Who needs short mat?

img_3247Who needs the heated, cosy environment of an Anderson House short mat game, when the outdoor greens beckon? (Although today they were more like “whites” than greens . . .)

Harnam Grewal must have persuaded Louise Mason, head of Player Development, that our club players needed toughening up for the summer tournament battles. Outdoor bowling on New Year’s Day would be the first challenge of the year.

img_3268Harnam carefully selected a group of members – mostly from among those who are well-known to be gullible and widely suspected of having impaired judgement. He couldn’t believe his luck when, it snowed on New Year’s Eve – an added bonus for his new military training regime.

Sixteen foolish souls gathered at one o’clock to play two games of fours. At the start, there was much boastful talk of, “Just sixteen ends, or shall we do eighteen?” Then the cold began to bite.

After three ends, people began explaining to each other about ways they have of avoiding the cold, (Brent Merchant clearly not taking part.) After four ends, there were murmurs that hot glühwein ought to have been served at this event. After five ends both games were tied. It was agreed that the sixth end would be the last, before we ran up such a large score that our opponents would be embarrassed. Besides, we had to think of friends and family, who would be worrying about us.

So after 45 minutes, with the snow turning to ice and crows circling in the darkening sky, we adjourned to Carnarvon House, where we believe we were greeted as heroes, rather than fools, and plied with drinks by kindly club members, more sensible than ourselves.

We learned that: bowls in the snow don’t turn much; “heavy” greens of summer are nothing compared to the VERY heavy greens of January; all the usual opponents’ luck and general unfairness of the game applies, snow or not.

Taskmaster Grewal warns that this will likely be an annual event.


Reporting by Chris Slade
1st January, 2017