Thursday, September 12, 2013
Last week the members of the Bowls Section of Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club played for The Tom Handley triples trophy - one of the most sought-after prizes in the Club – writes Rob Weeks.
Tom Handley was a much loved and respected club member who died two years ago after a short illness. He was one of the best bowlers that the club has seen in recent years and therefore to win a cup with his name on it is something that all members would like to achieve.
Unusually for this summer, the day started misty and cool and as the morning progressed it became decidedly chilly. This was in complete contrast to the bowling green where things were hotting up nicely. Every team had to play five matches, each of five ends and at lunchtime two teams were neck and neck with three wins apiece – Anne Goddard, Bob Clifford and yours truly alongside Peter Hardcastle, Annette Davies and Penny Weeks (no relation).
In the first match after lunch, these two teams had to play each other and the Hardcastle team eased into an early and seemingly-unassailable lead. However, some brilliant bowling from Goddard and Clifford somehow managed to allow our team to win by one shot.
There was still everything to play for on the last match and even the sun came out to watch. All our team had to do was gain a draw but we were getting hammered by dark horses David Roberts, Rona Rush and Keith Stidder. Meanwhile, on the adjacent rink the Hardcastle team were romping away with it in their match against Janet Cockayne and Margaret and Reg Ringsell. As it came to the last end we were soundly beaten and thus finished with four wins. The Hardcastle team must have thought the cup was theirs until with the very last bowl, Reg Ringsell picked up the jack to score four shots – thus winning their match by five shots to four – and meaning that the Hardcastle team finished with only three wins.
After having commiserated with the Hardcastle team, yours truly went off to buy a lottery ticket.