We left a sunny North Wales behind and headed north with much anticipation of yet another good performance. The home venue has proved a banker over the years and with another good performance away we were confident of making it 2 wins on the bounce.
News soon reached us on the bus that the North Lancs away team had broken down and the fixture would be delayed for an hour. On reaching the venue we were pleased to see it had 2 greens so we had a good hour loosen up before going on for practice on the match green an hour later that originally thought.

One change in the team for Rocky was Andy Delooze and this was confirmed after practice in the per game chat.

We played North Lancs only a couple of years back and were soundly beaten home and away. We knew that we needed a quick start to demonstrate things would not be the same.

Game 1
Gerwyn Davies -v- Simon Coupe 10-21
A real tough ask to play one of the games best on his own patch but beasty was well up for the job. The first half of the game was top draw and level throughout. In the end Simon showed why he is one of the best and just went up another gear, running out with 5 two's.
Beasty came off disappointed but had more than competed throughout.

Leighton Roberts -v- James Ball 21-13
Leto is plying really well and it showed. His opponent got out of the blocks quickly and went 8-2 up but it was a short lived success. A real quality display had his opponent running for his bowls bag for a quick change of equipment!
End result no different and a high class performance.

Adam Penlington -v- Dave Watters 21-12
Playing possibly his first away game against their captain this could have been a tough job but Adam played well throughout and never looked like showing signs of nerves. Favouring a longer mark he dominated the game and other than an 8 break for Dave mid game this could have been even more emphatic. A great addition to the team and a deserved MOM on his first away trip.

Richard Zolman -v- Lyndon Carr 11-21
The score doesn't represent the game! Zolly must have gone through every gap and lost every measure throughout. Lyndon played well and kept up the pressure but Zolly dug deep battling for every point. He will gain a lot from this experience and can draw on it in future matches.

Andy Delooze -v- Ian Nicholson 10-21
Not the easiest of matches to come off the bench for and I doubt few would have envied Andy's task. To his credit he battled throughout and took on the selectors request when being asked to step forward. Ian was his typical self, playing consistently well and going about his job with little fuss. Andy tried most things to hang in the game and battled to double figures well beating a lot of close bowls. Top effort.

Paul Hallett -v- Ian Penzer 15-21
A real good game against possibly there MOM in my opinion.
Close bowls from the off with Paul pulling away on longer marks only for Ian to peg him back on the shorter stuff. 2 real bowls from Paul at 14-13 down looked to be a nail in the coffin for Ian but to his credit that was the last Paul saw of it. A good finish and another excellent game.

Chris Slater -v- Geoff Little 19-21
Chris looked to be cruising to victory here but his opponent had other ideas. Chris varied his approach early on to race into a 15-7 lead but Geoff played really well to hang in and came back playing across the Middle.
 
Geoff took the local MOM award but Chris probably feels it's one that got away such are his standards and expectations of himself. I am sure next game that someone will pay the price!

Lewis Scott -v- Sam Patterson 21-15
Another one who was quick out of the blocks only to see his opponent come back!
Lou Lou was in the away team to deliver another win and he didn't disappoint. Playing the corners well (having been taught by the master Mr Bonatti!) this looked like an even bigger win but Sam dug in well to come back level at 15 across. Lewis showed his class though to close the game out and give us our first winner in the middle 4.

Carl Roberts -v- Mike Leach 18-21
Malloy took on the born again king of the edges Mr Leach, who recently won the merit on this very green!
Top quality game throughout that often left Mike wondering just what he had to do to win. Close bowls to the end and Mike showed real class to somehow win this game from a few behind at the end. Great away display though from ding dong ching chong and he would have won many of the games that day.

Andrew Hughes -v- Owen Jackson 21-17
One of my better games for Wales in recent years against an opponent who is tipped for big things in the game.
Out of the blocks quickly racing to a 5-0 lead up the edges... Shock!
Owen came back well to lead out 14-13 but a few 'bashes' later and I was back edging in front. Pleased to win this one and a great game....If I do say so myself!

Mike Riley -v- Ian Downing 21-15
Old dodgy knees but a decent arm!
Never really in doubt, even ran a few in after consulting the club doctor.
Form temporary and class is permanent and we hope he is back in the team sooner rather than later following his op.

Craig Griffiths -v- Derek Ainsworth 21-14
Anchor man and looks right at home in my position... Sorry I mean at number 12!
At 7ft 3 Griff looks like a reacher but is becoming the round peg master. Looked comfy on the green throughout as the match situation got tense.
Another great away performance.

Overall then a superb performance backed up by a few sensational ones at home. We ended up taking 6 of the last 8 blocks to drag ourselves over the line.
Great team support and belief that we are moving in the right direction.
WALES 209 NORTH LANCS & FYLDE 212

WALES WIN BY 14 OVERALL

Regards,
A proud captain.
Andy Hughes