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The luck of the draw

It was a busy night in the clubhouse on Friday 3rd March when members gathered for the annual draw night. A packed programme saw the draws for the 18 club competitions that will be held during the 2023 season.

Picture: Getting the numbers ready for the next draw

What a lot of entries!

The competitive spirit is alive and well at Gildredge. Members are keen to enter the battle for a club title and have their name engraved forever on a trophy.

Entries this year surpassed last year with 92 (!!!) different individuals entering one, and usually several, club competitions.

Over the winter there have been improvements to the entry forms, revisions to the competition schedule, and a bringing together of the inconsistent separate rules from the men's and ladies' sections.

Picture: Some of the trophies to be won

The most competitive event in 2023 will be the Fixed Jack which drew 37 entries, forcing the organisers to slot in an extra preliminary round to accommodate everyone. The only disappointment is the cancellation of the ladies drawn triples because only 8 people entered.

Picture: Richard and Lydia kept everyone refreshed through the evening

How it worked

Every entrant was given a unique number. First, the teams were drawn for the drawn pairs and triples competitions. The teams were formed using the individual handicaps to balance up the teams. For the pairs there were two bags. One bag contained the numbers for players from the top half of the handicap and one bag had the players from the bottom half. For the triple teams, three bags were used to cover, high, middle, and lower handicaps.

The draws for the first round of each competition followed.

Pictures: Left: Men's Captain Brian Whittaker was so well prepared he could relax before the evening began; Middle: Rob Ramsden Competitions Secretary; Right: Andy "number disk" Roberts (Men's Vice Captain), Brian Whittaker, and Ellen Strevens (Ladies Captain and Competitions Secretary)

Ones to watch

The first round draw has thrown up some captivating matches. Cathy Greenwood takes on Ellen Strevens in the senior ladies singles. There is a couples showdown with Ian and Anita Dixon versus Colin and Linda Couch in the pairs. The Pickering household see husband and wife on opposing sides as Ros Pickering's Australian Pairs team takes on Duncan Pickering's team. Newer bowlers Mick Foster and Kevin McMichael face up in the men's handicap and with both capable of precise driving shots this will be a great match to watch.

Picture: Is David Forge laughing or crying over one of his first round draws?

There are lots more great matches coming up. The full schedule is now being written up and will be posted soon on the board in the clubhouse. It will go on the web as well.

The future looks rosy

As well as all the old favourites, 2023 saw the introduction of a new competition - The Foundation Cup singles. This competition is for new bowlers and is restricted to members with five years or less bowling experience at Gildredge, or any other club, indoors or outdoors. Twenty-seven members have entered and we are sure to see some fine bowling.

Picture: Has Paul Boyland just landed a bye in the first round?

The new Thursday club day

The experiment of a mixed club day seems to have garnered popular support. A magnificent 85 members have signed up for the Thursday morning John Batten league including 32 ladies. There will be 17 teams battling for the top of the league this year. And for the afternoon matches 68 members have signed up.

Picture: "There I am" says Bob Hapgood as he finds his number amongst the 91 different members who entered competitions

Thank you

Thank you to all the club members who have entered the competitions and the club day. It really is wonderful to see such support for the various formats. Good luck everyone. There may be only one champion at the end but everyone who takes part is a winner.

The biggest thanks must go to our competitions secretaries, Ellen Strevens and Rob Ramsden, to Brian Whittaker (men's Captain) for his outstanding work in organising all the lists and draws, and to Andy Roberts (men's vice-captain) for repeatedly bagging up all the numbers, without mistake, in numerous permutations.

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