Saturday 29th July saw Middlesex host Kent CBA at West Ealing in their 5th Home Counties League Game of the season. Played almost throughout in steady rain it was a hard afternoon’s battle for both sides and not that pleasant for those watching or officiating either!


Before the game started Middlesex President Andy Docker has the pleasure of presenting both Howard Warburton (Broomfield) and Terry Guilder (Holtwhites) with their full County Badges and Home Counties Flash.


Once the game started Middlesex fell behind from the off. Trailing 24-36 at 5 ends they led on only 1 rink. At 10 ends Middlesex had closed the gap slightly to 9 shots, 53-62 and led on 2 rinks so things were moving in the right direction.


Middlesex continued to fight hard against the Champions of the league for the last 3 years but even with, what would have to be said, was a side full of less known players the strength in depth of Kent Bowls was shining through. At 15 ends the gap was 17, 84-101 and Middlesex retained the same 2 winning rinks.


At this stage Kent kicked for home with devastating effects. Over the next 3 ends across the green Middlesex only scored 5 shots while Kent clocked up 28, Middlesex were suddenly 40 shots adrift. 4 Middlesex rinks did not score a shot in this period. Over the final 3 ends the shots were shared 17-17 to leave the final score 106-146 to Kent. Middlesex ultimately only gaining a paltry 1 point against Kent’s 21.


The 2 rinks winning during the game both eventually  lost out. Gary Moore (Bush Hill Park), Steve Skinner (Ladygate), Russell Rooks (Rosedale Park) and Tony Waller (Ladygate) lost a single on the last end to go down 16-17. Kevin Hill (Hendon), Michael Kopp (Uxbridge), Robin Innes (West Ealing) and David Ayton (West Ealing) saw the opposing skip Taylor Monk play a superb conversion shot on the last end to pick up the 4 shots they needed for a 23-24 win. Robin and David must think the bowling gods are having a laugh at them as this was the 2nd Home Counties game running where their rink had led all the way only to succumb on the last end.


Tying their rink 26 all and therefore securing “top” rink status and Middlesex’s only point were Chris Ryan (Brentham), Bryan Putnam (Rosedale Park), Paul Wilsher (West Ealing) & Barry Wheeler (West Ealing).


In the days other games Sussex beat Oxfordshire 18-4 and Surrey continued their winning streak beating Buckinghamshire 16-6 at Chesham.


These results leave the table as follows Surrey aretop with 88 points having won all 5 games. Kent are 5 points behind with 83 and Berkshire a further single point back on 82. Surrey who host Berkshire on August 12th,  , in a morning game, have their fate in their own hands. A tight result, however or a defeat could hand the initiative to Kent who later in the afternoon on August 12th host Buckinghamshire at Halls.

Moving down the table Sussex sit in no mans land on 51 points having played all 6 games.  Then we hit the basement dwellers, Middlesex with 29, Buckinghamshire with 27 from 4 and Oxfordshire 14 from 4.


Next Saturday 5th August Middlesex close with a trip to Kidlington BC to face Oxfordshire BA. Oxfordshire have lost all 4 of their games this season and as stated lie rock bottom, surely we can finish the season with a win, can’t we?


Preview of that game in due course.