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50 something, living with partner in Sunny Spain. Spend my days bowling, crafting & occasionally doing housework.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

What some b******s will do

Last Sunday during the night persons unknown (but suspected) vandalised the bowling green at San Luis.  It is believed that this was directed at the clubs owner but it has big implications for the bowling club.  We now have to find alternate venues for matches for the foreseeable future.
Luckily, the committee at El Rancho have agreed to us using their green for a couple of our matches and Graham Bridges at Lemon Tree has given us free use of his green whenever it is available, allowing San Luis members to bowl for free.  It is this sort of generosity which brings the bowling fraternity together.
The disruption has meant that matches due to be played in the morning will have to be in the afternoon and in view of the circumstances we hope that the other clubs will accept these changes which are beyond our control.
We all have to hope that when we get a new carpet fitted that the culprits don't return and do the same as this would surely mean the end for San Luis Bowls Club.

So Near & Yet So Far

Well yesterday was finals day and Sheila & I were playing against Maggie Lawley & Yvonne Briden of Benitachell.
We had a disastrous start dropping 10 shots in the first four ends before we managed to start scoring.  In the end this was to be our downfall.  Over the last 14 ends it was pretty much honours even and although we fought back at one stage to be only 3 shots behind it was never to be our day.  On the next end we held four shots only for Yvonne to get shot with a tickle off a short bowl, but a 5 shot turn around.  A couple of ends later I had a similar shot but they were only holding 1 at the time so only a 2 shot turnaround.  On the 17th end we held 3 shots but Yvonne drew a 2nd and then with her final bowl turned our shot out to give them 2.  It left us needing 6 on the final end and a bridge too far.
It was a disappointing end to our pairs campaign but some days you have to accept that today isn't your day. In fighting back we showed our spirit, kept our heads up and never quit.  
At the presentation we discovered that the Ladies Pairs event was sponsored by Dales carpets and in view of the problems at San Luis I did tell John Muldoon that we would collect our free carpet later - don't think so!
Big thanks to all the San Luis members who came to support us in the final - sorry we couldn't go the final mile.  Also thanks to all the Southern Costa Blanca members who were cheering us on.  The cheers helped us as we tried to get back and were much appreciated.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Additional photos of Semi final

Sheila in action
What do we do now? 
My final bowl of the match.
We did it!!!!!
Exhausted but elated - ready for a drink.

A big thanks to Rod Wright for the additional photos - especially the action ones.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Valencians - another hot day

Another really hot day and at El Rancho the two remaining mens triples lost.  Mal Hughes team went down to Roy Cordell - Emerald Isle and Derrick Coopers team lost to the in form Russell Marks - San Miguel.
Over at Emerald Isle Sheila & I were playing the Ladies Pairs semi final against last years champions Shirley Verity & Sheila Cammack of Country Bowls.
We didn't get off to a good start and after 3 ends we were 5-0 down. Over the next 4 ends we pulled back to 5 all.  From then on it was honours even and after 16 ends the score was 13-13.  On the next end Shirley bowled 4 brilliant bowls but only held 1 shot thanks to a close bowl from Sheila.  Sheila Cammack bowled her first bowl and tucked the jack round to give them 4 shots.  With my first bowl I played a weighted wood and connected with the jack, moving it to our bowl - 1 shot up,  Sheila tried to draw with her remaining 3 bowls but was heavy with each and I managed to draw 2 into the head to give us 3 and 16-13 up playing the final end.  After the leads had bowled we were 2 shots down.  I managed to get us a shot bowl and then we just needed to stop them scoring 3 and having covered the back bowls they were left with only 1 option - kill the end.  Sheila bowled and missed and we had won.
Big thanks to Rod & Maxine Wright who were our only supporters other than Allen.  
The other semi final was being played on the next rink to us and was another close game with Maggie Lawley & Yvonne Briden of Benitachell just holding on to beat Bobbie Sims & Averil Toozer of Greenlands.
The final between us and Maggie & Yvonne will be played on Saturday. 

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Yet another day at the Valencian Championships

The men started their triples campaign today.  Allen was playing with Keith Roberts & John Withers at Greenlands.  A close game but they lost on the final end against Guiseppe Galelli, Arthur Brown & Alan Pugh of Horadada.  No photo as Allen forgot his camera.
Mike Cox, Colin Highland & Derrick Cooper had a good win against Fred Roberts team of La Marina.  A good scalp for you lads.
David Whitworth, Phil Morrachan & Mal Hughes beat Ted Uphams team from Greenlands this morning and then went on to beat Rod Paynes team from Emerald Isle this afternoon.
Sheila & I were playing pairs again at Emerald Isle and this mornings match was against Sue Mahomet & Spanish Squad member Peta Rhodes.  
Sheila & I played well at the beginning of the match and managed to build up a lead of 13-4 before they scored a singles and put up a really short jack, and managed to pull back to 13-11 behind.  On the next end (17th) we were 4 possibly 5 shots down and I drew a close wood.  We couldn't decide whether it was shot or not and so I bowled my last bowl - luckily I didn't do anything as after having the umpire on to measure we had the shot.  This put us into the final end 14-11 up.  Not a brilliant end from any of the four of us and at the completion of the end it was measures out.  I thought we had blown it as it looked as though they had scored 4 but 2 of the bowls were just out by less than a centimetre and we won by 1. Phew!!
After a short lunch break it was back onto the green against Barbara Forshaw & Jean Perchard who had knocked out a home pairing in the morning.
Trial ends out of the way and we scored shot on the first end.  Then disaster struck - I started to feel dizzy, sick, couldn't focus and my hands were shaking so much I couldn't bowl properly.  There was no way we were going to concede having got to this stage so I got a cold wet cloth around my neck, ice cubes in the bra and tried to get going.  Sheila was keeping it tight and managing to keep us in the game.  Umpire June Jones suggested I try a sugary drink and got me a bottle of lemonade - 3 ends later I was feeling much better and luckily the score was only 1-7 down.  I started to bowl and with Sheila peppering the jack we had soon caught up and gone into a lead of 15-7,  we dropped a single on the next end but got 2 singles back on the next 2 ends to lead 17-8 and they conceded with 2 ends to play.
Tomorrow we play the semi final against last years champions Shirley Verity & Sheila Cammack of Country Bowls.  At least we wont have to play 2 in a day again.

Valencians - ladies pairs again

Today was day 2 of the ladies pairs and Sheila & I were against Jenny Chaplin & Ann Horswell of Country Bowls.
We started really well and built up a healthy lead but a couple of loose ends and we let them back into the game.  They pulled back to 16-15 down.  Looked dangerous but we dug deep and pulled away again and managed to secure a victory.  Another day tomorrow and a possible 2 games if we win in the morning.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Valencian Championships - Victory at last

Today Sheila & I were playing pairs at Emerald Isle against Carolyn Harris & Maggie Furness of El Rancho.
This started off as a close game with both sides trading shots.  Then a crucial end where Sheila & I scored a 3 followed by a 4 on the next end to give us a cushion.  The ends were always tight but if we didnt win the end it was usually only a single.  Having secured the match at the conclusion of the 17th there was no need to play the final end as we were 9 shots up, but rather than carry the bowls back we decided to bowl them.  Good job they couldn't win as we dropped a 6, but we put that down to not needing to get close - thats our story and we are sticking to it.
No news about the mens singles with Mal Hughes, Phil Morrachan & John Withers in action at El Rancho and Colin Highland at Greenlands.  Likewise no news about Mel & Shirleys match at San Miguel.
Tomorrow morning we play against Jenny Chaplin & Ann Horswell of Country Bowls.

Valencian Championships Mens Singles

With our ladies not playing pairs until Sunday, today was down to the lads playing singles.
We got off to a good start at El Rancho with Phil Morrachan beating John Rudkin of Greenlands.  Next up was John Withers who comfortably beat Tony Metcalfe - husband of Spanish coach Pat.
News came through from Greenlands that Ian Young had withdrawn due to a health problem and that John Featherstone had lost to Len Rudge of El Rancho, but Colin Highland had beaten D Salmon of Bonalba.
Next up at El Rancho was Derrick Cooper (San Luis Club Captain) playing Eddie Breslin of Albir, losing by the short margin of 21-18.
At the same time Allen went on to play Alan Pugh of Horadada, and a colourful game this was.
Allen struggled to get into his stride and with Alan playing well it looked as though the match would be all over quickly, but Allen eventually found his length and started to pick up shots.  He kept going getting ever closer and scored a 3 to close the match to 20-18 down before Alan got the final shot needed to win.  A brilliant fight back but a loose game early on left Allen with too much to do.
Throughout the competition the San Luis spectators club have been present at the mens matches and I am sure the players have appreciated this support.  Just one thing - the ladies could do with some support too.
Only Keith & Audrey Roberts and June & David Whitworth have been to support us - plus the husbands/partners of course.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Valencian Championships - another bad day at the office

Ladies back on the green today at Emerald Isle and we were playing the same team who beat us in the trips.  We had Mel Highland with us and they had Gina Streeter with them.
This proved to be a close game with only 24 shots scored over the 18 ends played.  The Emerald Isle ladies were always just in the lead and no matter what we did we couldn't get on level terms with them.  On the 17th end we were holding 4 until June played her last bowl and rolled in for 2nd, leaving us needing 5 on the final end.  With no chance of scoring the 5 shots needed we decided to try to kill the end and have another attempt, but I just missed the jack and we conceded a further shot to lose 15-9.
News came through that Keith Roberts & Mal Hughes, the last San Luis mens pairs had been pipped by Derek Toozer & Bill Pain of Greenlands.
The men still have singles and triples to play but the ladies are down to only pairs.  Mel & Shirley play at San Miguel on Sunday morning whilst Sheila & I are same time at Emerald Isle.  We are more confident about the pairs having played 2 practice games against Allen & Mike - but we will have to wait and see if our confidence comes through.
Allen plays singles tomorrow afternoon - report tomorrow.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Valencian Championships Disaster

Allen & John Withers had to play their 2nd round match today against William Holtham & Malcolm Dupuis of San Miguel.
Things didn't start well and they lost the first 3 ends to be 7-0 down.  They then got into their stride and by the time I arrived they had closed to 7-3.
Allen was nailing the jack most ends.
They then played really well and with one end to play they were 26-20 up.  In the bag?  Not at all, John decided to give the mat away.  During the match Allen & John had outplayed the opposition on long jacks whilst not playing as well on short ones.  Giving the mat away to their opposition gave the advantage to the San Miguel pairing.  
They put up a minimum length jack and although Allens weight on 3 of his 4 bowls was perfect they just wouldn't bend to the jack and so John went to the mat 3 shots down.  He didn't improve the situation and Malcolm added another 3 bowls to the head and the San Miguel pair scored the 6 they needed to take them to an extra end.  
When Allen had finished bowling his bowls he was holding shot bowl.  Malcolm went to the mat and managed to bowl shot wood.  John failed to reach the head with any of his bowls and the match was lost.
Proof positive that one bad decision can turn a game, and in this case turned a victory into a loss.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Valencian Championships - here we go again

Today Allen & John Withers started their mens pairs campaign.
They were playing at El Rancho against Graham Bater & Mike Regan of Greenlands - yes, 2 of the team who knocked them out in the rinks.
Todays match was nip and tuck all the way through, although Allen & John were usually just in front but they went into the 18th end 1 shot down and managed to score 1 to go into an extra end.  So far this competition extra ends haven't been good to the San Luis players but this time Allen & John secured the shot on the extra end to win 16-15.  They now play Malcolm Dupuis & William Holtham in the next round tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Valencian Championships - another day

Having both lost on Sunday we had yesterday off, but decided to go support our other mens rinks team in their second game. Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived they started losing ends, having been 3 shots up when we arrived. Needless to say they didn't win  and so San Luis men are all out of the rinks and the ladies out of the triples.
Today I was playing singles at San Miguel against Mel Highland - the only other San Luis lady to enter the singles.
To say neither of us bowled well is an understatement.  We won 10 ends each but couldn't put 2 ends together.  I couldn't get any feel for the weight at all.  We went into the final end 19-18 to Mel,  At one stage I held 3 shots but Mel played better and finished the end with the 2 she needed.  She will play Janet McNeil (a home player) tomorrow.  I now have 2 days off before the rinks at Emerald Isle on Friday when Mel joins our triples team that played on Sunday.
We left San Miguel to go to El Rancho to see some of the San Luis lads playing pairs.  Victorious at El Rancho were Mal Hughes & Keith Roberts and Colin Highland & Charlie Marigold.  Losing on an extra end (know that feeling) were Ian Young and Phil Morrachan.  News from Greenlands that Mike Cox & John Featherstone had also won.
Allen starts his pairs campaign at El Rancho tomorrow morning and the victorious teams from today will play tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Valencian Championships

Today was the first day of the Valencian Championships and we all started with high hopes.  Allen was first up, he was playing rinks with Charlie Marigold, Derrick Cooper & John Withers.
They were playing against the Greenlands team of Graham Bater, Fred Tilley, Mike Regan & Texas Ted Upham.

Unfortunately, the San Luis lads didn't fire on all cylinders and finished up losing by 10-18.  Oh well, better luck in the other events. The other San Luis team of Ian Young, Keith Roberts, Phil Morrachan & Mal Hughes beat the Horadada team of Arthur Brown, Alan Pugh, Chris Collier & Guiseppe Galelli and move on to tomorrow.

At San Miguel, Sheila Cox, Shirley Withers & I played triples against the Emerald Isle trio Ann Holland, Pam Locket & June Jones.  

This was an epic game with the San Luis team starting well to build up a 7-1 lead before the Emerald Isle ladies fought back to go 12-7 up.  Back came the San Luis trio to lead 14-12.  The lead changed again and the Isle led 15-14.  The San Luis ladies then surged ahead to lead 22-14 and holding 3 on the next end.  June slotted the shot in on that end so San Luis still led 22-15 with 2 ends to play.  All they needed was a 2nd bowl on each of the last 2 ends and they were home and dry.  The best laid plans don't always work, Pam moved the jack with her last wood and June bowled 2 more in and despite having 3 woods within 18 inches the San Luis team dropped 3.  Into the last end still with a lead of 4, June again put 3 bowls into the head and I failed to move the 2 San Luis bowls from 18" short to reduce the count and it was all square at full time and on to an extra end.  Sheila held the shot, I added another to hold 2 until June bowled the perfect bowl to win the end and the match. 

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Friends don't have to be the same

Friends don't always have to be the same.
Lisa spotted her new friend out in the road and after been allowed to go and play she spent about 1/2 hour with him.  She sniffed & huffed, and tried to shake hands - at least I think thats what she was doing.
She would touch him lightly with her paw and he would stand up on his back legs and  hiss at her.  She even tried rolling over to see if he would play like the cat does but no luck.
At one stage she had knocked him onto his back and when she went to sniff him he grabbed her nose, I wasn't quick enough to get a photo of them.  Eventually, I brought her back into the garden and he went on his way.

Free Day Out

On Monday, we went on a free bus trip to Novelda, courtesy of the Alicante government.  
Saw two beautiful Modernist houses built between 1900 & 1903 by a lady who wanted everyone to know how much she was worth and by heck she must have been worth a hell of a lot.  
There was loads of Art Nouveau decoration and just like me my thoughts turned to card decorations.
After a quick cup of coffee it was off to the castle and sanctuary, which is actually a church.  The church is built in the same style as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, but unlike that one the Novelda one is finished.  
A local artisan is currently constructing an organ for the church. It will be completely made of marble, which is produced in that area.  It is quite a long way from completion but they have about 2 dozen of the pipes connected up to a small organ and the sound was amazing.  They have a model of how it will look when it is finished.
Must make a note to go back once it is completed to hear it.  The acoustics in the church should be amazing.
Next stop on our journey was a winery, where we were shown around the production processes - no free samples at this stage.
Then into the restaurant of the winery for a typical Spanish lunch - 3 hours later and after 10 bottles of wine on our table for the other 9 as I was on water there was the opportunity to purchase some wine to take home!
Back onto the bus for the journey home and we were returned to Torrevieja, some happy and some very, very happy travellers.  

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Well here we are.  Catching up with the electronic world and venturing into the big brave world of blogging.  Look out for posts as I work my way around.