FITZ PARK BOWLING Club’s A team failed in their bid to overcome the challenge of a very strong Linton club in the final of the Eden Valley Bowls League’s Knockout Trophy, played at Caldbeck on Tuesday afternoon.
All four rinks went to the new title holders and the closest Keswick came to victory was on the rink skipped by Sean Mills where he and team members Sue Tremble and Cliff Harding eventually lost 13/15, writes Keith Richardson.
On other rinks Kevin Hadley, Peter Tremble and recently crowned Keswick women’s green champion Lynn Hazell lost 10/17, Gillian Stuart, Colin Jackson and Colin Mason went down 8/19 while Christine Mills, Dixon Barwise and John Sewell were defeated 10/17.
The contest is decided on the aggregate (number of shots won and lost) and Linton won by a comfortable 68/41. Which is not to say that Fitz Park were below par, they played very well but were outgunned on the day.
The club has been staging its end of season finals and Ryan Brannan won the men’s green championship with a win over Mike Robertson. In the women’s green, Lynn Hazell and Karen Hind went toe to toe (not literally) in a classic encounter with Lynn triumphant 21/19.
Hind set the early pace and was 5/10 ahead at one stage before the more experienced Hazell fought back to lead 12/10. From then on, the outcome was always uncertain until Hazell went 20/18 ahead only for Hind to continue the fight and take it to the end, losing out only to an exceptional wood when the odds seemed stacked in her favour.
In the President’s Prize, Karen Hind’s husband, Alan, got the better of another Windebrowe lad when he defeated your correspondent 21/11 after a tussle that was closer than the score line suggests.
The games last Sunday were played out in unusual sunshine (where has it been?) and before a sizeable crowd. On a damp and dismal Saturday, John Sewell defeated Colin Mason in the over 60s singles while Alan Hind got the better of Mike Davies 15/10 in the Ladstock Cup final.
THIS weekend sees the finals of the various pairs, with the women’s’ pairs on Saturday (2pm) featuring Karen Hind and Gillian Stuart v Caroline Forsyth and Jackie Grundy.
Then on Sunday (from 2pm) it’s the mixed and men’s pairs with Karen and Alan Hind v Shona and Brian Robinson and John Sewell and Kevin Hadley v Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell.
The club’s West Cumbrian league side had several fresh faces for the home game against Seaton at Keswick on Tuesday evening. Fitz Park came out on top 5/2 with wins for Brian Robinson, Peter Tremble, Mike Davies and Phil Barnes (21/12), Alan Hind, Cliff Harding, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan (also 21/12).
Phil Pridmore, Caroline Forsyth, Sue Tremble and Craig Phillips lost 15/19.
In the Eden Valley (Thursday) League, both A and B teams had successes. The A side was at Temple Sowerby where Kevin Hadley, Dixon Barwise, Vic Emmerson and Mike Davies won 16/14, John Thompson, Colin Glover, Peter Tremble and Ryan Brannan prevailed 17/12 but John Sewell, Colin Jackson, Colin Mason and Richard Gaskell lost 15/17 despite a fightback after being 6/17 down after 14 of the 18 ends.
The B team overcame Castle Park. Brian Robinson, Mark Finlay, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith won 20/19 and Mel Evans, Alan Hind, Syd Horsfield and Mike Cooper won 20/18 despite conceding six shots on an unlucky 13th end to go 12/17 down.
The only defeat came for Hughie Burton, George Parsons, Mike Robertson and Peter Rainey who lost 11/14.
In the Eden Valley Womens league, Fitz Park defeated Temple Sowerby with Christine Weightman, Karen Hind and Sue Tremble walloping their opponents 33/3. It was much closer for Shona Robinson, Jill Preston and Lynn Hazell (10/9).
In a friendly match against Harris Park, Fitz Park women lost two of the three rinks but courtesy of a 22/7 rink win for Jackie Grundy, Jill Preston and Lynn Hazell also won the aggregate 44/43.
RYAN BRANNAN almost became the first ever player from Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick, to win a final at the England Bowling Association’s national finals, formerly held at Worthing and now at Leamington.
Ryan and his playing partner, Callum Hodgson, of the Wigton club, had won through to the national finals because of their status as Cumbrian champions in the Under 25 pairs competition, writes Keith Richardson.
Winning the county title is one thing but then transforming this into a win at the national finals something entirely different. Ryan and Callum almost managed to achieve the ultimate, a national final title – only to fall at the last hurdle when they were beaten by a Somerset pairing whose lead, on the day, was virtually unbeatable.
It was a battle all the way for the young Cumbrians who won through to the semi-final courtesy of a victory over a Kent double (15/14) when the tie was only decided on the last end. And the quarterfinal went to an extra end with Ryan and Callum emerging 16/15 winners.
But the final itself was a step too far on the day and they were well beaten by the pair from the deep south of the UK.
Players from the Keswick club travelled to Leamington to watch the bowls over several days and these included former Fitz Park president and current county president and leader of the club’s green committee, Cliff Harding.
Many others followed the progress of the Cumbrians as the final was filmed live on the internet.
“Ryan and Callum did exceptionally well to reach the final,” said Cliff from Leamington after the pair had lost in the final. “They beat some established England internationals on the way and did brilliantly to overcame pairings from Yorkshire, Durham and Kent.
“While they were well beaten in the final by Somerset it did not help that they could not stand directly behind the head as woods were bowled, watching the woods as they came directly down the green. The TV cameras took the direct position while the players had to stand to one side.
“Perhaps that knocked their routine a little. Having said that it was the same for both sides and the Somerset lead played exceptionally.”
Cumbria and Fitz Park still had a strong interest in the Leamington finals as Robin Phillips, of the Fitz Park club was through to the latter stages of the mixed pairs. Robin had been parachuted in to take the place of Ryan Prince, of the Whitehaven club, to play alongside Linda Rose after the Leamington event clashed with Prince’s annual holiday.
At the time of writing (Thursday morning) Robin and Linda had won through to the third round.
Meanwhile, back in Keswick, Fitz Park A are through to the final of the Eden Valley League’s Knockout Trophy following a comfortable win over last year’s winners, castle Park, of Penrith, in the semi-final.
Several B team players had to step into the team because regular A side players were at various holiday locations, as diverse as the national bowls finals at Leamington or the military tattoo in Edinburgh.
Two rinks play at home and two away in the knockout trophy and the side that goes forward is the one with the best aggregate.
Both away rinks of three players, John Thompson, Shona Robinson, and Lynn Hazell and Kevin Hadley, Brian Robinson and Colin Mason won with ease while only one of the home rinks conceded shots at Fitz Park where Martin Ousby, Dixon Barwise and John Sewell lost 17/23 (staging a remarkable recovery after being massively down) and Keith Richardson, Colin Jackson and Keith Goldsmith won 21/5.
Fitz Park A team now play Linton in the final at the neutral venue of Caldbeck next Tuesday afternoon.
The Fitz Park team competing in the West Cumbria League enjoyed a clean sweep over visiting Whitehaven B last Friday evening.
Colin Mason, Colin Jackson, Mike Davies and Keith Goldsmith won 25/8, John Sewell, Alan Hind, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan 25/16 and Brian Robinson, Peter Tremble, Mike Robertson and Robin Phillips 19/10. The team is away to title contenders Workington A this Friday.
Fitz Park A’s hopes in the Eden Valley rinks league suffered a setback when they lost at home to Appleby last Thursday. The only winners on the evening were John Sewell, Cliff Harding, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan who won 15/10 while John Thompson, Colin Jackson, Vic Emmerson and Ryan Brannan lost by a single point 21/22, a score line flattered by a five-shot success on the last end.
Kevin Hadley, Dixon Barwise, Peter Tremble and Mike Davies lost 14/18.
Fitz Park B won 6/2 on a testing green at Skelton where Phil Pridmore, Alan Hind, Syd Horsfield and Mike Cooper prevailed 26/21 and Mel Evans, George Parsons, Mark Finlay and Peter Rainey got three shots on the final end to win 15/13.
Duncan Stuart, Brian Robinson, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith were tied on 18/18 with one end to go but conceded four to lose out 18/22.
THE CLUB is staging its finals this weekend with trophies being contested over games held on Saturday and Sunday.
SATURDAY FINALS (starting at 11am): Mens doubles – John Sewell and Kevin Hadley v Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell; Ladstock Cup – Alan Hind v Mike Davies; mixed doubles – Karen and Alen Hind v Shona and Brian Robinson; Over 60s singles – John Sewell v Colin Mason.
SUNDAY (starting at 1pm): President’s Prize – Alan Hind v Keith Richardson; Women’s Green Championship – Lynn Hazell v Karen Hind; Men’s Green Championship – Ryan Brannan v Mike Robertson; women’s doubles – Karen Hind and Gillian Stuart v Caroline Forsyth and Jackie Grundy.
WHILE Fitz Park B fell at the first fence, the A team had a comfortable ride to the next stage of the Eden Valley League triples knockout trophy when they were clear winners at Appleby B on Tuesday afternoon, writes Keith Richardson.
Karen Hind, Dixon Barwise and skip John Sewell won 26/12 and were helped enormously by two five-shot winning ends. Kevin Hadley, Martin Ousby and Colin Mason echoed the two fives in their 22/7 success while Caroline Forsyth, Peter Tremble and Lynn Hazell triumphed 13/9.
Sue Tremble, Colin Jackson and Cliff Harding had to be content with a 12/12 tie. However, the winner in this competition is determined by aggregate, rather than rinks, and Fitz Park won by a country mile.
The B team’s hopes ended when they crashed in part two of their match against Linton at Fitz Park. And Fitz Park B also came a cropper against visitors Lazonby in the league, losing all three rinks: Mel Evans, Hughie Burton, Mike Robertson and Peter Rainey went down narrowly 15/16 after leading 15/12 with two ends remaining. Brian Robinson, Mark Finlay, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith were off colour in losing 10/16 while Alan Hind, Phil Pridmore, Mike Cooper and Syd Horsfield lost 16/18 despite winning the last three ends.
The Fitz Park team competing in the West Cumbria League enjoyed a clean sweep at Vulcans Park, Workington, where Alan Hind, Peter Tremble, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan won 30/6, John Sewell, Cliff Harding, Vic Emmerson and Craig Phillips prevailed 27/10 while Brian Robinson, Colin Jackson, Mike Davies and Phil Barnes were narrow 14/13 winners after being one shot down with an end to go.
The team is at home to Whitehaven B this Friday evening (6.30pm).
Ryan Brannan failed in his bid to be the “Champion of Champions” when he lost a second-round match 17/21 to the eventual winner, Jack Walker, of Whitehaven. Ryan, who defeated Peter Metcalfe, of Appleby, in his opening encounter, was 17/7 up against Walker but then self-destructed and failed to register another point in a 17/21 defeat.
Ryan is at Leamington national finals this weekend and into next week.
In club competitions, John Sewell is through to the final of the Over 60s singles and will play the winner of the Colin Mason v Brian Robinson semi-final. Jackie Grundy and Caroline Forsyth are in the final of the women’s pairs while Alan and Karen Hind will compete in the final of the mixed pairs.
Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell got the better of Phil Pridmore and Cliff Harding in the semi-final of the men’s pairs.
AND finally, this week, the ensuing flap could only happen at Fitz Park Bowling Club.
The benches under the big fir tree to one side of the pavilion are a favourite perch for spectators because the branches of the tree provide an alfresco shelter from the rain. And so it was that David “Luggy” Brannan sat back, pint in one hand, ciggie in the other, to watch his son Ryan play in a club competition.
Then suddenly, his equilibrium was disturbed as he was struck on the top of the head.
The ‘attacker’ and cause of the blow was a dead pigeon which fell from the branches above, smack dab and with a loud slap, onto Luggy’s bonce.
This, you will appreciate is not something that happens every day at a bowls match, or, for that matter, anywhere else. The deceased pigeon (making a change from Monty Python’s famous dead parrot) bounced off Luggy’s head onto the ground at his feet.
Meanwhile, the ‘victim’ of this unusual ‘attack’ (a ‘dove’ from above) was apparently more concerned that plumage from the unfortunate bird might have got into his beer.
It was ever thus.
HAS anyone, I wonder, ever produced a record of how many games are played on the Fitz Park Bowling Club’s green in upper Fitz Park in any one season? It must be an amazing number and the footfall, the miles covered by players, quite amazing. Enough to span the globe perhaps.
And maybe this is something that a statistician (Vic Emmerson springs to mind) might like to tackle and set his mind to on a sleepless night writes Keith Richardson.
Even on the most awful of evenings, with persistent rain soaking through not so protective clothing there are always some players braving the elements and a small, but hardy group of spectators peering through the gloom out of the front of the pavilion windows or gathered on the benches under the wonderfully rainproof tree that towers over a corner of the green.
Such was the case this Wednesday evening when father and son, Dave and Ryan Brannan, two of the club’s top players, battled it out in the latter stages of what is arguably the club’s premier trophy, the Green Championship.
In what was a superb game of bowls, Ryan managed to win on this occasion, but the game was closely contested from beginning to end and it was a pity that the outcome was ultimately decided on a fortunate wick, the rub of the green.
The games have been coming thick and fast of late, so I will provide an update on internal club competitions next week and focus on league matches in this report.
It does not look, from this juncture, as if any silverware is headed in Keswick’s direction this season unless there is a massive downturn in the fortunes of leading clubs, Caldbeck and Linton in the Eden Valley and Workington or Whitehaven in the West Cumbria league.
Fitz Park certainly shot themselves in the foot big style with an unexpected home defeat to Cleator Moor (3/4) last Friday evening when the only winning rink out of three was that of Mike Davies, Cliff Harding, Dave Brannan and Ryan Brannan. Their 22/14 success also saved the aggregate for an additional point.
On the downside Vic Emmerson, Phil Pridmore, Phil Barnes, and skip Craig Phillips lost 15/17
despite leading 15/11 after 16 of the 18 ends, while John Sewell, Alan Hind, Richard Gaskell and Robin Phillips went down 13/16.
The team travel to a resurgent Maryport club this Friday.
A strong Caldbeck put Fitz Park A to the sword (6/2) in the Eden Valley with only John Thompson, Peter Tremble, Vic Emmerson and Ryan Brannan winning 14/10 for the visitors.
It was a similar story for the A side in the triples at Appleby where, despite the rink results being even (two wins each) the aggregate went to the home side who won 6/4 overall.
Winning rinks for Keswick were Cliff Harding, Sue Tremble and Dave Brannan (29/4) and Kevin Hadley, Peter Tremble and Sean Mills (12/8).
The A team fared much better in a replayed rinks game at Shap where they won 6/2 courtesy of Sean Mills, Colin Mason, Peter Tremble and Vic Emmerson (19/6) and John Sewell, Colin Jackson, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan (19/17).
The B team was walloped 0/10 at home to likely league winners Linton but enjoyed greater success with a 6/2 home win over Temple Sowerby. Winning rinks consisted of Mick Brown, Alan Hind, Phil Pridmore and Syd Horsfield (30/17) and Chris Cooper, Brian Robinson, Mark Finlay and Keith Richardson (26/10).
Mixed fortunes for the women’s team and on the upside, Caroline Forsyth, Karen Hind and Sue Tremble won 14/6 against Caldbeck while Forsyth, Jill Preston and Lynn Hazell tied with Shap 12/12.
Finally, this week, the club played host to the county vice presidents on a sunlit Tuesday evening and the highlight of the occasion – apart of course from some excellent and convivial bowls matches – was the culinary event of the year, namely the pie, peas and gravy that followed, not forgetting the chocolate gateaux for pudding.
As a chocoholic the latter was akin to working in a chocolate factory and the pie, peas and gravy were to die for, probably quite literally in the fullness of time!
A HIGHLY EVENTFUL week in the annals of Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick, had both its ups and downs.
On the upside a Keswick A team four inflicted a massive 53/2 defeat on opponents from Castle Park, Penrith, during an Eden Valley League rinks match, writes Keith Richardson.
A strong team of John Sewell, Cliff Harding, Richard Gaskell and skip Dave Brannan won all but one – they conceded two shots on the ninth end – of the 18 ends and this included seven shots on the fifth, six on the 12th and five fours.
It is results like these than can make some bowlers on the losing side question their future in the game. 53/2 is not easily forgotten. Gulp. Usual big margins of victory are those in the 30s, but 50 odd is really pushing the boat out.
Bowlers at Keswick of a certain vintage (that’s the majority) can recall a 56-point win against a team from Temple Sowerby in the distant past.
On the downside was an accident during a Fitz Park A team Eden Valley triples match against Lazonby at Fitz Park on Tuesday afternoon. The weather forecast for the day was awful with continuous rain, but the green was playable.
After an unexpected fine spell in the morning and around midday that contradicted the forecast, the heavens opened with a vengeance shortly after the start at 2pm and on the 10th of the 15 ends, Lazonby skip Rita Timperon slipped while delivering a wood and fell awkwardly, executing the splits as she did so. The player was in agony with a leg injury, presumably a hamstring.
She was physically lifted from the green and the emergency services called straight away. It was two hours before an ambulance arrived at the park and before Rita could be treated and wheelchaired to the waiting ambulance on Station Road to be taken to hospital.
Everyone at the Fitz Park club hopes that Rita makes a speedy recovery and wishes her well.
The Keswick A team went on to win the encounter 6/4. The rink on which the accident happened played only 10 of the usual 15 ends and won 13/7 due to the efforts of Cliff Harding, Sue Tremble and skip Colin Jackson.
Elsewhere, Gillian Stuart, David Bragg and skip Colin Mason won 25/8, an outcome that also secured Fitz Park two points from the aggregate for best overall score. Two home rinks lost their games: Chris Mills, Sean Mills and John Sewell (10/16) and Martin Ousby, Peter Tremble and Lynn Hazell (12/14).
Reverting to the game in which the 53/2 score line was recorded, there were also wins for Sean Mills, Peter Tremble, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips (23/11) and John Thompson, Vic Emmerson, Ryan Brannan and Robin Phillips (20/14).
At an extremely wet Friars (Penrith) on Tuesday, Fitz Park B lost 8/2 overall and had only one win out of the four rinks with Duncan Stuart (modelling his new delivery action to good effect) Shona Robinson and Brian Robinson winning 12/6.
Games were prematurely curtailed due to the rain (we were sapping already) and losing at the time were Colin Glover, Mark Finlay and Keith Goldsmith (10/5), Caroline Forsyth, Christine Weightman and George Parsons (12/8) and Mel Evans, Jill Preston and Keith Richardson (10/9).
Fitz Park B lost 6/2 at Appleby last Thursday when the only rink victors were Mel Evans, Keith Price, Mike Robertson and Peter Rainey 16/15. Narrow, last end losers were George Parsons, Alan Hind, Phil (“Oh dear, I’ve kicked them out” before a final wood was due to be bowled) Pridmore and Mike Cooper 16/17.
Brian Robinson, Mark Finlay, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith lost 23/13.
TROPHY WIN: Fitz Park won the James Dugerden Trophy after winning both legs of a friendly match against The Croft (Cockermouth). The away leg was held last Sunday, and the Fitz Park team won five of the six ends to secure their hold on the trophy. The overall aggregate was 192/133.
One of the Keswick rinks, Duncan Stuart, Karen Hind and Alan Hind are to be congratulated on the seven shots they achieved on the eighth end of their encounter.
The club’s West Cumbria League team was not action last Friday (the home game against Seaton was postponed because of the weather) but the side is at home this Friday (today) to Cleator Moor (6.30pm).
Finally, this week, there was chaos at the clubhouse early on Tuesday afternoon as Fitz Park B was about to leave for their game at Penrith. Cliff Harding (A team at home) and Caroline Forsyth (away with the B team) were in a real tizzy because their car had apparently been stolen.
Last minute efforts were made to secure a replacement player for Caroline, but to no avail, and a short-handed B team was about to leave for Penrith when a call came through from Cliff. He had found the car and it had not, after all, been stolen. Oops!
Cue lots of stories from forgetful bowls players about the time they parked a car and could not locate it on their return . . . we’ve all been there, some more than others.
ENCOUNTERS between Fitz Park A and B teams in the Eden Valley league are always keenly anticipated and there is great excitement (or disappointment if you are on the losing side) if the B team manages to defeat the A side and it results in smart “Reminder” headlines such as ‘Bees sting A’s’.
Unfortunately – and I write as a B team player – the sting was on the other hand on Tuesday afternoon when the A team got much the better of the B side in the triples and claimed an 8/2 success, writes Keith Richardson.
The Bees, upstarts that we are, have previously got the better of the A, most recently in the Thursday evening Eden Valley rinks competition and we all eagerly await the ‘return’ fixture towards the end of this month.
In the meantime, the Tuesday afternoon A team – the current league leaders - can bask in the glory of a comfortable win this week. Only one B side rink managed a win and that was under skip Graham Harrower and his colleagues George Parsons (lead) and No2 Caroline Forsyth who defeated Sean Mills, Peter Tremble and skip Lynn Hazell 17/7.
Elsewhere, the A players reigned supreme as Christine Mills, Dixon Barwise and skip John Sewell won 18/6, Cliff Harding, Sue Tremble and Robin Phillips got much the better of Mel Evans, Jill Preston and your correspondent 23/8, and rising star Gillian Stuart, David Bragg and Colin Mason narrowly defeated Mark Finlay, Colin Glover and Keith Goldsmith 15/12 with only one shot separating the teams as they went into the last of the 15 ends.
The A team (last Thursday) also tasted victory at Skelton 6/2 with John Thompson, Caroline Forsyth, Peter Tremble and skip Vic Emmerson romping to a 31/8 win that included a seven-shot success on the 14th end. John Sewell, Cliff Harding, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan won 19/7 but there was dismay for Benidorm-bound holiday boy Kevin Hadley, Dixon Barwise, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips who lost the last three ends by one, two and four shots respectively to go down 18/19.
Hope is fading rapidly for the Fitz Park Club’s chances of any joy in the West Cumbria League after last Friday evening’s 5/2 reversal at Whitehaven A. It now looks like a two-horse race between Whitehaven A (59pts) and Workington A (57) with Fitz Park in third on 53 points but having played one game more.
Against Whitehaven the one and only win came from John Sewell, Phil Pridmore, Ryan Brannan and Robin Phillips 23/17. Mike Davies, Vic Emmerson, Paul Barnes and Craig Phillips were 15/15 after 15 ends (good symmetry there) but were beaten 15/20 as they lost all three remaining ends.
And it was worse still for Peter Rainey, Alan Hind, Richard Gaskell and skip Dave Brannan who were hammered 4/34. Ouch! The team is at home to Seaton this Friday (6.30pm).
Congratulations to Fitz Park player Ryan Brannan who was part of the Cumbria Middleton Cup team which won handsomely 20/2 away to Durham to book a place in the quarter final of the national competition to be played on Saturday, July 22.
Fitz Park internal competitions are now entering the final phases and are as follows:
Green Championship: quarter finals – Mike Robertson v Craig Phillips, John Sewell v Cliff Harding, David Brannan v Ryan Brannan and Graham Harrower v Keith Richardson.
Women’s Green, semi-finals – Sue Tremble v Karen Hind, Gillian Stuart v Lynn Hazell.
Women’s pairs semi-finals – Karen Hind and Gillian Stuart v Jill Preston and Hilary Horsfield; Yvonne Davies and Sue Tremble v Jill Grundy and Caroline Forsyth.
Mixed Pairs: semi-final – Brian and Shona Robinson v Syd and Hazel Horsfield. Quarter finals of the same competition – Duncan and Gillian Stuart v Dave Brannan and Christine Mills, Keith Goldsmith and Jill Preston v Alan and Karen Hind.
Mens Pairs quarter finals – Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell v David Brannan and Sean Mills, Phil Pridmore and Cliff Harding v Mike Davies and Phil Barnes, Kevin Hadley and John Sewell v Ryan Brannan and Graham Harrower, and Mike Cooper and Syd Horsfield v Vic Emmerson and Brian Robinson.
President’s Prize quarter finals – Alan Hind v Ryan Brannan, John Thompson v Brian Robinson, Keith Richardson v George Parsons, Mike Robertson v Philip Pridmore.
Over 60s mixed singles: Alan Hind is through to the semi-final. Quarter final ties – Adrian Gill v John Sewell, Colin Mason v Syd Horsfield and John Thompson v Brian Robinson.
FITZ PARK Bowling Club’s at one time promising interest in the Men’s County Cup (The Oliver Gibbons trophy) Competition came to a grinding halt on a damp and miserable Tuesday evening when only one of four Keswick team’s managed to secure a win.
A Keswick B side consisting of Brian Robinson, Mike Cooper, Phil Pridmore and skip Vic Emmerson won a hard-fought encounter 17/10 at Workington B – thanks largely to a four shot and three shot success on the final two ends – but, unfortunately, their victory could not compensate for the 26/10 defeat of the equivalent Keswick B team playing against a Workington side at Keswick, writes Keith Richardson.
In this competition each club is represented by two sides (of four players), one team playing at home and the other away. The total combined number of shots on the completion of the games decides which team makes progress.
So, while Emmerson and co were carving out a win at Workington, the B team competing at Fitz Park (John Thompson, George Parsons, Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell) were being hammered and the overall deficit was 36/27 in Workington’s favour.
It was a similar tale of woe for the Keswick A teams, competing home and away against their opponents from Subscription (Carlisle).
At a gloomy Fitz Park (whatever happened to the summer sunshine?) John Sewell, Alan Hind, Ryan Brannan and Dave Brannan lost 14/19, a defeat that would have been all the more galling because one of their opponents was former Fitz Park player, Tom Prescott. Meanwhile, at Carlisle, Mike Davies, Cliff Harding, Phil Barnes and Craig Phillips, were going down 22/16 resulting in a combined, overall Keswick loss of 41/30.
Oh, well. All good things usually come to an abrupt end.
Speaking of which, it was not a good week for George Parsons. Apart from a Tuesday afternoon comeback win as skip in the Eden Valley Triples League, he lost his county (restricted) singles semi-final against Frank Tinnion, of Workington, last Sunday by the narrowest of margins (21/20) after leading 19/20 going into what was to prove the final end. To rub salt into the wound, Tinnion was a member of the Workington B side inflicting a heavy defeat on a Keswick B side, including Parsons, in the county competition (see above).
Elsewhere on the county scene, Colin Mason and Dave Brannan progressed to the fourth round of the pairs but, unfortunately, Craig Phillips and Ryan Brannan felt they had no option but to concede, without playing, in the county open singles.
In the West Cumbria League – with Workington A and Whitehaven A not playing – Keswick closed the gap at the top with a 5/2 home win over Workington B. Mike Davies, Vic Emmerson, Phil Barnes and Craig Phillips romped home 29/5, as did John Sewell, Alan Hind, Ryan Brannan and Robin Phillips (21/6). However, Peter Rainey, Cliff Harding, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan perished 7/12.
All games drew to an unexpected and premature close after 14 of the 18 ends, due to rain, and I felt that Dave Brannan’s rink was at the time on the verge of staging a comeback to claim a win that would have given Keswick a clean sweep.
Fitz Park B thumped Shap 10/0 in the Eden Valley (Tuesday triples) thanks to victories for Shona Robinson, Brian Robinson and Keith Price (17/15), Christine Weightman, Mark Finlay and Keith Goldsmith (23/7), Sheila Sunderland, Caroline Forsyth and George Parsons (16/9) and Mel Evans, Jill Preston and Keith Richardson (18/10).
The A side won two and lost two in the same competition at Dalston but lost the aggregate to go down 6/4 overall. John Sewell, Dixon Barwise and Adrian Gill won 17/10, Gillian Stuart, David Bragg and Colin Mason (14/12) but Kevin Hadley, Peter Tremble and Lynn Hazell, and Cliff Harding, Sue Tremble and Sean Mills went down 6/16 and 9/23 respectively.
In last Thursday’s Eden Valley rinks the B side won comprehensively at Shap with wins for Brian Robinson, Keith Richardson, Keith Price and Keith Goldsmith (19/12), Hughie Burton, David Bragg, Mike Robertson and Peter Rainey (17/12) and Phil Pridmore, Alan Hind, Mike Cooper and Syd Horsfield (26/8).
Likewise, the A team thumped Lazonby at Fitz Park with John Thompson, Peter Tremble, Vic Emmerson and Ryan Brannan (21/12), John Sewell, Cliff Harding, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan (21/18) and Kevin Hadley, Dixon Barwise, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips (16/9) all winning.
Fitz Park women shared the spoils against Lazonby with Christine Weightman, Jill Preston and Lynn Hazell winning 15/14 while Caroline Forsyth, Karen Hind and Sue Tremble lost 12/19 to a Lazonby rink skipped by the redoubtable Nora Newton.
Oops, I almost forgot. Hazel Horsfield reminded me at the county cricket last Sunday that she hoped to have a full-page report, complete with Ben Challis photography (double page centrefold), to record her famous victory in the club jumble competition earlier that afternoon.
So, well done Hazel!
NEXT WEEK: Update on Fitz Park internal club competitions.
A GOOD contingent of players representing Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick, entered county competitions in the various categories and all, doubtless, did so in the hope that they might reach the final stages and make a name for themselves among the hierarchy of a county where bowling has an excellent reputation, including selection for the England team.
Unfortunately, the Keswick representatives have been decimated, piece by piece, at different stages and now only a handful remain, writes Keith Richardson.
The five still in the reckoning are George Parsons who is in the semi-final of the restricted singles (for those who have never won a county title previously), Ryan Brannan and Craig Phillips who have reached the third round of the county singles and, finally, Colin Mason and Dave Brannan who are through to the third round of the pairs. Parsons, in his first full year at Keswick, plays his semi-final this Sunday at a neutral venue against Frank Tinnion, of Workington. His route to the semi-final stage has been a fortuitous one, having had to win only one match (other potential opponents having conceded). That scenario can be contrasted with the fortunes of Fitz Park bowler, John Sewell who played and won three matches to reach the latter stages of the same competition before biting the dust with a semi-final in sight. In fact, Sewell lost to Frank Tinnion 21/13 in the quarter final after the Keswick player led, so that is a measure of the task facing Parsons as he attempts to reach his first county competition final.
Ryan Brannan will be hoping for greater success in the county singles after relinquishing his hold on the junior (under 25) title he won last summer. Craig Phillips is capable of making further progress in the singles, as are Mason and Brannan in the pairs. So, we shall see what we shall see.
In the County Cup (double rink) competition both Fitz Park A and B sides won through to the next stage with excellent wins on a damp Tuesday evening when their respective opponents were Subscription (Carlisle) and Dalston. With two rinks playing at home and two away, Keswick were very comfortable winners in three out of the four rinks. The closest win (13/12) came from the four of John Thompson, David Bragg, Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell at home to Subscription B. The B team (Philip Pridmore, Brian Robinson, Mike Cooper and Vic Emmerson) playing in Carlisle, won 9/23.
The A team at home to Dalston romped home 37/8 so hats off to John Sewell, Alan Hind, Phil Barnes and Dave Brannan. The A side at Dalston (Mike Davies, Cliff Harding, Ryan Brannan and Craig Phillips) won 9/20.
The A team’s next opponents are Subscription A while ‘The Bees’ aim to sting Workington B.
In the West Cumbria League, the scorecards from the latest match are still, unfortunately, in someone’s pocket. However, I can tell you the team won 5/2 at Harris Park, Cockermouth, last Friday and are now eight points adrift of leaders, Whitehaven A.
Fitz Park A players were unable to reach Shap last Thursday for an Eden Valley League game because of a road accident near Threlkeld. The B side was at home to a Caldbeck side that proved far too strong and won 0/8.
In this Tuesday’s games the A side struggled at home to Linton and went down 2/8. The only success came from Kevin Hadley, Peter Tremble and Lynn Hazell who won 21/18 despite being 16/18 down with two ends to go. Cliff Harding, Sue Tremble and Colin Jackson were all square at 13/13 going into the final end but lost by one.
Christine Mills, Dixon Barwise and John Sewell lost 10/19 while Gillian Stuart, David Bragg and Colin Mason lost 11/19.
The B team did not fare any better away to Appleby where they only managed the single point thanks to a draw from the rink of Brian Robinson, Shona Robinson and Keith Price who were two up going into the final end but had to settle for a 13/13 outcome. Elsewhere, rinks involving Caroline Forsyth, Sheila Sunderland and George Parsons and Mel Evans, Jill Preston and Keith Richardson both stage remarkable comebacks after abysmal starts but lost narrowly when the outcome all depended on the final end.
Incidentally, George Parsons arrived at the Appleby green on Tuesday brandishing a kilo of the finest rump steak bought from a well-known Appleby butcher – he is doubtless gearing himself up for that county cup semi-final this Sunday.
HEAVY RAIN, as ever, performed wonders in resurrecting a green that was starting to look more like the Kalahari Desert than the home of the Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick.
And the same principal applied across all the sports and recreational surfaces of Fitz Park where you could almost hear an audible and collective sigh of relief from plant life once the deluge began. Not to mention that of park staff and volunteer groundsmen at the respective sports clubs writes Keith Richardson.
The cry now, of course, is for rain in moderation – and preferably not when matches are scheduled – after a deluge that came in the nick of time. No amount of watering with the out-of-the-tap variety can compensate for the natural goodness and even spread that is rainwater from above.
At ground level club, league and county competitions across all levels continue apace.
In the Eden Valley Mixed Triples (Tuesday afternoon) league Fitz Park A came a cropper at Friars B (Penrith) where the only rink victors of four came from Christine Mills (lead) Dixon Barwise and John Sewell who escaped the 8/2 rout with a 10/16 win.
Kevan Hadley, Peter Tremble and Lynn Hazell (16/10), Gillian Stuart, David Bragg and Colin Mason (21/14) and Cliff Harding, Sue Tremble and Colin Jackson (21/8) were not so fortunate, and the post-match tea and biscuits must have tasted less than sweet.
In direct contrast, the B team was lapping it up against Lazonby at a humid Fitz Park where the home side won 10/0. Triumphant were George Parsons, Colin Glover and Mike Cooper (16/9); Christine Weightman, Mark Finlay and Keith Goldsmith (13/10); Mel Evans, Jill Preston and Keith Richardson (15/13); and, finally, Shona Robinson, Brian Robinson and Keith Price who triumphed 22/9.
In the Eden Valley (Thursday evening) league, Fitz Park B travelled to Castle Park, Penrith, where, unfortunately, some home players were distracted by vandalism being committed nearby by troublesome youngsters who, apparently, cause problems on a regular basis.
On a rapid green that was difficult to read, the visitors won two of the three rinks and narrowly took the aggregate to win 2/6.
Philip Pridmore, Alan Hind, Mike Robertson and skip Syd Horsfield won 12/20 while Brian Robinson, Mark Finlay, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith got home 12/18 after a tussle that was closer than the score line suggests, and the visitors did not assert their authority until the second half of the match. The only reversal came for George Parsons, David Bragg, Mike Cooper and Peter Rainey who lost 23/11.
On the same evening, the Fitz Park A team walloped a struggling Temple Sowerby 8/0 at Keswick where John Thompson, Peter Tremble, Vic Emmerson and skip Ryan Brannan won 30/7; Kevin Hadley, Dixon Barwise, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips romped home 30/11 and John Sewell, Cliff Harding, Richard Gaskell and Dave Brannan won by a more modest 18/8.
In the West Cumbria League, Keswick’s optimism was dampened further by a 2/5 reversal to. Current champions Workington A. The only rink winners were Peter Rainey, Phil Barnes, Richard Gaskell and skip Dave Brannan 22/12, while John Sewell, Alan Hind, Ryan Brannan, and skip Robin Phillips lost 16/20 and Vic Emmerson, Phil Pridmore, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips by a significant 7/24.
Fitz Park, who travel to Cockermouth this Friday evening, are now in third place in the league, six points adrift of the respective A teams of Whitehaven and Workington who share top spot.
In the Green championship John Sewell (who defeated Vic Emmerson), Dave Brannan (Phil Barnes) and Graham Harrower (Brian Robinson) are through to the quarter finals. Still to play 2nd round matches (as of this Wednesday) were Kevin Hadley v Mike Robertson, Craig Phillips v Mike Davies, Robin Phillips v Cliff Harding, Syd Horsfield v Ryan Brannan and Keith Richardson v Steve Jones.
Syd Horsfield and his wife Hazel are through to the semi-final of the mixed pairs after defeating Cliff Harding and Caroline Forsyth.
In the men’s pairs, Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell got the better of Robin Phillips and Hughie Burton while Mike Davies and Philo Barnes secured a win over Alan Hind and Keith Richardson to reach the quarter finals. Vic Emmerson and Brian Robinson are already there, courtesy of a bye.
The giant off-white granite-like woods delivered by Adrian Gill are through to the quarter finals of the Over 60s mixed singles, having brushed aside the lesser woods (in size and weight) of Phil Pridmore. Syd Horsfield, (winner over Dixon Barwise) and John Sewell (Keith Goldsmith) are also through.
In the President’s Prize, Alan Hind got the better of Kevin Hadley while Brian Robinson had an excellent win over Richard Gaskell to reach the quarter finals.
Finally, this week, Fitz Park’s Ryan Brannan received a late call up to the county’s Middleton Cup team and produced an impressive performance in a 122/119 win over Nottinghamshire.
Cumbria head their North A group after two straight wins and travel to Durham on Saturday, July 8.
NEXT WEEK: Includes an update on Fitz Park player progress, or lack of it, in county competitions.
OH DEAR, how the mighty are fallen.
Fitz Park Bowling Club (Keswick) hopes of achieving the title in the highly competitive atmosphere of the West Cumbria Bowls League suffered a severe blow last Friday when the team crashed to a 5-2 defeat at Whitehaven B writes Keith Richardson.
And the morale-crushing loss comes on the eve of this Friday’s critical home match against the current league champions, Workington A at upper Fitz Park (6.30pm).
Reasons for the team’s defeat last Friday are varied, depending on who you speak to. But they have ranged from the game being played on a different, adjacent green to the one usually used, and (dare I say it) that even this “Reminder” report should share the blame because it had built up hopes and expectations too far!
The bottom-line fact is that our best could not beat their second best on an away green. End of. But at least the team has an early opportunity to get back on the horse and what better way to do it than to defeat the champions, Workington, at Fitz Park this Friday evening.
Rink winners at Whitehaven B were Vic Emmerson (lead), Phil Pridmore (2), Mike Davies (3) and skip and team captain, Craig Phillips who took an 11/9 advantage on the 13th end and never looked back to go on to win 10/19.
Robin Phillips (skip) John Sewell (lead) Alan Hind (2) and Mike Robertson (3) were 19/7 down going into the last of the 18 ends and managed to get four shots to reach double figures at 19/11.
Peter Rainey (lead) David Bragg (2), Phil Barnes (3) and skip Dave Brannan also managed 11 points against their opponents’ 15 to complete a disappointing evening for the visitors.
IN the Eden Valley League (Tuesday triples) the Fitz Park A team achieved an 8/2 home win over Shap. The biggest margin of victory on any rink (26/8 shots) came from skip Peter Tremble, No 2 Sue Tremble and lead Cliff Harding.
Kevin (“welcome to the game”) Hadley at lead, Adrian Gill (2) and Lynn Hazell (skip) won 17/7 while Christine Mills (lead) Dixon Barwise (2) and Colin Jackson, skip, sailed home 19/11 thanks principally to a five on the 14th.
The only setback for the A side came from Gillian Stuart (lead) David Bragg (2) and skip Colin Mason who lost 7/14.
The B team was at sunny Dalston on Tuesday when iced water and welcome shade were provided at the halfway stage as several players melted in the heat; none more so than Caroline Forsyth who came up with a rich assortment of extravagant headgear in a bid to avoid sunstroke as a heat-haze washed over the surface of the green.
The half time refreshments could not prevent lead Colin Glover, No 2 Caroline and skip George Parsons from losing 21/7. Also on the receiving end were lead Shona Robinson, No2 Chris Barker and skip Brian Robinson who went down 26/10.
The two winning rinks came from Mel Evans, Jill Preston at 2, your correspondent at skip who won on the last end 15/16 and Christine Weightman (lead), Mark Finlay and
skip Keith Goldsmith who triumphed convincingly 9/20.
However, Dalston won the aggregate to take a 6/4 advantage overall.
Last Thursday, saw Fitz Park B get the better of Skelton at Fitz Park 6/2. Only one rink cracked under the strain as Phil Pridmore (lead), Alan Hind (2) Mike Robertson (3) and skip Syd Horsfield lost 13/14.
The winning rinks were Brian Robinson, Mark Finlay, Keith Richardson and Keith Goldsmith (21/9) and George Parsons, David Bragg, Mike Cooper and Peter Rainey (19/12).
IN club competitions, Peter Rainey and Richard Gaskell got through to the quarter finals of the Men’s’ pairs at the expense of Robin Phillips and Hughie Burton. Syd Horsfield defeated Dixon Barwise to reach the quarter finals of the over 60s mixed singles.
Vic Emmerson lost out to John Sewell who is now in the quarter final of the Green Championship, as is Graham Harrower who overcame the challenge of Brian Robinson in a hard-fought match.
Husband and wife combinations in Gillian and Duncan Stuart and Karen and Alan Hind have reached the quarter finals of the mixed pairs.
The green at Keswick received much-needed water on Tuesday evening and one wondered when it will all end – the heat wave, that is, as opposed to the planet.
AFTER the early skirmishes – and one or two surprising results – various club competitions are now approaching the business end at Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick.
And players are weighing up, should they make further progress, who exactly is in their side of the draw and what might be the chances of reaching the semi-finals or even, heaven forbid, a final writes Keith Richardson.
Fascinating ties include father versus son, Dave and Ryan Brannan meeting in the President’s Prize and husband and wife pairing Brian and Shona Robinson in the over 60s mixed singles. Friendly adversity is guaranteed in the former and let’s hope that there is complete harmony in the Robinson household following the latter. However, if Mrs Robinson emerges triumphant it may be quite a while before (The Life of) Brian hears the last of it. If ever. And that will come from fellow club members let alone his wife!
First-round matches have now been completed in the prestigious Green Championship, considered the top trophy. Second round matches are: Kevin Hadley v Mike Robertson; Craig Phillips v Mike Davies; John Sewell v Vic Emmerson; Robin Phillips v Cliff Harding; Paul Barnes v Dave Brannan; Syd Horsfield v Ryan Brannan (title holder); Graham Harrower v Brian Robinson and Keith Richardson v Steve Jones.
In the President’s Prize the second round is: Kevin Hadley v Alan Hind; Dave Brannan v Ryan Brannan; Sue Tremble v John Thompson; Brian Robinson v Richard Gaskell; Keith Richardson v Peter Rainey; Syd Horsfield v George Parsons; Mike Cooper v Mike Robertson; Phil Pridmore v Keith Goldsmith.
In the over 60s mixed singles the 2nd round is: Adrian Gill v Phil Pridmore; John Sewell v Keith Goldsmith; Mike Cooper v Lynn Hazell; Keith Richardson v Alan Hind; Colin Mason v Kevin Hadley; Syd Horsfield v Dixon Barwise; John Thompson v Mike Davies, Shona Robinson
V Brian Robinson.
All second-round matches are to be played by July 7.
In recent club league matches, Fitz Park’s West Cumbria League side remain top of the standings after their comprehensive 7/0 home win over Vulcan’s Park, Workington. The team should keep top spot when they visit Whitehaven B this Friday evening, but a crunch game is against title holders and, currently, second placed Workington A at Fitz Park on Friday evening (June 16). One to keenly anticipate.
Against Vulcans Park, skip Craig Phillips and his team, Phil Pridmore (lead) Phil Barnes (2) and Mike Davies (3) won comfortably 26-4.
John Sewell (lead) Alan Hind (2), Vic Emmerson (3) and skip Robin Phillips coasted home 26/12 but there was almost an upset for skip Dave Brannan, lead Peter Rainey, No2 David Bragg and Ryan Brannan (3) when they went into the last end with the scores 16/16.
Brannan Snr rediscovered his touch on the last end to take four and win 20/16.
In this week’s Tuesday afternoon Eden Valley League triples, Fitz Park had an enjoyable 5/5 home draw with visiting Appleby. The only Keswick rink winner (19/12) was skip John Sewell with his team of Chris Mills (lead) and Adrian Gill.
In a drawn rink, Fitz Park skip Colin Mason went into the last end two shots down but – with the help of David Bragg (lead) and Colin Jackson – pulled it back to 17/17. Two Keswick rinks narrowly lost out: Cliff Harding (lead) Sue Tremble and Sean Mills (skip) went down 17/21 while Lynn Hazell (skip) Kevin Hadley (lead) and Peter Tremble lost 17/19.
Keswick, however, squeaked two points from the aggregate and the overall score was tied.
The Tuesday B team was at Linton and was stuffed (technical term) 10/0. Only one rink, skipped by Keith Richardson with Mel Evans (2) and Jill Preston (lead) made a fight of it and were in with a chance of a draw until the final end before losing out.
Elsewhere it was total gloom and doom on a sunny afternoon as Shona Robinson (lead), Chris Barker (2) and skip Brian Robinson led briefly 1/2 before collapsing in a heap 28/2.
Christine Weightman, Caroline Forsyth and Colin Glover lost 16/8 while Sheila Sunderland, Mark Finlay and Keith Goldsmith perished 19/5. Oops.
In the Eden Valley Thursday evening fours, Fitz Park B won 6/2 on a surprisingly cold evening at an elevated Lazonby where a thin north easterly breeze blew in from the Pennines. Rinks skipped by Peter Rainey and Mike Robertson won 9/21 and 7/21 respectively, but skip Keith Goldsmith lost out on the third 24/16. However, the B side won the aggregate to keep their noses in front.
A rearranged fixture saw Fitz Park A (Thursday team) win 6/2 against Appleby. John Sewell (lead), Dixon Barwise (2), Richard Gaskell (3) and skip Dave Brannan won 23/11 while Cliff Harding (lead) Dave Bragg (2), Peter Tremble (3) and Mike Davies (skip) triumphed 22/18. The only defeat came for Christine Mills (lead), Alan Hind (2), Vic Emmerson (3) and skip Ryan Brannan 5/17.
A slightly different A team got the better of Penrith Friars, again 6/2 overall, with rink wins for John Sewell (lead) Christine Mills (2), Richard Gaskell (3) and skip Dave Brannan (20/10) while Kevin Hadley (lead) Peter Tremble (2), Mike Davies (3) and skip Craig Phillips won 18/11. The only reversal (15/16) came for John Thompson, Dixon Barwise, Vic Emmerson and Ryan Brannan.
In the Eden Valley women’s league Caroline Forsyth, Jill Preston and Sue Tremble tied 17/17 against Friars of Penrith but Christine Weightman, Karen Hind and Lynn Hazell lost 15/17.
Positive news for the club is that following last weekend’s open day, Fitz Park Bowling Club now has 16 potential new playing members.
Countywide, George Parsons is through to the third round of the restricted singles after defeating Alex Smith (Harris Park, Cockermouth) 21/18. Graham Harrower (Fitz Park) also made progress in the open singles and in the same competition, Parsons lost 21/10 to Adrian Gill in an all-Fitz Park encounter.
In the county fours and yet another all Fitz Park match up, Brian Robinson, Phil Pridmore, Mike Robertson and Vic Emmerson got the better of Alan Hind, Peter Tremble, Mike Davies and Craig Phillips 22/15.
In the national senior singles, Craig Phillips lost 21/10 to Carlisle Subscription’s Ricky Gallagher. Hardly surprising really considering this was Craig’s second game of the day, not to mention a round of golf in the morning.
Sure proof, as if it were needed, that age eventually catches up with us all – even the most finely tuned of athletes!
I GUESS there is always a suspicion when a club has two teams, A and B sides, competing in the same league for the B players to perhaps do less well against their elite counterparts when the teams meet in order to help the top team along the way to a potential league title.
Nothing could be further from the truth at Keswick’s Fitz Park Bowling Club where it is open warfare between the A and B outfits and this was especially true last Thursday evening when the B team put one over on their ‘betters’ and celebrated accordingly, writes Keith Richardson.
Joy was unconfined as the B team won 6/2 and in a closely contested encounter the biggest margin of victory came for Phil Pridmore (lead) Alan Hind (No 2) Mike Robertson (3) and skip Syd (with a Y) Horsfield who won 23/15 against John Thompson (lead) Dixon Barwise (No2) Vic Emmerson (3) and skip Ryan Brannan.
Brian Robinson (lead) Mark Finlay (2), your correspondent (3) and Keith Goldsmith (skip) got the better of Kevin Hadley (lead) Peter Tremble (2), Mike Davies (3) and skip Phil Barnes 19-14 while the B team’s only blemish on what would otherwise have been a perfect storm was on rink 2 where skip Dave Brannan saved the A team’s blushes with a rink changing salvo on the final end to win 19/16.
The players had gone into that last end with only one shot separating them and B rink skip Peter Rainey was in pole position until Brannan’s last gasp heroics prevented the A side from suffering a humiliating whitewash.
Other players on that rink were B: Hughie Burton (lead) David Bragg (2) and Mike Cooper (3) while John Sewell (lead), Cliff Harding (2) and Richard Gaskell (3) opposed them.
The B team also won the aggregate to rub salt into the wounds.
In the Eden Valley Tuesday league this week, Fitz Park B enjoyed a comfortable home win on a very hot afternoon against Friars B. George Parsons (lead) Caroline Forsyth and skip Mike Cooper won 18-9; Sheila Sunderland, Mark Finlay, and skip Keith Goldsmith triumphed by a massive 31/5; Colin Glover, Jill Preston and skip Keith Richardson won 24/8, while Shona Robinson, Christine Weightman and skip Brian Robinson tripped up on the last two ends to lose 13/15. The B side won the aggregate to win overall 8/2.
The Tuesday A side travelled to Lazonby. The scenery out over the beautiful Eden Valley to the Pennines on the horizon can be spectacular but for the unwary (and even the wary) the green can be tricky and difficult to read.
On this occasion the A team won 8/2 thanks to Kevin Hadley (lead) Peter Tremble (No2) and skip Lynn Hazell 23/6; skip John Sewell, No2 David Bragg and lead Christine Mills 18/14 and lead Gillian Stuart, No2 Cliff Harding and skip Colin Mason 16/10. Only Dixon Barwise (lead) Sue Tremble and Sean Mills at skip, came unstuck on 11/13.
*IT is still looking very positive for the Fitz Park Bowling Club’s team in the highly competitive atmosphere of the West Cumbria League. A clean sweep victory over Maryport preceded a second successive home game to be played against Vulcan’s Park, Workington, this Friday evening (6.30pm) when Fitz Park will be looking to stay top of the league.
Against Maryport last Friday the win was a comfortable one with team captain /skip Craig Phillip’s rink winning 26/9 with Phil Pridmore (lead) Phil Barnes (No2), and Mike Davies (3) helping the cause; Peter Rainey (lead), David Bragg (2), Ryan Brannan (3) and skip Dave Brannan got home 24/10; while John Sewell (lead), Alan Hind (2) Vic Emmerson (3) and Robin Phillips (lead) won 17/11.
*At individual club level, John Sewell won the Peter Towers two ball singles competition, defeating John Thompson in the final. Donald Holme marked his return to bowls with a welcome first-round win over a leading player who shall remain anonymous: Vic Emmerson.
Keswick’s Ryan Brannan competed for Cumbria in the White Rose Trophy event played at Gosforth in the Northeast. The rink skipped by Ryan won 30/18 and Cumbria completed their success with a 28/9 in the other.
*Results of this Thursday / Friday league matches to appear next week with a roundup of Fitz Park club competitions and county games.
FITZ Park Bowling Club, Keswick, has made a positive first step on the long road to the final of the Bowls England national ‘Top Team’ competition.
In the first round of the Cumbria / Northumberland section of the draw, Keswick comfortably got the better of the Courtfield Club, Carlisle, with a 4-1 win and will play at home to the winners of the first-round tie Whitehaven v Carlisle Subscription in the Cumbria area quarter final to be played by Sunday, June 11, writes Keith Richardson.
The competition involves players competing in various formats: singles (two ball and four ball), pairs, triples and fours with a point for each win.
Colin Mason gave the Keswick team the best possible start with an early victory over Kevin Johnston 14-10 in the two-ball singles and Ryan Brannan followed this up with a convincing 21-6 rout of Courtfield’s Paul Campbell.
The longer format triples saw John Sewell (lead), Cliff Harding (No2) and skip Craig Phillips overcome their counterparts from Carlisle 20-10 while in the fours Vic Emmerson (lead), Alan Hind (No2) Richard Gaskell (No3) and skip Phil Barnes won a hard-fought tie 20-17 after being 10-15 down with five ends remaining.
There was a numerical symmetry about this game because the scores were level at 6-6 after six ends, 15-15 after 15 and 17-17 after 17 before the home rink scored a three-shot advantage on the final 18th end.
The only downside for Keswick came in the pairs where Mike Davies (lead) and Dave Brannan (skip) lost 11-17 after being seven shots to the good after three ends.
If Keswick can reach and win the county final of the competition – a difficult challenge in itself – they will come up against the winners of the Northumberland region.
And after that, as a printer once said to me, “the world’s your lobster.” I think he meant oyster.
*Balmy summer evenings and the introduction of various club competitions have resulted in busy and highly social (bowlers do like a glass or three) evenings at Fitz Park of late and spectators have been able to enjoy a wide array of matches while quenching their thirsts.
And it’s very thirsty work is bowls.
Amid all this activity normal league matches carry on regardless and the club had another positive result in the West Cumbria League with a 5-2 win at Cleator Moor last Friday.
Phil Pridmore (lead) Phil Barnes (No2) Mike Davies (3) and skip and team captain Craig Phillips led all the way and eventually ran out 20-13 winners.
John Sewell (lead), Alan Hind (2), Vic Emmerson (3) and skip Robin Phillips won 19-14 after a five on the 12th end proved decisive.
Peter Rainey (lead) David Bragg (2) Ryan Brannan (3) and Dave Brannan (skip) went into the final end with the scores equal on 15-15 but then conceded two at the death.
The team is at home to Maryport this Friday evening (6.30pm).
*Earlier in the day, the club will host youngsters from local schools as they seek to introduce younger players to the game. This is part of the Keswick Museum’s 125-year celebrations and will certainly involve youngsters from the town’s St Herbert’s School which, a few years ago, created the artwork for the ‘park history’ banner that is displayed on railings opposite the museum and overlooking the bowling green.
*In the Eden Valley leagues, an excellent victory for the Fitz Park women when they got the better of Caldbeck. Gillian Stuart (lead) Caroline Forsyth (2) and skip Christine Weightman won 14-11 while Shona Robinson (lead) Karen Hind (2) and Sue Tremble triumphed 24-9.
Fitz Park B won by a maximum 8-0 at Temple Sowerby in the Thursday evening league as Hughie Burton (lead) David Bragg (2) Mike Cooper (3) and skip Peter Rainey won 17-15 while Phil Pridmore (lead), Alan Hind (2) Mike Robertson (3) and Sid Horsfield (skip) coasted home 24-12 with a six on the seventh end.
Skip Keith Goldsmith marked a welcome return to form by leading his team to a 21-13 success. Helping him along were lead Brian Robinson (lead), Keith Richardson (2) and Keith Price (3).
Fitz Park A stumbled badly for the first time this season when they lost to Caldbeck in the Thursday competition. The only positive in a 6-2 reversal came from John Sewell (lead) Cliff Harding (2) Richard Gaskell (3) and skip Dave Brannan.
John Thompson (lead) Dixon Barwise (2) Vic Emmerson (3) and skip Ryan Brannan lost 14-15 while Kevin Hadley (led), Peter Tremble (2), Mike Davies (3) and Craig Phillips (skip) went down 15-17.
*Tuesday this week saw the A and B teams facing off at Fitz Park in the Eden Valley League and it was a closely fought affair. The A side came out marginally on top 6-4, narrowly winning the aggregate by a solitary point after each team recorded two rink victories apiece.
Kevin Hadley (lead), Peter (“Bomber”) Tremble (2) and Lynn Hazell (skip) raced into an 8-0 lead for the A side but then were 12-13 down going into the final end. Unfortunately for Mel Evans (lead) Chris Barker (2) and skip Keith Richardson the B players imploded to concede a four at the last and lost out 13-16.
Similarly, Jill Preston (lead) Mark Finlay (2) and Keith Goldsmith (skip) lost early shots to go 3-14 down against the A trio before rallying but losing out nonetheless 12-15 to skip Colin Mason, lead Cliff Harding and No2 David Bragg.
George Parsons, Caroline Forsyth (2) and skip Mike Cooper, of the B team, defeated skip Sean Mills, Dixon Barwise (lead) and No2 Sue Tremble 14-12. In the final rink, B players Shona Robinson (lead) Christine Weightman (2) and Brian Robinson (skip) won 19-16 against lead Christine Mills, No2 Adrian Gill and skip John Sewell.
*Fitz Park defeated The Croft, Cockermouth in a friendly encounter last Sunday.
*Reports on the Eden Valley (Thursday) evening matches and this evening’s West Cumbria League match will appear next week. A round up of club competitions will be reported upon once all first-round matches have been completed.
EARLY DAYS we appreciate but Keswick’s Fitz Park Bowling Club is sitting pretty at the top of the West Cumbria League prior to a visit to Cleator Moor this Friday evening.
And the following Friday the team, after two successive away matches, returns to the more familiar setting of Upper Fitz Park for a visit from the improving Maryport club (May 26) and Vulcan Park, Workington (Friday, June 2), writes Keith Richardson.
Keswick currently have 18 points from three games while champions Workington A are second with 16 from three. Maryport are third with 15 from three.
Last Friday, the Keswick team travelled to Seaton, Workington and a venue where they have not enjoyed the greatest success in recent times. In fact, it has always been something of a banana skin. However, it was all different this time out with a 1-6 away win. Two rinks were won outright (two points for each) and the third was tied (one point each) with Keswick winning one point for the aggregate (most shots scored).
All three rinks were mighty close, and the eventual result could have gone either way with the outcome only decided on the final end on all three rinks. Spectators would not know where to look!
Team captain and rink skipper Craig Phillips secured a 15-18 win after going into the final end with the scores level on 15-15. Lead Philip Pridmore, second Paul Barnes and No3 Mike Davies were his colleagues. The success was all the sweeter because the Keswick side was 9-1 down after six ends and, later, 15-10 in arrears after the 15th end.
A welcome five shots advantage on the 17th tied the scores and then they produced a decisive three on the last.
It isn’t often that a side can produce an eight-shot turnaround over the last two ends to transform a game. Seaton must have been gutted, to quote a phrase.
The rink skipped by Craig’s brother Robin won 17-15 after going into the final end 15-15.
Lead John Sewell, second Alan Hind and No3 Vic Emmerson were his team mates.
And finally, the tied rink (16-16) belonged to skip Dave Brannan and was another rescue mission after he and Cliff Harding (lead), David Bragg, No2, and Ryan Brannan No3, went into the last end 16-15 in debt. A four on the 15th end proved decisive for Keswick at a point in the game when they were 9-16 down.
In the Eden Valley Thursday League, Fitz Park A emerged victors and still unbeaten after a strong challenge from Castle Park. Playing at Penrith, Keswick tied two rinks but won a decisive third to win 6-2 overall.
The winning rink (17-14) was skipped by Craig Phillips and included Kevin Hadley (lead) Peter Tremble (No2) and Mike Davies at three. It was nip and tuck all the way until the away team showed their strength during the run-in from ends 15 to 18.
John Thompson (lead) Dixon Barwise (No2) Vic Emmerson (3) and Ryan Brannan (skip) tied 14-14 after leading 13-14 on the penultimate end.
Dave Brannan (skip) John Sewell (lead) Cliff Harding at 2, and Richard Gaskell, at 3, tied 15-15 after being two down going into the last end.
Fitz Park B crashed at home to Appleby. So, we’ll spare their blushes. The closest encounter was a 9-13 demise experienced by skip Sid Horsfield and his team of Mark Finlay (lead) Mike Robertson (2) and Alan Hind (3).
In this week’s Eden Valley (Tuesday) league encounters, the A side enjoyed an 8-2 home win over Dalston. Kevin Hadley (lead), Peter Tremble (2) and Lynn Hazell (skip) won 19-9; Christine Mills (lead), Adrian Gill (2) and John Sewell (skip) romped home 25-11, They were a mere one point ahead after the 13th end with it all to play for before taking seven and six shots respectively on the penultimate and final ends; “quite remarkable” as David Coleman used to say.
Cliff Harding (lead), David Bragg (2) and skip Colin Mason were equally convincing 24-14 after claiming a six-shot advantage on the third end. The only defeat came for Dixon Barwise (lead) Sue Tremble (2) and skip Sean Mills 13-17.
The B Tuesday team was at Shap where they were serenaded by a brass band at the adjacent junior school holding a belated Coronation party. Of the four rinks only two were in party mood.
Skip Keith Richardson, debut boy Chris Barker (2) and lead Mel Evans won 10-20 (fives on the ninth and 12th helped enormously) while Martin Ousby (lead), Caroline Forsyth and George Parsons (skip) sailed home 6-24. A third rink could have gone Keswick’s way, but they lost out 12-10 on the final end when skip Keith Price narrowly missed a potential match winner for crowning glory.
Still, overall Keswick won the day 4-6 with the benefit of the two points from the aggregate.
*The club’s swing jack competition last Sunday was won by John Sewell who had the audacity to defeat the vastly experienced Colin Jackson in the final. Defeated semi-finalists were George Parsons and Christine (“The Wrecking Ball”) Weightman.
*In county competitions, John Sewell progressed to the next stage of the restricted singles with a 21-14 win over Alan Dawes (Brampton).
In the Men's County Triples Championship at Aspatria, Brian Robinson, Mike Robertson, and Vic Emmerson lost 19-15. Phil Pridmore and Emmerson were well beaten in the Bowls England National Senior Pairs at Whitehaven by Dave Blackmore and Alan McGuinness.
*Reports on the Eden Valley (Thursday) evening matches and this evening’s West Cumbria League match will appear next week.
TWO confidence-boosting victories in their opening encounters in the West Cumbria Bowls League have raised expectations that Fitz Park Bowling Club, Keswick, could be in serious contention for this season’s championship of what is a highly competitive league.
And one they have not won since Jack was a lad.
The opening win at Workington B was probably to be expected but last Friday’s defeat at Fitz Park of Whitehaven A (victors over champions Workington A in the opening round) has given rise to a fresh bout of optimism and enthusiasm, writes Keith Richardson.
The team now faces two successive away games at Seaton (this Friday evening) and at Cleator Moor (Friday, May 19) before returning to Fitz Park for two home games on the trot against Maryport (May 26) and Vulcan Park (June 2).
All those games are eminently winnable but team captain, Craig Phillips will be warning his players against complacency.
Phillips led his rink to the most sizable margin of victory on the night (20-11) and this after being eight shots down after five ends. From then on in they only lost two of the 10 ends remaining and won seven in succession from 6 to 12. Phillips was skip of the successful Keswick rink with Philip Pridmore at No1, Paul Barnes No2 and Mike Davies at three.
Despite there being only three shots in it at the end, a rink skipped by Dave (“Luggy”) Brannan always looked in command as they won 15-12. Cliff Harding opened the show as lead, David (“Bulldog”) Bragg was No2 with Ryan Brannan at three.
The only Keswick rink to falter was that led by Robin Phillips. The four were in front early on (5-0 after four ends) before the opposition gradually got into their stride led by county player Ryan Prince. Although his team only 13-14 ahead going into the final end, Phillips narrowly failed to find the jack on a challenging back hand draw with his final wood as Whitehaven salvaged some pride with a solitary win, Keswick taking the aggregate to run out 5-2 overall winners.
They would have settled for that in advance.
*In the Eden Valley (Tuesday) League, Keswick A continued their winning ways with an 8-2 success away to Linton. John Sewell (skip) Christine Mills (lead) and Adrian Gill (No2) had the biggest margin of victory on the afternoon (23-4). Skip Sean Mills, lead Dixon Barwise and No2 Sue Tremble won 22-11, thanks largely to a five on the 11th end.
Kevin Hadley (lead) Peter Tremble (No2) and skip Lynn Hazell fought hard to win 13-11 while the only failure – and it was a narrow one at that – came from Colin Mason (skip) lead Gillian Stuart and No2 Cliff Harding who went down 12-13.
Meanwhile, at a sunny Fitz Park the B team shared the spoils with visiting Appleby, two games apiece, but lost the aggregate by a single shot to go down 4-5 overall.
Keith Goldsmith (skip), Mark Findlay (No2) and lead Christine Weightman won 20-16 while lead Mel Evans, No2 Jill Preston and skip Keith Richardson won another close encounter 15-13.
There were defeats for lead Shona Robinson, No2 Brian Robinson and skip Keith Price (12-16) and George Parsons (lead) No2 Caroline Forsyth and skip Colin Glover (12-16).
*On a blisteringly cold evening in the Eden Valley (Thursday) League, Keswick B was frozen out 8-2 at Friars, Penrith. Only a rink skipped by Sid Horsfield won the day and that was by the considerable margin of 27-8. Others sharing the joy were lead Phil Pridmore, Alan Hind at No2 and Mike (“Jammy”) Robertson at No3.
Robertson, incidentally, was the only bowler brave (or daft) enough to wear shorts – a legacy perhaps of his early morning winter dips in Derwentwater.
The two other rinks, that sank without trace, were Brian Robinson (lead) Keith Richardson (No2) Keith Price (3) and skip Keith Goldsmith who perished 10-22 while Hughie Burton (lead) David Bragg (No2) Mike Cooper (No3) and skip Peter Rainey lost 11-22.
It’s worrying when the highlight of the evening for many players was to wrap their hands round a warming cup of tea at the end.
Meanwhile, the unbeaten A side continued on its merry way, winning 8-0 at home to Skelton. Dave Brannan (skip) lead John Sewell, No2 Cliff Harding and Sean Mills at 3 romped home 30-8.
Craig Phillips (skip) John Thompson (lead) Peter Tremble (no2) and Mike Davies (No3) won comfortably 18-10 while lead Kevin Hadley, No2 Dixon Barwise, No3 Vic Emmerson and skip Ryan Brannan won 16-12.
*And finally, this week on Tuesday evening at Fitz Park, Craig Phillips, of Keswick, defeated Malcolm Smitham, of Workington, in the national over 50s singles competition. But there was no joy on the same sunlit occasion for Cliff Harding (skip) lead Philip Pridmore and No2 Alan Hind as they were defeated by the experienced Subscription Club (Carlisle) trio of Ian Gallagher, Ricky Gallagher and Johnny Baird in the county triples.
*Reports on the Eden Valley (Thursday) evening matches and this evening’s West Cumbria League match will appear next week.
REIGNING champions Fitz Park A, Keswick Bowling Club, got their 2023 season off to an encouraging start with a 9-1 win on a heavy green at Shap in the Eden Valley Bowls Triples League on Tuesday.
The biggest margin of victory came on a rink where debutant Gillian Stuart (lead) No2 David Bragg and Colin Mason (skip) won 17-3 overcame the damp, pushy conditions – wet and soft ground had prevented the grass from being cut short – and enjoyed a trouble-free win with their opponents winning only three ends in the entire 15 ends match and then only by a single shot.
Peter Tremble (skip) Colin Jackson (No2) and lead Kevin Hadley also tasted success, winning 18-9. However, the victory was not assured until the penultimate end when, with the scores delicately poised at 11-9 to Keswick, a five-shot gain put the home side out of the game. A five on the sixth end saw Sean Mills (skip) Sue Tremble (No2) and Dixon Barwise (lead) establish a lead they were never to relinquish and went on to win 15-6.
The only point dropped was a 12-12 tie. John Thompson (skip) Adrian Gill (No2) and lead Christine Mills were going well and leading 11-7 going into the next but last end. Unfortunately, they conceded five on the 14th end to go 11-12 down only to salvage a draw with a one-shot advantage on the last. Phew!
Meanwhile, back at Fitz Park, the club’s B side won 8-2 against visiting Dalston. The biggest margin of victory was set by George Parsons (lead), Caroline Forsyth (No2) and Colin Glover (skip) who raced to a massive 38-5 win. On rink 2, Mel Evans (lead) Jill Preston (No2) and skip Keith Richardson won 28-7 while Shona Robinson (lead) Brian Robinson (No2) and skip Keith Price cruised home 23-4 on rink 1. There was only one reversal and Duncan Stuart (lead) Martin Ousby (No2) and Christine Weightman (skip) were leading 11-10 going into the 12th end when they conceded a five and lost their way from there on in, eventually losing 11-21.
In a pre-season friendly against Appleby on Sunday, Keswick won four of the five rinks. Results of Eden Valley Mixed League matches played this Thursday will appear in next week’s report, as will the Friday night team’s opening encounter at Workington B in the West Cumbria League.
More haste less speed. Adrian Gill was racing against the clock to finish work and prepare for the Fitz Park A team game at Shap. Well known for using a set of light grey, granite-sized bowls (once seen never forgotten and highly appropriate at Shap), Adrian dashed out of the club house door at Keswick with his playing kit and drove to Shap only to discover, on arrival, that his bowls were still on the bench outside the Fitz Park clubhouse back in Keswick where he had carefully placed them.
This is almost on a par with the Keswick bowler who arrived at Temple Sowerby for a game of bowls only to discover that he should have been at Appleby. Oh, well . . . watch this space.
FITZ PARK Bowling Club, Keswick, is going to try its best to attract younger players and to give the game a more popular family image.That is the hope of Fitz Park club captain, Mike Davies as the club prepares for the launch of its 2023 season, writes Keith Richardson.
Far too often the public perception of the game is one of glorified marbles played by the largely elderly in coloured tops. But what the public perhaps does not realise is that bowls is a highly skilful game, played in a very competitive environment and with a massive following at national, international and local level.
Competitions at the top end of the spectrum also now receive extensive television coverage.Davies agrees that the public perception of the game at local level is more one of a sedate game dominated by the more senior members of the community.“And if that image is to be changed then clubs need to do more to attract younger players and family groups to the game and their clubs,” he says. “Otherwise, the game as whole could suffer and as is happening at some clubs in more rural areas, we are starting to see declining numbers that might lead to eventual closure.”
Fitz Park Bowling Club is fortunate to have a thriving membership playing out of one of the most attractive venues in the UK with scenic views out to Walla Crag and in a well-maintained and beautiful public park.However, the club membership is predominantly of a certain age and Davies recognises that steps need to be taken to try and improve that age range, specifically by attracting younger competitors.
Davies believes that steps being taken this summer could go some way to improving the scenario. Firstly, on Friday, May 26, in association with Keswick Museum’s 125th anniversary celebrations (the museum is just across the road from the bowling club on Station Road), the bowls club is to hold a bowls introductory session with youngsters from the five primary schools in the area.“Hopefully that will create enough interest to encourage youngsters to have a go on a more regular basis,” he says. “In addition, we are planning to have an open day or days with the same objective of getting people to come along and play.”
In the longer term the club captain believes that consideration should be given to having a weekend family league at Keswick. “This would be a totally novel idea where local bowls is concerned but perhaps it is one that might prove to be very popular and encourage all generations of a family to take part, right through from grandparents to grandchildren,” Davies added.Fitz Park Bowling Club competes in two leagues, The Eden Valley (Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings) and the West Cumbria League (Friday evenings). In. addition players compete in county events, and some are selected to play in county team matches. On top of that there are internal club competitions.Victories in these and county events can lead to players reaching national finals.
Eden Valley League games this season start on April 25 (the Tuesday league) and April 27 (Thursday) while the West Cumbria League commences on Friday, April 28. The first home league game is in the Eden Valley on Thursday, April 27 when Keswick B host Shap (6pm).