View From The Head
A lighthearted look at what’s gone on in the world of Portsmouth & District Bowls..
Views From The Head – Dateline 20 June
A mega roll-up of the last two weeks enfolds
A week ago, with Waverley having their stand down, the two clubs below them had the opportunity to close the gap, but couldn’t take it.
Priory were fortunate to come away with a draw away at Leigh Park. With 2ends to go on the last rink to finish, they were 7shots down. However, Mark Miller’s rink inexplicitly lost a 6 on the 20th end and then settled to drop a single on the last to ensure the match score was Tied.
Leigh Park took the majority of the game points by winning on 2rinks and drawing on another.
Rowner travelled to Waterlooville and fell to a 21shot defeat on their carpet. Phil Pinder’s rink prevented them being whitewashed with a 7shot win, but ‘ville won all the others, led by the 16shot win on Derek Holt’s rink.
It was Fareham who were the big winners as their 22shot away win at bottom club Alexandra meant they took over 2nd spot in the table. Fareham won on 3rinks led by the 15shot victory by Cyril Friend’s rink. Captain Neil Scutt prevented the whitewash with his 6shot win.
Finally, Lee-on-the-Solent built on their Bank Holiday win by inflicting a 38shot defeat on visitors Cowplain, picking up 15points in the process. They had big wins on 2rinks, led by the 19shot victory by Martin Ellis’ rink. For Cowplain, a handful of shots on the last end meant that captain Dave Luffman’s rink tied their game.
Last Monday, 3rd played 2nd at Milton as Priory hosted Fareham, which resulted in Priory winning by 21shots. Both Clubs won on 2rinks but Priory’s winners were both in double figures, led by the 15shot victory by Adrian Snook’s rink.
Alexandra obviously enjoyed the Public Holiday break as they won for the only the 2nd time this season by recording a 21shot home win against high flying Rowner. Alex won on 3rinks, led by the 16shot victory by Don Lilley’s rink. Barry Stafford’s Rowner rink prevented the whitewash by winning the last 3ends of their match.
In the other match played, Leigh Park made home advantage pay by beating Cowplain by 31shots. They won on 3rinks, with big wins on the rinks of Carter Blanford & Mark Miller. Meanwhile, Cowplain’s Steve Wiggins’ rink had an impressive 11shot win.
At the end of the week, old rivals, Alexandra & Waverley, met at Northern Parade and slugged out a 70all draw with both Clubs winning on 2rinks. The draw meant that Waverley lost their 100% record.
Priory took advantage of their slip to take over top spot with a 29shot, all rink home win over Cowplain. Again leading the way for Priory was Adrian Snook’s rink. The defeat, together with the pick-up in form by Alex, means that Cowplain are now bottom of the division.
Meanwhile, Rowner recovered from the defeats in their previous 2 outings by travelling to Leigh Park and winning by 19shots. They won on 3rinks, led by the 15shot win on Graeme Coles’ rink. Mark Miller’s men prevented the park boys being whitewashed with a 3shot win.
In the other match played, Lee-on-the-Solent carried on their good form with a 23shot home win over Waterlooville. While both Clubs won on 2rinks, the Solent had double digit wins on theirs.
The prior week’s results saw leaders Vospers drop Portsmouth Water further in the mire as the handed them a 14shot defeat at their Northern Parade home. Whilst both Clubs won on 2rinks, the watermen’s successes were by the slenderest of margins, whereas Vospers had more clear-cut margins.
Meanwhile, there was a quite startling game on the peninsula as Gosport thrashed visitors Star & Crescent by 89shots!! Unsurprisingly, Gosport won on all 4rinks but the size of their victory was, in many ways, caused by the 42shot victory by Andrew Sherwen’s rink.
Last week, Gosport, unfortunately, couldn’t raise themselves again as they fell to an 11shot home defeat at the hands of Milton Park. With both Clubs winning on 2rinks, the 22shot win by Tony Hall’s rink swung the match Milton’s way.
Star & Crescent recovered from their thrashing the previous week to defeat visitors Portsmouth Water by 16shots. With both Clubs won on 2rinks, the 13shot win by Brent Riste’s was outdone by the 21shot win by Geoff Dyer’s quartet for Star.
In the other match, leaders Vospers handed out a 35shot defeat to visitors Naismith, winning on all 4rinks. After weeks of not being able to put a side together, Naismith finally found 14 who were willing to play on a Friday!!
The prior week’s games saw leaders Denmead further extend their lead after their 20shot, 3rink home win over 2nd place Purbrook Heath. Leading the way for Denmead was Glyn Jones’ men with their 17shot win.
Meanwhile, Gas Social took advantage of the Heath men’s loss to move above them into 2ndplace with their 24shot away win at Pembroke Gardens. They nearly won on all 4rinks, but for the Pembroke rink led by David Brookes taking the last 3 ends to win by a single shot.
Last week, with Denmead having a bye, the 2nd & 3rd placed Clubs met at Purbrook, which ended with Purbrook winning by 11shots. With both Clubs winning on 2rinks, it was the 14shot victory by Mike Frank’s quartet that turned the match Purbrook’s way. However, the Gas men remain 2nd by having a better shot difference than the Heath Club.
Finally, champagne corks were popping in Old Portsmouth as Pembroke Gardens finally recorded their 1st win of the season, by 14shots over visitors Bridgemary. Whilst three rinks had a close battle, David Brookes quartet again proved their worth with their 23shot victory.
Despite the win, Pembroke are still bottom but now only 3points behind their visitors.
With the season having reached the halfway point, here is a breakdown of how the other Leagues are faring..
In Comb 1, Alex Blue lead the way, 9points clear of Waverley Blue. Fareham C prop up the rest having only won 1 match. 11points above them are Waterlooville Gold with Lee on Solent B only above them by virtue of having conceded 30fewer shots.
In Comb 2, Alex Red top the charts (perhaps both should teach their League side a thing or two) 18points clear of Waterlooville Green. Rowner B prop up the rest having only won 1 match. 10points above them are Hayling Island who are finding their extremely slow carpet not a great help with home wins.
In Comb 3, Milton Park B are 6points clear of Bedhampton at the top. Lee-on-the-Solent C have just managed to garner a single point so far from the season and are 14points behind fellow peninsular rivals Gosport B.
In Comb 4, Naismith (who can find 12 people willing to play midweek) are 18points clear of Milton Park C at the top. Meanwhile it’s a battle between Bridgemary, Portsmouth Water & Fareham B to see who will be the strongest Side in the Combination.
In the Blue corner, Vospers Blue & Waverley are level on points; with Vospers having a better (20) shot difference.
In the Red corner, Alex Red are storming away with it, boasting a 100% record, 23points clear of the rest. Biggest surprise is that College Park, who in the past have been vying for the title, now prop up the rest.
In East Div 1, Hayling Island Blue are 11points clear of Cowplain Purple. Meanwhile, Purbrook Silver and Denmead Brown fill the relegation spots.
In East Div 2, Cowplain White & Portchester Black are level on points, but Cowplain have a far superior shot difference (100). They are 12points clear of the rest.
In West Div 1, Fareham Gold are 19points clear of their sister side Fareham Cream. Gosport Red are in the Drop Zone.
In West Div 2, Crofton Mortar are 4points clear of Portchester Gold, with Crofton Bricks 2points below them. At the bottom, Bridgemary have yet to taste success, having only won 4rinks.
Views From The Head – Dateline June 5th
Leaders Waverley had to thank Danny Smith’s quartet for their 6 shot away win at Rowner as their 20 shot victory more than covered the defeats suffered by their other 3 rinks. Rowner may have had hopes of a victory late into the match, but two of their rinks dropped a combined total of 11shots in the last 3 ends which contributed to the defeat.
Priory gained a few points on the leaders with their 16 shot home win over Alexandra. However, their win was all down to the 18 shot victory on Adrian Snook’s rink as the other 3 rinks had tight battles that resulted in two Drawn matches and an Alex win by 2 shots.
Fareham built on their devastation of Waterlooville in their previous match with another huge victory, this time a 41 shot home win over bottom club Lee-on-the-Solent. Although they won on all 4rinks, the size of their victory was thanks to the 22 shot win on John Travers’ rink.
The two carpet clubs met at Cowplain and it was the Home club that gained the majority of the spoils with a 12 shot victory over Waterlooville. Whilst they won on 3rinks, they had to thank the 14shot win David Luffman’s rink that covered the 14 shot defeat suffered at the hands of Derek Holt’s ‘ville rink.
On Friday, in a rearranged game, Lee-on-the-Solent moved off the bottom of the table with a 19 shot home win over Leigh Park. Both clubs won on 2rinks, but the Solent team had big victories on theirs.
That victory means that Alexandra are now propping up the rest.
2nd placed Milton Park lost ground on leaders Vospers after their 25 shot away defeat at the hands of Star & Crescent. With both Clubs winning on 2 rinks, it was the 22 shot win on Steve Sprake’s rink that did all the damage for Star & Crescent.
Leaders Denmead are starting to run away with the division as they extended their lead with a 26 shot home away win at Bridgemary. They again only lost on 1rink, with the big winners last time out, Tony Sewell & Mike Wright, performing a repeat. Craig Rimmer’s quartet prevented Bridgemary being white-washed.
The other game played was the reverse of their meeting last time out as Pembroke Gardens travelled to Purbrook Heath. The result was the same as Purbrook won by 30 shots, winning on 3 rinks, with big wins on the rinks of Mark Berry & Mike Frank. Dave Brookes’ quartet prevented Pembroke being white-washed.
Views From The Head – Dateline May 31st
Leaders Waverley extended their lead at the top with a 54 shot home win over Cowplain. They won on all 4rinks, led by the 22 shot win on Gary Starks’ rink. The defeat meant that Cowplain dropped to bottom spot.
Priory took advantage of Rowner having the night off, to move above them into 2nd spot with a 17 shot away win at Lee-on-the-Solent. Priory won on 2 rinks, with the rinks of Adrian Snook & Martin Eggleton recording 9shot wins, with the 3rd rink ending tied. A single on the last end by Graham Hillier’s Solent rink meant they managed to salvage a win, as it was looking like they were about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory having squandered a 6shot lead with 6ends to play.
There was “a whooping and a hollering” at Alexandra as Leigh Park recorded what they think was their 1st ever win over the home club (our records don’t go back that far!!). In a tough battle throughout, they finally won by 6 shots. Although the "parkites" won on 2rinks with another ending level, it was the 13shot win on Jamie Ward’s rink that overcame the 11shot defeat at the hands of Steve Feilder’s Alex rink, whilst Barry Dixon’s crew won the last 3ends to finish 4 clear.
The biggest shock of the night was the 63 shot thrashing Waterlooville suffered on their Home surface at the hands of visitors Fareham. Fareham won on all 4rinks with the bulk of their victory coming from the 36 shot win by Lee Cunningham’s wrecking crew.
Vospers maintained their grip on top spot with a 15 shot home win over Star & Crescent. With both Clubs winning on 2 rinks it was the size of the victories on the rinks of Dean Boswell & Terry Smith that carried the day for Vospers.
Milton Park kept the pressure on them by finally beating visitors Portsmouth Water by 4shots in a tense battle. With both Clubs winning on 2 rinks, it was the 6 shot win on Mick Brown’s rink that proved decisive, although the 5 shots gained by Tony Hall’s rink on the last 2 ends in a losing cause did its bit.
Leaders Denmead extended their lead with 24 shot home win over visitors Bridgemary. Although they won on 3 rinks, it was the big wins on the rinks of Tony Sewell & Mike Wright that overcame the 20 shot win by Bridgemary’s Andy Dawson quartet.
In the other game played, Purbrook Heath travelled into Old Portsmouth and left in upbeat mood after their 5 shot victory over hosts Pembroke Gardens. Whilst both Clubs won on 2 rinks, none of them ended in close results, so it was the 16 shot win on Mark Berry’s Purbrook rink that swung it the Heath men’s way – that and the fact they won 5 of the last 6ends.
Views From The Head – Dateline May 25th
Long COVID has struck the P&D scene with several clubs having to concede games because they couldn’t raise the minimum numbers required to play the game. Let’s just hope this isn’t an ill omen!!
Leaders Waverley travelled to Fareham and left with 13points after a 7shot victory. They won on the Starks’ Father & Son rinks, with another drawing. Charlie Bailey’s foursome responded for Farehamwith a 10shot win.
Meanwhile, 2nd place Rowner travelled to Cowplain and proved they had now got to grips with an artificial surface, by winning by 17shots, thanks to victories on the rinks of Graeme Coles & Barry Stafford, with Barry’s doing all the damage. Cowplain did garner 4points from the night with narrow victories on the rinks Steve Wiggins & Dave Luffman.
Bottom club Lee-on-the-Solent finally got on winning ways with a 16shot home win over Alexandra. With both Clubs winning on 2rinks, it was the 14shot win on Martin Ellis’ rink that proved decisive.
Waterlooville must have travelled to Priory with high hopes after their huge win of the previous week, but were brutally put in their place as Priory thrashed them by 79 shots!! The closest any ‘ville rink got was an 8shot defeat on Derek Holt’s rink. Meanwhile, the other 3 Priory rinks were having the time of their lives as they ran up cricket scores, led by the 37shot win by Adrian Snook’s men.
Finally, Leigh Park put last week’s hammering behind them as they got their first win of the season with a 41shot home win over visitors Lee-on-the-Solent, just failing to top the Ton. Big wins on the rinks of Barry Dixon and Jamie Ward were backed up by another from Mark Miller’s quartet. For the visitors, Graham Hillier’s rink came back from being 7down to snatch a 1shot victory. The win moved the Park boys out of the Bottom 3 whilst depositing the Solenteers to bottom spot.
In the only match played in the division, neighbours Vospers walked down the street to take on Portsmouth Water at their Alexandra home and walked back again with 13points in their pockets after their 2shot win. Whilst 2of the rinks were having a toe-to-toe struggle, with Vospers winning one by 2shots with the other being drawn, the other two were battling to see who finished with the biggest win and it ended with both getting 16shot victories, Terry Smith for Vospers, Pete Musson for Pompey Water.
Leaders Denmead travelled to Purbrook Heath and returned with a 16shot victory. They won on 3rinks, led by Mike Wright's foursome, whilst Mark Berry’s rink prevented the whitewash with their 1shot win.
Gas Social is keeping the pressure on Denmead after beating visitors Pembroke Gardens by 25shots. Gas won on 3rinks, with large wins on the rinks of George Reuter & Stuart Townsley. David Brookes' quartet prevented the whitewash with their 4shot win
Views From The Head – Dateline May 17th
Leaders Waverley took on visitors Priory, another Club with hopes of displacing them at the top, and came away with a 12 shot victory. They won on 3 rinks, led by the 16 shot win on captain Gary Stark’s rink. That covered the 19 shot defeat suffered by his father’s rink at the hands of Adrian Snook.
Meanwhile, 2nd place Rowner were involved in a close tussle with Fareham, finally winning by 5 shots on their Home green. All the rinks were close ending in single digit margins, but Rowner managed to win three of them. [I was told it was a cracking game a great advert for P&D Bowls – but put it down to the home captain blowing his trumpet!!]
Bottom club Lee-on-the-Solent finally got on winning ways with a 16 shothome win over Alexandra. With both Clubs winning on 2 rinks. it was the 14 shot win on Martin Ellis’ rink that proved decisive.
In the other match, Leigh Park was hoping to build on their close game against Waverley. Unfortunately for them, the match was on Waterlooville’s carpet, which proved too much for 2two of their rinks who thrashed by a total of 71 shots in their 73 shot defeat. They did manage to win on 1 rink but only just as Jamie Ward’s men got through by a single shot, having been 5 up with 2 ends to play.
Leaders Vospers lost their first match of the season after they travelled to bottom club Gosport and fell to a 3 shot defeat. With both Clubs winning on 2 rinks, the 14 shot win by Dave Young’s Vosper’s rink was covered by the 15 shot & 7 shot wins on the Gosport rinks of Simon Batcheler & Ian Homeyard, respectively. The win moved Gosport of the bottom of the table.
In the other game played in the division, Milton Park leap-frogged over Star & Crescent with a 20 shot home win. Both clubs won on 2 rinks, but whilst there were close affairs, it was the 19 shot win on Andy McKain’s rink that did all the damage for Milton.
Those two results meant that Naismith is now the “strongest” team in the Division!!
Leaders Bridgemary fell to a successive defeat, this time by 29 shots at Gas Social. Gas won on 3 rinks, led by the 18shot victory for Stuart Townsley’s rink. Brian Adams’ rink prevented Bridgemary being whitewashed with their 7 shot win.
Denmead are the new leaders of the division as they made full use of home advantage by eviscerating luckless Pembroke Gardens by 73 shots. Whilst 3 of their rinks were enjoying themselves at their visitors expense, led by the 33 shot trouncing handed out by George Carmichael’s rink. (Mind you it didn’t help Pembroke’s cause that one of their players couldn’t find his way out of the City!!) Denmead teammates must have been wondering how they didn’t get all the points as Pembroke’s Dave Brookes’ rink fought to tie their game 20 shots apiece – but it could have been better for the Southsea men as they dropped a Five on the last end!!
Views From The Head – Dateline May 10th
Bowlers hoping to reach the 2022 National Finals at Royal Leamington Spa began the long process in late April and there has been one shock already.
- At Lee-on-the-Solent, the Grandfather & Grandson Pairing of Roy Cullen & Joshua Thompson beat a Waverley Pair consisting of England International Matthew Marchant & Hampshire Middleton Cup bowler Paul Cooke 15-14
- Meanwhile, in the 4Wood Singles, a rerun of last year’s Area Final saw last year’s surprise package, Mark Berry of Purbrook Heath, again defeat Priory’s Roly Bloy 21-12.
In the League, it was a busy time for Div.1 Clubs as they had 2 games to play in the week.
The Waverley juggernaut continued onwards with an 82 shot home thrashing over luckless Waterlooville AND ‘ville even managed to win a rink! 2 Waverley rinks topped the 40 shot mark, but Danny Smith’s rink take all the plaudits with their 49-3 win. All of this must have bemused ‘ville’s Richard Allen rink as, despite the carnage around them, they won by 10 shots.
2nd place Rowner kept up with the Southsea men with a 2nd successive Home win, this time by 29 shots over local rivals Lee-on-the-Solent. They won by double digits on 3 rinks, led by the 12 shot win by Phil Pinder’s rink. Martin Ellis’ rink prevented the Solent men being whitewashed with their 5 shot win.
At Cowplain, the 2 Clubs who had lost heavily met and it was Cowplain who heaped more misery on Alexandra, winning by 40shots and 3 rinks. However, it was only 1rink that let Alex down, as Don Lilley’s men crashed to a 33 shot defeat. Carl Baggott’s rink spared Alex’s blushes with a single shot win.
Fareham got their season off with a tight 4 shot home win over Leigh Park. With both Clubs winning on 2 rinks, it was the 7 shot win by Charlie Bailey’s rink that turned the match Fareham’s way.
Waverley was made to fight hard to finally beat Leigh Park by 4 shots. With both Clubs winning a rink with the other two being tied, it was 10shot win on Danny Smith’s rink that gave Waverley the win as that overcame the 6 shot win for Leigh Park by Mark Miller’s rink.
2nd placed Rowner fell to an 8shot away defeat at Priory. In a tight game, Priory winning on 3rinks gave them the match.
Fareham followed up their win over Leigh Park by thrashing Cowplain by 54 shots on their Home turf. Fareham won all 4rinks but it was the big wins on the rinks of Charlie Bailey and John Travers that were the cause of the size of the victory.
Finally, Alexandra got their act together with a 50 shot Home win over Waterlooville. Alex won on 3 rinks with the other being tied but the size of the victory was thanks to the 28shot win on Steve Feilder’s rink. Derek Holt’s rink picked up 7 shots on the last 3 ends to get ‘ville a point by getting a draw.
At Northern Parade, two Clubs who had won their first match met up and it was Vospers who took home all the spoils with a 34 shot Home win over Milton Park. Vospers won all 4 rinks, but it was the size of the victories on the rinks of Dave Young & Terry Smith that helped the final margin.
Earlier in the week, Naismith found out that putting a full side out always helps, recovering from their defeat the previous week by winning away at Portsmouth Water by 6shots. They won on 3 rinks, led by Howard Davis’ quartet. Brent Riste’s rink spared the Watermen’s blushes with their 9shot win.
However, they couldn’t carry on the good form on Friday, as they crashed to a 44 shot defeat at Star & Crescent. They weren’t helped that one of their side had to leave the game through illness and they didn’t have a travelling reserve to step in. Star won on 3 rinks and the size of their victory was thanks to the 30 shot win on Robbie Dennison’s rink. At least Kelvin Chandler’s rink got Naismith 2 points from the game with their 3 shot win.
Finally, Portsmouth Water recovered from their Naismith defeat by travelling onto the peninsula to beat Gosport by 5 shots. Both Clubs won on 2 rinks, with each having a rink that won big. It was the 14shot victory for Brent Riste’s men that overcame the 10 shot loss to Jim Oswell’s quartet.
Denmead opened their season with a rousing 38 shot, all rink win over visitors Gas Social. Boosting them to that victory were the 11shot wins on the rinks of George Carmichael and Glyn Jones.
In the other match, Bridgemary couldn’t quite follow up their win of the previous week as they fell to a 3 shot defeat at Purbrook Heath. With both Clubs winning on 2 rinks, it was the 13 shot win on Mick Frank’s rink that overcame the 10 shot loss to Craig Rimmer’s Bridgemary rink, as the other 2 cancelled each other out.
Views From The Head – Dateline May 3rd
The P&D Leagues got back to normal with a full competitive start last Friday, but the intervening two years caused by the COVID outbreak has meant that lots of Clubs have made large changes to their League sides caused by player turn round. In addition, we Lost Eastney due to player shortage and other Clubs have found that they can no longer run a League Side as bowlers have found other things to do rather than bowl, so the Leagues now just have 20 Clubs playing in them.
A much changed Waverley took on old rivals Alexandra (similarly much changed) and announced their determination to keep hold of the Peter’s Bowl by thrashing their visitors by 65shots. Not surprisingly, they won all 4 rinks, with huge wins on the rinks of John Biggs and Gary Starks. For Alex, only Carl Baggott’s rink kept the loss down to single figures
Rowner made an excellent start on their return to Div. 1 by beating visitors Leigh Park by 31shots, winning on all 4rinks. However, all the damage was inflicted by Graeme Coles’ men as they made full use of home green knowledge to win by 18shots, whilst the other 3 Leigh Park rinks kept things tighter. Seeing 1 of their rinks dropping 14 shots on 2 ends couldn’t have done much for the morale of the other Park rinks butt they stuck to their tasks.
Priory also started well with a 29 shot way win on the carpet at Cowplain. They won on 3rinks, led the 21shot win on Adrian Snook’s rink. They probably should have got all 16points except that Martin Eggleton’s rink dropped sixes on 2 of the last 3ends!!
In the other match in the division, Waterlooville made use of their carpet to beat Lee-on-the-Solent by 10shots. They won on 3rinks and their victory was thanks to the 8shot win on Barry Tovey’s rink as the other 3rinks were all close affairs.
Vospers got their season off to an excellent start with 25shot away win at Naismith, who washampered by having to play 1short. Vospers won on 3rinks, led by the 12shot win on Ray Porter’s rink. For Naismith, Vic Robertson’s quartet picked up 6shots on the last 3ends to take the game by 1