There has been plenty of action for Honiton Bowls Club this past week, despite the weather doing its best to make life miserable, writes Tony Broughton.

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The first in a series of friendly matches saw a visit from the Nomads who are a group of bowlers that play against clubs all around the South West.

Started by Dick Northam of Somerset and John Colborne of Dorset, the association was originally made up solely of players from the Umpires Association, and the idea is for them to raise money through play and raffles for various charities. I believe that today the group now includes umpires and players from all clubs around the south west! A thrilling match ensued with the outcome in doubt to the final end and the contest, fittingly, ended all square at 73-73. The Honiton top rink was that of Joan Mackintosh, John Collings, Barry Singleton and Mike Critchley who won 25-13.

Next up a two rink away fixture at Budleigh where there was mixed fortunes with the rink of Carol Armitage, J Evans, David Evans and Cyril Dann who won 21-18, but there was a 42-33 defeat for the other rink.

A match at home to the Devon Vice Presidents side (VPA) was next and that saw Honiton triumph 103–61 with the top Honiton rink comprising of Alan Fuller, Geoff Sanders, Keith Parsons and Ken Clarke who won 41-9.

A four rink home match on Saturday against Crewkerne ended with two rinks beaten and two rinks winning with the visitors claiming an 85-75 success.

The triumphant home rinks were that of Rod Taylor, Joan Mackintosh, Margaret Bright and Tony Young (29-13) and S Palmer, Rob Mackintosh, Thelma Flynn and Bill Nicholls (20-19).

Honiton ladies had a tough midweek match against Madeira in the Foxlands League. They won a rink, drew another, but went down in two on their way to an overall defeat. The successful rink was that of Lynda Dommett, Dulcie Broughton, Joan Heard and Sue Evans, whilst the rink that drew comprised Berry Maynard, Marian Vessey, Rita Barwick and Shirley Hiscocks.

Honiton got their revenge on Sunday when Madeira returned in a County Top Club competition meeting.

In the away section of the match Carole Binmore lost the 4-bowl singles to Jan Roberts who has won the Area 31 National singles and now plays the Area 32 Champ Kathy Emment from Bodmin for a place in the last 16. We wish her the best of luck!

There was also away success for the triple of Lynda Dommett, Ann Hillyear and Pearl Hackwood.

In the home section Julie Grant had a convincing win in the 2-bowl singles contest.

Julie has now beaten Kathy Holmes the Area 32 champ for her place in the last 16 of the Over 60 Singles and awaits the result of Taunton Deane versus Bristol for her next game.

Yvonne Rayner, Anne Newman, Joan Heard and Sue Evans lost the fours by six shots and the result rested with the outcome of the pairs!

Rosemary Hirons and Shirley Hiscocks played Christine Macaulay and Liz Smerdon in a very tight game, but Honiton were always two to three shots ahead. However, the loss of three shots on one end balanced things up at 15-15. On the 17 end both teams had a bowl resting on the jack for a played, but no shot end! Fortunately Honiton had last bowl for what was to be the last end; this competition has a time limit of three-and-a-half hours.

Another tight end ensued and, with one bowl to play Shirley was one down, staring defeat in the face, but she played the perfect draw bowl to pinch the shot and the match!

Rosemary Hirons and Shirley Hiscocks now know their opponents in the National Over 60 Ladies Pairs, it will be Kathy Holmes and Hilary Avent from Plymouth for a place in the last 16 to be played at the Isca centre.

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