Category Archives: Club Members

Membership has its privileges

Of note for Club Members

In this space, we hope to provide information to keep club members informed about upcoming events, parties, and tournaments plus information about the condition of the green or new member photos. Members are encouraged to check in here to get the latest news.

2018 McLaren Memorial—Another Winning Showing by Berkeley

Once again, on August 11, the San Francisco LBC hosted its McLaren Memorial Mixed Triples tournament, named in honor of John McLaren, the gardener and landscaper responsible for the San Francisco park system in its earliest years, not least its most famous one—it was he who insisted the Golden Gate Park include three lawn bowling greens. In addition, he is said to have planted 2 million trees throughout the City’s parks.

Because of ongoing improvements to two of the greens, this year’s tournament was only hosted on one green, and the entry list filled up pretty quickly. A full contingent of 16 mixed triples teams of bowlers from all over the Bay Area and beyond competed in the usual “rotational” format that has been the staple of this tournament since its inception. Each bowler plays each position (Lead, Second, and Skip) for four ends.

And once again, Berkeley bowlers turned out in force and with winning results: of the 48 players on the green, 8 were full BLBC members, and 4 were dual members.

On top of that, only two teams won all three of their games—both with Berkeley representatives. Giulia Gallo and her teammates, Brian Stewart (Newport Harbor) and Mike McNorton (San Jose), took 1st Place, with 3 wins and 24 plus points, narrowly squeezing out the all-BLBC team of Shawn Roney, Annie Brillhart and Cris Benton, who came in 2nd with 21 plus points.

Congratulations to all BLBC bowlers!

2018 PIMD McLaren Mixed Triples: 1st Place winners (l-r) Brian Stewart, Giulia Gallo, Mike McNorton

BLBC Dominates!

BLBC Bowlers Take Top Prizes in 2018 Regional Singles Tourneys

The weekend of July 14-15 saw the annual Singles Championship Tournaments for both men and women in the Pacific Inter-Mountain Division (PIMD) and Berkeley bowlers stood out in each of the events.

First up was the women’s event, a one-day competition on Saturday involving three matches in gusty wind conditions. Three Berkeley bowlers entered—and swept the board, taking 1st (Cathy Dinnean), 2nd (Ann Brillhart), and 3rd (Giulia Gallo) place.

The men’s tournament ran over two days, with three of Berkeley’s six entrants making it to the knockout round on Sunday—Cris Benton, Jim Corr, and Rob Hoey. Unfortunately, the luck of the draw meant they ended up playing each other, so they couldn’t quite emulate the women’s feat, but Jim Corr took 3rd equal place and Rob Hoey came out on top, beating Larry Collaco of Sunnyvale in a nail-biting final. Rob initially ran up an early substantial lead (11-1) but Larry would not have it and steadily chipped away in small increments, to pull ahead to 17-14, with 18 points being the ultimate goal. But in a stellar final end, Rob put in four shots within a couple of feet of the jack and took the honors by the narrowest of margins, 18-17.

Congratulations to all!

alt txt

2018 PIMD Women’s Singles Championship (l-r): Ann Brillhart (2nd Place), Cathy Dinnean (1st Place), Giulia Gallo (3rd Place)

Berkeley bowlers in Day 2 of 2018 PIMD Men’s Singles Tournament: (l-r) Cris Benton, Rob Hoey (Ist Place), and Jim Corr (3rd= Place).

2018 PIMD Memorial Weekend Pairs Tournament

Today the annual Men’s and Women’s Memorial Pairs Tournament was held at the Oakland club. 
 
During a beautiful day on the green, six teams of men, and six teams of women played three  12-end games. Bud Birkenseer was his usual entertaining self as Director, and the Oakland club  laid out a selection of enticing snacks.
 
Berkeley was well represented by the seven members shown here, and we are proud to announce that there were major successes for the day; Berkeley won 6 of the 8 game prizes as follows:
 
Women’s First Place:  Cathy Dinnean and Leslie Engler
Women’s Second Place:  Annie Brillhart (and her partner Reggie Benares)
Men’s First Place:  Ethan Bortman (and his partner Bud Birkenseer)
Men’s Second Place:  Jim Corr and Cris Benton
and our newest member, Ian Cameron, won one of the three raffle prizes.
Our thanks to the Oakland LBC for hosting a very enjoyable tournament.
Our Berkeley bowlers shining at the PIMD Memorial Pairs tournament. Left to Right: Ian Cameron, Leslie Engler, Ethan Bortman, Cathy Dinnean, Cris Benton, Annie Brillhart, Jim Corr.

2018 PIMD Playdowns

The results of the 2018 U.S. Nationals Playdowns are in, and we are happy to report that our club has seen a lot of participation in both women and men competitions this year.

Most cheerfully, we are happy to announce that Ann Brillhart won the Women’s Singles Playdowns and will represent PIMD in Florida, in November 2018.

Additionally, our Dual Member Frankie Napoli along with his partner Tom Burnoski, won the Men’s Pairs Playdowns.

Good luck to one and all!

Frankie Napoli and Tom Burnoski

2018 PIMD Aussie Pairs

Thirty teams played in the very popular Aussie Pairs tournament at Rossmoor today. The top eight teams would win money.
A huge round of applause for Shawn and Rob. They were one of only four teams to win all three games. All four teams won an equal share of prize money.
Another round of applause for Cris (playing with Larry Collaco) with two wins and one loss but having the highest differential: They took 5th place.
Photos of the three teams that tied up for first place.

Andy Vevers Wins 2-Bowl Singles

The annual 2-Bowl Singles Event is a tournament unique to Berkeley, at least in the Bay Area. It offers a particular challenge, with little margin for error or correction, given the limitation on the number of shots available. This year’s event was no different. Andy Vevers, a relatively new BLBC member (but not a new bowler—San Francisco is his other club) topped a strong field of 12 players to become the 2018 winner.

Our new Tournament Director, John Hooper, experimented with the format a little, dividing the 12 participants randomly into three groups of four, with each group playing a mini-round robin in the morning. The rules provide that the top player in each group, plus the best second placed player overall, would proceed to the semifinals. All matches were played to 12 ends.

By lunchtime, Shawn Roney, Jim Corr, and Andy had emerged as winners of their respective groups and Rob Hoey was the best placed second player. The semis matched Shawn against Rob and Jim against Andy. Both semi-finals were close fought, resulting in a final match-up of Shawn v Andy. Well, the spoiler alert has already been given. Through the steady, consistent bowling he had shown all day, Andy pulled away and is this year’s well-deserved champion. Congrats to Andy and thanks to all who made the event run smoothly, not least our volunteer markers and the always-appreciated Hospitality Committee who made sure there were sufficient “goodies” to keep participants supplied with nourishment throughout the day.

BLBC 2018 2-Bowl Singles Winner Andy Vevers

 

Sixty-Year Rivalry Not Phased by the Weather

Seasonally late rains had been washing over the Bay Area all week, and it looked like touch and go whether the annual Berkeley-Palo Alto Meat Axe Tournament would be rained out (as had PIMD’s Opening Day just one week before). But the weather gods relented at the last minute, albeit with an unseasonable chill in the air, allowing 5 Triples teams from each club, including several novices, to assemble on Berkeley’s green March 24 to renew this now vintage competition.

The conditions, however, did not hinder a morning of fine bowling all round, at the end of which Berkeley led by 4 games to 1 and looked comfortably in control. However, Palo Alto wasn’t giving up that easily. As the afternoon games finished one by one, Palo Alto took three of them, resulting in a 5-4 position in Berkeley’s favor as the crucial final game drew to a close.

When the skips took to the mat, Berkeley was up by three points in the game, but down two in the head with two excellent bowls by PA’s lead (and a novice), Rose Selby, sitting within inches of the jack. But Rose soon learned the eternal fate of leads everywhere as John Luster, Berkeley’s skip, rolled a perfectly weighted bowl to exactly the right place even closer to the jack and leaving Bud Birkenseer, skip for Palo Alto, few options. Despite valiant efforts, Bud could not dislodge John’s bowl, and the much-coveted trophy reverted to Berkeley again with a 6-4 victory on the day.

Palo Alto took the loss with graciousness and bold cries of “See you next year!” when they will have the home advantage. All agreed that it was good to get back on the green and looked forward to a highly competitive season–in hopefully better weather–in the months ahead.

[Contextual note: The Meat Axe Tournament between Berkeley LBC and Palo Alto LBC began in 1958 as a bowling equivalent of the “Big Game” between Cal and Stanford. One of several traditions surrounding that match-up is that the victors get to carry off the “Stanford Axe” at the end of the game and hold it for the coming year. We bowlers have carried on that theme with our butcher’s cleaver mounted on a plaque highlighting each year’s winner. While we don’t (yet!) have our own Wikipedia page, the trophy is cherished with no less intensity than its footballing archetype.]

Berkeley Team Celebrate 2018 Meat Axe Victory
Palo Alto Team for the 2018 Meat Axe Tournament.

2018 San Jose Winter League – Berkeley bowlers shine

You can never have enough bowling…especially in California. The 2018 PIMD bowling season has not started yet, but we recently held our John Ogden Winter League which is bowled over three consecutive Saturdays.

This was the first tournament hosted by the San Jose LBC since installation of their new carpet last year. Fourteen pairs hailing from all Bay Area clubs joined
in the fierce competition. It was a full round-robin with four 10-end games each of the first two weeks, 5 games on the last day of competition, and bowlers using just three bowls each.

The final ranking speaks for the quality of the players and play. The first-place winners were in first place throughout and never lost their lead, despite losing one game in the final week. The winning team consisted of veteran Frankie Napoli (Rossmoor) and our own – still a novice – Giulia Gallo (Berkeley). They came in with an impressive 11 wins, 1 tie, and just 1 loss.

Finally, Rob Hoey and Shawn Roney got third place, and other Berkeley bowlers did very well including the following teams:

Laile Giansetto & Dave McMullen
Jim Corr & Bob Schwartz (dual member from PA)
John Hooper & Cris Benton

Congratulations to one and all!

League winners Frankie Napoli & Giulia Gallo

Berkeley Meets the Rossmoor Challenge

Last year, Frankie Napoli of Rossmoor Lawn Bowling Club, and also a dual member of Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club, reinstated the Rossmoor vs BLBC Challenge. We played two 14-end games. We were tied going into the afternoon. Three games were decided on the final bowl. Sadly for BLBC, all three bowls were delivered by Rossmoor teams giving them the trophy.

This year, BLBC once again entered four teams. Once again we would play two 14-end games. However, upon arrival at Rossmoor we learned they had eight teams. In the spirit of “good camaraderie and everybody bowls” we were happy to have two Rossmoor teams bowl for us.

Three all-BLBC teams won their morning games: Jim Corr, Cris Benton, and Bob Schwartz; Rob Hoey, Ray Francis and Jerry Knott and Frankie Napoli, Annie Brillhart and Erwin Vista. Team Ethan Bortman, Dave McMullen and Laile Giansetto were tied going into their last end. They lost the game by a fraction of an inch measurement.

So, the score was tied three to three.

BLBC continued to bowl well in the afternoon games. All four all-BLBC teams won handily giving us the victory!

Although none of the Rossmoor teams bowling for us won any of their games, we were very happy to have them on our side!

Congratulations to the bowlers who represented our club today!

 

Berkeley Bowlers with the Challenge Trophy. Left to Right: Rob Hoey, Ann Brillhart, Jim Corr, Ray Francis, Cris Benton, Laile Giansetto, Dave McMullen, Erwin Vista, and Ethan Bortman. Not pictured: Jerry Knott, Frankie Napoli and Bob Schwartz.