All posts by Ray Francis

BLBC Brings Trophy Back “Over the Hill”

2019 “Over the Hill” Challenge Players at Rossmoor LBC

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club sent seven triples teams to Rossmoor Bowling Club in Walnut Creek for the “Over the Hill” Challenge. The BLBC competed against them and indulged in a little bit of the friendly rivalry typical of the match since the Challenge began in 1969.

After a hiatus of twenty years or so, the clubs resurrected the event in 2016. Scheduling conflicts in 2019 prevented that year’s challenge from happening, so the clubs agreed to hold the 2019 version of the challenge on February 15, 2020 (the 2020 games will take place this August at Berkeley).

Berkeley went into lunchtime with a healthy advantage of 6 wins and only one loss. After the break, Rossmoor returned resurgent, as the afternoon games revealed. Some of the games went down to the wire, but Berkeley prevailed to win 5 of the afternoon games. The final total for the match: 11 wins for BLBC and 3 wins for Rossmoor LBC. Credit to Rossmoor for wonderful hosting and very sporting play. We’ll see them again in August!  Well done to everyone that bowled yesterday, especially to some members representing the club for the first time.

Berkeley Takes the Trophy

Green Closed for Maintenance. See you Feb. 14!

A note from our Greens-keeper: The BLBC greens are closed for maintenance. As the picture shows, when we mean maintenance, we mean it! We expect the work to be completed by February 14. Thanks to our Greens-keeper and the volunteer labor of our members, we will have the green in good shape for bowling when the weather turns nicer. See you then!

That’s a Wrap for Winter League 2020

The co-winning teams for the 2020 Winter League. L-R: Gareth Cole, Andy Vevers, Rose Selby, & Mike McNorton

The annual PIMD Winter League finished up its last week on Saturday January 25th and Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club members did exceptionally well. The competition is a Pairs tournament and teams from most of the Bay Areas bowling clubs participated in the three week competition.  

Each team played a total of nine games over the course of three consecutive Saturdays. After the first two weeks of competition, only a point separated the the top three teams. Berkeley’s defending champions from last year — Andy Vevers and Gareth Cole — held a slim lead of one point over Palo Alto’s team of Rose Selby and Mike McNorton. Berkeley’s other team of Shawn Roney and Jerry Knott and Jim Corr tied with for second. Berkeley’s Rob Hoey and his partner Tim Christie from Palo Alto stood within striking distance at fourth place. 

As it should in any closely contested and well played tournament, it all came down to the final day of play. The final day of play confirmed the 2020 contest to be closely contested with very good play on offer from all the team. Jerry and Jim and Andy and Gareth played each other in the first game. Jerry and Jim came to play, and they took the win despite the efforts of Andy and Gareth to rally. Jerry and Jim’s win put them in the driver’s seat for the First place tournament finish.

Alas, it was not to be. They lost their next game against a team from San Francisco that put a dent in their title aspirations. Meanwhile, the Palo Alto team of Rose and Mike quietly and convincingly won all their games and gained advantage of the Berkeley pairs first game slip up to take the top position. Andy & Gareth did all they could by winning their other two games of the day, but it all came down to the last couple of bowls of the tournament. Fortunately for the Berkeley lads, Rose and Mike could not take the maximum points on their final game, which left the field with a tie for 1st place. In view of the high levels of skill and grit on display, many may consider this a fair outcome.

Third Place Winners: Jerry Knott & Jim Corr

The final results were as follows:


Tie 1st –   Andy Vevers & Gareth Cole (Berkeley)

Tie 1st –   Rose Selby & Mike McNorton (Palo Alto)

3rd –        Shawn Roney/Jerry Knott & Jim Corr (Berkeley)

4th –        Tim Christie (Palo Alto) & Robin Hoey (Berkeley)

Fourth Place Finishers: Tim Christie & Rob Hoey


As the reader can see, a really good result for the Berkeley teams that further cements our reputation as one of the most competitive clubs in the greater Bay Area.  Many thanks to the San Jose Lawn Bowling Club for hosting a well run and genuinely fun event.

No Lessons on Nov. 23 & 24

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club is pleased to host the PIMP “Champion of Champions” event on Saturday and Sunday. Club champions from around the PIMD for two days. This means there will be no free lessons on those days, but there should be plenty of amazing bowling on view!

BLBC 2019 Singles Match: Vevers Takes the Prize

We had a wonderful day of bowling yesterday at the club. Beautiful blue skies graced the whole day, the green was it’s usual impeccable self and the level of competition was a credit to the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club. Many thanks to those that helped make the day run smoothly – Annie for rolling the green and then marking all day, Susan Jamart for providing help and snacks. Bob, Rolly and Cathy also for spending the whole day marking the games. Without them the day would not have been the same. 

2019 BLBC Singles champ Andy Vevers & Runner-up (& 2018 Singles Champ) Gareth Cole

Ten participants played three random draw games to decide the top four players that would advance to the knock out round. After the first three games there were two undefeated players: Robin Hoey and Gareth Cole (the defending champion) and three players who were 2-1. Cris Benton and Andy Vevers squeaked by into the play offs on plus points, with Frankie Napoli unluckily missing out by one solitary point!

The Semi Finals were Gareth versus Cris and Rob versus Andy. Gareth squeaked out a win in a very close contested game against Cris and Andy managed to overcome after being down early against Rob.  So the final was our Tournament Director, Andy, against the defending champion, Gareth. In what was an entertaining game to watch, Andy luckily managed to squeeze out the win and became the 2019 Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club’s Singles Champion!


Thanks again to everyone that helped make the day a great success.

Fun Events Available at BLBC

“I wanted to reach out to the Berkeley Lawn Bowing Club and thank you for a really great time on Sunday afternoon. Everyone enjoyed themselves tremendously. Please share this with the instructors who were with us on Sunday, they were fantastic and really made it fun.” Consider having a group event at the BLBC. For more information, please send an email to:
berkeleylawnbowling@gmail.com (please type “Events Coordinator” in the subject line).

Lessons Cancelled for Some October Dates

Please note that there will not be free lawn bowling for the following dates in October:

  • October 5 & 6 (BLBC hosts the PIMD Novice Singles Tournament)
  • October 19 (BLBC hosts the PIMD Aussie Pairs Tournament)
  • October 26 (BLBC Novice Singles Tournament)

Free lessons shall still be available on the remaining dates.

Berkeley Invitational 3-Bowls Singles

Warm temperatures and blue skies made for a beautiful day at the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club green. The invitational attracted some high quality players from the Bay Area, making up some very strong mixed pairs teams. The level of bowling on display was a credit to the PIMD and to Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club, who hosted this new event on the calendar.  There were some really close games and some very tight results. As you’d expect in a tournament with this many quality players, no one ran away with it and the final results came down to the last couple of bowls being rolled on the day. 
 Taking first prize and drawing the tournament winning shot with his last bowl:
Gareth Cole & Giulia Gallo
 A very creditable second place went to the very strong team of:
Russell Leonard & Janice Bell (good luck to Janice in the upcoming Nationals!)
And third place went to the extremely consistent pair of:
Jim Corr & Annie Brillhart Many thanks to everyone that came from near and far to participate and to everyone at the club that helped make the day run so smoothly.