2015 Club Pairs Champs

Ten hopeful bowlers showed up to bowl in the BLBC Pairs Draw Tournament. Before drawing to see who their partners would be, they had to find out who would be skipping and who would be leading. Due to the small number of skips, I had to ask two bowlers who prefer to bowl lead to bowl skip instead. Both graciously agreed to take on the task. After the draw, the teams of John Hooper & novice Hugo Deaux, Lennon Hamilton & Sarah Allday, Cris Benton & Millard Long, Rob Hoey & Ted Crum, and Shawn Roney & Ray Francis stepped onto the green. After bowling three 12-end games, the top two teams would bowl for the right to have their names on the Winners’ Board.

Sadly, we had an uneven number of teams, so one team had a bye in each of the three games. On a more positive note: Most of the games were very close. In the third game, four teams were in contention for the top two spots. Shawn & Ray bested Rob & Ted by one point in a very close match. The win put them in 1st place. Cris & Millard won their match against Lennon & Sarah with enough plus points to capture 2nd place. The rinks were changed and the two teams began the game. All four players bowled very well–no great surprise there! At the end of the game, Shawn and Ray prevailed. Well done Shawn and Ray!

An extra tip ‘o the hat to Ray. After 21 years, his name will now–finally, be on the Winners’ Board!

Huge thanks to Susan and Sarah for helping to organize the food and getting the clubhouse ready for the tournament.

Runners-up Cris Benton and Millard Long.

John Luster is 2015 4-Bowl Singles Champ

BLBC hosted our first intra-club tournament of the 2015 season today. The 4-Bowl Singles event is always popular, but this year we had a record number of entrants. Despite reservations about using eight rinks (due to the questionable condition of rinks one and eight), tournament director Annie Brillhart opted to have as many people bowl as possible. Therefore, we had sixteen bowlers competing to have their name on the Winner’s Board. By the way, we welcomed two new members: Hugo Deaux and Gordon Wilson. Good to see you both on the green!

Everyone bowled three ten-end games and then took a break for lunch while Annie tallied the scores. The top four bowlers who moved on to the semi-finals were Shawn Roney (the only bowler to win all three games!), John Luster, Cris Benton and Gordon Wilson. (Gordon is obviously a bowler to be reckoned with!) Shawn and Gordon had a very close game that was settled on the last end. Gordon prevailed. John got the better of Cris (this time!).

So, John and Gordon moved on to the finals. It was a tough match. Both bowlers made beautiful shots all of which received hearty applause from the club bowlers who stayed to watch. The score was tied going into the ninth end. John took two points when his last bowl trailed the jack away from Gordon’s bowl. Gordon fought back on the last end, but John finished with solid bowls and won the game.

Congratulations to John! And congratulations to all the bowlers who participated in today’s games!

Huge thanks to Cathy Dinnean, Susan Jamart and Sarah Allday for spiffing up the club house and providing plenty of coffee and snacks throughout the day! (Susan, your flowers were lovely!)

An exceptional note of thanks to Sarah for being a (mostly) lone marker all morning. Thank you, Sarah!

Last but not least, thanks to Cathy, Dave, John Hooper and Erwin for helping to mark the semi-final and final games.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of those who bowled today for their feedback and generous support.

Annie Brillhart
Tournament Director

PIMD Women’s Fours Team Wins Second at SW Open

Some of you will remember the PIMD Women’s Fours Team of Ginger Harris, Mary Scott, Cathy Dinnean and I won 1st Place in the 2nd Flight at the US Open last September. Well, the PIMD ladies were at it again at this year’s SW Open. The Women’s Fours Team of Ginger Harris, Judith Perkins, Mary Scott and I bowled our way into the Championship battle for 1st and 2nd Place!

On day one, we won two and lost two. That was just enough to move us into the 7th position of the Championship Flight. On day two, our first game was against the number two team, a very formidable opponent! After 14 ends, we were tied, so we had to play a one end sudden death play off. We won the toss, and I rolled a long jack. We won! In the second game we were bowling against Joanne Kluck, Angie Peet (also from PIMD) and two women from the SW division. I think it’s fair to say they were considered to be the PIMD favorites. Once again we were tied after 14 ends–but only because of a spectacular last bowl by Ginger Harris! They won the toss and rolled a medium long jack. We held it together and won. All of a sudden, we were bowling against the strongest SW team for 1st and 2nd place! (Joanne and Angie’s team went on to win 4th Place. Kudos to them!)

The SW team (Maryna Hyland, Heather Stewart, Jan Hargraves and Betsy Lauryssen) won the toss, rolled a short jack and won the point. Over and over, we kept them to one or two points, but they kept rolling those pesky short jacks. Finally, when we were down 1 to 12, we adapted and won the point. Ginger asked me to roll a long jack, and I did. Over and over again. We crept up until we were two points from tying on the 14th end. Would this be yet again another sudden death play off? Sadly, it was not to be. But we sure made the SW team work for their win!

My understanding is this is the first time in a long time that PIMD women’s teams made it to the Championship Flight. Well done to both PIMD Women’s Fours Teams!

SW Womens Fours 2nd Place Team
Judith Perkins (Vice-SFLBC), Mary Scott (Second-SJLBC), Ginger Harris (Skip-PALBC), Ann Brillhart (Lead-BLBC)

Provided by Ann Brillhart

Berkeley Pair Runners Up in John Ogden Memorial Winter League

The Winter League is a favorite of those Bay Area bowlers who feel the need to keep their competitive juices flowing through the bowling calendar’s “off season.” Formerly the San Jose Winter League, it was re-named this year in honor of John Ogden, one of Northern California bowling’s “good guys” and who had been its long-time organizer before his passing in 2014.

At the start of this year’s tournament, members of John’s family were present to remember him, along with bowlers from the teams entered in the competition. John’s Dad, Woody, a US Bowling Hall of Famer himself, ceremoniously rolled the first jack to get the event off and running.

Over three weeks, the 14 pairs teams played an almost round-robin of 12 10-end games. After an uncharacteristically slow start on the first weekend, Jon and Tom Burnoski came through as narrow winners, tying with Berkeley’s Jim Corr and Bob Schwartz on games won (nine), but with a points differential of 98 compared to Jim and Bob’s 96. Larry Collaco and Marcus Zieno (San Jose) took third place, while the team of Frankie Napoli (Rossmoor) and Phil Grattan (Berkeley) came in fourth.

Winners John Ogden Memorial Winter League 2015

Jon (left) and Tom Burnoski, first place 2015 John Ogden Memorial Winter League

Click here for the final standings.

Berkeley carries the day

On Saturday, November 8, the Palo Alto Lawn Bowling Club hosted the Bay Area’s final bowling event of the year. The Ed Arnold Invitational, named for a generous and hard-working past president of the club, was played by fourteen teams of three – that’s 42 bowlers on seven rinks. Each of the 42 entrants played skip, vice, and lead, in rotation, in each of three 12-end games. Teams comprised two men and one woman each, and included representatives from most of the Bay Area clubs. In an unusual twist, no team won all three of its games, though eight teams won two, so the winners were determined by the point differentials.

Annie, Shawn & Cris Winfred, Rob, and Cathy

Winning teams at the end of a vigorous day. From left to right: Ann Brillhart, Shawn Roney, and Cris Benton (1st Place) then Wilfred Wong, Rob Hoey, and Cathy Dinnean (2nd Place).

Berkeley was well-represented by two teams of full members, plus two of our dual members. The rotating format presents a unique challenge, and Berkeley proved up to the challenge! We proudly announce that First Place was won by Shawn Roney, Ann Brillhart, and Cris Benton, who had two game wins and 18 plus-points. Further, Second Place was taken by the Berkeley team of Rob Hoey, Cathy Dinnean, and Wilfred Wong, with two game wins and 10 plus-points.

These wins conclude a fine bowling season for Berkeley, during which we were on the podium at many events throughout the year.

Berkeley Novice Takes PIMD Title

Cris Benton, a Berkeley novice (less than two years’ membership), won the 2014 PIMD Novice Tournament going undefeated over two days of bowling at the Oakland Lawn Bowling Club. Both he and Rob Hoey, another Berkeley novice (and the current PIMD Open Singles Champion, a stellar achievement for a “newbie”) were undefeated on Saturday October 18 and proceeded on Sunday to the round robin final stage along with Lucien Salyk of Oakland and David Peters of Rossmoor. Each match involved unlimited ends with the winner being the first to accumulate 18 points.

In the first Sunday game, Rob played Dave in a 3+ hour game that was tight. Rob fell behind early but battled back right up to the end. Then his luck turned and Dave came through for an 18-16 win. Meanwhile, Cris prevailed 18-8 against Lucien, who had home green advantage.

In the second round the Berkeley duo faced each other in an exciting match in which Cris’s early lead was gradually pulled back by Rob and a further surge by Cris was again chipped away until it was a 17-17 tie. On the final end, Rob, well-known for his mat strategy, had the mat and placed the jack at maximum depth. After his last bowl, and with Cris having one final shot, Rob held two convincing points and the head was such that a draw shot would be tough. Cris resorted to what he describes as “a Hail Mary” and ran the jack into the ditch for the win. In the other match, Lucien defeated Dave 18-14.

In a relatively quick third game, Lucien was successful against Rob, leaving the possibility of a three-way tie—and the need for a further play-off—if Dave were to beat Cris. A very tight and long struggle that stretched into the gloaming saw the outcome poised on a knife edge with the score 17-16 in Dave’s favor. However, despite the gathering dusk and despite wearing sunglasses (not anticipating such a long day, he had forgotten to bring his regular glasses), Cris managed to get three bowls within a foot or so of the jack, thereby offering an inviting target! Dave drove his last bowl at the head, but a slight nick on one of the bowls in the front diverted its path just enough to leave Cris’s three in place and the title his.

Congratulations to Cris and well done to all the novice participants!

Benton at Oakland LBC

Cris Benton at the Oakland Lawn Bowling Club

2014 Fall Ladder

Casual bowling has been enlivened this spring by a ladder match organized by Jim Corr. Players can challenge those holding the three places above them on the ladder – great fun. Here are the recent standings.

PlaceNameHandicapGames Played
1Shawn Roney018
2Lennon Hamilton411
3Nikki Schrager018
4John Hooper121
5Cris Benton121
6Phil Grattan112
7Frankie Napoli021
8Jim Corr023
9Erwin Vista16
10Ray Francis14
11Des Simpson211
12Cathy Dinnean18
13Harry Gans58
14Howard Mackey18
15Ted Crum25
16Sarah Allday36
17Geoff Chandler46

Jim Corr has done a marvelous job organizing the Ladder Matches with timely communication, clear instructions, and the occasional pedagogical riff. His guidance included the following:

Prompt email notification of when a challenge has been issued is essential. You need only email the coordinator and the other player (not the whole group). Also tell the coordinator if a date has been agreed, and, please, please, email the coordinator the result immediately once the game has been played so that he can keep the ladder up-to-date and warn people if someone they had planned to challenge is now out of reach.

Rolling the jack: if one player states at the outset that they wish to roll the jack rather than set it, the other player must accept without complaint. Only if both agree to set the jack should it be done that way. And, whatever is agreed, the same method then prevails throughout the match.

Scoring the handicaps: You should start out as if the handicaps represented the first end. So, if a “5” player is against a “3” player, the first line on the scorecard should be marked 5 on the side of the “5” player (and 3 if you are the “3” player). Two “5” players would start out with 5-5, two “0” players with 0-0, and so on. You might want to put an asterisk or maybe an “H” for handicap beside that first “end” so that it’s clear that it represents the handicap and not a played end.

Berkeley Bowlers Capture Centennial Cup

Berkeley members John Hooper (skip), Cathy Dinnean (vice), and Wilfred Wong (lead) took first place to win the SFLBC Centennial Cup, beating a large field of twenty teams from all over the Bay Area.

San Francisco provided a beautiful day in Golden Gate Park October 5 for the annual tournament, which is open to all PIMD members, and which celebrates the founding of the oldest lawn bowling club in the USA. The sixty bowlers enjoyed an enticing spread of coffee and bountiful snacks before heading for the greens and playing three 12-end games. The mood was high, and everyone enjoyed the competitions and the friendship. Berkeley was represented by five full members and two dual members.

At the end of the day, only two teams had won all three of their games, and when differential points were considered, the Berkeley team edged out a Palo Alto team by the very narrow margin of three points. As a result, they will get their names engraved on impressive trophy (see photo). Bowlers from the other clubs were generous with their congratulations, and SFLBC ended a great day with more gustatory delights.

Congratulations to John, Cathy, and Wilfred!

winner photo
2014 Centennial Cup Winners

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.