Good news and bad news – depending on who you are! First of all, the good news – the £930 Chase the Ace  fund was won by a syndicate from Portadown; well, I suppose they have to have something going for them! No, seriously, have a good Xmas.

The bad news : our men’s team did not manage to retain the Inter-Association Trophy. Having despatched both the Under 25s and the Provincial teams, our boys fell at the last hurdle and the winners were the County Antrim team. Still, it was a great effort.

We are at present installing light sensors in all the toilets – meaning that they only go on when there is movement in the toilet area. So – if the lights go out wave your arms! Or, it might mean you are in there too long!!

Still on the good news front : most of you will have noticed by now that we have appointed a new Caretaker/Security Officer – John McCullough.  John is, of course, well known as a bowler in the Stadium, but we wish him well in his new position.

I am glad to report that that all the leagues are going well, with not too many postponements.  Also – the new Mixed Pairs Knockout competition will be starting in January.  We are, of course, heading for the AIIB Finals in December, and we are hoping for success.

Scorecards : in an attempt to standardise procedure in the Stadium, can I suggest that the team on the LEFT of the scorecard goes on TOP of the scoreboard – this will hopefully remove any confusion.

This is the time for Xmas dinners, and the bookings for the restaurant are going well.  If you haven’t yet thought about getting a bunch of your pals together, why not? Eat your way out of the recession.  Encourage your short mat club to come down, have a bowl, and have a Xmas dinner too.

Coaching Corner: I have written before here about Concentration in bowls.  I wish to continue this theme by talking briefly about attaining the consistency we all crave:

• keep your weight on the balls of your feet when adopting your stance.
• face your feet along the ‘line of delivery.’
• step straight along the proposed line of delivery, because your arm should (needs to) follow the same line.
• co-ordinate your step and arm-swing, taking a normal walking step.
• make your bowling arm a pendulum, and, as you step forward, avoid twisting your shoulders.
• avoid pulling your arm across your body; keep it close to your thigh.
• release your bowl smoothly, approx. 10 inches forward and to the side of the front foot.
• follow-through is crucial – the palm of your bowling hand should be facing along (and preferably palm up) the line of delivery at the completion of the action.
• your non-bowling arm should be used to keep your balance by resting it on your thigh.
• finally, on completion of delivery, bring your back foot up to your front foot.

Still on the Coaching front: the next Coaching Session for Beginners will start on Monday January 11th at 7.15pm.  Please encourage new members!!

Social Scene: the third Quiz Night is happening on Saturday December 19th.

Above you see the Club’s Senior Triples Winners of 2008.  Can you pick the odd man out??

May I take this opportunity to thank all our bowlers, and customers, for their contributions so far in 2009, and wish everyone a Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year.  Happy bowling in 2010.