BOWLS: Thornfield Indoor Bowls Club

40th Anniversary game for Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowls club
40th Anniversary game for Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowls club

40th anniversary celebrations

40th Anniversary match

English Indoor Bowling Association v Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowls Club

This was the long awaited and eagerly anticipated third and final anniversary match to celebrate 40 years of Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowls Club.

The English Indoor Bowling Association Ltd President’s side was drawn from members from all over England, with players travelling (at their own expense) from 15 different counties as far afield as Cornwall, Kent, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Suffolk and Herefordshire.

The home Ladies team representing Rugby Thornfield were all founder members of the Club which demonstrates the passion that this sport is held in and of course the longevity of its members. On the men’s side many of them were also founders members, which was right and proper that they should be selected for such a prestigious match.

The match was played over the full eight rinks.

After 5 ends completed the score was Rugby Thornfield 39 shots and English Indoor BA 32 shots. By 10 ends Rugby’s advantage was extended to 100 shots the EIBA had 55 shots. The home side was proving just too strong. By 15 ends Thornfield’s score was 136 shots with the EIBA 88. By 18 ends it was 166-118 and at the close of play at 21 ends Rugby Thornfield had scored 182 shots and our visitors’ 139. Rugby Thornfield claiming victory by 43 shots.

At the after match meal, the Chairman of the Board David Murley BEM welcomed everyone. A number of presentations were made to club members who had by their contribution to the day made it the success that it was. Top winning rinks of both sides were presented gifts by the Chairman and the English Indoor Bowling Association Ltd President Arthur Broadberry. The winning rink for the home side consisted of Rugby’s rising star Oliver Fowler, Colin Hall, Darren Ward and evergreen skip Howard Wilkins. On the EIBA side the winning rink was Margaret Openshaw, Valerie Scott, Sheila Webster and skipped by Hazel Wright.

The Chairman invited Jean Sands, a past English Ladies International player and herself a founder member, to address the players and guests with some interesting anecdotes about the earlier years of Rugby Thornfield and how it had progressed to its present day standing in the sport of indoor bowls.

The President Arthur Broadberry responded on behalf of the visitors and was very gracious in his comments about the Club and its members and with the usual creative accounting of the scores on both sides declared the English Indoor Bowling Association Ltd winners by 3 shots. The EIBA never lose a match!

After presenting his top rink prizes he proposed a toast to the Rugby Thornfield players, coupled with the name of their Chairman.

The Chairman then mentioned a life member of the Club who had been invited to attend the day’s celebrations but because of failing eyesight and general health declined the offer but sent his best wishes to everyone and thanked the club for the invite. The Chairman informed the assembled players and guests that Harry Reynolds had been a reporter of bowls, both indoor and outdoor for some 54 continuous years and he doubted that this achievement would ever be bettered in this county or indeed the country as a whole.

On that note he invited the Rugby Thornfield players to drink a bumper toast to the EIBA, coupled with the name its President Arthur Broadberry and wished the everyone a safe journey home.