There was a unique double for Pembrokeshire and West Wales bowls at Llandrindod Wells last weekend.
On Saturday, Tenby lifted the Carruthers Shield (for the Welsh club championship) for the second time in their history, having won it for the first time some 10 years ago in 2009,
The following day, the West Wales Ladies Bowling Association were in action at the home of Welsh bowls and won the prestigious Savager Trophy (the Welsh ladies county championship) for the very first time.
Ten years on...Tenby celebrate second Carruthers Shield success
Ten years after the team historically won the most sought-after title in Welsh bowls back in 2009 for the first time, they brought the trophy back to the Sutton Street club after two huge wins on Saturday at Llandrindod Wells BC.
Eight of the team can proudly say they have been in both Carruthers winning sides - current captain Peter Day, 2009 captain David Spencer, Paul Diment, Andrew Muskett, Jonathan Webb, John Roberts, Mike Jackson and Cameron White, who was reserve 10 years ago, while Joe Richards, who was in the first victorious side and currently travelling the world, got a live feed in New Zealand of the final via his mum, Hayley’s mobile ‘phone.
Since 2009, Tenby have chalked up an impressive Carruthers Shield record - they have been to three semi-finals and a final where they were runners-up to Harlequins.
But this year, they were long-awaited winners again.
After qualifying from Pembrokeshire, Tenby’s road to the final saw them beat Troedyrhiw at home, followed by victories at Newtown and Barry Athletic.
In the semi-final, they beat the much fancied RTB Ebbw Vale by 10, 78-68, with two winning rinks, a draw and a one-shot defeat, while in the final, they chalked up an impressive 24-shot victory against the holders Penylan, of Cardiff, winning on three rinks and drawing on the fourth.
Penylan beat Beaufort in the other semi-final.
Welsh president Will James, of Newtown BC, presented the trophy to captain Peter, for whom the victory was particularly poignant.
In January, Peter’s wife Vicky tragically passed away and the Carruthers Shield victory was a special tribute to her from the team.
Peter and Vicky’s eldest son Evan, 17, was also part of the squad - he has played during the season and was reserve for the semi-final and final, while younger brother Rhys, 15, who has taken up bowls this year too was there to support with Peter’s parents Heather and Mike.
The Carruthers Shield was the second trophy presented to the Day family in a week, for Mike is this year’s captain of the Five Arches team who won the Brains Shield against Pembroke Dock Warriors the previous weekend.
Incidentally, the Five Arches had been triumphant in the Brains Cup 10 years previously too, so pressure was on Peter and his team to do the double again and they certainly rose to the challenge, only dropping one rink by a single shot in both the semi-final and final.
Captain Peter said: “It has been a great honour to captain and play in such a brilliant side. The team were magnificen. To get to the final and win against a side like Penylan is a fantastic achievement. I was also delighted for the younger members of the team winning it for the first time and would like to thank the players for their commitment this season, and also our loyal band of supporters who have followed us in every round.”
Results and rink scores were as follows:
Semi-final: Tenby 76 RTB Ebbw Vale 68 (Tenby first, RTB Ebbw Vale skips only):
Mike Jackson, Ashley Hooper, Aaron Lloyd, John Roberts 24; Owain Dando 16.
Luke Rees, Viv John, Keiran Peregrine, Chris Court 18; Jon Tomlinson 18.
Dion Peregrine, Jonathan Webb, Andrew Muskett, Paul Diment 21; Steve Harris 18.
Cameron White, David Spencer, Peter Day, Ryan Thomas 15; Lee Thomas 16.
Final: Tenby 97 Penylan 73 (Tenby skips first):
Ryan Thomas 21; Mark Letman 17.
Chris Court 22; Damian Doubler 13.
John Roberts 25; David Harding 25.
Paul Diment 29; Dan Salmon 18.
Reserves for both games: Evan Day and Steve Davies.
History made as ‘Andrea’s Army’ bring Savegar Trophy back to West Wales for first time
History was made last Sunday when the West?Wales Ladies Bowling Association won the prestigious Savegar Trophy (the Welsh ladies county championship) for the very first time.
Indeed, it was the climax to a truly memorable weekend for West Wales and Pembrokeshire, as it completed a unique double at Landrindod Wells, home of Welsh bowls, with Tenby having won the club championship for a second time a day earlier.
The ladies’ own journey had started way back in May when they travelled to Ammanford and won the opening game in their section against Carmarthenshire.
Next it was a home victory at Whitland against West Glamorgan in July, while they were back on the road again later that month with a long trip east to Caldicot to play South Wales and Mon.
Another superb win there meant that they qualified from their section unbeaten, an excellent achievement in itself, having faced the difficulty of two away games.
The West?Wales ladies had reached the final on two previous occasions, the last time missing out by just a single shot to their opponents again this year Ceredigion, who no doubt again started as favourites to lift the trophy.
But county president Andrea Thomas and ‘her team (aka ‘Andrea’s Army’) were in no mood to take second best on this occasion.
After a highly motivational talk by their ‘captain’ and roared on by a vociferous band of supporters surrounding the immaculate Llandod ‘show’ green, they were quickly into their stride.
They led from early on across the board and never looked back. At times the gap was well into double figures and, although things did get a little nail-bitingly twitchy towards the end as Ceredigion staged a brave comeback, the West Wales ladies showed their mettle, highlighted by president Andrea drawing a ‘toucher’ on the final end of the match to gain shot and seal a memorable and emotional victory for her side.
It sparked scenes of great delight - as well as a few tears of happiness - as team, supporters, officials hugged each other, safe in the knowledge that they had finally got their hands on the trophy and put ladies bowls in West Wales and Pembrokeshire well and truly on the map!
Delighted president Andrea could hardly could hardly contain her joy, but remarked afterwards: “I said at the start of the season when we knew the draw and which counties we would be playing, that I fancied our chances of getting to the final this year. I remember saying it, as it raised a few eyebrows at the time after being twice the bridesmaids, but I felt like our time would come. Never did I imagine we would get there unbeaten, though, and go on to win it in my Presidency year.
“When I was told we were playing on the top green it did fill me with dread, especially as I was on rink six in front of the large crowd
“Then when my rink was slipping behind, being stood down there and hearing the shouts of encouragement from everyone, was spine-tingling; it gave us the belief that we could do it, and it lifted our game, as we came back to only lose by three shots (and in the final reckoning that was crucial).
“As I said in my pre-match team talk we are a small county, but have now proved we are a mighty one! I cannot be any more proud of the gutsy performance the WWLBA girls put in all season, but especially in the final. Seeing ex-county players in tears of joy all hugging each other was so emotional. I just can’t stop smiling. I never want this feeling to end.
“I’d also like to say a big heartfelt thank you to the team, the reserves, our score provider, and all our wonderful supporters for travelling up with us, and the men from Saundersfoot and Haverfordwest for staying to cheer us on, it was fantastic and something I will never forget.”
And no will anyone who was lucky enough to be there to witness it!
Final score was West Wales 113, Ceredigion 106, with rink scores (WWLBA?first) being as follows:
Katie Dickinson, Sylvie Davies, Katie Thomas, Andrea Thomas 16; Ceredigion 19.
Kath Blayney, Chloe Thomas, Gemma Amos, Ysie White 18; Ceredigion 14.
Lynne Reyed, Penny Brickle, Steph Amos, Ann Lewis 13; Ceredigion 18.
Kathy Jenner, Mandy Lewis. Sara John-Davies, Cally Jones 24; Ceredigion 15.
Susan Evans, Chris Harries, Julie Thorpe, Gwen Hale 26; Ceredigion 16
Sarah Thomas, Julie Morgan, Collette Bethwaite, Val Hubbard 14; Ceredigion 24.
Reserves were - Angie Dicks, Margaret Lewis, Tracey Morris, Janet Sutton.