TORQUAY BOWLS TRIP
Tiverton West End Bowling Club
2020 Torquay tour.
9.45am on a damp Monday morning in February Tiverton West End members and friends gathered at the bus station to embark on our annual trip to the Toorak hotel in Torquay for a weeks bowling.
This year we were to play an extra 4 games, 3 matches a day.
With the first game starting shortly after our arrival at the hotel.
Our team for this match were designated West End Red, Captained by Ken Powney. Our opponents Houndslow Green.
Houndslow have been coming to the Toorak now for over 20 years and their desire to win has not diminished over time.
West End managed to win on one rink, skipped by Clive Gardner and we were close on the others but sadly lost overall by 14 shots.
For our 3pm game it was West End Blue against Houndslow Pink, with Gill Callaghan leading the troops out.
Bob Pulsford's rink had a good game winning by 15 shots, Nobby Clarke's rink also won by 2, but the remaining two rinks both lost, losing shots in the last few ends, resulting in an overall loss by only 2 shots.
For our last game of the day starting at 5pm. Tony Sykes Captained the match against Torquay Victoria.
Brian Willis and Dave Smith both skipped winning rinks albeit by only 2 and 1 shots respectively, Tony Sykes rink could only manage a draw. Unfortunately our fourth rink crashed and burnt resulting in an overall loss by 9 shots.
After a quick trip back to our rooms to change, it was into the dining room for the first of our excellent evening meals.
Tuesday morning saw trip organiser Dicky Clarke pulling his hair out as two couples were taken ill overnight and returned home.
A quick juggle round of the players and once again we were ready.
The early game today was Captained by Bob French and designated West End Red, their opponents were Houndslow Blue.
After leading on all four rinks at 10 ends things looked good, but for some reason we faded over the last few ends with only one rink eventually winning, that of Clive Gardner by 4 shots, sadly this was not enough to save the overall victory, which we lost by just 1 shot.
The 1pm. match was Captained by Beryl Willis, West End Blue played Houndslow Red. This was a good match for West End winning on three rinks. Dicky Clarke's rink won by 12, Bob Pulsford's by 3 and Gill Callaghan by 1, our fourth rink were unable to make it a clean sweep but we were still able to win overall by 11 shots.
The late afternoon match was Captained by Maureen Lewis in the absence of Mike Turner. This time it was the turn of West End Green to play Houndslow Green, so far the strongest of the Houndslow teams. (Unlike West End who change Rinks or Teams even, Houndslow keep the same players in the same Rinks and Teams all week). With all West End Rinks making a good start the end result was something of a surprise. Dave Smith's rink was the only winner, by 5 shots. Despite winning 10 of the 14 ends played Tony Sykes rink ended up losing by 4 and the other two rinks faired no better meaning overall we lost by 17 shots.
As soon as the bowls finish it was down to the Astec games hall where Barry Kerslake had organised an ongoing 10 pin bowling competition and snooker competition. More on this later.
Thank goodness tonight we had a drinks reception before dinner, where there was much talk of bad luck and wicks, with lots of ribbing and laughter followed by yet another wonderful evening meal.
The early risers on Wednesday were the Blue team, Captained by Bob Pulsford, their opponents today were West Backwell.
I know winning means you enjoy your game that much more, but I do feel the members of West Backwell were such good company that even if I'd lost I would have enjoyed this one. As it happens we won on all four rinks, congratulations to skips Bob Pulsford, Nobby Clarke, Dicky Clarke and Gill Callaghan. Could we keep up the winning streak for the 11am. game against Houndslow Blue?
The West End Green Team were lead by Captain Cedric Lewis and unfortunately they were unable to copy their forerunners, winning only on one rink that of Clive Gardner by 6 shots and losing on the other three and overall by 21 shots.
The late game today was the two Red teams West End Red against Houndslow Red. There was blood on the dance floor after this match.
Tony Sykes managed to pick up 3 shots on the last end to win by 1, but that was it I'm afraid, the other three rinks lost and so overall we lost by 25. I'll have a glass of wine with dinner tonight I think.
Up bright and early again on Thursday morning for the West End Green members Captained again by Maureen Lewis, today playing Houndslow Red, who by now had proved the team to beat, could we do it? Well Cedric Lewis did, his rink winning by 8 shots and two others were close but overall West End lost by 10 shots.
11am. it was the turn of West End Blue to face Houndslow Green, who were eager to get back at the Reds. Captain Janet Cole gave her team a stern talking to before the game and this must have had some effect as we managed to win on two rinks and only just lost on the other two. Well done Skips Nobby +8 and Dicky Clarke +7 on winning, overall we won by 9 shots.
To complete the ladies day Joan Kelly Captained the last game of the day, West End Red played Oxford Tourists with mixed results. West End won two and lost two, Tony Sykes's rink won by 2 shots and George Reed's rink won by 11, we came up a bit short on the other two rinks so overall we lost by 13 shots.
And so at 3pm. we returned to the Astec sports hall for the final rounds of 10 pin bowling and snooker.
The overall winners in the snooker pairs were the defending champions from last year Barry Kerslake and Nobby Clarke, in the singles that title went to Dicky Clarke. As for the 10 pin bowling in 3rd place was Chris Slade with a high score of 85, in second with a score of 106 was Barry Kerslake (you can see why he organises these games, he's always on the winners list), but in 1st place with a high score of 118 was Tony Cooper. Well done everyone for taking part, and thanks for arranging it Barry.
Our last evening meal at the Toorak had another great menu, I'm sure we've all put on weight, but who cares.
And so finally we come to the only game that really matters through out the whole week, West End "A" against West End "B".
Last year this was Red against Blue, but as the Reds, lead by Dicky Clarke won 3 to 1 this year he's called his team the "A" team.
We'll see about that, Ken Kelly lead out the "B" team who all had an extra spring in their step and were up for the fight. After 2 hours of exciting bowling it was yes, you guessed it, the "B" team who emerged victorious by 12 shots overall. Congratulations to winning skips, Bob French, Tony Sykes and Dave Smith.
We (I was in the B team) won on three and lost on one rink, it's a funny old game is bowls last year my rink was the only one to win this year the only one to lose, I'll be back to winning ways next year. What a great five days we've had bowling with friends and making some new ones, my deposit cheque is already written out for next years trip.
Thanks for all the work you put in arranging the week for us Dicky.
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Find Tiverton West End Bowling Club
The Green, Westexe Recreation Ground,, Wellbrook Street, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 5BP
Next to Fire Station.