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

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.

2019 Closing Day & Novice Recognition Day

On Saturday, November 2nd, the Rossmoor Lawn Bowling Club hosted the 2019 PIMD Closing Day and Novice Recognition Day.

It was chilly in the morning but quickly warmed up to a comfortable 75°. Ninty-nine bowlers from around the Bay Area and beyond were on hand to visit with old friends and meet new bowlers. Zarka Popovic, our PIMD president, provided a slide show featuring photos from the National Championships played at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club in September. Thanks to donations (raffles, etc.) from so many PIMD members toward hosting the National Championships, there was money to spare. All PIMD clubs that provided meals–that included BLBC, were reimbursed. In addition, the remainder of the overage was returned to the PIMD coffers.

Zarka also recognized all the PIMD novices and presented a trophy to this year’s Novice Champion: Michael McLintock. There were three novices from our club: Susan Carlson, Mary Collins and John Watson. (We’re looking for one of them to win the trophy next year.)

Berkeley Lawn bowling Club was well represented by 12 full members (Sarah Allday, Cris Benton, Annie Brillhart, Susan Carlson, Hugo Deaux, Cathy Dinnean, Phil Grattan, Susan Jamart, Cindy Moss, Glenn Nunez, and John Watson) and four dual members (Mary Collins, Sebastian Sciacca and Lydia and Luis Zapata). Happily, five BLBC members were on teams that won money: Sarah Allday, Cindy Moss, Sebastian Sciacca, and Lydia and Luis Zapata. Well done!

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.

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.

The Jamboree was a Blast!

The bowlers for the 23rd Howard Mackey Jamboree

Thirty bowlers signed on to bowl in the 23rd Howard Mackey Jamboree. The sky turned blue just as trial ends began. The heat wave of the past few days diminished, so the weather was lovely. 


There are always glitches in tournaments, and this one was no exception. One of the bowlers fell ill last night and couldn’t play. Happily, Susan Jamart was on hand to bowl in his stead in the first game. Bob Schwartz–who came to watch, not to bowl–kindly stepped up and bowled in the second game. Susan had a chance to eat lunch and rest and agreed to bowl in the third game. Huge thanks to Susan and Bob for stepping up!


At the end of the first game, Andy Vevers, BLBC head TD, and I agreed some game-time management was needed. We announced the bowlers would play one more game of three-bowl triples after lunch and then one game of two-bowl triples. The announcement was received without a single grumble!


As most local bowlers know by now, the Jamboree is a unique tournament because each player keeps her/his own score card. The top four scoring skips, seconds and leads win prize money.


Congratulations to the following skips:
1st Place:  Hugo Deaux
2nd Place:  Ginger Harris
3rd Place:  John Hooper
4th Place:  Peter Knopf


Congratulations to the following Seconds:
1st Place:  Larry Murphy
2nd Place:  Laile Giansetto
3rd Place:  Mo Shooer
4th Place:  Janice Bell


Congratulations to the following Leads: 
1st Place:  Cindy Moss
2nd Place:  Marty Lorber
3rd Place:  There was a tie between JoAnn Lorber and substitute team Susan-Bob-Susan.
4th Place:  David Eldred


While the scores were tallied, Laile and Dave orchestrated the always popular “spider”. Congratulations to Andre Banares; he won a nice bottle of chardonnay. 


A special thank you to JoAnn and Marty Lorber and to Salvadore Garcia-Lemus. There was a last minute call for more bowlers; these three novices were kind enough to jump in.


Many thanks as always to the people behind the scenes: Dave:  Thank you for setting up the rinks and rolling the green. Leslie, Susan and Andy:  Thank you for bringing all the snacks and getting the coffee brewing.Laile:  Thank you for everything!


A very special thanks to Andy Vevers for his unwavering support! 

PIMD Pairs Competition

This past week end at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club, six women’s pairs teams battled for the right to represent the PIMD at the National Championships in September. They played three 18 end games on Saturday and two 18 end games on Sunday. Despite the freezing cold wind on Saturday, BLBC’s own Cathy Dinnean and Sarah Allday won two games and lost their third game by only one point. They were tied on the 16th end in games one and two and went on to win. They were tied in the 17th end of their third game; Cathy missed making the winning shot by a hair. All three games were exciting to watch. (Two teams didn’t finish until 7:30; they played their last end in the dark.  Happily, we three ladies arrived at our club about then.) Cathy and Sarah weren’t as successful on Sunday. Despite some fine bowling by both ladies, they lost both games by six points. However, they ended up in third place. Not too shabby for their first time at the play-downs! The winning team:  Angie Peet and Rose Selby–the only team to win all their games. Team Ginger Harris and Janice Bell (also a BLBC dual member) are the first alternates.

Eleven men’s pairs teams also played. The top six teams will compete again next weekend. Sadly, BLBC team Jim Corr and Bob Schwartz just missed the cut. However, BLBC dual members Daniel Gorelick, Mo Shooer, Frankie Napoli and Russ Leonard advanced. Good luck going forward, guys!

BLBC Wins 2018 Rossmoor Challenge on Home Turf

The BLBC “Rossmoor Challenge” is an annual match up of Berkeley bowlers against our friendly rivals on the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel. It is played in alternate years on each club’s green. This year, BLBC was firing on all cylinders. Under sunny skies Berkeley won by a score of 9 games to 1 (four triples matches and one pairs in the morning and the afternoon). Everybody from both teams had a great day, both socializing before the games and during the lunch break. We look forward to defending the “title” next year at Rossmoor.

Thanks go to all who participated as well as the hospitality crew of Sarah Allday, Cathy Dinnean, and Susan Jamart who made sure a fine spread was set up in advance.

PIMD 2018 Novice Tournament

Berkeley Hosts PIMD 2018 Novice Tournament—Jeff Schaper (Rossmoor)Wins

By Jim Corr

The PIMD Novice Tournament is always a fun event, and a chance to see potential future champions in the making as those new to our sport strut their stuff, some entering their first tournament at this event.

The 2018 contest, hosted by Berkeley LBC on October 6-7, was no exception. Twelve novices representing seven clubs competed over two days, with Jeff Schaper of Rossmoor LBC taking top honors. As a bonus, eight volunteer markers from five clubs helped keep the proceedings move smoothly.

On Day 1, each novice played three games in singles format. The goal: be the first to win 16 points. By the end of the afternoon, three bowlers—Rose Selby, Andrew Keeler, and Jeff—had won all three of their games, with Ian Cameron of Berkeley rounding out the top four after a nail-biting 15-16 loss to Jeff in the first match-up and a come-from-(well)-behind victory in the third game.

Sunday’s format was a round robin, played in very hot and windy conditions. Again, Jeff was on top form, edging out Ian (again) 16-14 in the first match and going on to register victories over Rose and Andrew, thus being the only bowler to go undefeated over two days. Congratulations Jeff!

As always, events like this cannot be run without the contribution of many, including PIMD Tournament Director Bud Birkenseer, greenskeeper, Annie Brillhart, the markers, and, some might say most important (!) the hospitality crew who prepared the clubhouse and the green and supplied the coffee and tasty snacks for bowlers and spectators alike. Thanks to all.

BLBC 2018 4-Bowl Singles Champion Gareth Cole

2018 BLBC 4-Bowl Singles

The 2018 4-Bowl Singles Tournament was held on Saturday, September 22nd, on a beautiful sunny but cool fall day in the Bay Area. This year, we had twelve bowlers competing for the title, including the defending champion, Rob Hoey. This year’s format was three 15-point games, with a differential limit of ten points, and with the top four bowlers progressing to a semifinal and a final game.

By the end of the qualification stage, two bowlers, Rob Hoey and Frankie Napoli, were in first and second place respectively, each having won three games, and Shawn Roney and Gareth Cole, one of our newest members from Wales, joined them in the semi-finals, having the best points differential among those who had won two games.

The two semifinal games pitted Rob against Gareth and Shawn against Frankie. Both games showcased the great bowling skills of all four players and kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Eventually, Gareth and Frankie won their semifinals games, and battled against each other for this year’s title.

Again, the final game kept the club members very entertained by each bowlers’ shots. In the end, Gareth prevailed over Frankie with a beautiful yard-on shot that pushed Frankie’s shot bowl away from the head just enough to guarantee our Cymru representative the three points he needed to win the game.

Huge thanks to Laile Giansetto for bringing delicious pies for our breakfast, Ann Brillhart and Giulia Gallo for bringing muffins and other good food for the day, and to Ian Cameron, Glenn Nunez, Cris Benton, and everybody else who helped greenskeeper Ann Brillhart prepare the green for today’s games. Thanks also to Tournament Director Shawn and Ann, as Assistant Tournament Director, for making the whole tournament proceed smoothly, and to Glenn, Giulia, Jim Corr, and Andy Vevers, who marked the semis and final games.

Congratulations to all the bowlers who participated in this event today and especially to Gareth Cole, the 2018 BLBC Singles Champion!