After two days when we had escaped the rain that was all over Cornwall, we arrived at the Kensey Vale Club in Launceston with few hopes of playing, given the horrendous weather forecast. As we sat in the splendid clubhouse partaking of the substantial buffet lunch, the rain was pouring down, and the scoreboards were blowing over in the strong winds. Our worst fears looked likely to be realised.
However, just after 2 pm the weather eased and the decision was taken to play just 15 ends. As is normal, team photos were taken, but there was no spider because the ends of the green were vey slippery. The green itself played extremely well. Despite the rain it was the fastest we experienced in Cornwall and the wind was the only excuse we had for wayward bowls. The rain held off for most of the game and as we approached 15 ends, with the Friends holding a very narrow lead, it was agreed to extend the match to 18 ends. Was this the Friends looking to give the hosts the opportunity for victory? If so, it made no difference as the Friends emerged victorious by 81 shots to 70.
Following the match, the members of the Club had prepared for us a splendid salad meal with a choice of sweets and in the traditional after match speeches both Captains gave fulsome thanks to the catering and bar staff and to the green keeper for allowing us to play on his fine green. The gifts to highest rinks of the renowned Summerdown mints went to Lesley Summersgill, John Bates, Tony Strudwick and Michael Morris whilst the recipients for Kensey Vale were P D’Agistand, D Barr, D Ware and D Perkin.
The afternoon concluded with a presentation to the Club of a Friends’ Plaque commemorating the visit and a promise by Adie that the Friends would return in 2027.