WALES –V- NORTH MIDLANDS
AT BRADLEY BOWLING CLUB
ON SUNDAY, 3 MAY 2015-05-05
It was a sunny windy day.
1. Kevin Nicholas (Capt) –v- Paul Lamb. I got off to a good start taking the first three chalks but Paul soon dropped on a good length and bowled well to be just in front at the half way mark. Paul scored several chalks together to take a 20-12 lead and four ends later he won with an 18” bowl in the corner 21-16.
2. Simon Tyler –v- Dan Hopwood. Simon showed his class throughout the game and was mentioned in despatches by Stuart Nash, the North Midlands Captain, who had noticed how well he played. A very solid performance by one of our more experienced players.
3. Joey Williams–v-David Smith. Joey made his debut for Wales standing in for Darren Lacey, who due to an incident with a band saw could only play finger peg! Joey played well and is now showing his potential to compete at the highest level.
4. Graham Rogers – v- Mark Burdett. Graham who put in hours of practice bowled well and did little wrong but was up against it from the start. Mark took to the green like a duck to water and showed why he is considered one of the top players on the indoor flat green carpet. He was awarded MOM for his awesome display.
5. Adam Penlington – v- Richard Burdett. Adam bowled well in his debut for Wales playing hard marks across and off the side of the crown. Richard found it difficult at times to the get line and length right and Adam cashed in. A very accomplished performance by Adam.
6. Keiron Roberts –v- Adam Bell. Keiron also making his debut showed his knowledge of the green and bowled consistently well. He raced off to a great start with Adam wondering what had hit him as Keiron plastered the jack. Adam started to adapt to the green and fought back bowling some great shots. Keiron finished the match 21-15 in his favour. His father, Derek breathed a sigh of relief as the game ended. He was one proud Dad. His anguish not over yet as Keiron’s twin brother Leighton was still to go on at number 10.
7. Richard Zolman –v- Steve Pratt. Richard had a tough game on his hands and fought hard to keep in touch with Steve, who settled quickly to the pace of the green. He didn’t need advice given from the away supporters and politely asked one of them to keep quiet. Richard then played through at a close bowl in the corner and made contact to score a double. This shot opened up the chance for him to take control. He crossed the winning post 21-18. Deservedly Welsh MOM
8. Ian B. Jones –v- Daniel Edkins. Ian made a convincing debut and was soon on his favoured mark across the green. He lapped up the banter coming from both sets of supporters and gave little opportunity for Daniel to make progress in the game. Ian is young Welsh bowler who made a big impact on the final result.
9. David A. Jones (Rocky) –v-Noel Bates. Our thoughts are with Marilyn, Rocky and family in the battle against her cancer. Rocky always gives his best playing for Wales and didn`t disappoint, showing he`s more than a handful when playing the long marks. Noel put in a good shift and made Rocky fight all the way. It is to his credit that Rocky can produce such an outstanding performance on the day and I am proud to be part of a team in which he bowls.
10. Leighton Roberts – v – Steve Reed. Leighton, as ever, bowled with concentration and accuracy and is fast becoming a force in Welsh bowls. It was no easy game for Steve who stepped in for Peter Spencer on the day. Steve scored 14 before losing out to Leighton. Now both twins had winning scores and finally their father Derek could relax and breath normally again.
11. Andy Delooze –v- Peter Varney. Andy came up against the experienced Peter Varney and for once failed to find his true form on this green. Peter found the pace to his liking made things tough for Andy to get a run with the jack. Andy fought and gave his all but in the end it was Peter who played best on the day. It was great to see Peter, who having come through ill health is back playing in the sport we all love.
12. Francis Penlington –v- Stuart Nash (Capt) – Francis was also a little off his game but battled against the on form Stuart Nash. The rubs of the green went against Francis and Stuart played with purpose and skill and on the day deserved his win.
Thanks to all the Welsh players and reserves that put in countless hours of practice on the Bradley green. Not only does it show their determination to be at their best on the day, but also underlines their commitment to be part of a successful Welsh Team. We were all selected because of our knowledge and ability on Bradley green. I don`t know where the next match will be played, or what the team will be but remember, selected or not, we’re all part of the squad going forward.
The North Midlands team prepared really well for the Bradley carpet green and I would imagine most of them had some experience on artificial surfaces. The standard of bowls played by their team shows why they are favourite to win the group, but we`re hot on their tails and are striving to be the best. As Stuart said to the Welsh Squad in his speech at the end “I wish you good luck in your next games, but not too much!” - I return the same sentiment.