Following a slight easing of the Coronavirus ‘Lockdown’ and having adopted suitable procedures, as directed by Bowls England, for the safe resumption of sport in a Covid secure environment, casual bowling at Fishbourne, eventually began on 19th May.
Our twice weekly roll-ups started on 15th.June and, building on the popularity of these, and increasingly confident in the arrangements for bowling under the prevailing conditions, a limited program of domestic competition was launched on 25th June.
Specifically tailored for pandemic conditions, Singles, Two Woods and Invitation Pairs, started with group stages followed by semi-finals as appropriate, and over a hundred keenly contested matches were played, many of which were ‘nail-bitingly’ close.
The finals were played over two consecutive Saturday mornings, in perfect weather conditions, and supported by a ‘socially distanced’ gallery comprising most of the club membership.
On Saturday 5th September the final of the Singles (Four Wood), featuring Christine Holt and Bernard Pack resulted in a win for Bernard Pack by 23 shots to 11.
At the same time the Two Woods final was played between Mike Beal and Martin Reed, which was won by Martin Reed by 15 shots to 9.
Saturday 12th September saw the final of the Invitation Pairs between Mike Beal and Dave McTurk, playing Mike and Marlies Hall Hall. This provided gripping entertainment for the near capacity crowd. Mike and Dave established an early lead but at the significant score of 13 although neither of them are particularly superstitious, they stuck fast, and only scored two more in the rest of the game, which was won by Mike and Marlies with 20 shots to 15.
On Friday 18th September, and replacing our customary candlelight match and supper, the season was brought to a close with an entertaining Spoon Drive. Cunningly devised by our Competition Secretary, it involved no less than twentyfour members playing on a number of different rinks, in different triples (the rule of six applied), and in different positions.
A prize for the Spider, preceding the game, was donated by our President, and the main event was generously sponsored by Allan and Jan Marsh, who also provided and served the post match refreshment.
So ended a very different, but not unrewarding, outdoor season. Let us all hope for a slightly less challenging 2021.
Pictures from the Finals are available within the photos section.