 games away, and the 2nd on the 15th June is at the Vardre. GET THE PRACTICE IN!! Ian
SAT 25th May 2019
Vardre A 9 – St Asaph B 3
After a dry and sunny week light drizzle accompanied our roll-up before the home match with St Asaph’s B squad, nevertheless the green was in good condition and running smoothly. There was possibly THREE highlights to the game, first Tommy’s convincing win to 4 where he bowled consistently well throughout, then Gwyn’s amazing recovery (his 2nd in 4 days) to win to 19, and then not to be outdone, Shan came on at no.9 to record a similar come-back to win 21-18. Trailing 2-13 after 10 ends and then 5-16 just 5 ends later, Gwyn staged a tremendous recovery to take the next 8 ends to lead 17-16 before eventually winning 21-19. Similarly (and quite uniquely) Shan trailed her opponent 5-16 after 15 ends but then scored 16 points to her opponent’s 2 to record a tremendous 21-18 victory. A 9-3 team win sounds more impressive than a 7-5 win, particularly with home advantage, and these remarkable changes in fortune may count for so much come the end of the season. Our main rivals at present, Beaumaris B, triumphed 10-2 at home to Craig y Don B, and therefore we have lost top spot, but despite this we still hold a better aggregate score approaching the mid-point of the season. In between the highlights, Bob and John drew tough opponents and were neck and neck up to the mid-teens before the visitors came with a late surge, and David’s game was even closer as he went down 20-21 after 33 ends. Rhona won to 11 in the opening 4 jacks, and Marc and Alan both continued their 100% win rate with victories in the middle order to 14 and 15 respectively. Our captain’s opponent was delayed at a WCGBA meeting, and young reserve Luke took his place, so the final game was an extra coaching session for Ian, though Luke showed much promise having never seen the Vardre green previously.
We have a challenging month ahead before the mid-point of the season, starting with a daunting trip to the Benllech “HILL” next Saturday, and later in June playing closest rivals Beaumaris at home and Eirias Park away, plus we have certain regulars absent for some of these matches!! Never mind I’m sure we’ll still be contesting the lead in four weeks time. UP THE VARDRE!!
SAT 11th MAY
A TEAM “C” DIVISION
OLD COLWYN 8 VARDRE 4
On a bright, dry but chilly afternoon on a very reasonable playing surface at Old Colwyn, unfortunately we suffered our 2nd defeat of the season, but had a couple of results gone our way and the middle order had a bit more luck, the final result could have been reversed. Such is the beauty of this game in that a single wood or a slice of luck can alter the complexion of any one single game and affect the overall match. With Rhona leading 19-16 and lying one, her 2nd wood (coming in nicely to make 2) unfortunately promoted her opponent’s short wood to win the end. Rhona lost to 19. Bob led 16-13, 18-15 and 20-18 but lost to 20. John at no.8 led 16-14 but then failed to score. Just instances in games that go against you, but conversely there may well have been occasions when Old Colwyn suffered a similar fate. Just the one winner in the first 4 blocks as Tommy came back from 14-17 to win the next 7 points. Bob and Rhona lost narrowly and Dave P was unfortunate to draw an in-form opponent. The middle order had little luck as both Shan and Bill suffered as every knock or “kiss” appeared to go in their opponent’s favour, and John led his experienced opponent up until the final 5 ends. Gwyn had the “match of the day” as he recovered from 0-7 down and then 13-17 to win 8 of the next 11 points to eventually win 21-20 after a staggering 33 ends. Marc at no.9 and our captain at 10 then had relatively easy passages as they won comfortably to 6 and 7 respectively, bringing the overall aggregate to just 6 points, 176-170. However we remain level on points with Beaumaris B at the top and are joined on 41 points by Eirias Park (7-5 winners at Craig y Don) A week’s rest for all Clubs next week as it is the Senior Merit Competition, and we move on to St.Asaph B at home on 25th May
SAT. 4 MAY 2019 C DIV. VARDRE 10 BALA 2
Another very convincing win although Bala are somewhat weakened this season with the departure of at least 4 previously regular players. Having said that they have WON both their home matches to date, so we were not to take them lightly. Both Bob and Gwyn were in a rush, both taking just 15 ends to win to 1 and 4 respectively (Bob with 7 x2s) and Gwyn recording 8. Rhona was drawn against their top player and was not her usual consistent self, whilst David had a ” see-saw” encounter before running out to win to 15. Having moved Tommy down the order he was unlucky to draw their other top block in captain Merfyn, who built up a commanding lead on longer lengths, although Tommy got little luck in the bottom corner. With the block in his hand Tommy pulled back 9 points on a short mark in front of the hut, but then sent the jack off to hand the advantage back to his opponent. Marc and Alan again bowled consistently in the middle order (both maintaining their 100% starts) to win 21-5 and 21-11 respectively, and no.8 John had a tense game, eventually winning 21-20. He only led twice in the entire game (3-0 at the start and then at the final end) having clawed back from 17-20 down. Vice-captain Shan was moved to no.9 and built up an 8-0 lead at the start, then 18-6, but her experienced opponent never gave up and pulled 8 points back before the end. Our captain’s opponent, Peter Roberts, had returned to the game to help the Club out -his previous experience of the Vardre green being a close game with Joe Morgan he informed me- however from 5 across our captain scored 12 points in a good run, to eventually win to 7.
For the 2nd consecutive home game we were locking up shortly after 4pm and our 10-2 win keeps us in top spot (although Beaumaris won 11-1 and are level on points) A big test next week away at Old Colwyn who currently lie 3rd (and we’re without Ann!!!- oh and also Alan) Many thanks to our “groupies” John & Carol for their continued support, to Clarice, Mary and Eddie and of course not forgetting Bill Holden, who spurned the opportunity of playing versus” Denbigh” to measure, mark a card and give encouragement to every individual player (all at the same time)
Mon 29th April re-arranged fixture .
Having delayed this match to allow storm Hannah to pass through North Wales, sadly we suffered a very narrow defeat at Copperfields on a sunny Monday afternoon. However our 5 points gained moved us into top spot after just 3 matches with an average of 9.0 Emergency player Dave Leech came into an otherwise unchanged team and he and Rhona gave us an encouraging start with wins to 15 and 20 respectively, David P. found old Tom in fine form but rallied well at the end to reach double figures, with Gwyn in an epic encounter lasting over an hour before going down to 18. The 2nd four on the green also produced 2 winners apiece with Marc (21-15) and Alan an emphatic 21-3 giving us a slight advantage, as Shan and John lost to 15 and 12 (Shan having been 15 across at one point) Tommy unfortunately drew their top block Maureen Luke, who took no sympathy- and without the jack it was always going to be tough for Tommy, and our captain won quite comfortably to make it 5 winners apiece. There was just 2 points in the total aggregate so we eventually went down 5-7. The Copperfields green is not easy to master in terms of pace, and as it dried in the sun following the heavy weekend rain, so the run of the green altered during the afternoon.
Not to worry, having had such a great start it was obvious other teams would be watching us carefully. Their captain John Owen was very pleased that they had won, and being top of the table at this early stage of the season, most other teams will also be very keen to halt our progress. On to Saturday and Bala (with a few new faces) at home. In Alan’s memorable rallying call “COME ON VARDRE”
Many thanks once again to Ann (who I believe marked 3 winning cards) and also to John and Carol who travelled so far to offer their support. Very much appreciated, THANK YOU Ian
SAT. 20th APRIL 2019
Coast League C Division
Vardre A 12 – 0 Sunny Rhyl
Who would have believed that we could repeat last season’s result v. Sunny Rhyl with another resounding 12-0 win. Last year we won by 63 points, yesterday the margin was a MASSIVE 122 points. The green was not excessively quick, but the Friday cut with the “new” re-conditioned Dennis mower certainly had an effect. The match started just before 2pm and we were clearing up at 3-50pm. After the 1st four blocks we were 57 up on aggregate and the results just kept on coming!! prior I had instructed the team on the importance of getting TWO when possible, and making every wood count, and they responded with some quite unbelievable statistics.
Not the best reading for the Sunny Rhyl squad but here is a unique break-down;
|Player||score||best run||no. of 2’s|
|Gwyn Hughes||21-0||21, 0-0 to 21-0||10|
|John Cartwright||21-6||11, 0-1 to 11-1||7|
|Ian Wilson||21-6||7, 14 -6 to 21-6||9|
|Bob Mason||21-8||7, 9-5 to 16-5||7|
|Rhona Wright||21-9||6, 1-3 to 7-3||6|
|Alan Bullock||21-9||2×7, 0-0 to 7-0 / 10-8 to 17-8||7|
|David Pritchard||21-10||11, 6-7 to 17-7||6|
|Shan Eccles||21-12||11, 8-6 to 19-6||6|
|Tommy Roberts||21-12||6, 8-6 to 14-6||6|
|Marc Morris||21-16||11, 6-6 to 17-6||7|
A most remarkable result!! WELL DONE to Gwyn who recorded a 21-0, (although he was rather upset that he had won to 0, not knowing he was lying game) and a huge congratulations to the entire team. Dare I say it “All teams will be after our scalp now following 2 outstanding performances”
April 13, 2019
COAST LEAGUE C DIV. LLYSFAEN 2 VARDRE 10
Having had a bye the previous week when the Coast League got underway, we had a very impressive and perhaps unexpected away win at Llysfaen in our opening match. The green had been both verticut and cut on the Friday and consequently with the dry and windy weather was deceptively quick for this time of the season. This obviously suited us rather than the home team, and we got off to a brilliant start with 3 winners in the first 4 blocks. Had Gwyn sustained his opening form it could have been a clean sweep, but his opponent fought back to win to 19. However Rhona, David and Bob all bowled the green well against some new faces in the Llysfaen team and we were 21 up on the aggregate after the first four. Unusual for Shan but she struggled to get the pace, although her opponent bowled well, and our lead was cut to 13, but we had a sting in our tail and our remaining 5 blocks all won to give us an exceptional win. Alan continued his unbeaten start to the season with another impressive win, and there were 2 excellent come-backs from Marc (4-14 down at one point) and John (5-13 down) to win to 19 – both of them. Tommy at no.9 built up a good lead at the start to eventually win to 18, and our captain triumphed against a below-par Paul Morris at the death. Although we won by 36 points and amassed a very impressive 200 POINTS away from home, had the close games gone against us (there were 2 games to 19 and 2 games to 18) it could easily have been a 6-6 draw or even an 8-4 defeat. Only proves what we always preach – “Try and make every wood count” An excellent start -WELL DONE TEAM – and thanks to Ann once again, who I believe marked FOUR different cards – Somehow !!!
BEST WIN Rhona 21-8 BEST RUN David P – 11 points (8-13 down to 19-13 up)
Ian Wilson , Capt.
April 02, 2019
In relatively good weather and on a very reasonable playing surface for the end of March, the Saturday A Team held their now annual pre-season friendly at home to Llandudno. As well as home advantage Vardre also held a player advantage (13 to 12) which only came into play in the final game. With regulars Alan Bullock and Marc Morris unavailable, in stepped emergency registrations Dave Leech and Bill Holden and with both sides exceeding the customary 10 a-side game, we recruited the Jones brothers (on loan from Mochdre BC) and “head of morale” Brian Levis. In a match played in an excellent spirit throughout, the Vardre won by 9 games to 3 but many of the individual games were extremely close, and there was only 24 points difference in the final aggregate score. Also to our advantage was the fact that the visitors got a real taste for Bob’s bara-brith and Shan’s home-made scones, and were either too stuffed on entering the green, or couldn’t get off quick enough to sample some more!! After 6 blocks it was 3 winners apiece, but Llandudno held the advantage courtesy of some better scores, but then the refreshments kicked in and Vardre won the remaining 6 games. The player advantage – with David arriving late due to work. our non-playing captain stepped in to play the first 10 ends to save his opponent waiting; David duly arrived to complete the game! SCORES (VARDRE BC first)
Bill Holden 9 Robin Waterhouse 21 , Gwyn Hughes 21 Adge Pearson 15, David Pritchard 14 Frank Jones 21, Rhona Wright 21 Bill Joyce 20, Bob Mason 14 Dave Brammar 21, John Cartwright 21 Chris Armor 18, Brian Levis 21 Dave Sawyer 20, Shan Eccles 21 Dave Williams 15, Tommy Roberts 21 Neil Ridyard 11, Dave Leech 21 Mike Lunt 17, Alun Jones 21 Richie Foster 12, David Jones / Ian 21 Gareth Williams 11, OVERALL TOTALS – VARDRE 226 LLANDUDNO 202
Jan. 31. 2019 .
SATURDAY LEAGUE (North Wales Coast League) 2019
The new season starts on Saturday April 6th but the A Team have a bye on that opening day courtesy of an 11 team League in the C Division. Our opening game therefore is the following Saturday away at Llysfaen. There is a new team (Grove Park B) accepted into D Division, and this has affected the normal 2 up/2 down promotion/relegation issues from the 2018 season. In Divisions B and C from last year, in order to make the complement of the leagues more acceptable this season, TWO Clubs have been promoted but only ONE Club has gone down. Subsequently ABERGELE and HOLYHEAD have moved up to Div.B and BENLLECH have come down, BETHESDA have remained in B. COPPERFIELDS and CRAIG Y DON B have been promoted from Div.D but only PENRHYN NEW HALL have been relegated. That means that our friends from BALA have remained, a long trip for a game of bowls but a lovely Club!!
The only other issue of note affected the end of season President’s Qualifiers and Finals. Instead of the customary handicapping; A Div-Scratch, B Div +2, C Div +4, D Div +6 it was agreed to reverse it to; D Div-Scratch, C Div -2, B Div -4 and A Div -6. Basically in layman’s terms it means that previously a D team player only had to get to 15 points to win, now he/she must score 21, a C team player has to get to 23, B to 25 and A 27. Qualifying rounds may go on slightly longer but the reasoning was that a bowls match is, and should be 21 up. There were obviously advantages to some and disadvantages to others in the previous system, and as last season there were some very good bowlers in the lower divisions. On Finals Day ALL games will be 21 up (Quarter Finals, semi-finals and Final).
Look forward to seeing you all when the green opens late March.
Ian Wilson A Team Capt. NWCBL