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.
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.
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 . . .
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!
Pic: Ben Challis