THE first rounds of the Birmingham Bowls Association Leagues were played last week, on a warm and sunny Tuesday evening.
Solihull Municipal had mixed success as the A team travelled to Sherwood Park and the B team were at home to Blossomfield B.
The A team returned pointless from Sherwood Park as Phil Holmes, Keith Miller, Tony Burdett and John Bentien could not find a consistent line or length and went down by 26 shots to 9.
The Muni’s newly formed second rink of Grahame Spiby, Bryan Jones, John Hanmore and the excellent John Herbert, started very well, opening a 0-10 shots lead, but the host’s back end of Paul Hughes and Hughie Donachie slowly hauled back the difference and eventually ran out 15-12 winners.
At Brick Kiln Lane the Muni B team started tentatively but held a 14-11 lead after six ends, before their middle third power play extended the advantage to 27-16.
Blossomfield rallied over the final third but the Muni held on for a comfortable 34-23 success to take all six points.
On Rink 2, Solihull’s captain Brian Trindle skipped George Hayward, Bill Preston and Brian Nock to 17-12 win over M.Maynard, John Dearn, H.Hodgkinsson and Stan Scott, while on Rink 4 Clive Burbage skipped Roy Stiles, Syd Yeomans and Roger Smith to a 17-11 victory over Blossomfield’s Mike Hegarty, Andy Dunn, Chris Collett and the talented Jack McPhun.
On Saturday Blossomfield again were the visitors to the Muni at Brick Kiln Lane for a mixed match of four triples.
It was a sunny afternoon as usual and the conditions were perfect for such an important game between rivals who have greens only 200 yards apart. The visitors started confidently building a 16-25 lead after six ends, but the Muni’s power play put them one shot ahead, 44-43 after 12 ends.
The final third produced a most amazing sequence of changes in fortunes for both teams, but Blossomfield had the lead by two shots when the final end was in progress. Under intense pressure from both teams and the near capacity crowd, Muni’s Clive Burbage, who struggled all afternoon against the endless stream of yellow Blossomfield woods, delivered the final wood to change the head and the game by taking four shots to win the match for the Muni by 75 shots to 73.
Rink 2 saw a tremendous tactical tussle between the Muni’s Grahame Spiby, Barbara Harsant and John Hanmore against Blossomfield’s R. Bristo, Gerald Cox and Christine Dunn which ended in a draw 17-17. Rink 3 provided Solihull with their highest winning rink by 22 shots to 15, courtesy of Brian Trindle, John Richards and Trevor Greenway over B.Irons,S.Cowen and S.Brooks.
On Rink 4, the Muni’s Bob Barnes, Jean Miller and Bill Preston won 22-17 against the visitors’ Jack McPhun,Andy Dunn and P.Pask. Blossomfields’ Peter Bristoll, Jeff Horton and Pat Gee had a convincing 14-24 win on Rink five against Clive Burbage, Joyce Scott and John Dearn, but Clive had the last say with the four shots on the final end.
On Sunday the Muni travel to Coventry Sphynx, leaving Brick Kiln Lane at 1-15pm.