Thursday, October 31, 2013
Topsham bowlers have just returned from a wonderful tour to the Algarve, writes Colin Chudley.
The Tops flew out to Portugal from Exeter Airport looking forward to the opportunity of plying their skills in a different environment.
Topsham’s first game was aginst Tavira Bowls Club. It was agreed at the start to play 18 ends due to the very hot weather and that became the norm for the tour.
It was obvious that the Topsham bowlers were a bit rusty having not played for a few weeks.
After 10 ends it looked as if we were heading for a heavy defeat, but as the new players settled and the team adjusted to the heavy green, Topsham started to fight back. The rink of Roy Hayman, Margaret Strachan, Jean Chudley and Jim Turner (skip) scored a magnificent seven on the last end to win 23-20 and with captain Pete Greeno’s rink of Jamie Wyman, Kirsten Colman, Carol Horgan winning handsomely 21-8 to be top scorers. Despite their efforts Topsham lost 108-86, but all agreed it was a most enjoyable start to the tour action.
The next day took the tourists to at Valverde with a 10.30am start. Playing on a green that was laid only six years ago proved to be quite a challenge!
Having played a game on the previous day helped Topsham to adjust quickly and, with a bit of better fortune, they could have won the game.
As it was they lost by only six shots, once again Topsham scored 86, but the opponents scored 92. Top rink was Jean Chudley, Roy Hayman, Carol Horgan and Jim Turner winning 21-8. A splendid after-match luncheon was provided by the hosts and was greatly appreciated.
Day three was a rrest day from action, but day four took the team to Pedras, this a Thursday afternoon fixture that followed a leisurely lunch around the harbour, Topsham were made to toil in the sun on a very hot day and on a green that had been well watered.
The game was lost in the first half when the opposition set long jacks and Topsham struggled to find the weight.
The Tops were successful on two rinks and kept the score reasonable thanks mainly to the efforts of top rink Sue Bendell, Margaret Strachan, Jamie Wyman and Roger Muskett who triumphed 31-5.
The final match of the tour saw the party cross the border into Spain and a match in the charming border town Ayamonte and the Canela Bowls Club.
This match provided the perfect ending as Topsham recorded a 102-79 victory!
The honour of being top rink went to Yvonne Hayman, Roy Hayman Doreen Richards and John Brand.
At the after-tour gathering, prizes were awarded to all the players. With the Top Lady award going to one of the club’s newer bowlers, Margaret Strachan, whilst the Top Man prize went to Jamie Wyman.
All the Topsham tourists expressed their thanks to Carol Horgan for all her hard work in arranging and ‘Horganising’ this very successful venture.