With all of 2020s and some of the early games of 2021 being cancelled due to coronavirus regulations it was a great relief when the Bears finally got back onto the green. 2020 was due to The Grange’s 75th Anniversary so it was fitting that the first fixture of 2021 saw a team comprised of both men and women represented the county to celebrate. A good afternoon of bowling ended with the host club winning 105-90 in a game restricted to 18 ends.
WCBA President Peter Vale Humphreys, John Slater (WCBA Executive), Donna Kerr (WWBA Junior Vice President) and WWBA President Mary Wheildon took on Doug Anderson, Anne Anderson, John Gockelen and Grange President Brian Mace Humphries. Wheildon and co got off to a good start, leading 10-3 after six ends, Grange hit a brace of singles but the Bears replied with a treble and four to lead by 12 at the ten end mark. The hosts rallied, scoring ten shots conceding only one to reach the final end trailing by three. The President’s rink took the final end with a treble to win 21-15. Pippa Mace (Lillington), David Adnitt (Southam), Tom Duggins (WCBA Executive) and WWBA Immediate Past President Chris Cooke faced a Grange rink consisting of Janet Miller, Steve Martin, Neil Webb and Heather Mills. Grange limited the Bears to two shots in the first seven ends to lead by 6. After twelve ends the hosts had extended their lead to seven. The sides exchanged trebles in the next two ends before Cooke’s quartet went on a run to level the scores with one end to play and finished with a double to complete a 16-14 reversal.
Joy Cooke (Blossomfield), Carol Norton (Stoke), WCBA Assistant Secretary Bob Allcock and Past President Geoff Moran had a good start against the Grange four of Dave Knee, Liz Page, Brian Beere and Carol Mace Humphries, leading 6-1 after five ends. Grange fought back to parity at 10 all on twelve ends and then went on to lead 15-13 with two ends left. Moran and co levelled but the Grange rink took the match with a single, winning 16-15. WCBA Competition Secretary Sam Bridges, Dave Cottle (Stoke), Jenny Corn (Lillington) and Elaine Taylor (Stoke) were level four all after four ends against Stella Jones, Bob Hessey, Christine Oliver and Gary Wilkinson for the Grange. The hosts then took advantage, scoring six shots before the sides exchanged trebles, after fourteen ends Grange led 15-7. The Bears took the next three ends with singles but a last end single for Wilkinson and co secured a 16-10 victory for the Grange.
Keith Oakes, Sigrid Thomas, Yvonne Bromfield (all Rugby Thornfield) and WCBA Senior Vice President Nigel Hewitson faced the Grange’s Pat Gockelen, Stuart Millar, Brenda Beere and Bob Page. After six ends the sides were level with five each. Five ends later the sides were still all square on nine all but then Grange took twelve shots over the next five ends to move ahead. A treble and single helped narrow the margin but the match was won by Page and co 21-13. Fred Bannister (Lillington), WCBA Secretary Michael Jackson, WWBA Senior Vice President Debbie Bloxham and Maureen Edwards (Rugby Thornfield) found themselves seven shots adrift of Dave Robinson, Shirley Waring, Darren Wheeler and Pete Storer of the Grange after seven ends. After twelve ends the hosts led by twelve, which increased to fifteen on fifteen ends. A late rally by the Bears could only knock five off the deficit, the hosts completing a 25-15 victory.