A little bit of bowls history occurred recently in the sunny climes of Weston-super-Mare when a team of bowlers representing the BWBA played a county side outdoors for the very first time.
The match was played at the instigation of Somerset County President Gerry Gridley who has been involved in bowls in Somerset for many a year and at all levels. Gerry is the first President of the newly unified County Bowling Association. He has had a keen interest in wheelchair bowls since his first visit to the BWBA’s premier outdoor event, The John Morse Solicitors Pairs, held annually at St.Andrews BC, Weston-super-Mare. This was five years ago, and since then he has been a loyal and passionate advocate of the BWBA in particular and wheelchair bowlers in general. He has also been a generous donor too. So it was logical that St.Andrews BC should be the venue for this inaugral match.
The home team was drawn from across the county and was strong one with several of the senior officers playing along with several players with Middleton Cup and International experience. Inevitably, players travelled from further afield to play in the BWBA team: notably, Cornwall, Sussex and as far away as Lancashire – Mark Morris and Ken Willetts came al the way from Bolton! The elements were good with temperatures set for the high seventies under a cloudless sky and on a quick green with more than a hint of brown in it.
The strength of the county side told and they ran out victors by a convincing 121 – 77. “Everyone agreed that the day was a successful and enjoyable one, and I am please to say that a date has already been agreed for a return fixture next year,” said BWBA Chairman Ian Blackmore. “ It was great to see how many of Somerset’s top brass turned out in response to Gerry’s invitation and this support is really appreciated.”
Momentoes to commemorate the day were presented by Grahame Lucker, managing director of the Bristol based company Modern Glass.
Match Result: –
Teams (BWBA first): –
H.Dare, S.Ralfs, D.Rhys-Jones, A.Brown 18 – 25 A.Reynolds, I.Hancock, L.Hilleard, M.Martin
M.Diston, R.Weaterhead, B.Lazenby, T.Fitzgerald 17 – 21 G.Oliver, T.Keates, J.Durston, D.Wederell
T.Down, T.Farrant, B.May, D.Favis 15 – 24 D.Court, S.Newdick, D.Lush, D.Rendall
M.Morris, T.Allen, K.Willetts, I.Blackmore 9 – 32 G.Lee, B.Cottrell, G.Gridley, G.Luker
R.Wilton, R.Conley, E.Barrett, P.Brown 18 – 19 P.Cast, B.Back, L.Elswood, R.Doughty