2016 was one of the most successful seasons on record for the Friendly Squad so hopes were high for the opening games of the 2017 campaign.

First up was the trip to The Grange BC in Rugby for the game against Warwickshire BA. The squad usually enjoy their trips into White Bear Country having won on each of their last 5 visits going back to 2007. Indeed with victories in the last 2 home friendlies as well the side were on a 4 game winning streak.

Well the wheels came right off with Middlesex losing on all 6 rinks and by 56 shots, 95-151. There were suggestions after the game that the green was uphill both ways but Warwickshire seemed to have no problems with it!

“Best” losing rink was Tony Paulley (Past President / Harrow), Kevin Woodhead (Assistant Secretary / Fordbridge Park), Tommy Lawford (Past President / Equity / Broomfield) and Skip Rod Smith (Holtwhites) who only went down by 1, 19-20.

After the game Salim Mian on Winnington BC was presented with his full County Badge.

48 hours after the quiet coach journey home the selected players gathered at Selborne BC for the home friendly against Buckinghamshire BA. Middlesex have won their last 6 home friendlies against Bucks with the last home defeat in 2003. Clearly home comforts were welcomed as victory on 4 rinks saw the squad victorious by 132-96.

Top rink was Ken Pheasant (Holtwhites), Ted Evitt (Pymmes Park), Russell Rooks (Rosedale Park) and President Andy Docker who won 29-8. President Andy was of course still basking in the reflective glory of being part of a MCHVPBA rink that scored a hot shot against Finchley & District the previous day.

At the meal after the game Kenny Lin of Arnos BC was presented with his full County Badge.

So 1 win, 1 defeat in the opening week. Next up on Thursday 18th the friendly squad travel to Shefford BC to take on Bedfordshire BA. Middlesex  don’t have much luck away to Beds having not won there since 2004, having had 1 visit abandoned due to rain at 18 ends and 2015’s visit being abandoned before a bowl was despatched in anger.

Lets hope for better luck both with the weather and the result this week.