2017 - 2018 Club News

(Mid April 2017 to Mid April 2018)

All Items By Eddie Hawkins, Press Officer, Braintree Bowling Club


2017 April

Friendly - Men v Ladies 

Men v Ladies FriendlyOn a pristine playing surface, Braintree Bowling Club had their opening internal competitive bowls match on Saturday 22nd April, with the Ladies versus the Gentlemen members.  There were 30 players in total, playing triples on 5 rinks, but because of the imbalance of men to women, mixed teams were nominated to play for the ladies, while the all male teams were totally playing for the gentlemen's section of the club.

Overall, after a long deliberation on scores, it was finally decided that the Ladies had won by 3 shots. Everyone concerned with playing or supporting these matches were appreciative of the quality of play by all playing members, plus the extremely well prepared playing surface of the rinks.


2017 May

Friendly - Braintree v Witham Mill Lane

This was the first friendly of the season for both clubs, and offered new and more experienced players an opportunity to test the greens and hone their bowling ability against good opposition.

Braintree v Witham Mill Lane 2017The game play was over three rinks of Triples, with Braintree winning 2 rinks and a final score of 64 shots to Witham Mill Lane’s 48 shots.  However, this did not really reflect the true pattern of the game as both Braintree and Witham Mill Lane played well and congratulations go to both teams. 


Ladies Top Club - Braintree v Great Baddow

Hosting this prestigious Ladies County Top Club competition, the Braintree B.C. ladies put up an admirable performance against Great Baddow, prior winners of this County trophy and notably one of the strongest bowling clubs in the County.

Top Club Teams

The competition was played over four different bowling disciplines, Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours with the combined scores determining the winning team.  Braintree's successful Triples team of Sandra Mayne, Danielle Gibbons and Pauline Green won their match comfortably by 8 shots.  Unfortunately, the Singles and Pairs team were not able to repeat this, losing their games to their opponents, together with the Fours team who were unlucky enough to lose by just 1 shot.

Braintree Teams: Singles: G. Costin, Pairs: O. Hawkins and L. Butcher, Triples: Sandra Mayne, Danielle Gibbons and Pauline Green, Fours: Freda Laidlaw, Judith Kodz, Barbara Taylor and Rita Dodd.

The games were played in the true spirit of sportsmanship and good bowling, on a pristine and well-kept green, which is a credit to all the players and green keepers at Braintree Bowling Club.


Tony Allcock Trophy

Tony Allcock Competition 2017On a warm sunny day with a pleasant relieving cool breeze, local bowling club rivals Braintree and Courtaulds Halstead, met in the regional first round of the National Tony Allcock National Trophy for Mixed Fours Over 60’s.  Game play was at Braintree's Clare Road ground, with two rinks of four players in each team, playing 21 ends, with combined scores added together to decide who wins the competition with the most shots.

The game commenced with both home and away clubs mirroring each other on their respective rinks.  Rink one’s home team of Roni Taylor, Olive Hawkins, Tony Heales and Richard Dodd lost heavily on two ends in the opening half of their match, but in the remaining half gradually narrowed the deficit to within 8 shots, losing 17 shots to 25 shots.  On the other rink, the Braintree Team of Pat Hart, Gill Costin, Paul Costin and Andy Beatty took an early lead, which they maintained over the whole 21 ends.  Unfortunately, the Halstead team kept the gap between them to a minimum, losing out by 2 shots to the hosts with a score of running 19 shots to 17 shots.  This meant that Halstead went through to the next round with a score of 42 shots to Braintree's 36 shots. 

This was a most enjoyable match, played by two extremely sporting clubs, with the final result not decided until delivery of the last bowl on each green.


2017 July

Friendly - Dunmow v Braintree 

Dunmow v Braintree

This match between two local teams, Dunmow B.C. and Braintree B.C. lived up to its "Friendly" title when the hosts greeted Braintree with generous cordiality befitting this fixture.  The weather was kind, although very bright and there was a cooling breeze to help the players to perform to their best. 

Both clubs played extremely well on the pristine greens and Braintree were able to mix some of their more experienced players with a few of their newer members to the game of competitive bowls.  It is matches like this which enable the less experienced players to gain knowledge of the etiquette and improve their own ability as a bowler.

Over the four rinks of Triples, Braintree finally came out on top, with a victory score of 77 shots to Dunmow's 55 shots, winning three rinks and losing one.

Picture (Back Row): Left to Right - Nick Brown, Eddie Hawkins, Ian Rubens, Jan Kodz, George Carter, John Laidlaw (Capt.), Keith Rixon, Henry Edwards

Picture (Front Row): Left to Right - Olive Hawkins, Judith Kodz, Donna Fennelly, Freda Laidlaw 


County Pairs Finals

ECBA County Pairs Finals 2Two of Braintree Bowling Club's elite players, Graham Easterbrook and Martin Spencer, reached the Pairs Finals of the Essex County Bowling Association Championships at Southend last Saturday, 29th July.  Their opposition, Mitch Brenner and James Rippey (two recognised accomplished players in the County) from Wanstead Central Bowling Club, made this an extremely tight game which resulted in the Braintree pair taking the honours with a resulting two shot winning score, 19 shots to 17shots.  

On taking this County Pairs title, the Braintree duo will now go on to represent the Essex ‘A' team at the Men's National Pairs Championships at Royal Leamington Spa in August, with their opposition being the Yorkshire 'A' team.  After performing well over seven previous rounds in this County competition, the Essex Pairs title was a worthy reward for these two extremely talented players.

This now makes it two consecutive County titles for Braintree Bowling Club over the past two seasons, as last season, Graham and Martin also played in the County Double Fours Winning team, with Josh Heffernan, Chris Long, Brian Taplin, Malcolm Stark, Rob Doleman and Dave Hunt. This was the first time the Club had won this major trophy. 


2017 August

Gala Day 

Gala Day 2017The inauguration of Braintree Bowling Club's Mixed Gala Day to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support was a great success, not only for the funds raised, but also the camaraderie and fun generated by the players of mixed ability within the Club.

The format consisted of eight teams of Mixed Triples playing 6 ends over 3 games, with the accumulated shots scored from these three games denoting the winning team.  To raise funds during these matches, an adjudicator observed any infringements that would carry a 50p fine towards the charity funds.  These breaches of the rules on the day included hitting the jack, putting the jack or bowls in the ditch, wrong bias, any unworthy behaviour on the green and any other wrong doings warranting a fine in the adjudicators opinion.  Many misdemeanours went unobserved, but over the two hours on the greens, a total of £52 in fines was accumulated.

After an excellent buffet, laid on by the ladies of the Club, there were several fun presentations to teams and individuals, plus a raffle and an auction, which in turn added further money for the deserved Macmillan contributions.  There was also an announcement that whatever funds were raised on the day, Braintree Bowling Club would double that amount.  This resulted in a total net profit of £420 (Members £210 + £210 from the club).

Hopefully, this will become a regular fixture in the Clubs itinerary over the coming seasons.

The photo shows the attending players, plus officials and supporters of the club.


Gala Day 2017 Cheque PresentationFollowing the Gala Day, Braintree Bowling Club players added a further £80 from a roll- up evening, to increase funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, bringing the club’s contribution to a grand total of £500 for this worthy cause.

Andy Beatty, the Club's Chairperson presented the cheque to Kim Harmour, the local Macmillan Cancer Support Treasurer, who in turn, praised the efforts of all the Bowling Club members for their generous contributions.

Presentation of a cheque from Andy Beatty to Kim Harmour.


Friendly - Braintree v Clacton

Clacton Friendly 2017

This annual friendly match against Clacton Indoor Bowling Club was once again a success for the home team, Braintree Bowling Club, as it gave the club a chance of revenge for their defeats at the hands of this very good Clacton club whenever Braintree play them indoors in the Winter.

Experience, whether playing indoors or outdoors, plays an important part in these matches, as the variants in both environments are so different. Braintree Bowling Club took early leads on all the rinks, but as the games progressed, Clacton players started to find their weight and length for their bowls.  The cordial atmosphere produced friendly banter between the home team and the opposing players, which added to the occasion.

Of the six rinks used, Braintree won on 4 rinks and Colchester took the remaining 2. The total scores favoured the home team, who ended on a total of 139 shots to Colchester's 38 shots.


2017 September

NWE League Championships

NWE Pairs WinnersBraintree Bowling Club players, Martin Spencer and Graham Easterbrook added yet a further successful chapter to the club's history and their own creditable achievements over the past months.

This talented duo won the coveted Essex County Bowls Pairs title last month, which in turn took them to the National Finals at Royal Leamington Spar to represent Essex.  This is where they took the auspicious North West Essex League's Pairs title.

NWE Singles Winner

Martin Spencer included the Singles title to his Braintree Bowling Club CV.  Martin had previously won this trophy with Dunmow B.C. on three other occasions during 2013-2015.

In the Triples Final, the Braintree Team consisting of Malcolm Stark, Vic Cole and Andy Beatty unfortunately could not repeat their victory of last season to make it a clean sweep for Braintree, but nevertheless played very well.

The results were as follows.

SINGLES- Martin Spencer won by 6 shots

PAIRS - Martin Spencer and Graham Easterbrook won by 2 Shots

TRIPLES - Malcolm Stark, Vic Cole and Andy Beatty lost by 10 shots

The photos show the singles and pairs presentation with Phil Baggarley (President of North West Bowling Association)


2018 April

Indoor Bowls - Braintree v Clacton

Braintree v Clacton Indoor 2018

Braintree Outdoor Bowling Club members made their annual pre-season journey to Clacton Indoor Bowling Club to play a friendly match in preparation for the coming outdoor season. Clacton, with the advantage of being the hosts and fully experienced in playing indoors on much faster carpet rinks throughout the year, meant it was going to be quite a quantum leap for the mostly indoor bowls inexperienced Braintree players against a very strong Clacton Indoor Team. Of the 19 players for Braintree, only a handful of the team plays regular indoor bowls throughout the Winter months. Though slightly one sided, in favour of Clacton, who ran out the overall winners, the actual team match was played in a jovial and friendly manner which befits a good friendly match. It should be remembered that Clacton Indoor Bowling club is one of the major Indoor Clubs in this Tendring area of Essex, thus proving their prowess against a very good North West Essex outdoor bowling club.

Now the stage is set for the return outdoor match in June, when Clacton will be wanting revenge for last year’s match at Braintree, when again it was the more experienced grass rink players of Braintree, who capitalised on their home advantage and knowledge of the greens.

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