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!

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.

Young Bowlers Program a Huge Success

Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club initiated its first Young Bowlers Program in April. Twenty-three sixth graders (and one brave teacher) from The Berkeley School were introduced to lawn bowling. Club coaches set up four games of Triples and were on hand to help with learning how to bowl, to explain rules and strategy, and to ensure everyone had a great time. The student’s Physical Education teacher was on thegreen giving encouragement and watching their progress. The students were very enthusiastic and completely involved in the games. No slackers in this group! All the kids were awarded gold medals by their coaches. Our Club plans to continue the relationship with The Berkeley School as part of the School’s regular phys. ed. program. Who knows, maybe a future national champion is in the making?

Best Retro Sport, plus Solano Stroll

The BLBC is proud to announce that it has been awarded the 2014 Best Retro Sports Activity in the East Bay by the East Bay Express, the free weekly magazine of news and culture. We owe this achievement to the hard work of all who have contributed to the maintenance and promulgation of the Club, not least Dave Rockhold, who insisted we publicize our “retro” appeal, Cris Benton, who devised our snazzy new website that has drawn a lot of viewers, and Ann Brillhart, who has managed the campaign to get groups and companies to use the Club as a venue for parties, team-building sessions and so on. They have been ably assisted by many others, especially those who have devoted hours to coaching newbies, both “walk-ins” to our Saturday and Sunday lessons, as well as the groups, sometimes 50 or more who have enjoyed the Club’s facilities.

BLBC PosterTo further publicize our status, we have had  local graphic designer, Ian Ransley, create a great new Club poster (pictured), which will be prominently featured at our booth for the 40th Annual Solano Stroll on Sunday September 14. The Stroll is one of Berkeley/Albany’s “must” events of the year—a mile long festivity that includes food, music, fun stuff for kids, and many local non-profits. We will be in a prime location—just outside Andronico’s near the north end of Solano Avenue. Members are encouraged to show up (no need for “whites”), lend a hand if you can, but especially bring a non-bowling friend.

The booth will be set up around 9/10am and will be staffed throughout the day until the close of the Stroll at 6pm.

That elusive Meat Axe – gone again!

Well, it was deja vous all over again after Palo Alto came to town to defend the Meat Axe. Both teams fielded four teams (with only minimal use of dual members) for the competition. After tasty snacks and a few howdy-dos, it was game on as tournament director Howard Mackey gave us our marching orders. The green was running fast but did present a few challenges to all present.

Ready to Bowl!
Ready to Bowl!
After the morning session, it was a dead heat – two games won by each club. So, after lunch, we were back at it. Palo Alto seemed unwilling to let go of the trophy and the going got rough. In the end, even though there was an attempted comeback or two, Palo Alto prevailed by winning 3 of the afternoon games.

A special thanks to Cathy Dinnean, Ann Brillhart, Susan Jamart, and Jim Corr for all the behind the scenes work it takes to put on an event like this one.

And finally, Erwin Vista deserves special mention. Not long ago, he was a novice. His performance this weekend and last as a skip was outstanding. Congratulations, Erwin, it was a pleasure to see how fine-tuned your shots have become.

So, as you can see in the picture above, Palo Alto’s VP John Lee was please to take possession of the trophy for another year and President Phil Grattan did his best to look gracious as he shows off the “We Lost” trophy.

John Yee takes possession of the Meat Axe from Phil Grattan, BLBC Pres.
John Yee takes possession of the Meat Axe from Phil Grattan, BLBC Pres.

Bay Bridge Challenge

Sunday, August 30 saw the second staging of the Bay Bridge Challenge, a tournament inaugurated in 2013 to pit BLBC’s bowlers against their San Francisco counterparts. The format was five 14-end triples matches in both the morning and the afternoon. Unfortunately, the story is short: the West Bay overcame the East Bay with relative ease, winning by a score of 8-2 and thus retaining the trophy they initially captured a year ago. But, as always, it was a pleasure to bowl with our friends in what used to be called the Paris of the West, and in fog-less conditions no less. And, special thanks to our hosts for the treats they provided after the event. There’s always next year…

2014 Triples Champions/Familiar Faces

Eighteen bowlers showed up on time and ready to bowl in the club triples match today. The format was random draw with three fourteen end games.

The team comprised of Frankie Napoli (skip), Ted Crum (vice) and Cris Benton (lead) finished the day with three wins and 23 plus points. They had a perfect record for the day and this was a repeat for Cris who was on the winning team in 2013. Our forever young Ted Crum was declared the team’s MVP

Dave Rockhold (skip) with Xian Zhi Luo (vice) and Andy Stapleton (lead) finished in second with two wins and 16 plus points.

It was indeed a beautiful day with a refreshing breeze to moderate the expected hot weather.
.

Berkeley bowlers fare well in Senior Games

The 2014 Senior Games (hosted by the Palo Alto Lawn Bowling Club) was, as anticipated with so many great bowlers, full of exciting matches. There were several games that were tied at the last end. This year two BLBC members won medals. Our own Bob Schwartz and his partner, Larry Collaco, won the gold medal in pairs. (Well done, Bob!)Gold medal winners

Our other BLBC member, Ann Brillhart, above, won a silver medal in triples with teammates Bud Birkenseer and Sam Hebert. Bud, Sam and Ann won the bronze medal last year. Let’s hope they can win the gold next year!