GALLERY: Bowlers reacquaint themselves with the great outdoors

The outdoor bowls season has started in earnest in West Sussex – here’s how our local clubs got their summers up and running.

See this week’s Observer for reports and pictures but first enojy our gallery from around the greens, above.

Send all your bowls reports and pictures to steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

CHICHESTER

The Mayor of Chichester, John Hughes, rolled the opening bowl on the first day of the season – played out on a lovely afternoon and on a perfect green, prepared by Mick Page.

More than 50 club members were present, resulting in some having to play only half of the annual match between the club president’s team and the captains team.

Witterings Bowls Club member Jan Derkatsch shows open day visitor Pip Batten bowling techniques / Picture by Louise Adams

Witterings Bowls Club member Jan Derkatsch shows open day visitor Pip Batten bowling techniques / Picture by Louise Adams

The captain’s team won by a very close margin.

Although the sun was shining, a cool breeze resulted in a number of players resorting to a visit to the clubhouse for a jumper or jacket.

MIDDLETON

What you want for the first day of your season is fine weather, a good turnout of members and fun. And that is precisely what Middleton got for their opening drive.

The fun was organised by husband and wife team and this year’s men’s and ladies’ captains, Peter and Lyn Lush, with a novel singles competition.

Teams of four played three matches of five ends each with the make-up of each team redrawn after each match. Individual players were credited with the team score for each match, the winning players being those with the best overall points difference.

Lyn Lush came out top among the ladies and Alec Ayers did likewise among the men. After the presentation, members were treated to cake.

If club meetings continue like the opening drive this is going to be a truly enjoyable season for Middleton members.

To find out more about joining the gang, contact club secretary David Wilkins on 01234 585011.

WITTERINGS

Ben Green, local manager of Henry Adams estate agents, officially launched Witterings and District Bowls Club’s 2015 season by bowling the first bowl.

The occasion was well-attended by members and newcomers eager to start playing again after the winter break.

CRABLANDS

The club’s season-opening day was enjoyed by all in brilliant sunshine.

Winners of the spider were Lew Lewendon and Val Foyle. Proceeds will be donated to St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Winners of the competition were Lil Tuck, George Hemmings, Jim Saunders and Sheila Jones. Runners-up were Pat Osborn, Nigel Reynolds, John Harman and Sue Blyth.

MIDHURST

Midhurst BC opened their green for the start of the season. Twenty-eight members turned out on a bright but chilly afternoon and the green bowled very well for its first trial of the season.

The season of friendly matches starts on Friday, May 1, with a match at West Dean at 6.15pm and the league season starts on Tuesday, May 12, with a visit to Alton.

On Saturday, May 9, the club hold an open afternoon from 2pm, inviting new or old members to come along and have a go. Bowlers can come and visit the club and see what it is about.

The first club competition for the Jack Smith Trophy takes place on Saturday, May 16, from 10am.

ALDINGBOURNE

Aldingbourne BC started their 2015 season with an opening drive on the all-weather green, with 36 members taking part.

Teams of four played a round-robin format, with Keith Robini, Dave Stanmore, Maureen Gray, Eileen Fitch winning by a resounding shot difference of 22.

Because of their surface, Aldingbourne can start their season earlier than the grass clubs.

They welcome any players or beginners who want to give their green a try.

INDOOR SCENE

West Sussex bowls officials held the finals of their inter-club KO Cup competition.

In the main cup competition, the semi-finals matched Horsham-based Comptons against Boxgrove-based Infinity and Billingshurst-based The Martlets against Upper Beeding.

In the Infinity-Comptons game, Infinity were always in the lead on one mat with the other close and ran out winners by 42-30.

In the other semi-final, The Martlets took control on one mat and pulled away on the other in the latter stages for a 41-30 win.

The final saw The Martlets, holders of the cup, take an early lead in the game, establishing a dominant position by the mid-point, and although Infinity pulled back in the second half, The Martlets won and retained the Cup by 50-21.

In the plate competition for clubs who lost in the first round, Bognor faced Midhurst and Arundel played Mannings Heath.

In the Bognor-Midhurst game, plate holders Midhurst struggled on one mat with the game very close on the other and Bognor ran out comfortable 43-27 winners.

In the other semi-final, Arundel led on one mat with Mannings Heath leading on the other, and in the end Mannings Heath won 47-37.

The final saw a similar pattern to the semi-finals with Bognor in charge on one mat and trailing on the other. Mannings Heath were unable to close the gap on the mat where they trailed and Bognor took a deserved 53-32 victory.

NYETIMBER

Nyetimber held theirannual meeting with an attendance of 39 members, including founder member Joan Evans.

Peter Watters was re-elected chairman and Irene Hathaway was elected to replace retiring club captain Elwyn Morgan.

The Golds’ league team has been renamed the Lions, with Barbara Crewe as captain, and the Greens have been renamed the Bears under the captaincy of Jim Chaplain.

The Greens were congratulated on their promotion to division one and both look forward to a successful new season.

Nyetimber Greens played an end-of-season in-house friendly match against the rest of the club. Greens had an overall win by three shots. It was a pleasant, friendly end to the league season.

Scores: Sue Lyons, George Rump, Andy Watson and Peter Watters lost 20-12 to Stella Singleton, Jimmy Smith,Richard Stevens and Tony Mussell; Una Purnell, Jean Morgan, Jim Chaplain and Freddie Kaucher beat Alan Crewe, Carol Sands, Nigel Plummer and Barbara Crewe 23-12; Stuart Ridgewell, Pat Pitts, Cyril Searle and Arthur Guppy drew 24-24 with Lynton Griffiths, Pat Mussell, Elwyn Morgan and Irene Hathaway (scoring a hotshot).

MIDHURST

Midhurst Eagles’ last two games were both very hard, with the Eagles just losing out on one but winning their last game on all three mats.

The game against Bognor Goodwoods was very close on both mats. The Eagles won on one but lost on the second with Bognor coming out on top winning by one shot 43-42.

Scores: L Stevens, J Etheridge-Barns, L Mercer, R Weeks won 22-16; B Osborne, I Frost, B Fallows, T Berry lost 27-20.

A match against Ashington was hard-fought with the Eagles coming out on top on all three mats, winning 69-57.

Scores: D Clark, B Fallows, T Berry won 29-22; B Osborne, D Berry, S Glazebrook, R Carn won 21-17; A Carn, S Tait, L Mercer, R Weeks won 19-18.