Ross-on-Wye Bowling Club


Kate Williams

Kate Williams

In January Kate Williams is playing for the England Ladies Short Mat Squad, playing in an International match against Belgium from the 19th- 22nd in Herentals. Kate will be representing England in the singles and skipping a fours team. Leading up to Belgium, Kate and the England squad have been playing a number of practice game at squad weekends to prepare for the international which England have won all their games. Kate has been representing England for a number years first as a junior international where she obtained the position of captain for one season in 2014/15 and has now has progressed to the England Ladies squad.

Short Mat Bowls Season Review 2016-17

The year began with an unsuccessful defence of the County Summer League competition, Ross 1 being drawn in a tough Larks division and finishing runners-up to eventual competition winners Woolhope. Ross 2 finished 4th in Swallows division.

The club once again ran a full programme of competitions across the winter season, culminating in the climax of the club singles competition and an awards presentation and buffet supper.

The singles competition looked for a long time as if it could produce an unexpected result but, in the end, Tony Vitale made it 4 wins in 5 years. Tony's semi-final against Rob George was neck and neck throughout, the match only being decided by a strong final end from the defending champion. In the other semi-final, this year's surprise performer, Leo Hughes, overcame Les Williams for the second time in this year's competition to take his place in the final. Leo continued his strong form into the final and after 10 of the 15 ends he had a narrow lead but Tony then found his best form and reeled off 4 straight ends to take the match with an end to spare and make another successful title defence.

Club president John Perks presented the awards to the competition winners:
Singles: Tony Vitale
Evening Triples: Ali Roe, Gwen Lambert, Ian Park
Afternoon Pairs: John Churchill, Harold Aubrey
Afternoon Australian Pairs: Sue Stephenson, Les Williams
Afternoon Triples (1): Lyn Cole, Sue Dix, Les Williams
Afternoon Triples (2): Derek Griffiths, Bernard Glover, George Marshall

Ross players had another very successful season at county level. Ian Park became the first player to win the county singles title three times and the club successfully defended their county titles in Triples (Ali & Ian Roe, Ian Park), Mixed Fours (Elaine George, Ian Roe, Pam & Ian Park) and Bromyard Triples Challenge (Elaine George, Dave Watkins, Les Williams). They also had losing finalists in the Singles (Ian Roe), Triples (Elaine George, Dave Watkins & Les Williams), Fours (Elaine & Rob George, Dave Watkins & Les Williams) and Mixed Fours (Ali Roe, Dave Watkins, Kate Williams & Les Williams). The team of Ali & Ian Roe, Les Williams and Dave Watkins won the Macmillan Charity tournament for the second time.

Ross players qualified in all 5 senior disciplines to represent Herefordshire in the National Finals. The full list of qualifiers, with their position in the national finals, was:
Singles:  Ian Roe - Last 32
Pairs:  Ian Park & Tony Vitale - Last 32
Triples:  Ali & Ian Roe, Ian Park - Qualifying group
Fours:  Ian Roe & Ian Park (with Dominic & Anthony Rogers) - Qualifying group
Mixed Fours:  Ali & Ian Roe, Pam & Ian Park - Last 16

The ‘A’ team had to settle for runners-up spot in Division 1 of the County Winter League, won once again by Woolhope A but the ‘B’ team should be promoted, finishing runners-up in Division 2 after leading the division for long periods. The ‘C’ team finished 6th in Division 2. Ross reached the final of the LEH Team of Ten competition for the first time in 6 years but were defeated by Woolhope in the final.

Ross entered a team in the National Top Club Championships for the first time and qualified for the finals although the opposition there proved too strong for the Ross team (George Marshall, Dave Watkins, Les Williams, Ian Roe, Kate Williams & Ian Park) who won only 2 of their 16 games across the two days of competition.

Across the season 8 Ross players represented Herefordshire in the Inter County Championships.

Prize Winners 2016-17.jpg
Prize Winners 2016-17
County Singles Oct 16
County Singles Oct 16
Bromyard Triples 2017
Bromyard Triples 2017
Singles Final 2017
Singles Final 2017
Macmillan Winners 2016
Macmillan Winners 2016
County Mixed Fours Winners Nov 2016
County Mixed Fours Winners Nov 2016
LEH Final 2017 Ross R-up
LEH Final 2017 Ross Runners-up

Ross Bowling Club Short Mat Bowling 2015-16

The short mat bowling season started in the best possible way for the club with its first capture of the County Summer League title. After winning their round robin group with only a single defeat in their 8 matches, Ross 1 progressed to the Final where they defeated Aston Ingham 8-2 to take the title.

As usual the club ran a full programme of internal competitions across the winter which culminated in a Finals Evening which started with the final rounds of the Club Singles competition, followed by presentation of trophies and prizes for all of the club competitions by president John Perks and a buffet supper.

In the Singles competition the final was between two Herefordshire county premier team singles players.  In the semi-finals Dave Watkins had seen off the challenge of Phil Jenkinson, whose achievement in reaching this stage of the competition in his first season of short mat bowling was highly commendable, whilst defending champion Tony Vitale produced some very accurate draw bowling to defeat Alan Carver. The final saw Tony make another strong start with sustained high quality draw bowling from the off and although Dave settled and clawed back some shots he was unable to make significant inroads into Tony’s lead and prevent him from winning his 3rd title in 4 years.

The competition winners in full were:

Tony Vitale

Evening Triples
Betty Aubrey, Maurice Leake, Ian Roe

Afternoon Pairs
Liz Nicholson, Harold Aubrey

Afternoon Australian Pairs
Pauline Mills, Les Williams

Afternoon Triples (1)
Gwen Lambert, Stella Bufton, Tony Vitale
Afternoon Triples (2)
Liz Cole, Mike Nicholson, Harold Aubrey

In the county competitions Ross had their most successful season for many years. Following disappointing National Qualifiers, which saw only the triple of Ali & Ian Roe and Ian Park advancing to represent Ross in the national finals, the club then enjoyed a phenomenal run of success in the County Championships which began with Kate Williams, partnering Joe Loveys from the Gorsley Chapel club, winning the County Pairs. Next up saw two titles captured in a weekend with the County Triples being won by Ali & Ian Roe and Ian Park and then the County Fours falling to George Marshall, Ian Roe and Pam & Ian Park. Next up was the Bromyard Triples Challenge and victory for George Marshall, Les Williams & Dave Watkins before finally the County Mixed Fours was won by Elaine George, Ian Roe and Pam & Ian Park. For the club to have won 5 of the 6 county competitions represents a remarkable achievement.

Despite all of the county championship successes, Ross A had to settle for the runners-up spot in the county Winter League, yet again losing out to a team from rivals Woolhope. Ross B finished in 4th place in Division 2 of the Winter League and Ross C finished 8th in that division.

In other events, Ali Roe, Dave Watkins, Pam & Ian Park finished runners-up in the Gavin Wright charity tournament held at the Larruperz Centre in September and the season was rounded off with Les Williams, Dave Watkins, Ian Roe & Ian Park winning the Fownhope Open Fours charity event in April.

Across the season 6 Ross players also represented the county teams in the Inter County Championship with Kate Williams, Dave Watkins and Ian Roe appearing in the ICC Premier Consolation Final when Herefordshire lost narrowly to Northamptonshire in their first ever final at Premier level.

County Mixed Fours Mar 16
County Mixed Fours Mar 16
County Pairs Dec 15
County Pairs Dec 15
Fownhope Fours Shield Winners 2016 - Ross
Fownhope Fours Shield Winners 2016 - Ross
Gavin Wright Trophy 2015
Gavin Wright Trophy 2015
County Fours Jan 16
County Fours Jan 16
2015 County Triples
2015 County Triples
Bromyard Triples 2016
Bromyard Triples 2016

Opening of the Green 2015

In glorious sunshine, there was a large turnout of members at the Opening of the Green on Saturday 11th April.

In his speech, before he delivered the first wood of the season to mark the opening of the Green, the President, Mr John Perks, announced that the monies raised in his 2014 Presidency would be split between the local First Responders team, to enable them to purchase a much needed defibrillator, and Heartstart, who do such important work in training people in what to do if they are with someone who has a heart attack.  John also stated that his Charity for 2015 would be St Michael’s Hospice.  John Perks also thanked all those members who had worked so hard to prepare the Green, Clubhouse and surrounding areas.

Opening of the Green
Opening of the Green

Paul Brown, Bronze Medalist at the Commonwealth games in Glasgow 2014, has had a very successful tournament in the 2015 World Disability Bowls Championships in New Zealand, winning a silver medal in the singles and a bronze medal in the pairs.  Paul said that the Greens were very different from here in comparison one of the greens was three or four yards quicker than his indoor green back home.

Shaun Jones has had a very successful indoor season playing in the Planet Bowls Circuit. He won the Grand Prix Singles in October 2014, got to the semi final of the Barwell Open Singles in December and in February Shaun got to the Boston quarter-final after beating Simon Skelton in first round; he also got to the semi-finals of the North Wiltshire Planet Bowls Open Singles in March and had a very tight game but lost in a tie-break to the eventual winner.  This brings him to No 7 in the rankings. 

Both Kate Williams and Luke Rawlings have been part of the England U21 Short Mat Bowling Squad. Kate was very proud to captain the U21 squad in their game against Carmarthen.

Luke Rawlings

Luke Rawlings, pictured second from right) is seen receiving his runners-up medal in the Woodbridge Trophy, the Under-18’s plate competition, at the 2014 National Short Mat Championships. Luke came up against more experienced bowlers in his round robin group but advanced to the plate competition where he really hit form, advancing through the knockout rounds and winning his semi-final by a single shot. Despite losing in the final to Nathan Bailey of the West Midlands Luke can be proud of his fine performance.

Short Mat

A very successful short mat season for the Club, which included:

November.  The recent singles and pairs County Championships saw an improved turnout from Ross (7 singles entrants and 4 pairs entrants) with David Watkins being our best performer, finishing runner-up in the singles championship although the pairs was won by Betty and Harold Aubrey who are club members but represent Weston at short mat.

Currently 6 Ross short mat players are playing regularly for the county Premier team with another 3 club members representing the county under other short mat club banners.

December.  The HSMBA Junior Pairs competition, which is an annual tournament and takes the form of a Pairs competition where each pair comprises a junior player and an adult partner, was held at Ross on 6th December.  The competition is targeted at the development of young players within the sport and is open to entrants from Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and other invitees.  In the Plate, last year’s Trophy winners, Luke Rawlings and Tony Vitale (Larruperz), defeated Matthew and Stephen Kite (Lea) in the final.  Certificates and trophies were presented by Norman Allen, President of HSMBA who, with the organiser, Janet Cooper, had the highest praise for the Ross members who helped facilitate the day and, particularly, Ann Watkins and Von Brock who provided excellent catering.

LEH.  Ross won an extremely tight and exciting LEH Trophy tie against Wotton Hall by a single shot by virtue of the rink of Elaine George, Hilary Churchill, Dave Mills and Les Williams garnering an astonishing 6 shots in the last end of an otherwise very tight final game with Ross trailing in the match at that point by 5 shots.

February.  Congratulations to Ross members who were successful at the recent weekends of National Qualifiers and County Championships.

In the National Qualifiers Tony Vitale (a Ross member who plays short mat for Larruperz) won the Singles, Ali & Ian Roe won the Pairs and Kate Williams qualified in the Triples with Luke Rawlings and Joe Loveys, two other Herefordshire players in the England Under-21 squad with Kate. All of them will now compete in the National Finals in March and April.

In the latest round of County Championship disciplines Sue Dix, Rob George and Dave Watkins won the County Triples title and Kate Williams and Tony Vitale, together with Luke Rawlings and Joe Loveys, won the County Fours title. It was a great weekend for Ross, particularly as we hosted the triples event at the club and played with 5 mats down in the hall which worked very well.

March.  We conceded 14 shots to Gloster Knights in the away leg of the LEH semi-final, a creditable performance given that player availability was affected by holiday absences.  Ross lost to Gloster Knights again in the second leg played on 12th March.

Ross Bowling Club brought their winter short mat bowling season to an end with the climax of the Club Singles competition and an awards presentation and buffet supper on Monday 23rd March.

In the Singles competition the final was between the previous two years’ winners as Tony Vitale saw off the strong challenge of short mat newcomer John Cummings in his semi-final whilst Harold Aubrey produced consistently accurate draw bowling to defeat Rob George. The final was a tight affair with Tony making a strong start which Harold responded to but failed to fully recover from as the ends ran out and Tony was able to clinch his second victory in 3 years with a clinical final 2 ends to seal the match.

Club president John Perks presented the awards for all of the club competitions which had run over the winter season and paid special thanks to Ali Roe and George Marshall who had organised and run them.

Competition Results
Autumn Triples:
Winners: Betty Aubrey, Hilary Churchill & Ian Roe
Runners-up: John Churchill, Bob Baker & Dave Watkins

Winter Handicapped Singles:
Winner: Tony Vitale
Runner-up: Harold Aubrey

Autumn/Winter Pairs:
Winners: Pam Cook & Tony Vitale
Runners-up: Peter Wiles & Harold Aubrey

Autumn Triples:
Winners: Betty Aubrey, Pam Cook & Les Williams
Runners-up: Lyn Cole, Liz Nicholson & Harold Aubrey

Winter Triples
Winners: Peter Askwith, Steve Lambert & Harold Aubrey 
Runners-up: David Millington Jones, George Marshall & Leo Hughes

Many congratulations to all this year’s winners and runners up. I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this year’s leagues. I hope that you have all had fun and enjoyed some quality short mat bowling.  Once again many thanks to George Marshall who has worked so hard to put the mats down, organise the score cards and collect the mat fees each week.

Ali Roe
Short Mat League Organiser

Front Row (From Left to Right: Tony Vitale, Harold Aubrey, Betty Aubrey, Ian Roe, John Churchill, David Millington-Jones, Les Williams, Leo Hughes, George Marshall   Front Row: John Perks, Hilary Churchill

We have had some sad losses during the last few months, Jack Smith and Don Burford in December and Edgar Lewis, husband of Beryl Lewis in March 2015.

Maintenance/Work at the Club
Work on and around the Green continues throughout the year and it looks good!  We have had a new fence erected at the car park side of the Green.  It looks great and has made the car park appear larger and will help with the condition of the Green.

Membership Fees
Membership Fees have changed.  They are now:
Full membership £70
Junior / Discretionary £23
Junior U-16 Free
Social £14
Short Mat £35
Pétanque £28

Social Events
There have been several social events over the Winter, including a Country & Western evening, Christmas Eve and New Year get-togethers and Juke Box Jury Quiz.  Our next event is the pre-season party on Saturday 11th April which should be good fun with excellent entertainment.