Polar Bears on the bowls green? It must be summer

Newcomers join members at Crablands BC
Newcomers join members at Crablands BC

The outdoor season is starting for West Sussex bowls clubs - and the indoor campaign is coming to an end.

Here's the news from the outdoor clubs...


Southbourne v Polar Bears

Southbourne Bowls Club started their summer bowls season with a match against the Polar Bears from the club’s winter bowling.

As there were 23 Polar Bears from other local clubs entered against only 18 Southbourne bowlers, some of the Polar Bears had to join the Southbourne team making for a “very friendly” competition with two triples and four rinks.

Last year the Polar Bears were the winners, so this year Southbourne, in a close match, were pleased to end up 112-85 winners.

The enjoyable afternoon finished with a tea provided by the Southbourne bowlers.


Pagham are a very friendly and relaxed bowling club – you can choose to play for roll ups, friendly matches, trophies or at couny league level – or just for the fun of it.

An introduction and recruiting morning is being held on Saturday, May 4, at the HQ in Swansea Gardens, Bognor, between 10am and midday.

Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits will be served during the morning. You can meet members and try your hand if you have not played before.

A coach will be present to help you to have a try and pass on tips and information.


Crablands Bowls Club hosted prospective new members on Saturday under sunny skies. Lots of interest led to more than 20 signing up for coaching lessons. The club said publicity in the Observer and some enthusiastic local canvassing helped attract the crowds.



The Arun finals weekend produced some extremely good bowling, tight finishes and new names on the honours board, with some younger blood coming to the fore.

First winners of the weekend were the ladies’ triples team of Iris Booker, Lynn Hathaway and Marion Richards.

In the singles contests, for the men, Kevin Ball beat Eric Pidgeon and in the ladies, Betty Spiber beat Marion Richards.

In the mixed fours, Dave Jackson, Rosie Smith, Denise Latter and Peter Hannam came out on top, while in the ladies fours, Viv Greenaway Chris Horsley, Sheila Stocker and Gill Conley won and for the men, Dave Jackson, Kevin Matijuk, Steve Mead and P Hannam triumphed.

The closest finish was in the ladies’ singles, where Sheila Stocker, behind for the first half, pulled back until the scores were 20-20 going into the 27th end. Sheila took the one shot needed to beat Marion Richards 21-20.

Other winners were: Men’s Pairs - R Corkett and P Hamnet; Ladies’ Pairs - A Bellamy and M Phillips; Mixed Pairs - Pat and Ricki Corkett; Men’s triples - Colin Gilham, T Aylward, R Corkett; Robert Adams Singles - K Hellyer; Men’s Novice Singles - Daniel Cripp; Men’s Senior Citizens - T Sayers; Men’s Plate - Paul Murphy; Ladies’ Drawn pairs - Iris Booker, Betty Spicer; Ladies’ Drawn Triples - D Champion; L Hathaway; D Latter.

A vote of thanks was recorded for organiser Keith Hellyer for a very full and complex programme over the two days.

At the Arun men’s annual meeting the following day, new captain Ned Waddock was elected. He will be assisted by vice-captains Ron Gardner, Terry Hayes and Mike Bird. The new president is Joe Dyke.

* There was an end-of-term feel when old friends the West Sussex Tourists brought down the curtain on Arun men’s highly successful winter season.

The two teams shared the rinks 3-3 but the overall result went to Arun by 134-115. Top rink was Tony Tack’s team of R Lincoln, T Hayes and N Reynolds, who scored seven on end three and finished 32-12 winners with T Sayers’ team on 32-13.

Scores; G King, J Elliott, G Debenham, M Bird lost 16-19; J Sparrow, P Wakeford, K Ball, T Sayers won 32-13; P Ward, B Sales, D Parker, P Hannam won 24-21; R Lincoln, T Hayes, N Reynolds, T Tack won 32-12; M Milliss, D Cripp, C Chester, R Gardner lost 14-21; P Langridge, D Wright, J Muffett, E Pidgeon lost 18-19.

Arun’s outdoor bowlers have now joined up with their summer club activities, leaving the “insiders”” to carry on at Arun with the Summer League, which includes mixed friendlies against other clubs and a highly popular Australian pairs competition which runs throughout the summer.


Crablands Cormorants entertained Arundel Swallows, gaining all six points in their final match of the season.

On mat one, Denise Merritt, Wally Obermayer, Jan Obermayer and captain Bill Merritt won 22-18.

Mat two featured Cheryl Brown, Sarah Fewster, Dave Harding and Mollie Back, who won 26-15.

On the friendly mat, Lil Tuck, Val Foyle, Trevor Wilson and Jim Saunders won 16-14.

* Crablands short mat finals have now finished.

Winners and runners-up: Ladies Pairs - Winners Mollie Back & Lil Tuck; Runners Up Cheryl Brown & Elaine Sadler. 2 Woods Open Pairs - Winners Iris Brown & Jim Saunders; Runners Up Elaine Sadler & Paul Holland. Open Singles - Winner Dave Harding; Runner Up Denise Merritt. Chairman’s Cup - Winners Iris Brown & Jim Saunders; Runners Up Sylvia Gray & Peter Latchford. Men’s Pairs - Winners Rod Shambrook & Bill Merritt; Runners Up Graham Ainge & Les Jewiss.

Australian Pairs - Winners Jan Obermayer & Eddie Willcocks; Runners Up Lil Tuck & Harry Stead. Men’s Singles - Winner Jim Saunders; Runner Up Peter Blackman. Manhood Challenge - Winner Tony Dade; Runner Up Archie Coletta. Ladies Singles - Winner Jan Obermayer; Runner Up Denise Merritt. 2 Woods Drawn Pairs - Winners Cheryl Brown & Peter Blackman; Runners Up Iris Brown & Bill Merritt.


Donnington played friendly at home against Crablands.

On rink one Donnington’s Janine Banham, Alison Beal, Colin Hulbert and skip Allan Banham beat Wally Oberhayer, Jan Obermyer, Dave harding and Jim Saunders Donnington.

On rink two Donnington’s Maggie Maggs, Terry Wiseman, Mike Beal and skip Peter Skinner lost to Denise Merritt, Lily Tuck, Trevor Wilson and skip Bill Merritt.

Donnington won overall.


Bognor’s Steve Jeffery, who plays at Infinity, had a good weekend at the national championships in Melton Mowbray.

With teams from all over the country, the West Sussex Triple team of Steve and his sons Chris and Richard were knocked out in the semi-final by a team from Norfolk, who went on to win.

In the fours Steve teamed up with Robin Armstrong from Southbourne and Andy Smith and Peter Whale, both from Chichester, who reached the quarter-finals.

Another team from Infinity of Chris Page, Charlotte Rollings and Chris and Richard Jeffery were knocked out in the semi-finals.


Selsey’s carpet bowls team hosted Bosham and won three of the four games played, winning by 20 shots.

Selsey travelled to Braintree in Essex to play in the English rinks fours competition. One of the fours, Val and Marcus Whiting, Sheila and Trevor Plaistow, got to the last 16.

Jean and Roy Tolhurst and Pat and Jim Joy bowled their way into the semi-finals, missing the final by just one shot. The club were so proud of the achievement as they were playing mostly against East Anglian county players.