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Battle of White Rock goes down to the wire

The Men's Top Club team manager Andy Browning reports on a very close match, and after-match incident (??!!), at White Rock, Hastings in the national Top Club competition on May 6th

We drew White Rock in the first round of the national men's Top Club. White Rock are a strong team who normally progress well in this competition. We gave a good showing. The format was two bowl singles, four bowl singles, pairs, triples, and fours.

Colin Hunt played the two bowl singles. His opponent soon found the range and won well.

The pairs of John Morris and George Murray had a fine win over G.Newton and S.Godfrey by 22 to 8.

Triples of Jo Doust, Tony Ryan, and Ray Jeffs were up against a good squad led by county player A. Martin. The Gildredge trio took them all the way, going into the 18th end all square at 17 all. But a single from White Rock on the 18th end meant a loss for Gildredge.

The fours of Chris Willing, Arthur Strevens, Colin Couch and Duncan Pickering played a strong White Rock four. Gildredge were leading after the first 11 ends but then the wheels came off and they dropped 14 shots on the next six ends to go 9 to 19 down. They ran out of ends to come back and the final score was a loss of 11 - 20.

The match of the evening was played by Kevin Hilton who had the daunting task of playing Colin Nutton who has won the Eastbourne Open singles for the last two years. And what a fright Kevin gave Colin as he took an early lead. Colin came back and the lead swopped several times. Kevin kept up a strong performance and going into the final end it was 20 all before Colin Nutton took the final shot to run out 21 to 20 winner.

White Rock had a strong team. Although they progress by winning four rinks to one, the final results was down to one shot on

the final end in both four wood singles and triples. Gildredge were so close to victory and just a smidgen of difference in the final end on two rinks would have seen us triumph. Well done to the whole team.

If any Gildredge members like the look of White Rock and want to enter, or watch, a tournament then the annual Hastings Open takes place at White Rock in August. All the details here.

On a more serious note the local youths had a fight between themselves which spilled over on to the edge of the green as the very final ends were being played. The local bowlers got involved, the final ends were played, and it almost became a siege as our bowlers and supporters took refuge in the club house! The hosts had sandwiches laid on so we had food and a bar and could have survived for a while! Eventually, the 20 or so youths calmed down and departed from outside the clubhouse and we all came home. The White Rock bowlers handled the situation well and the fight did not affect the match outcome.

The next big men's match is on 12th May at home to Sidley Martlet's B from Bexhill. Sidley are also a strong club. Start at 6.00 pm. All welcome.

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