Weekly Reports

27th April

Keith Richardson

IF YOU set your alarm clock and get down to Upper Fitz Park this Sunday for 10am, you can enjoy the spectacle of four Fitz Park Bowling Club players taking on the might of the UK fours champions.

 

Club President Cliff Harding, Mike Davies, Phil Barnes and Craig “Jumbo” Phillips take on Workington quartet Stephen Cook, Ian Williams, James Park and David Forster, in the county fours competition, writes Keith Richardson. Victory for the Keswick team would be nothing short of a revelation against the UK champions.

 

And then, after that, if you fancy making it an all-day session, the club hosts a touring team, Hartlepool Old Boys, for a friendly game in the afternoon, starting at 2pm. Interesting to note that when Middlesborough Dockers visited the club last summer their team was largely made up of women of a certain age. So, we await with interest – without being remotely sexist - what might constitute Hartlepool Old Boys.

 

This Friday evening at Fitz Park (6pm) sees the opening match in the highly competitive West Cumbria league when Keswick entertain Workington ‘B’.

 

League games are now underway at Fitz Park on Tuesday afternoons, and Thursday and Friday evenings. There were mixed fortunes for the club’s two teams competing in the same division of the Eden Valley Bowls League Tuesday competition this week (see next week’s Reminder for match results of Thursday and Friday).

 

The ‘A’ team travelled to Dalston and lost heavily despite a 23-8 win on one of the four rinks for skip Colin Mason accompanied by Dixon Barwise and Alan Dalzell. Mason, who also enjoys playing league crown green bowls with Ambleside, was particularly impressive. Unfortunately, Jean Barwise, John Sewell and Mike Robertson lost 9-13, Di Massingham, Sue Tremble and Derek Massingham perished 9-15 and Kevin Hadley, Lynn Hazell and Peter (“Bomber”) Tremble bombed 10-17.

 

On home turf, the club’s B side enjoyed a clean sweep over their opponents from Temple Sowerby. Caroline Forsyth, Mark Finlay and Tom Prescott won by an impressive 30-8; Jill Preston, Mel Evans and Graham Harrower were triumphant 24-4; Christine Weightman, Brian Robinson and Keith Goldsmith emerged victors 18-6 and last, but not least, Sheila Sunderland, Colin Glover and Peter Rainey won 25-9.

 

In the club’s opening aggregate competition on Monday evening, Jill Preston, Brian Robinson and Keith Richardson defeated Shona Robinson, Karen Hind and Lynn Hazell 11-5; Adrian Gill, Sheila Sunderland and Mel Evans got the better of Peter Redfearn, Mark Finlay and Duncan Stuart 20-2 while Christine Weightman, Sid Horsfield and Gillian Stuart overcame Caroline Forsyth, Bill Richardson and Alan Hind 18-6.

Di Massingham is through to the Mixed Pairs Semi Final with John Sewell (Ben Challis)
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John Sewell, (Ben Challis)
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A big win in the West Cumbria League for  Graham Harrower (Ben Challis)
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22 July

Keith Richardson

THERE IS no truth in the story being bandied about that John Sewell and Colin Jackson were so delighted at their victory in Fitz Park Bowling Club’s drawn pairs competition last Saturday that they took the front seats on the open top bus from Keswick to Borrowdale (and back) to show off the trophy.

However, it is completely true that the pair celebrated their triumph with a little refreshment and that Colin had his traditional two pints of foaming ale, writes Keith Richardson.

Twenty pairs took part in the competition on a wonderfully sunny day – before the full force of the heatwave took hold – and Sewell and Jackson just managed to pip Colin Mason and Duncan Stewart who managed to achieve the same number of points as the victors but lost on a countback of winning shots by 37/24.

In other club competitions John Sewell and Sid Horsfield braved the searing heat on Monday to play their quarter final tie in the President’s Prize. This was a superb game with both players maintaining a high standard of bowls. The game was hard fought and very close until Sewell established a 19/12 lead.

It appeared that all was lost for Horsfield but he came back to level the scores only for Sewell to eventually take the tie 21/19. There were only a few spectators present to witness the game but they were rewarded with some great entertainment from two good players.

Sewell is now the first player to win through to the semi-final of the President’s Prize.

The quarter final games still to be played are: Michael Jackman v Adrian Gill; Dave Brannan v Graham Harrower and Ryan Brannan v Lynn Hazell. Unfortunately, there must be a question mark over Lynn’s continued involvement in the competition as she damaged a shoulder while gardening.

The Green Championship is at the quarter final stage and the line-up is: Mike Davies v John Sewell; Alan Hind v Robin Phillips, Ryan Brannan v Sid Horsfield and Craig Phillips v Vic Emmerson.

In the over 60s, Mike Davies is the first player through to the semi-final after defeating Alan Hind. Remaining quarter final ties are: Kevin Hadley v Sean Mills; Colin Mason v Adrian Gill and Cliff Harding v Christine Weightman.

The heatwave has resulted in some Eden Valley League matches being postponed but this was certainly not the case at the height of the heatwave on Tuesday when Fitz Park B and Friars (Penrith) locked horns. This was most definitely a case of mad dogs and Englishmen (and women) going out in the midday sun as the game started at 11am and did not finish until 1.30pm.  I dare say a local heat record was broken for a game of league bowls played at Keswick!

Sun hats and water bottles were di rigueur as Fitz Park won two of the four rinks and the aggregate was also drawn so the overall result was 5/5. The two winning rinks for the home side were Brian Robinson, Jill Preston and Graham Harrower (23/10) and Karen Hind, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith (19/9).

In their Eden Valley triples league game against Temple Sowerby, the Fitz Park A team skipped by Sean Mills managed to take a remarkable nine shots on one end and Kevin Hadley, Dixon Barwise and Mills went on to win 28/4. In the same encounter, Jean Barwise, Colin Jackson and Peter Tremble tied 9/9 while there were wins for Shona Robinson, Sue Tremble and Colin Mason (16/7) and Christine Mills, Adrian Gill and John Sewell (14/5).

Fitz Park A also triumphed over Appleby with John Thompson, Adrian Gill, Phil Barnes and Ryan Brannan winning by a resounding 37/5 and wins also for Kevin Hadley, Peter Tremble, Vic Emmerson  and Mike Davies (22/8) and John Sewell, Christine Mills, Sean Mills and Dave Brannan (22/20).

Fitz Park women Shona Robinson, Karen Hind and Christine Weightman won 14/13 against Appleby.

Fitz Park B won at Castle Park (Penrith) with two of the three rinks emerging on top.

George Parsons, Hughie Burton, Mike Cooper and Peter Rainey won 25/10 while Keith Richardson, Keith Price, Mark Finlay and Keith Goldsmith scraped home 15/14.

The club’s West Cumbria League team lost ground last Friday because, although they won 5/2 at Seaton, principal opponents Workington won 7/0 to enhance their lead over second placed Keswick to 7.5 points. The rink skippered by Dave Brannan won by a massive 41/6 at Seaton. The team is at Cleator Moor this Friday.

And finally, Fitz Park Bowling club’s ground has played superbly this week in the summer heat and has also looked a picture. The pavilion itself is enhanced by the excellent floral display kindly provided and cared for by club social member Kenny Nelson, otherwise known as “Monty Don.”

Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG
John Sewell (Ben Challis).JPG

Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

John Sewell (Ben Challis)

14 July

Keith Richardson

RYAN BRANNAN became the first ever Fitz Park Bowling Club member to win the county under 25 singles trophy when he defeated Ryan Corkhill, of Whitehaven, in front of a large crowd at The Croft Bowling Club, Cockermouth, on Wednesday night.

A good following of supporters from the Keswick club saw Ryan, aged 24, finally overcome the strong challenge of Corkhill, 19, after the pair played some exceptional ends, much to the enjoyment of the crowd, writes Keith Richardson.

The two significant breakthroughs in a tightly contested match came with the score on 12/11 to the Keswick player. Before that the game was nip and tuck.

Both players were on the jack more often than not but Brannan took a three shot end to extend his lead to 15/11 and never looked back. He hammered home his superiority with a second successive three shot advantage on the next end as Corkhill faded to go 18/11 down.

The final blow came with Brannan ahead 20/11 and seemingly destined to lift the trophy. However, players have suffered demoralising defeats before after the final point proves a point too far and an opponent stages a dramatic comeback.

But it was not to be on this occasion.

Corkhill was holding shot – and possibly more – when Brannan played arguably the shot of the match to trail the jack through the head onto his own woods and claim two shots to take his score beyond the 21 shots needed to win the contest.

This was a very good final and Corkhill played his part to the full, although Brannan eventually proved the more assured, consistent, and confident player on the night. He will now go through to represent his club, his town, and the county at the national finals at Leamington, starting on August 25 and running for 18 days until September 11.

The Under 25 trophy was presented to Ryan Brannan on Wednesday by Brian Taylor, of Carlisle, who won the trophy 50 years ago.

On the same evening at The Croft, the crowd also enjoyed the semi-finals of the county men’s singles. Stephen Cook, of Workington, defeated Mark Nanson, of the Subscription Club (Carlisle) reasonably comfortably but it was much closer in the other tie between the eventual winner Mark Irwin (Aspatria) and Ian Williams (Workington). Irwin appeared to be cruising to victory but Williams staged a dramatic comeback and, with the score 20/19 to Irwin, the tie could have gone either way.

However, Irwin clinched the all-important shot in a tensioned-filled final end, much to his immense relief; a relief that was equalled only by the exasperation felt by Williams.

Congratulations to The Croft for staging the event and also to the county officials on a job well done – markers Henry Stewart, Hugh Crosbie and Graham Shepherd and umpire Martyn Paige.

 

IT’s tough at the top of the West Cumbria Bowls League where Fitz Park are in second place, 5.5 points behind the leaders Workington on 51. In third place are Whitehaven A who lost a crucial encounter 4.5 to 2.5 at Keswick last Friday.

With eight matches remaining there is still plenty of bowls to be played before the picture becomes more clearly defined. However, at this stage Keswick should remain in contention and a vital fixture could be the visit of current leaders, Workington, to Keswick on Friday, August 19. Keswick are at Seaton this Friday when the team is: Rink one – John Sewell (lead), Peter Rainey (2), Ryan Brannan (3) and Robin Phillips (skip); rink two – Vic Emmerson, Alan Hind, Tom Prescott and Craig Phillips; rink 3 – Mike Davies, Sean Mills, Michael Jackman and Dave Brannan.

Against Whitehaven at Keswick, Tom Prescott, Mike Davies, Michael Jackman and Dave Brannan lost 8/26, while John Sewell, Peter Rainey, Ryan Brannan and Robin Phillips won 27/13. The final rink of Vic Emmerson, Alan Hind, Graham Harrower and Craig Phillips were behind 3/10 but recovered to win seven ends on the trot and take the match 15/11.

Team captain Craig Phillips said: “All in all it has been a good season so far but the club has been in this position before and let vital points slip against some of the lesser teams. Concentration levels must be maintained, and we must push Workington right to the end.”

Fitz Park A and Fitz Park B are fighting it out at the right end of the Eden Valley Tuesday afternoon league, each team winning two rinks when they met this week but the A side edging the match 6/4 thanks to winning the aggregate. However, current leaders Appleby might still be favourites to take the title.

Victors for the A side were the rink skipped by Colin Mason (25/9) and Sean Mills (16/8) while for the B team the winners were Keith Goldsmith (20/8) and Graham Harrower (17/16).

Last Thursday, Fitz Park A won two of the three rinks at Temple Sowerby: John Thompson, Adrian Gill, Phil Barnes and Ryan Brannan won 24/10 while John Sewell, Christine Mills, Sean Mills and Dave Brannan won 22/8.

The Thursday B team was at Fitz Park and only managed to win one rink against Caldbeck, this being Keith Richardson, Mark Finlay, Keith Price and Keith Goldsmith (22/14).

Sue Tremble, Jill Preston and Lynn Hazell were successful (19/11) when the Fitz Park women met their counterparts from Temple Sowerby.

In club competitions, Colin Jackson and Kevin Hadley lost to Sean Mills and Dave Brannan in the men’s pairs after being 13/0 up at one stage. But Hadley had a joyous moment when he defeated Vic Emmerson in the Over 60s singles.

And finally, this week Michael Jackman and Vic Emmerson, after a good run, lost 20/14 to Jackie Walker and Eddie Orchard, of Whitehaven, in the county final of the national pairs.

Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG
Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG

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Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

17 June

Keith Richardson

ONE of the genuine pleasures of playing league bowls for Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick, is to visit those scenic retreats deep in the Eden Valley on a lazy summer’s afternoon when the sun beats down and a gentle breeze blows across the ground to prevent hyper ventilating bowlers from melting entirely.

Despite the rural idyll of places such as Lazonby, Caldbeck, Appleby, Skelton and Temple Sowerby, to name a few, the friendly nature of such venues masks a very competitive underbelly and the enthusiastic captain / organiser of Fitz Park’s B teams in the Eden Valley Bowls League (EVBL) Tuesday afternoon and Thursday evening leagues, Keith (“No mercy”) Price is no exception, indicative of the fierce competition that is, in reality, flat green bowling in the countryside.

Bowls in picturesque rural retreats can also be a great leveller and players who are never off the jack when playing on home turf, suddenly become disorientated novices who cannot find line or weight when playing at a different venue.

Meanwhile, the elderly retired farmer on the home rink who bounces his wood out from the hip has an unerring knack of finding the target. And the midges, if they are in attack mode at Shap on an evening, are guaranteed to drive grown men to madness. Apparently, it is far worse than the Highlands of Scotland or the Amazon at dusk.

Fitz Park teams have been playing more than their usual number of visits to EVBL venues in recent days thanks to the need to rearrange a number of fixtures, so are well versed.

At Temple Sowerby on a beautifully warm Tuesday afternoon this week, the game was tied 5/5. At one stage it looked as though Fitz Park was heading for outright defeat.

Two visiting rinks lost well contested matches while a third (Caroline Forsyth, Mark Finlay and skip Tom Prescott) cantered to a 17/4 win. The fourth rink (Christine Weightman, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith, the last to finish playing, looked destined to lose heavily but staged a remarkable comeback after being 16/3 down after nine of the 15 ends.

They closed the gap to 16/12 on the 12th but then Temple Sowerby went 18/12 ahead with just one end remaining. Fitz Park was in a seemingly impossible situation but then skip Goldsmith produced two superb woods to rearrange the head dramatically and the visitors claimed six shots to tie the rink at 18/18.

The result of that rink transformed the outcome of the entire match with Keswick winning the aggregate and sharing the spoils overall. What was destined, it seemed, to be an 8-2 triumph for the home team was quickly altered to a 5/5 tie thanks, arguably, to that one game-changing end when all seemed lost.

The previous Thursday, both A and B Fitz Park teams had comprehensive ‘clean sweep’ wins over their counterparts with the B team’s Mark Finlay, Keith Richardson, Cliff Harding and Keith Goldsmith winning 20-10; Phillip Pridmore, Alan Hind, David Bragg and Sid Horsfield 34/9 and Hughie Burton, Mike Cooper, Alan Dalzell and Peter Rainey 27/7, all at Fitz Park.

Similarly, the A team was at Castle Park (Penrith) where Kevin Hadley, Adrian Gill, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips won 16/24, John Sewell, Peter Tremble, Sean Mills and Dave Brannan triumphed 13/17 while Vic Emmerson, Derek Massingham, Graham Harrower and Ryan Brannan came out on top 22/11.

It is unusual for a rink of three players (using three woods each) to score a maximum of nine. But this was achieved by Di Massingham, Jill Preston and Lynn Hazell when they won 25/6 against Castle Park. In the same match, Caroline Forsyth, Karen Hind and Christine Weightman won 22/14.

There was a massive turn out for the Fitz Park club’s annual Ann Wilson Trophy event.

Twenty teams of triples from all over the county converged on Keswick and eventual winner was a second string from Subscription (Carlisle).  In fourth place was the Keswick rink of Christine Howarth, Kevin Hadley and Dave Brannan. The organisation for the event was excellent.

In a rearranged EVBL match at Dalston last Sunday afternoon, Keswick B came off second best 6/4 despite victories for two of the rinks – Caroline Forsyth, Mark Finlay and Tom Prescott 13/10 and Christine Weightman, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith 13/11.

Fitz Park’s team in the West Cumbria League faces its toughest challenge to date this season when it travels to play Workington A this Friday evening. Last week, the Fitz Park team enjoyed a comfortable home victory over Whitehaven B.

Peter Rainey, Phillip Pridmore, Vic Emmerson and Ryan Brannan won 28/6, David Bragg, Alan Hind, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips were 20/12 victors while John Sewell, Sean Mills, Mike Jackman and Dave Brannan sailed home 26/11.

 

Club internal trophy matches are gathering pace.

In the Presidents Prize the second-round ties are: Sid Horsfield v Phil Barnes; John Sewell v Colin Mason; Sue Tremble v Mike Jackman; Adrian Gill v Mike Davies; George Parsons v Dave Brannan or Mike Cooper; Cliff Harding v Graham Harrower; Vic Emmerson v Ryan Brannan and Lynn Hazell v Jill Preston.

In the over 60s mixed singles, 2nd round encounters are: Vic Emmerson v Kevin Hadley; Lynn Hazell v Sean Mills; Sue Tremble v Colin Mason; Adrian Gill v Di Massingham; Cliff Harding v John Sewell and Robin Phillips v Christine Weightman. Alan Hind will meet Mike Davies in the quarter final.

In the Green Championship (considered to be the premier club contest) the 2nd round is: Mike Davies v Phil Barnes; John Sewell v Dave Brannan; Kevin Hadley v Alan Hind; Robin Phillips v Mike Jackman; Colin Mason v Ryan Brannan or Steve Jones; Sid Horsfield v Cliff Harding or George Parsons; Keith Goldsmith v Craig Phillips and Vic Emmerson v Mike Cooper.

In the men’s pairs 2nd round games are: Tom Prescott / Graham Harrower v Cliff Harding / Phil Pridmore; Vic Emmerson / Mike Jackman v Colin Mason/ John Thompson; Ryan Brannan / Keith Goldsmith v Craig Phillips / Peter Tremble; Derek Massingham / John Sewell v Phill Barnes / Mike Davies; Robin Phillips / Hughie Burton v George Parsons / Peter Rainey; Colin Jackson / Kevin Hadley v Dave Brannan / Sean Mills; Syd Horsfield / Mike Cooper v Alan Hind / Keith Richardson. The pairing of Adrian Gill and Keith Price is through to the semi-finals.

 

In the women’s green Lynn Hazell is through to the semi-final while competitions in the quarter final are: Karen Hind v Jill Preston; Christine Weightman v Sue Tremble and Hilary Horsfield v Shona Robinson.

In the women’s pairs, Lynn Hazell / Christine Mills and Karen Hind / Gillian Stuart are in the semi-finals. Their eventual opponents will come from the match ups of Sue Tremble / Yvonne Davies v Jill Preston / Hilary Horsfield and Jean Barwise / Caroline Forsyth v Christine Weightman / Shona Robinson.

In the mixed pairs, 2nd round matches are: Alan Hind / Karen Hind v Colin Mason / Sheila Sunderland; Christine Weightman / Keith Richardson v Keith Goldsmith / Jill Preston; John Thompson / Lynn Hazell v Dave Brannan / Christine Mills.

Already through to the quarter final are Yvonne Davies / Mike Davies, David Robinson / Shona Robinson, Phil Barnes / Sue Tremble, Derek Massingham / Di Massingham, Cliff Harding / Caroline Forsyth.

Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG
Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG

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Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

31 May

Keith Richardson

CUMBRIA women came out on top at Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick, with a famous victory over their counterparts from Yorkshire in the ‘Northern Trophy’ competition.

The host club defeated Yorkshire by 8-2 points overall after winning four of the six rinks and by an aggregate score of 99-82. The result means that Cumbria have won their opening two matches – the first being over Northumberland at Caldbeck – and their next encounter is against Durham, at Horden, on June 10, writes Keith Richardson.

After the win over Yorkshire, all the Cumbrian players signed a special ‘get well’ soon card for Fitz Park Bowling Club stalwart and county women’s treasurer, Glenda Holme, of Keswick, who is recovering in the West Cumberland Hospital after recently being taken ill.

Glenda’s husband, Donald, says that Glenda received the card this week and it provided a real boost.

In the county game at Keswick, Irene Waugh (Aspatria) Carol Smith (Wetheral) Christine Southward (Seascale) and Carole Bannister (Workington) won 15-14; Karen Westwood (Wigton) Louise Sowerby (Appleby) Penny Peile and Jeanette Bell (both Wigton) triumphed 19-12;  Dorothy Boyle (West End, Carlisle), Helen Raymond (Alston) Nora Newton (Lazonby) and Sandra Parker (Silloth) lost 13-14; Tina Smithan (Workington) Linda Rose (Whitehaven) Angela Hayton (Wigton) and Elsie Bell (Caldbeck) went down 12-19; Dorothy Linden (Linton) Rita Timperon (Lazonby) Maureen Eccles (Seascale) and Noreen Fleet (Workington) won 17-12; and, finally, Sue Devlin (West End, Carlisle) Christine Wharton (Wigton) Ann Creighton (Aspatria) and Lesley Metcalfe (Appleby) won 23-11.

In club matches at Fitz Park, Alan Hind won the Peter Towers Snr 2-wood competition on Saturday, narrowly defeating Colin Mason 11-10 in the final. In the President’s Prize Steve Jones lost 13-21 to Phil Barnes and also lost by a similar margin to Colin Mason in the Over 60s. However, Steve is a much-improved player and may cause a surprise or two before the season is out.

Also in the over 60s Alan Hind, currently in a rich vein of form, defeated Keith Goldsmith 21-10.

In the county singles, Craig Phillips made progress when he got the better of Workington player, Mike Sydney 21-5.

The Fitz Park team competing in the Friday evening West Cumbria League won at Maryport and was victorious in two of the three rinks. Mike Davies, Alan Hind, Mike Jackman and skip Dave Brannan thumped their west coast counterparts 30-6, a total that included an eight-shot advantage on the 11th end, taking the score out to 21-3 and, effectively, ending the rink as a contest.

Peter Rainey, Phil Pridmore, Ryan Brannan, and Tom Prescott won 19-9 while the only defeat was suffered by Vic Emmerson, Peter Tremble, Phil Barnes and Robin Phillips 9-17.

The team remains undefeated at this early stage but two games have been postponed and are to be rearranged.

In Eden Valley Thursday evening league, Fitz Park’s A and B sides clashed and the A team came out on top, winning the three rinks 2-1. The B team’s only success came from Phil Pridmore, Cliff Harding, Alan Hind and David Bragg who defeated Kevin Hadley, Dixon Barwise, Graham Harrower and Craig Phillips 18-15; A team players Vic Emmerson, Colin Mason, Ryan Brannan and Robin Phillips cruised to a 22-7 success over Hughie Burton, Peter Rainey, Mark Finlay and Alan Dalzell; while A team players John Thompson, Peter Tremble, Mike Davies and Dave Brannan marmalised (a technical term) Christine Weightman, George Parsons, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith 33-4.

There is a saying in bowls that it ‘all starts from the front’ and this was certainly the case in the last of the rinks mentioned above where lead bowler John “Thommo” Thompson was never very far off the jack. In fact, methinks he was using magnets!

The Fitz Park club is staging a special celebratory match this Sunday afternoon to coincide with the platinum jubilee celebrations and it will be interesting to see if the players can chime their deliveries with those of the classical notes emanating from the park across the road where the ‘Keswick Pop and Prom’ will be in full swing.

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Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG

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Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

26th May

Keith Richardson

FITZ Park Bowling Club was this week returning to normal competition after the covid outbreak that led to the cancellation of matches.

The unexpected blow that hit Fitz Park Bowling Club directly affected seven of the playing membership but all last week’s matches in the Eden Valley and West Cumbria leagues were postponed because of the gaps left in the ranks by those taken ill.

There was also concern about holding games that might lead to a further escalation of the problem. Then there was the reluctance of one club, Cleator Moor, to travel to Keswick for a West Cumbria League match last Friday evening after they heard Fitz Park had suffered a mini outbreak of the virus.

Of the players affected the majority have now returned to league action and were taking part in league games this week. Perhaps as many as three players are still struggling with the effects of contracting the virus and continue to absent themselves from the club and competition. However, all are now thought to be on the mend.

In this week’s Eden Valley Tuesday afternoon league game, Keswick B took on Keswick A and it was the B team that triumphed by a comprehensive 8-2.

Christine Weightman, Keith Richardson and skip Keith Goldsmith walloped Duncan Stuart, Sue Tremble and skip Vic Emmerson 26-6 while Mel Evans, Jill Preston and Graham Harrower defeated Gillian Stuart, George Parsons and Adrian Gill 19-7. Steve Jones, Alan Dalzell and Colin Mason fought hard against Caroline Forsyth, Mark Finlay and Tom Prescott but lost 14-12.

The B team’s solitary success came when Kevin Hadley, Lynn Hazell and Peter Tremble got the better of Sheila Sunderland, Colin Glover and Cliff Harding 14-7.

The Fitz Park club’s A and B teams were also due to clash in the Eden Valley League Thursday evening round of matches. The West Cumbria League fixture for Fitz Park this Friday evening is Maryport away (outcomes in next week’s report).

In other competitions, John Thompson, Peter Tremble and Dave Brannan are through to the last 16 of the county Roland Starkey event and now encounter Lazonby.

In the county fours, skip Dave Brannan produced a wonder wood to enable his team of Graham Harrower, Peter Rainey and Ryan Brannan to go through to the quarter finals when they defeated a strong Whitehaven rink on their own turf.

Unfortunately, the Fitz Park men perished at the next hurdle at Courtfield, Carlisle, on Monday evening.

Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG
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Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

20th May

Keith Richardson

FITZ Park Bowling Club’s season suffered a sudden and unexpected disruption this week when a number of players tested positive for Covid and, as a direct result, fixtures due to take place in the Eden Valley League on Tuesday had to be postponed because Keswick found themselves short of bowlers.

Not only that, players were due to take part in a county triples event at Aspatria on Wednesday – victory would have taken them through to the quarter final – but all three members of the team tested positive for Covid and had no option but to concede the game.

In the West Cumbria League last Friday evening, Fitz Park won 5-2 with two of the three rinks recording wins.

Vic Emmerson, Phil Pridmore, Derek Massingham and team captain Craig Phillips won 16-9, Peter Rainey, Alan Hind, Ryan Brannan and Tom Prescott triumphed 15-10 while John Sewell, Keith Richardson, Graham Harrower and Dave Brannan lost 13-20.

The home team won the overall aggregate for a further point.

David (“Bulldog”) Bragg was the eventual winner of the club’s ‘Swing Jack’ competition last Saturday. David defeated John Thompson 11-5 in the final but had to work harder to narrowly get the better of Lynn Hazell 11-10.

John Thompson saw off Craig Phillips in the other semi-final.

Fitz Park teams continued with a degree of success in the Eden Valley Thursday evening league. The B team won overall at home to Castle Park thanks to a better aggregate score.

Alan Dalzell, Mark Finlay, Mike Cooper and Keith Price drew 14-14; Cliff Harding, Keith Richardson, George Parsons and Mel Evans lost 15-19, while Sid Horsfield, David Bragg, Alan Hind and Phil Pridmore won by a convincing 25-10.

Fitz Park A won comprehensively at Appleby with all three rinks registering success: John Sewell, John Thompson, Derek Massingham and Dave Brannan won 18-15; Di Massingham, Phil Barnes,  Ryan Brannan and Robin Phillips 21-11 and Kevin Hadley, Adrian Gill, Vic Emmerson and Craig Phillips 25-7.

In the Thursday women’s league, Caroline Forsyth, Hazel Horsfield and Chris Weightman won 17-10 at Appleby while Jill Preston, Sheila Sunderland and Lynn Hazell drew 13-13.

In an all Fitz Park county triples match Alan Hind, Keith Richardson and Colin Mason won 19-14 against Adrian Gill, Keith Price and Alan Dalzell. In the same competition, Phil Pridmore, Vic Emmerson and Cliff Harding lost 20-10 to Courtfield, Carlisle.e.

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Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG

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Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

13th May

Keith Richardson

UPPER FITZ PARK, the home of the Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick, is looking at its very best in the spring sunshine and was the perfect venue for the county bowling association’s ‘Champion of Champions’ at the weekend.

 

The event stretched throughout Saturday and Sunday with the semi-finals and final held on the second day. The event sees last summer’s singles champions from clubs the length and breadth of the county converging on Keswick to decide who, essentially, is the best of the best, writes Keith Richardson.

 

Fitz Park Bowling Club’s representative was Ryan Brannan but he made a first round exit when he came up against Chris Bowe, of the Wigton club. Ryan was 16-3 down at one stage before he suddenly sprang to life and fought back only to lose narrowly 20-21.The eventual winner was Paul Coulthard, of Wigton Park, who, in both the semi-final and the final, was rarely off the jack and gave little chance to his semi-final and final opponents, Henry Stewart (Seascale, 21-13) and Hugh Crosby (Croft, Cockermouth champion for last year but now of Workington, 21-5).The weather was excellent for both days, especially the Sunday, and the green played superbly well and received many plaudits from players and spectators.

The winner’s trophy was presented by the President of Fitz Park Bowling Club, Cliff Harding,

who was earlier marker for the final. The games are played on a basis of no restriction to the number of ends but the winner being the first player to reach 21 shots.Results from the competition were: First round: John Baird (Subscription, Carlisle) 13, Henry Stewart (Seascale) 21; Dave McManus (Courtfield, Carlisle) 19, Andy Smart (Lazonby) 21; Bernard Riley (Friars, Penrith) 16, Paul Coulthard (Wigton Park) 21; Peter Metcalfe (Appleby) 21, Jim Armour (Maryport) 12; Hugh Crosby (Croft, Cockermouth) 21, Albert Peart (Brampton) 14; Ryan Brannan (Fitz Park, Keswick) 20, Chris Bowe (Wigton) 21; Ray Barclay (Harris Park, Cockermouth) 21, John Eilbeck (Whitehaven) 17; John Donnelly (Egremont) 19, Greg Jones (Caldbeck) 21.Quarter finals: Stewart 21, Smart 10; Coulthard 21, Metcalfe 17; Crosby 21, Bowe 19; Barclay 14, Jones 21.Semi-finals: Stewart 13, Coulthard 21; Crosby 21, Jones 10.

Final: Coulthard 21, Crosby 5.

 

IN LEAGUE fixtures involving Fitz Park teams, the West Cumbria League game away to Whitehaven A last Friday was postponed due to the impact of heavy rain on the green.The team is at home to Seaton this Friday (6.30pm start).

Fitz Park women won at Temple Sowerby in the Eden Valley Bowls League (EVBL), Lynn Hazell, Jill Preston and Sheila Sunderland triumphed 15-11 while Christine Weightman, Hazel Horsfield and Caroline Forsyth won 15-7.In the Tuesday EVBL league this week, Fitz Park A travelled to a windblown Lazonby and tied their match overall (also sharing the aggregate) with Kevin Hadley, Lynn Hazell and Derek Massingham winning 15-14; Chris Mills, Adrian Gill and John Sewell lost 11-4; Di Massingham, Jean Barwise and Sean Mills went down 12-16; while Alan Dalzell, Dixon Barwise and Colin Mason won 22-16.

At a sunny and blustery Fitz Park on the same afternoon, Fitz Park B defeated their opponents from Appleby. Christine Weightman, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith fought hard to win 16-13; Caroline Forsyth, Mark Finlay and John Prescott roared to a 18-4 victory; Sheila Sunderland, Colin Glover and Cliff Harding lost 5-19; while Mel Evans, Jill Preston and Graham Harrower drew 13-13. Fitz Park won the aggregate (overall score) 52-49 to win by 7-3 points.In the EVBL Thursday evening league, Fitz Park B lost at Caldbeck. Philip Pridmore, Alan Hind, David Bragg and Sid Horsfield experienced little difficulty in winning 15-2, but the two rinks featuring Peter Redfearn, Mark Finlay, Keith Price and Keith Goldsmith (19-14) and Duncan Stuart, Hughie Burton, Cliff Harding and Keith Richardson (21-11) both floundered against superior opposition.

 

In the same competition Fitz Park A was at Temple Sowerby and achieved a clean sweep under what are normally challenging conditions for visiting teams. John Sewell, John Thompson, Di Massingham and Dave Brannan won 26-11; Kevin Hadley, Peter Tremble, Vic Emmerson and Sean Mills went one better with a 29-8 win, while Colin Mason, Adrian Gill, Phil Barnes and Mike Davies trumped the lot with a 31-13 success.County bowls association matches are being held in tandem with league games and Fitz Park had high hopes of Graham Harrower, Ryan Brannan and Dave Brannan reaching the latter stages of the triples competition after an earlier success.

However, their run ended abruptly at Subscription, Carlisle on Tuesday evening when they lost 20-19 after the game was tied on 19-19 at 18 ends and went down to an extra end.

Oh well, there’s always next year . . .

Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG
Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

6th May

Keith Richardson

IN FRONT of a large crowd, a Fitz Park Bowling Club quartet narrowly failed to inflict what would have been an amazing defeat on the UK national champions in the first round of a county competition on a damp and cool Sunday morning.

 

Stephen Cook, Ian Williams, James Park and David Forster, of the Workington club, are the reigning UK title holders, a feat they achieved at the world-famous Leamington event towards the end of last summer, writes Keith Richardson.

 

As such they naturally present formidable opposition. However, at a relatively early stage of their county match against the Fitz Park four of Mike Davies, Cliff Harding, Phil Barnes and skip Craig Phillips, they were being made to look ordinary as, on conclusion of the sixth of 18 ends, the home team had raced into a 10-2 lead.

 

Unfortunately, for home club aspirations it was not to last. The first of two significant turning points came on the seventh end when, with the home team holding three, Forster fired to great effect to take the jack off the rink and the national champions then capitalised with a four-shot gain to reduce the deficit to 10-6.

 

They continued to eat away at Keswick’s lead and by the eleventh end were in front for the first time on 10-11. Keswick unexpectedly hit back to restore the advantage to 14-11 on the twelfth. With the finishing tape of the 18th end in sight Keswick was 15-14 ahead on completion of the fifteenth. Anything was possible at this point, but the wheels came off big style in the sixteenth as the pressure of the occasion finally tolled.

 

With Keswick reasonably placed, James Park trailed the jack through the head and with the home side unable to salvage the situation they conceded six shots that effectively finished the game. Workington went on to win 15-23.

 

Until the aberration of the sixteenth end, Keswick was poised for a massive upset. But then champions do not achieve that status without good reason. And, in the final analysis, their superiority showed. But only just.

 

This weekend Fitz Park hosts another top fixture when the county’s ‘Champion of Champions’ events are held at this beautiful venue on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Fitz Park opened their account in this season’s West Cumbria League with a convincing victory over Workington B.  John Sewell, Sean Mills, Graham Harrower and Dave Brannan triumphed 27-7; Vic Emmerson, Phil Pridmore, Derek Massingham and Craig Phillips shone through 25-6; while Mike Davies, Alan Hind, Robin Phillips and Tom Prescott – the latter using a set of the brightest yellow woods ever to be seen at Fitz Park – won 26-7.

 

The team faces a more challenging game at Whitehaven ‘A’ this Friday evening. Two of the four Keswick teams competing in the countywide Roland Starkey competition made progress to the next stage. The successful triples were Sean Mills, Peter Tremble and Dave Brannan; John Sewell, Derek Massingham and Keith Goldsmith.

 

For the first time in two years, league games are happening once again in the Eden Valley Bowls League so there was an underlying feeling of celebration as teams took to the green last week although only two Keswick rinks travelled to Shap last Thursday where the home club is short of players.

 

However, this marked the comeback of Keswick’s Colin Jackson who was called in at short notice to join Kevin Hadley, Derek Massingham and Ryan Brannan in a 25-5 win. In the other ‘A’ team game John Sewell, John Thompson, Sean Mills and Dave Brannan were 13-2 down but came storming back to win 22-16.

 

Meanwhile at Fitz Park, the ‘B’ team won 6-2 overall at home to Friars (Penrith) as Mike Cooper, Brian Robinson, Peter Rainey and Keith Goldsmith won 19-5; Phil Pridmore, David Bragg, Alan Hind and Sid Horsfield lost 7-13; but Adrian Gill, Cliff Harding, Keith Richardson and Mike Robertson pulled it back with a 17-10 success. In this week’s EVL Tuesday fixtures, Fitz Park ‘A’ won 8-2 with Kevin Hadley, Keith Richardson and Sean Mills on top 18-15; Alan Dalzell, Dixon Barwise and Colin Mason triumphant 21-5 and Christine Mills, Adrian Gill and John Sewell victors 22-9. Sue Tremble, Jean Barwise and Peter Tremble lost narrowly 15-16.

 

The ‘B’ team was at Castle Park (Penrith) and won 8-2 thanks to Caroline Forsyth, Mark Finlay and Tom Prescott 27-11; Sheila Sunderland, Colin Glover and Cliff Harding 13-8 and Hazel Horsfield, Christine Weightman and Keith Goldsmith 22-19. The only reversal was inflicted on Duncan Stuart, Jill Preston and Graham Harrower 9-12.

Mixed fortunes for Keswick’s EVL women’s team at Shap last Thursday when Weightman, Hazel Horsfield and Caroline Forsyth won 25-12 but Lynn Hazell, Sunderland and Preston lost 14-18. In Monday evening’s aggregate, Weightman and Forsyth defeat Hughie Burton and Sid Horsfield 13-12, Price and Sunderland lost 13-14 to Alan Hind and Gillian Stuart, while Preston, Mel Evans and Harding got the better of Hazell, Finlay and Duncan Stuart 14-5.

 

Last but not least, the touring team Hartlepool Old Boys played the home club at Fitz Park on Sunday I am pleased to report that they were, in the main, ‘old boys’ as opposed to a previous touring Northeast touring team, Middlesborough Dockers, which consisted mostly of women of a certain age!

Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG
Colin Jackson (Ben Challis).JPG

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Colin Jackson (picture Ben Challis)

Pic: Ben Challis