Archive for the ‘Bowls’ Category

…And there really is no in between…

It’s been a few weeks since a bowls report last appeared on here, which is not to say that activities on the greens have been curtailed in any way. In the Tuesday League we continue to exert pressure on the leaders with some thrilling and absorbing fixtures. Two weeks ago a particularly spirited display saw us win 68-58 away at Bradwell, always good to have a positive result up there. I will remember my own pairing with Tony A. for a long time in this one, we were 20-15 down and two woods to the deficit with just one in the hand to play, but we looked at each other and said “We’re not going to lose this.” We fought back to take the game 21-20! The following week we were triumphant again, this time at home to Bakewell, also by a relatively narrow margin of 79 to 66. Once again a victory felt good as I always consider Bakewell to be a very good team indeed. 

In the Thursday League fortune has not been so kind on us this year; we are yet still to win a game! Subsequent fixtures at Hazelwood, on their beautifully cared for venue that looks as if it were laid out by Capability Brown, and at home to Hope Works, and as pleasant a bunch of people as you’d meet anywhere, we went down to scores of 135-99 and 139-95 respectively. Seemingly it now requires a geeing-up and superhuman effort of epic proportions to pull us out of the relegation zone in the second half of the season and maintain our position in the top flight.

Last week brought defeats in each on the competitions, being away I’m unable to comment on the matches in detail, but we were both up against top of the table sides in each case and away at greens that our team were either playing for the first time or hadn’t visited for years, so maybe there’s some mitigation there.

There will be no match this Tuesday, our charge for glory will be temporarily put on hold. The League Secretary has decided that summer sports should be cancelled because it is now summer. The anticipated match against Whitworth Park will now be played deep into September when evenings are darkening and dew will be frosting on the green. 

…Mark J.

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Sunday Afternoon Bowls Practice

SUNDAY AFTERNOON IS YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN US FOR A GAME OF BOWLS AT PARSON’S CROFT !

Each Sunday afternoon (starting 10th April) through to the end of August from 2pm, weather permitting, club members will be holding their weekly social session down at Parson’s Croft. At the same time you are welcome to come and try your hand at Crown Green Bowls. We will be pleased to explain rules (not many!) and give advice. We have spare woods for you to use, all you need are flat shoes and a sense of humour!

We look forward to seeing you.

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Please contact 390724 if you require further information

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Were crown green bowls matches to be shown on the BBC’s “Match of the Day” programme, then our home encounter with Chatsworth last Tuesday would surely have featured highly. Gary Lineker would have waxed lyrical while his team of pundits uttered their oohs, aahs and nods of approval in the right places with or without the Director General’s arm inserted into their backs from within, as on a warm and balmy summer’s evening we urged and coaxed each other on to our 71 to 59 victory. I dare say that even the Duke of Devonshire himself, had he been present to add support to his side, would have revelled in the excitement as he’d sipped his mug of Edith’s renowned tea and couple of chocolate biscuits. It had been a pleasure to play in and in no small part due to Chatsworth for their participation in such a match.

The occasion was so very nearly mirrored two days later as this time we hosted Bradwell for our Thursday League contest. Alas, ’twas not to be this time. In the competition in which we have as yet to score a win this term it was a case of “so near yet so far.” Behind after the doubles games we fought back well to hold a slender lead going into the final pairing, but Bradwell seem always to be fierce opponents and more often than not pull out a secret weapon when needed, this time being the indomitable Martin C who swept aside our hopes of a celebration that would undoubtedly gone on well into the night. (Well maybe not, but it sounds good.) The final score being a tantalisingly close 111 to 107 defeat and further consignment at the lower reaches of the table.

Nevertheless, as the hand of fate often dictates, we have our chance for revenge early as we travel on Tuesday to Bradwell in the tournament in which we are excelling this year. I’m looking forward to it, and trust that next week’s missal will contain tidings to make Parwich hearts sing.

   …Mark J.

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(Last week….) “It was the best of times,” (and this week…) “It was the worst of times,” as the bowlers of Parwich failed to capitalise on recent successes and, despite having “Great Expectations,” finished up returning from both Matlock Park and Wirksworth feeling “Ever so ‘umble.”  

Matlock and Wirksworth; in sooth two particularly pleasant places, around which we had, of course, wished to have re-written our own “Tale of Two Cities” (later filmed as A Tale of Two Settees, starring Sofa Loren and Peter Cushion) with a better outcome, but ’twas not to be. “Our Mutual Friend”s at Matlock are a well-drilled and highly-skilled outfit, and thus a difficult team to beat at the best of times, and I’ll concede were worth their 71-51 victory on the night. Certainly the pair I came up against hardly put a wood out of place all evening and sidled in like the Artful Dodger and Marley’s Ghost on just about every end.

In the fair town of Wirksworth, with its wonderfully quirky alehouses, cosy cinema,13th Century church and “Old Curiosity Shop”s, we strived to put an end to the “Hard Times” that we have endured so far in the Thursday league. Nonetheless we were to come up short again, this time to the tune of 139 to 97, leaving us 2nd to bottom in the table. Wirksworth is a great place to play bowls, with a green surface so true and a fine new pavilion; one can enter the field of play feeling that “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done,” but believe me, on being defeated it looks a “Bleak House” indeed.

Yet a pint on the way home in one of the Town’s hostelries (just the one, mind, no need to be “Oliver Twist,”) restored the feeling that next week brings chances anew, and that, like the great Mr Wilkins Micawber, we are in a state of “Expecting something to turn up.”

Therefore by the time we sing “A Christmas Carol” on Parwich Green this year with “The Chimes” ringing from the School clock, I’ve no doubt we’ll have done the Village proud!   …Mark J.

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Jubilee Crown Green Memories

The area around Parson’s Croft has certainly seen much action over the past week. With Her Majesty saying we should make memories the good people of Parwich played their part stoically in the wind and rain to enjoy the Jubilee Party, then a mere two days afterwards took to the bowling green next door to put on arguably the best performance so far this season to humble a spirited Youlgrave side and continue our march to glory in the Tuesday League. What a match it was as we romped to a 78-56 victory to bring our unbeaten run in this competition to four weeks. Doubtlessly had our Royal Family been given the choice between the Party at the Palace or watching Parwich at home the result would have been inevitable, however I’m sure logistics and a packed schedule rendered them without the option. As good as they were on the night, Rod Stewart would surely not have matched the excitement of Harry and Penny’s opening victory; George Ezra wouldn’t have held the crowd as John and Fran’s epic battle; Andrew Lloyd Weber’s sequence did little to match Keith’s and my own comeback; and only Bocelli himself would have diverted the crowd from Edith and Rick’s final triumph. What a smashing bunch of players Youlgrave are though, always a pleasure to lock horns with them.

A stiff test though awaits us tomorrow as we travel to second-placed Matlock Park; always stern opponents and a difficult place to come away with a positive result, although a most encouraging practice session on Sunday indicated that we are match-fit and ready for what ever is thrown at us.

Thursday last week saw us with a bye and therefore no action, so it’s a return this week to our old friends at Wirksworth – always a pleasure – and the site of our compelling success of a couple of Tuesdays ago. They will be out for revenge, that’s for sure, and we will be pulling out all the stops to gain our first (proper) win in this particular tournament since the acclaimed promotion of last summer.

You too, Good People, could be a part of all this: why not come along and give it a go?  …Mark J

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Sunday Afternoon Bowls Practice

SUNDAY AFTERNOON IS YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN US FOR A GAME OF BOWLS AT PARSON’S CROFT !

Each Sunday afternoon (starting 10th April) through to the end of August from 2pm, weather permitting, club members will be holding their weekly social session down at Parson’s Croft. At the same time you are welcome to come and try your hand at Crown Green Bowls. We will be pleased to explain rules (not many!) and give advice. We have spare woods for you to use, all you need are flat shoes and a sense of humour!

We look forward to seeing you.

image

Please contact 390724 if you require further information

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Normal Service Resumed!

Two wins on consecutive Tuesdays have now catapulted Parwich on a dizzy upward spiral in the Matlock Tuesday League. We are now up to fourth and within touching distance of the leading pack; members of Matlock Park, Wirksworth and Bakewell are, as we read, looking over their shoulders and quaking at the very mention of our name. 

Indeed it was at our old friends Wirksworth that we enjoyed a particularly gripping victory last night; a long, close and tense encounter that went on long into the night through warm sunshine, howling gales and squally showers. Did that dampen our spirits? Not a bit of it! On their finely prepared (credit to Phil the groundsman) and large green we all strained every last sinew and came away rewarded with a 75 to 60 triumph. The storm clouds had cleared and a fine, clear but cool dusk evening was settling as we cheered our final pairing of Edith and Rick home to victory.

Last week’s was a 63-49 thumping win at home over Hope Works, with a little controversy adding spice at the end, when the final jack lodged on the corner tuft of grass (all perfectly legal and above board.) The end was played out after agreement of technicalities with the opposition and Tony and I won a four-wood margin to secure the match. “Stewards’ enquiries” followed but it was decided the match had been won and the result stood. 

Fortunes not so great, though, in the Thursday competition, where we haplessly came up short again against a spirited Baslow outfit to lose on the day by 133 to 113. However under current League rules Baslow found themselves on the wrong end of a directive that docked them 25 points for fielding an incomplete team and thus an ineligible player appearing twice and so the official record gives us what may be termed as a hollow victory to count as our first win in nine attempts. Call me old-fashioned but I’m a sportsman, I’ve much sympathy with Baslow over this and to me and it doesn’t feel like a conquest, (shades of the recent Derby County syndrome perhaps?) – however that is my view only and may not reflect those of all in the Club or the League.

No bowls this Thursday due to the start of Her Majesty’s celebrations and the planned visit to Whitworth Park has been postponed until September, and so our next outing will be at home to Youlgrave on Tuesday evening when we will pull out all stops to avenge our recent Thursday trouncing at their place. An evening of excitement and electrifying stimulation awaits any of you who would turn out to support us.  …

Mark J.

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Parwich Return to Winning Ways!

Well, yes, okay, it was one game from ten,; and we scraped a win by one point last Tuesday at Whitworth Park (Darley Dale,) but the headline had to be upbeat to excite you Dear Readers.  

The poor run of form continues, yes, but we do have injury concerns which we’re all sure will improve markedly over the ensuing weeks. We’ve also had some close matches with fine individual performances, so I’m sure that further successes are just around the corner. The two home games of last week against Burbage (Tuesday) and Hathersage (Thursday) I am unable to comment on as we were away on holiday – but checked the results from afar before breakfast on each occasion the following day. 

So on to the away travels again this week. A thrilling match Tuesday evening at Whitworth went down to the wire and having tight games throughout, finished in the pouring rain with Parwich having a 72-71 advantage. The trip to Bakewell on Thursday was a glorious affair on a warm summer’s afternoon, again with some exchanges ending as mere single point margins, however Bakewell came out on top this time and fully belied the 143 to 93 scoreline. The jaffa cakes were welcomed but the chocolate digestives melted as we ate them….

So, two home games this week, support down at the Club would be much welcomed; 6.00 Tuesday v Hope Works and Thursday 1.45 against Baslow. Despite the recent losing streak and events on the greens seemingly conspiring against us, fear not, as certainly my resolve, for one, will not be dampened! …Mark J.

Apologies for late posting of Mark’s report but for some reason our email system has decided to treat Mark’s posts as junk [can’t think why! 😉 ]

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We’re using the term “Slow start” to describe our season so far – the fact is that after six matches (five in the Thursday League and, this week, our opening gambit in the Tuesday campaign,) we have yet to record a win! Despite injury concerns within our ranks it has to be admitted that things are not going too well on the result front. But there are positives – there are ALWAYS positives – we have got some pretty difficult away fixtures out of the way and feel confident we’ll reverse these in the home returns.

Thursday of last week we took on Top of the Table Tideswell at home. I’ve got to say they looked a class outfit from the moment they turned up. Those not on the green at any one time didn’t sit and watch, but pervaded around the extremities coaxing and cajoling their warriors to victory. From what I saw I’m expecting them to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season; I think they’re looking the team to beat. So, no disgrace there then, we gave it out best shot but came up short to the tune of 150 to 100. Great people though, was a privilege to meet and play them.

Tuesday this week we ventured forth to our old friends at Bakewell to start the Tuesday League season with the difference in format that that brings. What an enjoyable game as we came close several times in a contest that kept the interest until the end. The green there is, shall we say, somewhat different to the rest and I didn’t view the 84-56 reverse as too disheartening. But no pudding!!

But talking of differing greens, two days later we travelled to Youlgrave. Now if there was ever a place giving home advantage it has to be this; the crown is like a scale model of Kinder Scout. We were trounced! A maximum 153 to our 56 in return; not our finest hour. I thought we were in with a chance a few times but on each occasion our opponents moved into top gear and that was that.

But are we downhearted? Not a chance! Apples will grow again and our day will come. Keep going Parwich, two home matches this week against Burbage (Tuesday) and Hathersage (Thursday) and smiles will back on the faces and pride will have been restored. Come On Parwich! …

Mark J.

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Sunday Afternoon Bowls Practice

SUNDAY AFTERNOON IS YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN US FOR A GAME OF BOWLS AT PARSON’S CROFT !

Each Sunday afternoon (starting 10th April) through to the end of August from 2pm, weather permitting, club members will be holding their weekly social session down at Parson’s Croft. At the same time you are welcome to come and try your hand at Crown Green Bowls. We will be pleased to explain rules (not many!) and give advice. We have spare woods for you to use, all you need are flat shoes and a sense of humour!

We look forward to seeing you.

image

Please contact 390724 if you require further information

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Here Comes The Sun…

Or so said George Harrison. And with its arrival crown green bowling woods emerged from the lofts, sheds and understairs cupboards the length and breadth of Derbyshire, cleaned of winter’s dust and perspiration and their owners readied like coiled springs for the new campaign. However the sun wasn’t to put his hat on for Parwich’s opening fixture away at Bradwell; torrential rain and a blocked drain at their facility caused a postponement and much frustration.After that though the weather has continued to improve and our season did get off to a start with a home match against Hazelwood and sadly a 136 to 92 defeat, not the start we would have hoped for. The following Tuesday was the rearranged date for the battle against last season’s nemesis team Bradwell and so we took The Long and Winding Road (Paul McCartney) northwards to Dark Peak country, where our players certainly gave their best shot, though on the tricky surface that is Bradwell’s green again came up short to the tune of 150 to 100. It certainly wasn’t for the want of trying.Yesterday, just two days later, virtually the same journey awaited us as we travelled again, this time a couple of miles further to Hope. Each day this week has seemed even more pleasant than its predecessor and the sun certainly warmed our spirits as we took to the green to do battle against an extremely hospitable side from the local cement works. We battled, we challenged, we jostled, we maneuvered; we felt we had some encouraging scores, but in the end the home outfit came through to record another defeat over us (125-96), though encouraging signs are emerging.So we lick our wounds, and we practice. We will “Come Together” (Lennon) and we will “Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends” (Starr.)Next Thursday sees our return to Parson’s Croft as we take on Tideswell and aim to turn the tables. Vociferous support from the Village would be much appreciated.So that’s it – we will Beatle through the season….   

Mark J.

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Sunday Afternoon Bowls Practice

SUNDAY AFTERNOON IS YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN US FOR A GAME OF BOWLS AT PARSON’S CROFT !

Each Sunday afternoon (starting 10th April) through to the end of August from 2pm, weather permitting, club members will be holding their weekly social session down at Parson’s Croft. At the same time you are welcome to come and try your hand at Crown Green Bowls. We will be pleased to explain rules (not many!) and give advice. We have spare woods for you to use, all you need are flat shoes and a sense of humour!

We look forward to seeing you.

image

Please contact 390724 if you require further information

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After an excellent End of Season Lunch at the Sycamore Inn, where of course we were looked after and fortified with excellent fayre, members of the Parwich Bowls Team lined up to parade the Thursday League runner-up trophy that had been presented at the recent League AGM. That the top place winner’s trophy would have been preferred is history now and we accept this with the dignity that is required of sportsmen; it’s nonetheless a considerable achievement. However the prize carries with it promotion to a higher Division and a chance to pit our skills against some new opposition in our quest to go one better next term!

Mark J

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The final curtain descends upon the crown green bowling season; a season that for so long gave the Parwich Team aspirations of glory. As the summer blazed on I had certainly considered that the Thursday League trophy was to have our name on it.We’ve finished second, and in doing so have also secured promotion to the higher division, which after reflection is an achievement of note though the anguish will take time to fade. We floundered in our last Thursday match of the season at Matlock Bath, in itself a particularly difficult arena on which to complete our campaign: a remarkably small, tight and viciously contoured green that without a doubt offers considerable home advantage and we ended the day well-beaten by a remarkably friendly and welcoming team, going down by 134 points to 119. I believe we all knew then that it was not going to be enough, especially as rivals Bradwell triumphed with a thumping 143 to 83 win that same day, but we were left with nerves hanging until this weekend to see how they had got on in one of their two games in hand. Another convincing win put them only a whisker behind us and, as I understand, the award of average points per game for their other unfulfilled fixture means that Bradwell will take the title. So it’s hats off in our sincere congratulations to the Bradwell Team, you kept us on our toes all summer and provided great excitement. However before we consign our woods to understairs cupboards for the long winter months there is one more Tuesday fixture to fulfill in the other challenge, when this week we travel to – and yes, you’ve guessed it – Bradwell! A chance to let them know we’re still a very good outfit and to preserve one’s honour. So that’s it. Our much-cherished green is undergoing its winter maintenance, the ground has been smartened by the members and that leaves the only remaining business to be the end of season lunch at The Sycamore, whom I know will do us proud as always. A huge thanks to all the Team for making it such a compelling season and to all who have followed via these reports and have wished us well along the way. I for one will look forward with much anticipation and with not just a little pride to the chance of being able to go one better next time out.

Mark J…

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Tensions Rise as the Final Chapter Opens

As the heady days of the summer solstice give way to the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, bowling folk prepare to stow their woods ahead of the coming snowfalls, fireworks, carols on the green and the Six Nations Tournament. Though not, however, before important conclusions of the present campaign’s business over the coming couple of weeks. In the Tuesday competition we have our last home match this week when we entertain Whitworth Park, finishing next Tuesday far north in the wilds of Bradwell. Whilst in the much sought-after Thursday league our account closes this week with a must-win encounter at Matlock Bath, as the aroma of a thousand industrial deep fat friers will waft gently o’er the green. (Hmm, may even partake when the game’s over, methinks.) It will then be left for us to chew our nails over the following week while Bradwell fulfil their 2 games in hand in their quest to overturn us.Last week’s matches were certainly noteworthy. Tuesday we were at home to Chatsworth, whose strength of personnel is commendation indeed considering that the Duke himself appears not to be able to get a place in the team. That it was a close one cannot be denied and as the last pairing was played out mental arithmetic was being performed in heads of all those present: a point here, a point there, would make the difference. Hush descended as the outcome of the final end produced a tie, 73 points apiece, honours even and warm handshakes all round. Thursday then saw our last home game in this league, a tense affair against Matlock Golf Club. Once again it was close, could have gone either way for long periods, but Parwich did overcome in the end by 122 points to 104. Was this margin enough, you’ll all be asking? Well there’s no easy answer to this, you’ll just have to read next week to find out. 

Mark J…

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Winning Will Go to Who Most Wants It

We have a couple of weeks to catch up on since my last report on the World of crown green bowling, two weeks have elapsed and it’s fair to say that these have brought mixed fortunes indeed for the Parwich Team.Unfortunately the Tuesday game at home to Hope Works was called off as Hope failed to get a team together. For whatever reason their facility has not been open all year and thus their players have had to be on the road playing every match away from home, maybe some of their number are feeling the strain of this. That moved us onto the Thursday when we played at home to Bakewell. Another win was gained, the score being 127 to 104, albeit by a far narrower than Bradwell’s 147-78 triumph over Youlgreave, thus they remain hot on our heels for the top spot and ended that week gaining 20 points on us.Last week quirks of the fixtures secretaries pitted us with two awaydays to Youlgreave. Indeed a hard place to win at as the green is a little more complex, shall we say, than the standard upturned saucer shape of a standard bowling green. The week panned out with us sustaining two fairly heavy defeats against a team to which home advantage has certainly showed this season, but no sour grapes as a title-chasing side must be able to conquer all obstacles and scorn in the face of such difficulties. Not having been there I’m unable to comment in detail on Tuesday’s encounter, but had then to prepare for the vital Thursday game to try and maintain our hold on the top. The team started well, but quickly fell away as home bowlers sent jacks to corners of their green that defied the laws of physics whenever woods were sent after them, and in the end we had to shake hands and take the 137 to 100 defeat on our collective chin. The season now nears its conclusion, only three Tuesday and two Thursday League games left. With Bradwell hot on our heels and a further two games in hand, and Bakewell bringing up a very close third, we would do well to hang on to win the League, but I for one will not give up until the last wood is bowled, as personally at this moment that goal is one I wish for with every fibre of my heart!

Mark J…

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Sunday Bowling

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On the outward journey it was thought that our trip to Bradwell would resemble more a WINTER’S TALE. The wild wind howled across the moor; the tall trees bent with rustling leaves, their supple boughs straining to THE TEMPEST; and the moon appeared to dance ‘twixt the swirling stratus and the nimbus. Yet still the bowlers of Bradwell and Parwich contested in convivial manner long into the night amid the darkening gloom to bring honour to their respective villages. Sixteen men and ladies locked in four Herculean doubles contests made up this match, with no bowler conceiving of capitulation for a second. The judging tape was in constant call as close ends required MEASURE BY MEASURE to settle the points. To keep spirits warm the MERRY WIVES OF BRADWELL made steaming mugs of tea AS YOU LIKE IT. The last quartet finally came off in the darkness with Parwich gaining the spoils by 75 points to 63 so, for the visiting team at least, ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.

No games were played this week in the Thursday league, therefore no changes in positions. Last week’s fixture between Wirksworth and Bradwell was postponed, leaving us on top but with Bradwell now two games in hand and hot on our heels. Parwich have a tough one this coming Thursday with the visit of third-placed Bakewell, this being after another home encounter on Tuesday against Hope Works. Why not come down and roar us home with vociferous support? It might all help to ensure that next week’s report doesn’t read like a COMEDY OF ERRORS….  

Mark J…

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The Final Push!

With only four games to go on the quest for the coveted Thursday League Trophy, Derbyshire’s bowlers have the luxury of a day off this coming week, which in our case must be used to get bodies rested, minds focused and muscles toned for the final push through September. Whilst Premiership footballers go on training camps to Dubai, Spain and other exotic locations the reserves of a Matlock and District bowls club mean our team-building will consist more of a round of drinks in The Sycamore, so be assured that the next time we take to the green our Team will be as a coiled sprung unit.
This week however started shakily as we entertained local rivals Wirksworth – always formidable opponents – at Parson’s Croft. It was to be a mammoth match, with games going right down to the final few points and in one case a game lasting just shy of two hours. But, of course, played in a great friendly spirit and a most enjoyable night was had by all present. The result? Well, it could hardly have been closer as we came away on the wrong end of a 70 to 67 scoreline; yes, a mere 3 points in it!
For Thursday’s match at Whitworth Park I have to admit I wasn’t present for once, having availed myself of the opportunity of watching Derbyshire play Surrey in the 50 over One Day Cup. I’m pleased to report though that with strength in depth in the Club we once again recorded a victory by 139 to 108 and thus keep ourselves in contention. For whatever unknown reason, as I write this on Sunday morning our major challengers Bradwell have yet to put their score in so I’m unable to comment on the gap, though with over 200 points separating us we won’t be caught this week.  
And it’s to Bradwell that we travel this Tuesday, a final chance this season to assess and to put fear into our rivals. A very difficult green to play, and so a considerable home advantage will have to be overcome, but rest assured, Dear Reader, that we will give it nothing but our best shot! 

Mark J…

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Parwich for Paris 2024?

As we all sit glued to our television sets watching heroic displays by our athletes over two weeks of Olympic glory we can only wonder a massive “What if” were Crown Green Bowling currently included. For once again Parwich hang by the fingernails in gold medal position in the Thursday League. A win by 131 to 112 away at Chatsworth took us back to top spot, but with last week’s leaders Bradwell having a bye I’m not sure the margin is as convincing as we would have wanted to see it. It has to be said that my own form, pleasing though it’s been to date for a newcomer to the game, deserted me somewhat when I came up against a very strong and experienced player, and on this occasion my personal result hurt well into the night. Other members pulled us round and, on this trickiest of greens, we came away with the victory. Though as we reach the final few laps of the season I can’t help thinking it’ll need a superhuman effort and concentration on every delivery to keep us on course to be first across that line.
Tuesday had seen us gain another rather narrow win, 73-65, at home to Matlock Park in a gripping match that went down to the wire. On that night I went home a happy man indeed, oh how fortunes can be changed in 48 hours in sport. Well done to everyone for a battling performance of grit and resolve to bring this one home; always a tough side to beat.
So as the curtain comes down in Tokyo and our heroes return home with their treasures of gold, silver and bronze, there are still many hurdles to be straddled on greens up and down Derbyshire as your own local lionhearts prepare to face local rivals Wirksworth at home Tuesday evening – and then a big win will be needed at Whitworth Park on Thursday to ease us off the bend into the home straight. Should the chairmen of Olympic committees of the World have a change of heart ahead of Paris 2024, Parwich will be ready! 

Mark J…

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A Rallying Call

Oh dear, oh dear…. This is the report I didn’t want to have to write. My regretful duty is to inform you all that we have dropped to second in the Matlock and District Thursday League. Yes, ok, we won on Thursday, at home, against a spirited Baslow side, but even as I ambled home after the match I reflected that we hadn’t won by enough. So it proved to be when the results and new table were published on Friday morning; Bradwell had had a stonking victory at Whitworth Park, scoring near maximum points to secure the coveted top spot and, albeit hopefully, temporarily, deposing us.
But all is not lost Parwich! There are six fixtures remaining and time enough for us to regroup and take this title. We will lick our wounds and rally ourselves to go all out for victory on Thursday. Albeit an away fixture at Chatsworth won’t be the easiest venue to conquer, it’s a tight and particularly tricky green, with some good local players to boot, but I know that we as a team can believe. The thought of filling that trophy with champagne – sponsorship of which I have now been kindly offered by our friends at The British Legion, is not something that we intend to let go lightly.  
We started poorly by our standards Thursday, no doubt about that, and were falling narrowly behind after the doubles. But some great results in the singles by Dawn, Tony, Edith, Harry and Keith gave us the win in the end. 
The Tuesday league picks up again this week after a bye last Tuesday, when we will face Matlock Park at home. We’re currently around mid-table in this competition, but do have two or three games in hand and, after some very good recent results, could yet pull ourselves up among the leaders.  
Watch this space for glorious news next week, We WILL be back! Come On Parwich! 

Mark J…

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Sunday Bowling

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Travels with Parwich Crown Green Bowling Club take us to a plethora of entrancing venues throughout the Derbyshire countryside, but few to the aristocratic settings of England’s finest old stately homes. Such was the case, though, on Tuesday as we arrived at Chatsworth amid the sweeping vista of the magnificent building itself across the Derwent, to the tight little bowling green idyllically set betwixt the splendid estate office building and he church spire. Inspection of the team sheet revealed that the Duke of Devonshire himself was not playing that evening, evidently either not being a member or else simply too much in awe of this successful Parwich side.
Personally I found it one of the trickier greens on the circuit; compact, perplexing and with one corner at least possessing a mind of its own. Nevertheless, we set about the task nobly (would there be any other way here?) and our strivings began to pay off as we took the upper hand by the half way mark, fighting from behind in most of the games to take the match by a 73-60 margin on a night of strong sunshine and intense heat needing punctuation by several on-green drinks breaks.
Then back to the Thursday competition and we were on the road again to a strong Matlock Park side to try to strengthen our position as league leaders. The match had been put back two and a half hours to try and avoid playing in the heat of the day, something about mad dogs, Englishmen and bowlers, etc. After playing the singles games we edged into a slim lead which the Team pulled out all stops to hang on to during the doubles; not one player giving an inch, though home advantage was to win through on this occasion after two games going down to the final point, and we finished having to yield to the narrowest of margins, losing 131 to 126.
How did Bradwell get on? – was the burning question. Well the upshot was that the result means we slip to second in the table, but only under the secondary sorting criteria of points against, as league points alone mean that we are level. Reflecting on the evening in a hostelry on the way home, after an excellent steak and kidney pudding and pint of local ale, the World of bowls didn’t seem too bad, and the chance to put things right at home to Baslow next week will, I’m sure, bolster the Team to strain every last sinew to reclaim the position we feel rightfully ours. Come on Parwich, we can do this!   Mark J…

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Sweet and Sour, Then Sweet Again

Had that a casual stranger have been walking down the footpath past Parson’s Croft last Tuesday, had that man not encountered crown green bowling on his travels to date, and had that traveller have stopped to investigate the tense excitement going on within, it is likely he would have been hooked to an extent that he may have recounted the story many times in years to come. For on that greensward at the time was unfolding the first of two epic encounters against our friends from Bradwell. Not just any old game of bowls though, as both teams strived and clamoured and contested, giving their all for the honours in this one. But on a long night in which some of the games went down to the final point, it was Parwich who eventually celebrated another maximum 84 point win to Bradwell’s 49. What a night, and a privilege to have been part of it.
Though the outcome in essence was to provide a curtain raiser to the match on Thursday, where we entered the arena needing a minimum 22 point win over the league leaders in order to reclaim the top spot we’d been deposed from the week before.
Some of the Team had met on Wednesday evening for the Chinese food evening at the British Legion, and used the occasion as a morale-boosting and bonding session for what we saw as a must-win game. On the day it was evident Bradwell saw it much the same way as they turned up fired to avenge the result two days previously. So begun the series of battles in which no player would give way. Parwich, though, were magnificent to a man (and woman) and even, it has to be said, zealous use of law technicalities – 3 times in the case of one game – didn’t rattle us, and Parwich won the right to celebrate a 134 to 105 victory to go back to the top spot by a mere 7 point margin.
Next week sees us twice on the road, with visits to Chatsworth on Tuesday and Matlock Park on Thursday. I’m looking forward to them. Keep it going Parwich!   Mark J…

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Well they’re all saying It’s Coming Home. Football’s coming home, bowls is coming home… we’re all daring to dream. Last Tuesday by careful manipulation and understanding by our skipper I managed to time my own game in order to see England beat Germany – and so it was a pair of very fired-up Joneses who went on late to play our part in a fine Team performance to defeat Bakewell at home by 10 points – but the stage had been well set by those who went before us. Tuesday League performances very much looking up of late.
On the Thursday however…..a set back. The odd number of teams in the league means that one club has to sit it out each week and this time it was our turn. Teams with a match in hand won and for the first time in a couple of months we lost our top spot. Here’s hoping to bring you all news of normal service being resumed as soon as possible.
On to this week’s encounters: with England safely through to the Euro semi-final the Parwich band travelled to Darley Dale’s Whitworth Park. What a match this was, swinging one way and then the other – then back again – end to end stuff with no pun intended… Gave it all we had on a long night until the light was fading, but ended up on the wrong side of a SINGLE POINT defeat (68-67). Noticeable though as the first time when both teams were sat mingled together whilst waiting to play, so progress being evident in our quest to get social life moving again. What a pleasant bunch they were as well.
Thursday morning dawned. England as per normal had given us a nail-biting night but have made the Final, and Parwich faced a must-win match on a very difficult but magnificently manicured green away at Wirksworth. Well what a performance we all put on, coming away all smiles with a 139 to 100 victory to maintain second position but poised to fight for the top spot again.
So, a week in prospect. Is football coming home? Can Parwich overcome (temporary) league leaders Bradwell on Thursday? I, for one, hope our wishes all come true.  Mark J…

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Sunday Bowling

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Another great week for your illustrious Parwich bowling team as they record a further two victories across the leagues.
Tuesday evening at Bakewell produced a truly remarkable result as Parwich finished just one point away from a maximum 84 points * (* maximum for Tuesday league format only, Thursdays are max 153.) Two of the games were won by just one point, one lost by a mere point, plus one crushing victory gave us a score of 83-63. A good evening’s work indeed on Bakewell’s somewhat eccentric green.
On Thursday afternoon we entertained mid-table Matlock Bath and enjoyed a momentous tight battle which swung one way and then the other. After being down after the doubles rounds we triumphed across the singles to finally record a scoreline of 126 to 116 and further advance our position of league leaders. That there’s a good team spirit within our small club at present is undeniable; each member can have a sense of great satisfaction at the way we’re playing.
Tuesday sees us play Bakewell again, this time in the home fixture. It’ll take place at the same time as the England v Germany match so those that would have liked to won’t get to see it – but I’m sure there’ll be as many twists, turns and excitement at Parson’s Croft as there will be at Wembley… and with a good old cup of char to boot!

Mark J…

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We Shall Not Be Moved….

A “stonking” good win is about the only way to describe Tuesday night’s home bowls fixture against Youlgreave. Results on Tuesdays have been patchy, to say the least, but all came together on this occasion as Parwich stormed to an impressive 81-48 victory. A maximum 84 score from the four games was only narrowly missed on the final game though Dawn and Fran kept us excited with a fighting performance, the scores neck and neck swinging one way then the other, until well after 8 o’clock. The winning wood from Carol of Youlgreave brought rapturous applause from both teams.
On Thursday our form continued. We were back on the road at Matlock Golf Club, the only team that look reasonably capable of catching us as league leaders – therefore a must-win match for both sides. Well it was tight, but Parwich were able to travel home feeling pretty pleased with ourselves after battling to a 123 to 110 win. A bit early to taste the champagne from the Championship trophy just jet but we can start to dream if we keep it up. Stylish celebrations for at least some of us included fish and chips and a pint on the way home!  
Next week sees the team travel to Bakewell on Tuesday and then play host to Matlock Bath on Thursday afternoon. Unequivocally more entertainment there than the Nation saw from Mr Southgate’s men last night…..

Mark J…

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..In other words, Tuesday’s match was officially to be played away against Hope Works, owing to their green not being available however the match was played in Parwich. Although deemed as underdogs here we got stuck in thinking we could pull it off. A rattling good encounter, though, saw us eventually beaten by the narrow margin of 73-65. I did note, incidentally, that although the official away side it was Parwich folk that made all the tea. Which brings me on to say that if anyone heard an ear-splitting crash on Tuesday around 7-30 it was only yours truly dropping a wood on the pyrex tea tray and showering the entire pavilion with tiny cubes of glass. Could have happened to anyone….
In the Thursday league we were back at Parson’s Croft where the situation had a rather different outcome; a rampant Parwich side further extending their lead at the top of the table with a 145-95 victory over Youlgreave. We must have played well as a unit as I understand Youlgreave to have some particularly experienced bowlers among their ranks, so it was certainly a result to celebrate. By a quirk of fate from the fixtures organisers the same opponents will be our visitors again this coming week when we entertain them in the Tuesday League. Vociferous support will always be appreciated. Mark J…

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Bowls in The Home of The Pudding

Only one match this week as Parwich Bowling Club had a bye on Tuesday evening, giving us all a chance to watch Yes Minister and an opportunity to see what really goes on behind the corridors of power….
Thus it was a refreshed and rested team that set off for Bakewell on Thursday afternoon. There’s no doubting that Baedeca’s Wella (as originally known) is a lovely old historical town, however best not visited during half-term following a bank holiday Monday; the place was heaving with holidaymakers and finding a parking space took a considerable chunk out of our day.
A rattling good contest it was though when the match got under way. Bakewell’s somewhat eccentric green, tucked away in an attractive setting behind carefully tended gardens and between architectural gems, is not so much of a smooth crown in its topology but more resembling of a scale model of the Dark Peak. Woods in pursuit of the jack are apt to come off Kinder and be diverted along the Snake Pass! But it was great fun, it was a fine place to play nonetheless and, surrounded by benches full of enthralled tourists resting after their lunchtime tarts and puddings, we bowled well as a unit. After several close pairings that swung one way then another Parwich were eventually narrowly beaten by 136 to 119, but, according to the published League table on Friday, retain our top position.
The coming week sees us scheduled to play at home twice, Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon. Let’s keep it going Parwich! 

Mark J

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Sunday Bowling

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Top Spot for Parwich!

After the first month and a half of the season being played out in rain, hail, sleet, fog and blizzards, I realised yesterday that crown green bowls can be just as enjoyable when played as a summer sport. On a balmy sunny afternoon at Parson’s Croft yesterday the Parwich team; a finely honed and well-oiled machine of a group if there ever was one, extended their hold on the top of the Matlock Thursday League with a thumping 148 to 94 win over Whitworth Park. There were some close encounters though, with spirited fightbacks offered by the visitors in many of the games before our own cavaliers refused to give up the cause and battle to the ultimate victory. Dot and Sue, and Fran and Penny indeed are worthy of mentions here for shining though in their doubles encounters, and I believe we then triumphed in all of the singles games. Fair play indeed to Whitworth for a great and enjoyable match.
This, though, was not the case in the Tuesday League when only two evenings before our travelling band had to admit we were definitively beaten on Wirksworth’s huge and tricky green. Home advantage and a team of very experienced bowlers told as we eventually went down by around 20 points. All of our players certainly gave it all they had and it’s worthy of mention that we won a couple of the games quite convincingly, but I have to say that Wirksworth’s knowledge and class told in the end. 
The overriding factor though is; what smashing people we have met both on our travels and welcomed to our home ground. It’s been a pleasure to have shared some of these people’s time and to have competed in a friendly but determined manner against them. It’s what sport’s about! Mark J…

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Top Spot for Parwich!

A look at the League Table this morning revealed that Parwich have taken top spot following our impressive 146 to 88 victory at home to Chatsworth yesterday. The match in fact had looked a bit dodgy just an hour or two before start time as the rain teemed down, but it dried up quite considerably to allow us all to commence, We fought well from start to finish, from Dawn and Penny taking the first doubles scalp, to Keith and Tony being victorious in the final singles games some three hours later on a freezing cold afternoon. Thanks to Edith and Dot for keeping everyone’s central heating going with steaming mugs of Rosie Lea (mine looked like crude oil – just how I like it!) What a nice bunch of people the opposition were as well.
Fortunes had been a little different on Tuesday night though at Matlock Park where we came up against a well-honed outfit who richly deserved their crushing win over our endeavoured battalion. Most certainly not for the want of trying, but have to hand it to the home team on this occasion. How good though to be able to sit inside a fish and chip shop on the way to the match and rediscover just a little of the pleasures we’ve had to live without for so long.
Next week’s matches see us on the road again to Wirksworth Tuesday and then Whitworth at home Thursday afternoon. Come on Parwich, keep it up!

Signed off as a very proud Mark J…

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Well Played Duck…

A reorganisation of fixtures in the Tuesday League meant that our planned home clash against Youlgrave was postponed; maybe fortuitous given that Derbyshire was battered by a spectacular storm firing cannonballs of ice down just as the match would have been in progress. Therefore….
….it was a rested Parwich team that travelled to Baslow on Thursday afternoon. It was in fact a pair of ducks that formed “the crowd” and seemed to befriend our players – particularly Penny, after whom they waddled from end to end hardly being able to contain their egg-citement. I formed the impression that we arrived as underdogs and the home side certainly looked formidable in the warm-up, all resplendent in their club colours of red and grey, but we started in fine fettle and, after a short interlude where the light from above was switched off and the heavens let us have it for a few minutes, we finished the first doubles round 10 points up! Inspirational captaincy by John Henbury rallied us to keep going, and our band of two supporters flew in to quack us home, Parwich taking all the singles games to romp to an impressive 140 to 91 away victory and with that go third in the table. (Put our fans’ drinks on my “bill”…)
Thus the Team will be available to sign autograph books either in The Sycamore or The Legion over the coming days… Now we need to keep that momentum going over the following week.

Mark J

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Sunday Bowling

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Last Thursday (29 April) we travelled to Bradwell for the season’s first away match. On their “interesting” green which twists and turns and rises and falls every which way – and with the North wind howling down the Hope Valley – the Parwich Team battled bravely to a 120-109 defeat; a scoreline that in practice did little to flatter our efforts. The home side were a hospitable lot though, and welcoming mugs of hot, steaming tea were gratefully received to warm the hands after or respective contributions. Such a beautiful setting, I for one will look forward to our return there in the Tuesday League fixture later this summer. (Bet it’s even better on a balmy evening.)
However, if Bradwell was cold, this week’s home clash against Matlock Park began with hailstones the size of golf balls battering the two teams as they took the field – any repeat of this could result in Parson’s Croft being renamed The Winter Gardens! Soon after starting though the sun shone on the righteous and, in a match that was nip and tuck from start to finish, it took a recount to confirm that Parwich were to emerge as narrow 126-120 victors. Both entire teams should take a bow for an exciting afternoon throughout.
Great to see a couple of new faces at the practice session last Sunday afternoon and hope that this may continue this week. The next 7 days sees us take on Youlgreave on Tuesday evening and then on the road again to Baslow on Thursday; I’m sure we’ll all do our best to make the you the reader proud at the next report.

Mark J

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Sunday Bowling

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The start of the new season of Thursday and Tuesday league matches has brought varying results for Parwich. The curtain-raiser at home to Wirksworth, played on a warm and sunny afternoon, certainly brought a valliant effort, but despite winning more games we were narrowly pipped to a loss by a mere 3 points, the final score being 127-130. A close encounter throughout indeed.
However Tuesday Captain Dawn Alsopp rallied her troops for Tuesday evening and her intrepid men and ladies replied with an impressive 80 to 47 win over Bradwell. Under the swirling dark clouds that threatened much but in the end delivered only a sprinkle the Team rose to the occasion. Only the plummeting evening temperature had a say and the evening finished with Sue Ash doing an impression of Ernest Shackleton as he set out to conquer the Antarctic.
It’s all great fun, and the Team will welcome new members, so why not turn up to one of the Sunday open sessions and have a go – all equipment can be provided. It is fervently hoped that in the coming months we will be able to acknowledge our opponents with the customary warm handshakes and the offer of a pint at the conclusion of hostilities.

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Sunday Bowling

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Bowls Club AGM -Tomorrow

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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

WEDNESDAY, 4TH MARCH, 2PM

IN THE CLUBHOUSE AT PARSON’S CROFT.

Anyone interested in playing bowls is welcome to attend.

If you are unable to attend but are interested in playing, please contact Tony on 724 oregertonashes@gmail.com

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