Welcome to the spring (!) edition of your Club’s Newsletter. The Club Finals went well : see a list of winners (so far) and some pictures below (other pics in the foyer). It was great to see the stadium busy on both days; it was good to see men and ladies competing for the cups on the same green. Also see the Chairman’s remarks too.

Men’s Singles winner: Mark McPeak; Ladies Singles Winner : Chloe Watson (probably the youngest champion in the Club); Senior Singles: Seamus Elliman; Junior Singles : Simon Cavan; Mens’ Pairs Winners : Clifford Craig, Stephen Hedley; Senior Pairs Winners: Sammy Ashwood, John Nutt;Mens’ Fours: K.Matchett, S.Poots, A.Briggs, A Roberts; Ladies Fours: T.Mcjury.K. Morrow, K.Curran, I.Minnis; 2 Bowl Pairs : T.Crawford, S.Bennett.

The remaining Finals will be played within the next few weeks.The Beginners Pairs Final, once again, was keenly fought, and the winners were : Nigel Lockhart and Colin Whan.
To help our members representing Ireland in the Internationals and Championships in Stanley, the Club held a Quiz Night for the ladies, and a Night at the Races for the men- both were well supported. I would like to thank all those who turned up, and also Richard Wilkinson for setting both of these events up.

Chloe Watson with Chairman Ronnie McKitterick        Mark McPeak with Chairman Ronnie McKitterick

Something new: Chairman’s Remarks : Ronnie McKitterick believes it is appropriate in this Newsletter to refer to the Club Finals; it was great to see the coming together of the Ladies and Men sections to display their skills watched by more spectators than in previous years. I have no doubt that there would be few who would disagree with me when I state that we witnessed a fine display of bowling. I congratulate all our Champions and commiserate with the runners up. A special mention to young Chloe Watson for a tremendous performance in winning the Ladies Singles Final. What a talent at such a young age.

I would also on behalf of the Management Committee thank W.McConkey, Chief Umpire, and all Umpires on duty over the weekend. I also offer thanks to our board markers (especially Master William Craig), and of course Alberta and her staff for all the nourishment needed to keep all going over a long weekend, and not forgetting Richard and John in the Office for all the hard work behind the scenes.
Finally a very special word of thanks to David Nixon who in his first year in the role of Competition Secretary stepped into the role as if he had been doing it for years. To have followed Bobby Johnston our previous Secretary who had set the standard so highly for the position, David performed admirably in his usual quiet way and not only organised the competitions with great skill but also played in the Finals.

We can now look forward to the inaugural Club Dinner being held on Friday March 22nd when we honour our Champions and present their cups to them. I look forward to a great evening.

A new venture : we are having an Inaugural Club Dinner on Friday March 22nd @7.30pm. Most of you have experience of these with your outdoor clubs. Club Finalists will be presented with their cups.  Alberta has put together an enticing menu, and the price for members and guests is only £10. You can book your invitation with the Reception Office – places are limited to the first 100. Look at the posters and flyers around the Club!

Club News: we have decided to install solar panels which should help our electricity bills.

As we near the end of the season may I make a few requests: please complete your League programme – each cancelled game costs the Club £28!  Secondly, if you have not yet added your e-mail address to our posting list please do so – it saves us stacks of money when sending out the summer packs for next year.
Thirdly: talking of these packs, we need volunteers to pick the envelopes up (a lot of members have big numbers who play indoor and outdoor.)
Next season : I would strongly advise 5 members for each rink entered in a league (some even enter 6 and work a rota)- this covers illness, holidays etc and prevents postponed or cancelled games.

Our 3 bowl Pairs Competition kicks off this weekend and some good bowling is expected, for the second week in a row.
Later in the month our short mat colleagues are here for their National Championships ( 9th and 23rd) so the Stadium will be busy on those days.

Plus the PBAs are here on 6th, 7th and 8th April – so the Stadium is very busy.

Summer leagues: forms for these are now available. At the moment, the proposed days for these are Tuesday am and Friday pm. (both 4 bowl pairs). Restaurant opening hours in the summer are also slightly different from last year. The Club itself will be open from Wednesday 3rd April , Monday to Friday 10.00am to 2pm, and in the evenings Friday and Saturday from 7pm. The Club will be closed for Easter and watch the noticeboards for exam dates.

Some members continue with bad habits: eg walking up the side of a rink, or even crossing into the rink next door – instead of walking up the centre of their own rink; another annoying trait is following up a bowl by walking up the green – when the opponent is on the mat. LAW: you should be in front of the bowl or at the head as the bowl arrives; far too many members are still allowing their mobile phones to ring during a game. What is wrong with silent mode??? Have some respect for other bowlers.

I was amused and occasionally bemused, by my ‘new Club rule’ regarding petting on the green.  Heard on the green recently : a skip passing his partner in pairs commented that he was going to play his forehand, but that it was a bit erotic (erratic??) that morning.

Finally as our players set off to Stanley for the Championships and Internationals, may we wish them all good Irish luck, and trust they return with some titles.


Ken Armstrong