On a baking hot day, we all arrived (just in time), to a very friendly and hospitable greeting from our hosts in Staffordshire. As we watched the home team practice we could clearly see that a very challenging day lay ahead, a large crown with lots of very bare/burnt ridges and green hollows…and unfortunately the bowls were shifting through both. During practice it became clear that some parts of the green were simply unplayable and that was before the green picked up another three yards during the match.
During the team talk Andy Hughes announced the two reserves coming in : Neale Charlton replacing Gwerydd Buckland and Roger Morgan replacing Keith Bailey. Gary Cooper our host team manager very kindly came over with free drink vouchers for each of our squad from their sponsors….gratefully received by one and all on such a hot day!
So to the match…
1) Jason Jones 21-19 – A entertaining game with good bowls being regularly beaten Jason establishing a healthy lead at 19-11 only to be pegged back to 19 across along an edge before getting out. Wales MOM performance from Jason.
2) Nicky Jones 11-21 – Half way through this game was more or less dead level before Nicky’s opponent landed on a pig of a mark and absolutely wrapped it, resulting in him deservedly winning Staffordshire’s MOM.
3) Graham Hunt 12-21 – I practiced with Graham and he was brilliant, only problem was Glyn Storer had the identical game plan to Graham’s and his superior green knowledge was the difference.
4) Kev Nic 21-20 – The daddy of our team once again proved that there is no substitute for experience, especially in conditions like this, as he ground out a fine win with two doubles at 17-20.
Gets a bit tricky now as I was also on Middle four…
5) Ivor Jones 15-21 – told me afterwards that he was disappointed with his game but he clearly battled all the way as Ivor always does.
6) Gerwyn Davies 21-16 – Gerwyn showing all the maturity needed on a day like today with another fine win…if I recall correctly that three out of three wins away for Beasty this season…his top competitions experience really paying off.
7) Roger Morgan 21-15 – Got off to a solid start going 11-2 up then had a few rubs of the green to hold onto a 20-10 lead before a slight wobble on a very hard mark for a lefty. Must have bribed someone to get overall MOM.
8) Darren Williams 15-21 – Dazzler tells me he got off to a bad start but he never gives up and got a very creditable score on a hard track.
9) Lewis Scott 21-16 – What a turn around ! Lew also showing that ‘never give up’ attitude he always has, coming back from something like 7-15 down to practically run out in the corners. My performance of the day pick.
10) Peter Jones 9-21 – Up against it today against a very experienced county opponent and Peter will be the first to admit that this was not his preferred going.
11) Neale Charlton 21-20 The Holywell trundler strikes again with some really impressive pressure bowls, on a green perfectly suited to his game, at the death, to deny a very good opponent.
12) Andy Hughes 9-21 – Andy did not play badly at all, sometimes you get an opponent who keeps pulling out vital bowls to wipe out any momentum you have and keep you under pressure. Crazy will bounce back…
So in summary 6 winners each on a tricky green, in searing heat, with a 35 point aggregate difference is very respectable performance.