Friends v Oakley B.C. 17/07/2018.
After the recent prolonged spell of hot, dry weather, it was almost a relief to drive up the leafy lanes to the stunning Hampshire location that is Oakley Bowls Club in pleasant but cloudy conditions!
The match against the Friends was arranged to help the club members celebrate their 40th Anniversary, and we were greeted by a splendid new pair of iron gates at the entrance to the club, the installation of which had been completed the day before we arrived! We were greeted by Vice President Lesley, and Club Captain Barry, and several founder members of this thriving club.
Oakley’s hospitality was well known to those members of the Friends who had been fortunate enough to play there on a previous occasion, and we were greeted by a tasty buffet lunch before the game. The strawberry sponge and fruit cake deserve a mention!
On a very green green, considering the recent dry spell, the match got under way with Oakley members resplendent in their new club shirts. One Friends rink racing into a 12 – nil lead before reality set in and they found themselves level at 17 all, eventually winning the rink by one shot. Another rink found themselves stuck on 4 shots for ten ends, with the well-known cry of “he’s only gone and drawn it” noticeably absent until “he” did on the very last end to increase the score to 6! Despite this set back, the remaining five Friends rinks managed to win by the number of shots required to cover those lost on our other rink, and the match ended in an honourable draw at 117 shots each.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the afternoon, and there was much animated chatter as we all repaired to the nearby social club for the after match meal of salmon salad and home made apple pie, custard and cream which was enthusiastically received.
An idyllic place to play bowls, with very friendly hosts and lovely food. Thank you Oakley for making us welcome, for all the hard work which members put in to make the day a resounding success – we hope to come back for another celebration in the future.