Bletchingley Bowling Club’s season began with an exhilarating match against Croydon M.O. in the highly anticipated East Surrey League.
Bletchingley Men’s team opened their East Surrey League (ESL) season with a home win on Saturday, defeating Croydon MO 60-53 and collecting 7 points to their 3 points. Despite a week of incessant rain, we were treated to predominantly blue skies throughout the afternoon. The contest proved to be a true test of skill and adaptability as the players navigated a soft rink surface, unexpected bowl behaviour, and the added challenge of patched rabbit holes. Despite these obstacles, Bletchingley emerged victorious, showcasing their determination and ability to overcome adversity.
Graham Leads Bletchingley Men’s Team with Confidence and Gratitude
Before the game started, Graham, the Men’s Captain, gathered the team together for a pre-match talk. He outlined his firm belief that they could be competitive this season with their highly capable squad of players. Graham asked everyone to play as a team and fulfil their respective roles. Despite the heavy green caused by the week’s rain, he was pleased with the performances. Graham expressed gratitude to Brian M for ironing the green before play, which helped improve its speed..
The “Cabbage Patch”
Adding to the complexity of the match, Rink 4 presented an additional hurdle in the form of patched rabbit holes. These patched areas introduced unpredictable and erratic bowl movements, making it a challenging rink to play on. Croydon M.O. humorously referred to Rink 4 as the “Cabbage Patch” due to the unpredictable nature of the patched rabbit holes. Despite these unique circumstances, both teams showcased their skill and versatility, adapting their playing styles to tackle the ever-changing dynamics of Rink 4.
Outstanding Performances and Hard-Fought Results
Despite the challenging conditions, Bletchingley’s players displayed unwavering focus and determination, delivering exceptional performances throughout the match.
On Rink 2, which was skipped by the experienced Brian R and supported by the strong leading pair of Alan and David, with Peter at three, they raced into an early lead and never looked back. They comfortably secured a 31-9 victory, winning 16 of the 21 ends played in the process.
On Rink 3, which was skipped by the determined Trevor and supported by Jonathan, Mike F, and Steve, Bletchingley faced a tough battle against Croydon MO. The Croydon MO back end displayed some impressive shots throughout the game. Bletchingley managed to win 8 ends out of the 21 played, but it was the final 4 ends that truly exemplified what was asked for before the game. Scoring 6 points during those ends proved crucial in securing the overall win of the match.
On Rink 4, which was skipped by Graham and supported by Brian M at the lead, Mike B at two, and Gavin at three, they took the lead in the game from end five and held it until end 20. However, they, unfortunately, dropped a two on the final end, resulting in a 16-16 draw. Graham expressed disbelief at how they didn’t score a point in the last eight ends. Considering that they never dropped more than 2 shots on any end, they felt they deserved to win the game. In summary, the dropped point on Graham’s rink prevented them from tying for second place in the East Surrey League after the first game. Nevertheless, it was a strong start and provides great encouragement for the season ahead.
Bletchingley’s Promising Start to the Season: A Glimpse of Success
With their remarkable victory in the first match of the season, Bletchingley Bowling Club has set a high standard for themselves. The ability to overcome the unique challenges posed by the soft rink and patched rabbit holes demonstrates their resilience and versatility as a team. As the season progresses, it is clear that Bletchingley Bowling Club will continue to work tirelessly to fine-tune its strategies and build upon its early success.
Scorecard and Conclusion
The season opener between Bletchingley Bowling Club and Croydon M.O. proved to be a thrilling and eventful match. The challenging rink conditions and the presence of patched rabbit holes added an extra layer of complexity, forcing the players to think on their feet and adapt their game plans. Across the 63 ends played, Bletchingley won 33 and lost 30. What was pleasing was that they only dropped 3 shots or more on 5 of those 30 ends, indicating the overall score was closely contested. Bletchingley’s victory not only highlights their skill and determination but also sets the tone for an exciting and competitive season ahead. Congratulations to both teams for their efforts and sportsmanship, and best wishes to Bletchingley Bowling Club as they continue their journey in the East Surrey League!
After the match, we enjoyed delicious homemade cakes and scones from the Colbys as we showcased the newly refurbished clubhouse to our visitors.