Tributes to Grace

PUBLISHED: 10:59 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 10 June 2010

Tribute to Grace

Tribute to Grace

Copyright Archant Ltd

THE FUNERAL of Grace Matthews, who died recently at the age of 99, was held last week at Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth, home of her beloved Madeira Bowls Club. She was a lovely lady," said fellow bowler Liz Healy.

THE FUNERAL of Grace Matthews, who died recently at the age of 99, was held last week at Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth, home of her beloved Madeira Bowls Club."She was a lovely lady," said fellow bowler Liz Healy, who first met Grace in 1986 and who grew very close to the ' First Lady of Devon bowls'.Healy continued: "Grace joined Madeira in 1959 and bowled her last wood at the age of 90 but her interest, support and love of the game never faltered."Grace was rewarded with Life Membership of both Madeira Bowls Club (1988) and the Devon County Ladies Bowling Association (1992).In 1994, on the 60th anniversary of the ladies' section at Madeira, she became only the second lady president in the history of the club. She won seven club titles, was crowned a county champion nine times and thirty years ago was runner-up in the national triples final at Royal Leamington Spa.Her club presidency in 1994 is still talked about today. "What a year that was," said Liz Healy, recalling a term of office that started with a service of thanksgiving in Holy Trinity Church and ended twelve months later with the Anniversary Ball with the Band of HM Royal Marines in the Exmouth Pavilion. As a Devon County player she reached five EWBA John's Trophy finals, winning it twice, as well as four Walker Cup double-rink finals and being victorious three times and runner-up once.She held various posts within the club from 1966-1994 including the position of honorary secretary for Madeira BC as well as being fixtures secretary for six years. She was inspirational to all and one can only imagine how proud she must have felt when Madeira member Sue Harriott achieved international recognition and went on to win European titles and medals at both the Atlana Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games in Australia."Grace encouraged and nurtured many through their formative years of bowling," said Liz Healy, "and she has left an enduring legacy to those of us now competing at county, national and international level. She was so proud of 'her girls' and created a huge network of affection. She will be remembered with great fondness by her many friends in the bowling world.THE LADIES Championship got under way last week and it produced some superb bowling. Sue Harriott had to be at the top of her game to overcome fellow international Liz Smerdon whilst Sheila Webb made a slow start and found herself 2-10 down after six ends but fought her way back to beat Mollie Cooper 21-17. There were a couple of close matches as both Jill Perrin (21-18) and Lou Harvey (22-17) triumphed after 23 ends each. Also through to the second round are C Macaulay, J Gilbert, W Scadden and C King.Two non-badged league matches were played with mixed results. Madeira lost the away match to Crediton by just four shots and this was hard on the triple skipped by Jean Healey with Josie Glaister and Carol Worth who gained 2 points with a 19-16 win. At home Madeira won on both rinks against Phear Park. Janet Allen, Ann Bellamy, and Sandie Cox 20-15 and May Dyson, Jean Rainton and Sheila Webb 21-11 took all 6 points.Sidmouth sent four rinks of ladies to Madeira for a friendly match that produced a real close encouter.One game typified the nature of the match and it was the one involing the rink skipped by Annette Flockhart. Going into the final end Flockhart's four trailed by a mere two shot margin but lost a further four on that to lose the match by six. Ann Bellamy's rink suffered an early setback, dropping an eight on the fourth end from which they never recovered, despite finishing strongly with six shots on the last two ends. Sidmouth won on all four rinks and took the overall match by a score of 95-64.Finally, congratulations to the Madeira ladies trio of Elizabeth Haynes, Annette Flockhart and Liz Healy who won the Topsham Open Triples Tournament on Sunday.THERE were just three matches for the Madeira men's teams last week and two of them were against Chardstock.The first was a County Trophy match played on a two rink home, and two away basis. The first 5 ends ended all square with both teams on 20 shots but by half way the Chardstock team had moved into an 11 shot lead. In the third quarter Madeira took charge and first overhauled the deficit before powering into a 20 shot lead that they held until the close of the game, leaving them 100-87 winners. The best performing Madeira rink was skipped by Craig Ralph, supported by Derek Dommett, Mick Powell and Cliff Skinner, who won their match by 23 shots.The other game against Chardstock was a four rink men's match played on their turf and the hosts claimed the victory, but not before Madeira had held the lead all the way to the final ends of the contest. The early advantage saw Madeira lead by 4 shots after five ends, becoming 12 shots at the half way mark, and indeed they held an 11 shot lead after 15 ends but a strong finish by the hosts saw them close the match out as 80-72 winners.The best performing Madeira rink was that of Arthur Scaddon, Noel Allen, Natt Marriott and skip George Perrin, who won their contest by 5 shots.The third match of the week was against Exonia, six rinks played at Madeira. After a quarter of the game the hosts led by 18 and that dominance stayed with them throughout the contest, at one stage they were leading by 59 shots! The visitors made a tremendous come back to get within four shots. The final score was 118-114 and the best performing Madeira winning rink was Vice Capt Ray Moore, Margaret Whittle, Anne Doidge and skip Bill Barber, who claimed a 20 shot win.

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