Brian McGiven's Match Reports
Bowls England National Top Club
Hertford Castle 4 Berkhamsted 1
1st Round – Sunday 6 May 2012
Hertford Castle’s men began their 2012 competitive season with a home win against Berkhamsted in the 1st round of the Bowls England Top Club Competition, winning in 4 of the 5 disciplines.
1st Round – Sunday 6 May 20122 Wood Singles
HC 16 Berkhamsted 7
David Bowie got the team off to a great start with a comfortable win, needing only 17 of the possible 21 ends. After a cagey first 4 ends, David took a decisive lead, winning the next 4 ends and scoring 7 shots without reply. The remainder of the game was a fine example of 2 wood play with David never conceding more than 1 shot but scoring 2 on three more occasions.
4 Wood Singles
HC 21 Berkhamsted 19
Allen Brandford started well, establishing a 5 shot lead before being pegged back. Allen then scored 5 shots in 2 ends to go 6 ahead. But a stubborn opponent kept clawing the deficit back each time Allen tried to break away and managed to take the lead at 14-13. The advantage changed hands twice more before the Berkhamsted player scored a 3 shot count to open up what looked to be a decisive lead at 19-16. However, Allen finished very strongly with two 3s to secure the point.
HC 12 Berkhamsted 17
Garry and Matthew Warrender fought hard in this tightly contested game. The Hertford Castle pair won 5 of the first 9 ends and, at that point, the scores were tied at 6-6. But the next 2 ends proved to be crucial as the opposition opened a 5 shot lead. The remainder of the game was keenly fought and a low scoring game ended with Berkhamsted ahead.
HC 18 Berkhamsted 12
The Hertford Castle trio of Richard Adams, Graham Weaver and Brian McGivern took the first 4 ends, scoring 6 shots. Berkhamsted managed to reduce the lead to only 2 shots at the halfway stage but the home team pulled away again and scored a decisive 4 shot count on the 13th end. The margin opened out to 9 shots before the opposition got back to within 4 after 16 ends. But the game was closed out safely with 2 singles.
HC 26 Berkhamsted 10
The Hertford Castle four of Alan Gibbs, Vic Greenberg, Chris Bowie and Mick Milne dominated their game from start to finish. They were 9-0 ahead at 3 ends, 12– 1 at 6 ends and 17-2 at 9 ends. The home four continued to maintain a clear winning margin and after 19 ends, with the result of the match already decided, both teams shook hands and went for an early lunch.
Away at Buntingford
Thursday 17 May 6:00pm
Bowls England National Two Fours
Hertford Castle A 50 Stevenage Town 28
1st Round - Wednesday- 9th May 2012
HC 23 Stevenage 14
The Hertford Castle four of David Bowie, Alan Gibbs, Mick Howlett and Mick Milne got off to a strong start scoring 6 shots in the first 3 ends. Stevenage got on the scoreboard with a single in the 4th end and the next 2 ends were shared. The home rink then broke away with a 2,4 and 1 to establish a 14-4 lead after 9 ends.
The Hertford Castle men played sensible, containing bowls for the next 10 ends but Stevenage managed to score four 2 shot counts to eat into the lead and narrow the margin to only 4 shots after 19 ends. However any doubts about the result were brushed aside with a strong 4 , 1 finish.
HC 27 Stevenage 14
Mattew Warrender, Richard Adams, Brian McGivern and Garry Warrender took only slightly longer to get started and led by 6 shots after 5 ends. Stevenage won 4 of the next 6 ends but only managed to narrow the magin by 1 shot.
The 11th and 12th ends were key to this game with the home side inflicting two 6 shot counts on the opposition. The lead was futher consolidated with 3 singles without reply and the lead was virtually unbeatable 20 shots with 5 ends to go. Relaxing slightly, the home four lost 3 ends and 7 shots but, with the other game having finished, Stevenage conceded the match result.
Home to Welwyn Garden City or Croxley Green
Bowls England National Two Fours
Harpenden 44 Hertford Castle B 34
1st Round – Wednesday 9 May 2012
In very difficult, wet conditions away at Harpenden, the Hertford Castle team performed well but were beaten by a very strong Harpenden side
HC 21 Harpenden 19
Roger Shipp, John Scholey, David Cornish and Allen Brandford pulled off a terrific come-from-behind result.
The first 5 ends were shared with scores level at 5-5. But Harpenden scored a 4 and a 3 in the next 5 ends to open a 6 shot lead at 10 ends.
Hertford Castle wiped out the deficit in only 2 ends scoring a 4 and a 2 before Harpenden grabbed the advantage back, scoring 6 shots in 3 ends. After 15 ends, Harpenden led 19-13.
The Hertford Castle four then went on a fantastic run, winning all of the last 6 ends and closing out the game 2 shots ahead.
HC 13 Harpenden 25
The Hertford Castle four of Michael Rhodes, Tony Deane, Graham Weaver and Dave Whitehouse were up against a Harpenden rink containing Middleton Cup players and previous County competition winners.
After 5 ends, the home team had established a 7 shot lead at 10-3. But the Hertford Castle team held on well before scoring a big 4 shot count on the 12th end to narrow the margin to only 3 shots.
Unfortunately, all the hard work was undone by a 5 shot loss on the 15th end followed by another 6 shots to give Harpenden a decisive, winning lead.