March Report 2009
March commenced with a friendly competition from a small group of visitors from Rayleigh, Essex playing three rinks against us. Norman Atkins our Captain of the Day guided Almeria to a narrow overall win. All had a good time and on completion their leader, Ron Pratten, celebrating their fifty years anniversary, presented us a plaque.
Forty-three pairs entered the round-robin format, Cabrera Open, Basil Withers on 12 & 13th March. Ten of these from Almeria and played as well as they could. Joe and Norma Pemberton managed to come second in their group; Brian and Diane Saunders beat the eventual winners during the competition. However after the eventual count back on points on Friday 13th two pairs from Almeria, Roy and Patsy Tonkin together with Ken and Viv Sykes reached the quarterfinals. Unfortunately Roy and Pat lost on the last end, but Ken and Viv went through to the final after an extra end win in one of the Semi-finals. This set up a battle with current Spanish National players, Mick Johnson and Jan Dando. Predictably Mick and Jan took charge midway through the game and won well. Take nothing away from a gallant attempt from Ken and Viv. Many thanks from all Almeria spectators who were rewarded back at Miraflores with a drink or two from their modest cash winnings.
St Patricks Day and we had our usual successful charity and fun day, when all members dress in something different in colour or typical of how one sees the Irish. The turn out was once again tremendous with both numbers and enthusiastic dress. This year the ladies played eight rinks against the men. We were short of a couple of ladies but thanks to ‘Greta’ (Graham) Patrick, ‘Germina’ (Jim) Pike, ‘Teresa’ (Terry) Rodgers and ‘Tanya’ (Tony) Schorah we weren’t let down. It was nice to see Tony, a past vice-captain of ALBC, on his regular St Patrick’s Day visit.
The men showed the ladies that last year when they beat the men was just a glitch as the men came in good winners.
The game is also a camouflage for raising money for Asprodalba, a charity in Spain, which does a lot for handicapped children of all nations. Ray and Siobhan Herrity has been the hosts of this day and the fulcrum of this worthy cause over the years and thank everyone for their support in raising 250 euro.
After the game a pleasant buffet was held and presentations took place. Our honourable ‘lady’, Tanya, presented the cup, which Tony Schorah and myself contributed several years ago, to me representing the men’s team. Prizes were given by our hosts for the best dressed. Amongst the winners were, the new ladies, Greta, Germina, Teresa and Tanya. Brenda Tidswell took the best-dressed lady and Eddie Donley for the men. The best dressed couple; ken and Viv Sykes and top rink team also received prizes, which were Peter Burton, Wayne Roberts, Terry Lovell and Mike Hendry.
Our ‘Spider’ winner, Stan Brisco was relieved willingly of his bottle of ‘Irish whisky’ for members to compete by tossing Euros along the deck towards the bottle, the nearest resting euro to the bottle, the winner. All proceeds going to Asprodalba.
Ray and Siobhan gave us a show giving amusing ditties on members of our club, which included Colin Wright, Jim Pike, Joe Pemberton, Terry Rodgers and others.
Jim thanked everyone for making the day successful, the catering and restaurant staff for the service given. In response Ray representing us all thanked Jim for organising and running the competition.
At last the weather was good for the whole of the latest club competition, ALBC Drawn Triples and I am sure this helped in the quality of bowls played throughout. First and second rounds were played on the Monday 16th leaving the semis and Final for Friday 20th March.
First semi was played was between Roy Tonkin, Dave Allen and Christina Fitzgerald against Terry Lovell, John Fitzgerald and Viv Sykes. I expect Christina uttered a few words, with the way her husband John and team played out of their minds to win easily.
The next semi involved the spouses of Roy Tonkin and Terry Lovell with Patsy Tonkin, Roy Band and Colin Obrien against Brian Lovett, Maureen Lovell and John Mannal. This was a closer game with Patsy’s team edging ahead for the first four ends, however Brian and team never let Patsy get ahead from there on winning by four shots.
On paper and the way both teams played in earlier round, this should set up a very good final. They did not let themselves or the many spectators down who watched a special final. Another family meeting involving Terry and Maureen Lovell must have developed a few words under there breaths as both played there parts in making the game exiting. Brian’s team were ahead 13-5 on the eleventh end. All played well but ‘new boy’ John Mannal showed as he done throughout the competition, that although only playing for a very short time, he will in the future be a force to contend with. On the penultimate end scores were even at 14-14. Viv Sykes on her first wood nestled against the jack, Brian’s team were so close in dislodging this, but was unable to do so giving Terry, John and Viv a well deserved win.
Mothers day, Sunday 22nd March was the day chosen this year for our first of we hope many friendly competitions with the Mazarron Bowls Club.
Thanks to Sandra Bain who did a great job in making sure this happened, liaising for some time with Colin Sear, captain of the club.
Thirty-four members started the short journey by individual cars early Sunday morning to arrive at the beautiful surroundings of the venue, Hazienda del Alamo. Surprise, surprise; only one car got lost but arrived in time for the start of the competition. Sorry Alan and Pat Deacon!
Before we commenced the game, Colin presented Vic Parsons, the Captain for the Day, a Mazarron pennant giving us the customary welcome. The game on carpet was very enjoyable and ended in Mazarron winning four rinks, Almeria three with one rink ending 21-21. Well done to the latter team, Dave and Shelagh Allen, Gordon and Pat Byatt who was at one time trailing 17-2. Overall, Almeria lost by twelve shots.
On completion of the match a raffle was held and we all set off in convoy to Venta La Romero, a very busy Spanish restaurant, where we were just one of the groups attending. The service and meal was superb with no shortage of wine.
Before we departed Vic presented Colin with a cup, cementing we hope, a regular relationship with our club. We of course only gave this on loan, as we trust we will win this back when they visit us in October. All in all a great day.
The Frank Sharpe competition was started in 2004 after one of our very popular bowlers, Frank Sharpe, died and the family wanted to do something to continue his memory. It has been a very popular drawn rinks competition, taking place starting November and the final in March of the following year. The finalists being the top eight players during the season.
This year the two teams were drawn and consisted of Graham Patrick, Stan Brisco, Colin Obrien and Viv Sykes. The other being Colin Wright, John Fitzgerald, Jim Pike and Vivien Digweed.
The quality of play was very good and on the sixth end teams were 6-6. Colin’s team then went steadily ahead to reach 13-8 on the fifteenth. Grahams team then won two ends with singles shots and on the next end were holding five shots, before John Fitzgerald did a quality controlled delivery to come into the head and trail the jack to gain the winning shot. From here Colin’s squad finished the game with multiple winning shots.
After the game Joe Pemberton presented the winning ‘Full Swing’ vouchers kindly donated by Franks daughter, Jan and grandchild, Zoey. They would normally present these in person, but this year as it brings back so many sad memories, a very nice letter with the vouchers was sent. Very many thanks to them for supporting this competition and may it always continue.
A group of bowlers from the Personal Touch camp, Northumberland and Durham, mainly ladies visited us on Friday the 27th March. They only arrived in Spain the day before and were delighted with the company and weather that greeted them.
Almeria didn’t have it all their own way as the visitors played well, however Almeria just scraped through by two shots.
Everyone had the third half, drinks etc with lots of enthusiasm. Thanks to Glynis Atkinson with Catherine Patrick assisting in running the raffle together with Jim Pike for being is usual friendly, amusing host and Captain, completing the day.
Finally, Jim has asked me to convey thanks to the ‘Snowbirds’ who have now returned to UK for their contribution during the season and trust we see them again in the autumn. He also updated us on the latest report of Ron Gambol and Ron Cook who have had traumatic health problems. They are both recovering well and hope to be playing bowls again in due course.
Don’t forget there are lots of photographs of the above event players in Photo Gallery of our web site, www.bowlingalmeria.com See you next month.