Chip butties, bowls and beer

What a combination to bring together members of the Ormskirk Group of Lodges and Chapters to compete for the annual crown green bowls tournament. The Dog and Gun in Aughton was once again the venue for this event.

On the day the weather though overcast was pleasantly warm with very little breeze, ideal conditions for what was to become a strongly contested competition. John Glover was once again in command bringing his usual expertise to the proceedings. This year saw eight contestants from various lodges compete for the Charity Challenge Cup, cheered on by a number of supporters and friends.

The competition got under way with a round robin, with the competitors placed in two sets of four, each individual playing three games to the winning score of 11. At the completion of the round robin, the two members with the highest score in each group played the runner up in the opposing set. Ian Tupling of Aughton Lodge No 7996 competed against Gerald Barrett of St Michael’s Lodge No 5756 and Stephen Brereton of Lodge of Harmony No 580 took on John Medcalf, also a member of St Michael’s Lodge.

Pictured from left to right, are: John Medcalf, Frank Umbers and Gerald Barrett.

Pictured from left to right, are: John Medcalf, Frank Umbers and Gerald Barrett.

With the second round complete, lodge rivals John and Gerald come together one more time to contest for the title of outright winner. Both finalists were determined to give of their best as was witnessed by the mat continually changing hands throughout the match. After a long and well fought battle John claimed victory with a score of 21 to 15.

Before presenting the prizes, Ormskirk Group Chairman Frank Umbers thanked everyone for attending and with his usual wit commented that his own personal score in the competition reflected that he had played the overall runner up in the first round and had been unfortunate to be drawn to play the winner of the overall competition in the second round. The roving reporter at this event was instructed not to reveal the score of these two matches on pain of death. All that can reveal is it had something to do with a hat worn by soldiers in the first and second world war!

Frank went on to personally thank John Glover for once again organising the event and Mike Barker, (Mason and landlord of the Dog and Gun), for providing refreshments for the afternoon, his legendary chip butties. The formal presentation was then undertaken with Frank handing over the runners up shield to Gerald and the Challenge Cup to John.

The final quote of the day must go to Stephen Brereton, (group vice chairman), who was heard to say whilst walking on the green, and it can only be assumed that he was referring to the fact that those taking part ranged from members who regularly compete in tournaments to others who play once a year for fun: “It’s a pity we can’t all compete on a level playing field.”

Competitors and supporters gather before the competition.

Competitors and supporters gather before the competition.