“Caaaaan we play you every week?” A popular, if taunting, chant often sung by football fans to rub salt into the wounds of opposition players / fans who are being beaten easily by their team.


Well some of the Middlesex friendly squad who made the trip down to Old Southampton Bowls Club, to play the annual friendly against the Isle of Wight BA, could be forgiven for breaking into a verse or 2 on the journey home after a resounding 75 shot win! This follows on from the 50 shot victory recorded in 2016.


Perhaps the most shocking thing given the margin was that Middlesex did not win on all 6 rinks with one actually being drawn.


The match was played in pleasant conditions and during the afternoon the players were treated to the less than subtle sounds of P&O cruise ship Ventura’s fog horn as she left her Southampton berth for her latest cruise.


Top rink for Middlesex was Ron Searle (Ashford), Laurie Gascoigne (Bishops Duppas), George Hughes (Cambridge Park) and Paul Cater (West Ealing) who won 28-9. They just pipped Peter Lavender (Ladygate), Roger Leatherby (Sunbury), Eric Prior (Mill Hill / Match Secretary) and David Todd (Sunbury / Treasurer) who won by 18 (34-16).


There was also a 16 shot win for the rink skipped by Rod Smith (Holtwhites) and a 14 shot win by the rink skipped by Peter Picknell (Rosedale Park).


After the match everyone enjoyed the usual excellent meal served up at the Old Southampton Club whilst finding time to look round the fantastic array of bowls memorabilia on site.


Next up for the friendly squad is a short trip to Wanstead Central Bowls Club to take on Essex BA. Last season, at Broomfield BC, Middlesex won this game by 18, 103-83. Prior to that for 6 seasons the away side had won this fixture with Middlesex successful at Wanstead in both 2015 and 2013.


What will this season bring, more next week.


PS – What I would give to re write that headline on June 18th after the trip to Shanklin for the Middleton Cup, fingers and toes crossed!!