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!

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.

PIMD singles scoreboard
PIMD singles scoreboard

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!

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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 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

Rob Hoey is the 2017 BLBC Singles winner

 

Our club hosted our first club tournament of the 2017 season today, the BLBC Singles tournament. All of you know that you don’t get any penny from winning this tournament…you get more than that…you get your name on the 2017 Winners Board at our club.

Differently from last year, the weather was perfect to bowl, not too hot, not too windy, and most importantly, also great for having a BBQ, and give Ray (the defending champion) and Shelagh a proper send off, since they will be soon departing for a very long journey across America.

This year, we could only accommodate six rinks, so we had twelve bowlers competing for the title, including the defending champion, Ray. This year’s format was three 12 end games, with a differential limit of ten points, with the top two bowlers playing a 12-end final game. The contestants bowled two games in the morning, took a short lunch break and then bowled the last game.

All games and bowlers had a marker (some even had their own designated marker) throughout the day, and it was a real pleasure to being able to focus on your game and not worrying about setting the jack or dropping it. Someone who knows that I am not very good at recalling things verbatim, may have said to me that marking is a job of love and, boy, we were very much loved today – so thank you Leslie, Sarah, Jim, Bob and Ann!!! Ann is also one of the PIMD umpires so she was on triple duty today!

So back to the tournament. By the end of the last game, there were three bowlers, Rob, Cathy and Lennon who won all their three games, but Rob and Cathy had the same points differential (+22), and moved to the final game, which also showcased two markers, Sarah and Ann. It was a great game: both Rob and Cathy made beautiful shots, all of which were received with applause and compliments from all of us spectators. Rob took an early lead, but Cathy fought her way back into the game, and during the second half of the game, it was a one point game. However, in the end, despite her best efforts, Cathy couldn’t overcome Rob’s great shots and bowls, and the game ended 12-6 for Rob.

After the game, we fired up the grill (thanks Rob for this idea, and thanks Erwin for starting the BBQ), and had hot dogs, chicken skewers, pork chops (thank you Cathy!), veggie burgers, potato salad, cheese and salami, a delicious cherry pie, and lot of drinks and fun conversations.

Huge thanks to Cathy, Ann and Sarah for setting up the club house, getting rid of the weeds near rink 1 and 2, and providing plenty of coffee and snacks throughout the day! Thanks to our Tournament Director Shawn and Ann, our Assistant Tournament Director – today’s event was a great success, and we all had a great time, before, during and also after the games.

Congratulations to all the bowlers who bowled and participated to this event today and to Rob Hoey, the 2017 BLBC Singles Champion!

 

Cathy and Rob before the final game

The Meat Axe Stays in Berkeley – 2016

A beautiful day on the green! Fifteen players from Berkeley faced fifteen players from Palo Alto. The clubs were tied after the morning game (2 wins each, plus a tie), but Berkeley prevailed in the afternoon, and once again, the Meat Axe trophy will be displayed on the our wall. Congratulations to the crowd below; every team won at least one game. Special thanks to Shawn, directing his first inter-club event, who was totally organized and ran a great show!

But at least as important, many members helped make the day particularly successful. During the days preceding  the event, the ditches were weeded, the grass and surrounding paths were swept, the gate was cleared, and the weeds were mowed. On Saturday, particularly nice snacks were laid out, flowers were the vases, coffee was made, and bowlers were there to greet our guests. At the end, a thorough cleanup happened as if by magic due to the many hands who participated. I’m not attempting to name all names because so many helped, even some members who did not bowl, and I don’t want to miss anyone.

BLBC can be proud of putting on a fine event!

Berkeley Bowlers Dominate, Triumph in 2016 Winter League

The John Ogden Memorial Winter League is a fun but highly competitive tournament held each year during the bowling “off season.” John was a much-loved bowler, who, with his dad Woody Ogden (a US Bowls Hall of Famer), organized the tournament for many years. John passed away a couple of years ago and the tournament, originally the San Jose Winter League, was re-named in his honor.

This year, as before, the tournament attracted bowlers from all over the Bay Area, but Berkeley fielded easily the largest number from a single club, with almost a third—nine out of 28—of the entrants. And perhaps even more impressive, Berkeley teams ended up taking three of the four top spots.

The tournament, which was held at the Sunnyvale club, was organized as a 13-game round robin, there being 14 teams in total, and was played over three weekends in January. Unlike the last couple of years when the drought and mild temperatures made a bit of a mockery of the title, this year the event lived up to its billing as the Winter League. Rain jackets and extra layers were needed on the first couple of Saturdays, but the intermittent showers did not dampen the spirits of the participants or lessen their competitive urges.

BLBC 2016 Winter League bowlers
BLBC 2016 Winter League bowlers

At the end of two weeks, the top spot was held by Frankie Napoli (a joint Rossmoor and Berkeley member) and his partner Dave Peters (Rossmoor) with Berkeley pairs Shawn Roney/Rob Hoey and Jim Corr/Bob Schwartz in hot pursuit. However, on the final Saturday, Frankie and Dave’s hitherto stellar mojo left them (they had lost only one game up to that point) and they faded in the stretch. This allowed Shawn and Rob to edge into first place ahead of Jim and Bob by the narrowest of margins—one game point, gained when they held Ginger Harris and Janet Mednick (subbing for absent Mo Shooer) to a draw, while Jim and Bob lost to the same team.

In the final standings, Shawn and Rob placed first, Jim and Bob second, and Berkeley duo Erwin Vista and Ann Brillhart sneaked past Frankie and Dave with a come-from-behind run to snag fourth place. Third was taken by Mario Giorgianni and Ron Marier of San Jose LBC.

Congratulations to all the Berkeley bowlers, and thanks to all those who helped organize and maintain this event despite the fickle wintry season!