‘BIBC NEWS’ – March 2011

Welcome to the March edition of your Club Newsletter – I find it strange that this is the last edition before the end of the season. Apart from the snow, hasn’t the indoor season sped past??

Anyway, as some of us gird our loins for another dose of an Ulster summer, there is a lot to look back on, and equally a lot more to look forward to.
The Club is continuing to grow – we have introduced new leagues this year, namely the Mixed Pairs league, the Beginners Triples League, and the Premier League continues to attract our top men bowlers; our first Belfast Open Pairs kicks off in early April; once again, the Club will host a Tournament for Disabled bowlers on April 10th. Another new League is now being offered for next year: a Triples League (of any mix) on aThursday from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

The Club Championships over the weekend of 26th/27th February produced some fine bowling and exciting finishes.  Stephen Hedley produced great form to beat Roy Battersby 21-14 in the Singles Final, while Stanley Hegan defeated Billy Stevenson in the Plate competition. Open Pairs was won by B Quinn who defeated S Hegan in the final. Barry Browne’s rink lost to Paul McEwan’s rink 18-16 in a close-fought Fours Final; John Kerr overcame Davy Moore 19-12 in the Mixed Pairs Final; in the Two Bowl Pairs Final Roy Battersby defeated Davy Hamilton, while in the Triples Final Mike Merritt’s rink defeated Jim McGettrick 20-16; Steven Gibson overcame Gareth Pierpoint , again in a close match 21-18. Congratulations to all our male finalists and winners.

The British Isles Championships are being held this year in Stanley near Newcastle, and we wish all male and female Irish players all the best.

Turning to the Ladies- (to date) – Congratulations to Sandra Bailie’s rink who defeated Irene Minnis rink in a very close Ladies Fours Final and to Cliodhna Eadie’s rink who defeated Sandra Bailie in the Triples Final. Terri McJury will play Cliodhna Eadie in the Singles Final on Saturday 26th March, while Vera McCourt will play Irene Minnis in the Pairs Final on Friday 25th March.   Sandra and Cliodhna meet again in the final of the Vera McCourt pairs on Saturday 26th March.  Those results will be in the next Newsletter.

The 2 Summer leagues will once again operate this year – the Pairs on Mondays from 10am beginning on April 18th; the Friday Pairs start on April 29th. If there is sufficient interest from members in running a Pairs league on another day (with a minimum of 8 pairs) then that too will be considered.
The Beginners Triples League was won by the Alcorn family- Robert, Alice and Mark. Well done to them – see picture below. Thanks to all the other rinks for making this new competition  both enjoyable and competitive.
Beginner’s Triples Winners R Alcorn, M Alcorn & A Alcorn with Club President I.Cargill

Mixed Pairs Winners – John & Rita Kerr with Chairman Doreen Miskelly

Also in April – we welcome back the PBAs (Professional Bowlers Association) for another round of Singles.

Moving into May, I assume you have noticed the posters advertising the fact that our Manager is undertaking a marathon cycle along the Great Wall of China – there are various methods of supporting this venture. I would appeal to ALL members to support Richard’s efforts – all in the name of Cancer Research.

CAR-PARKING : this is a perennial problem for us. The hached areas at the front of the Clubhouse are there for a purpose – safety! Please do NOT park in these areas. Some people insist in parking in Disabled areas, and also Committee spaces – again, please refrain from doing this, or next year we might be forced into clamping/and/or fining.
Talking of cars – in a recent survey of members who did not renew their membership this year, a small number admitted it was due to the rising cost of motoring. Petrol and insurance are higher this year, and with the continuing trouble in the Middle East, it is likely the cost will further increase. I would appeal therefore to members to try to join a car pool when coming a distance, say from Bangor, Holywood or Lisburn.

CHASE THE ACE : for the uninitiated, the Rules for this are as follows – first of all you part with £1; next you pick a number from the envelopes left in the display box; your name and number will be written on a ballot ticket which goes into the draw on Saturday night; if your number is drawn you receive £25; you then have the opportunity to open the envelope, and if (IF) it contains the ACE, you receive a much larger amount. On March 8th this sum stands at £900 – so it is worth a flutter!

THE GREENS: it is in the interests of ALL bowlers to respect the bowling surfaces. Recently, it has been noticed that some bowlers are treating the greens with disrespect – by dropping their bowls from a height, allegedly because someone has walked into their line of delivery. I would appeal to everyone to treat the greens with care – please.

TELEVISION: it has been agreed by the Management Committee that during Club Championships and Competitions, the TV in the lower bar area will not be operative. If anyone wants to watch TV the one in the upper bar will be on.

SUMMER OPENING HOURS: these remain the same as last year ie. the Club will be open on Mondays to Fridays from 10.00am until 2pm. Also – Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm. NOTE: the Restaurant will remain open from 10.00am until 2pm on those days- except when exams are on in the Club (watch the boards).

LATE NEWS!: I am delighted to reveal that the AIIB has secured a sponsorship deal with Specsavers NI – a very generous amount over a three year period covering shirts, jackets, scorecards and membership cards. Needless to say, the Officers are delighted and wish to thank Ronnie McKitterick whose work has secured the future of the AIIB for the foreseeable future.

May I take this opportunity to wish all bowlers a successful, dry and competitive summer season ahead, and remember, we will be sending out info regarding the AGM.