BRAMMER’S BIAS: Brantham Cup game had a Groundhog Day feel to it for me

The Margaret Catchpole tea line up before their Junior Cup clash with Norbridge, at Brantham, on Fri

The Margaret Catchpole tea line up before their Junior Cup clash with Norbridge, at Brantham, on Friday night. - Credit: Archant

Just the two games for me last week.

On Wednesday I put in arguably my best performance of the season, only to be on the losing rink – our team, Margaret Catchpole, losing narrowly by seven shots to a visiting Borough of Eye team.

Two nights later and I put in arguably my worst performance of the season, if not ever, yet our team won the game. Talk about contrasting fortunes!

On Friday the Catchpole team travelled to an extremely hospitable Brantham to play Norbridge in the Suffolk Junior Cup, a competition the club won back in 2013.

I remember playing there about a year ago to the day, on a Friday night, and it was like Groundhog Day for me.


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When I said earlier that the performance I put in on Friday was my worst-ever, I may have been exaggerating. My performance at the same venue last year was worse!

The green is nice and big and runs like a dream, you don’t need to put much force behind your deliveries.

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However, and especially on the rink we were on (five), there were so many tricky lines and literally, you only had to be an inch or two off your line and you were stuffed.

There was such a big swing on the rink that you couldn’t afford to go too wide or narrow, there was very little wriggle room.

It all started so well, at least my first delivery did.

I was playing lead and after sending down a long cot, my first wood landed within a couple of inches of the little yellow marker.

From thereon in, it was all downhill and the more I struggled the more I got frustrated and tense. That’s not conducive to good bowls.

I was pretty much a passenger throughout the game, although I did get a lucky wick towards the end of the game to save us from going four-down. We ended up taking one point from that particular end.

That was my most significant contribution on the night – lucky wick – and that says it all!

As a rink we still managed to get a draw, 15-15, and prevailed overall, meaning we won the Area final and will play in the semi-final at Leiston in three weeks’ time.

From the ridiculous to the sublime.

On Wednesday, playing number two, I left the green with a smile despite our rink throwing seven points away on the last two ends, to lose by two shots.

Our team lost overall too but I knew I couldn’t have given or done anymore on the night, against three very good players.

It wasn’t just me either, skip Charlie Sharp and lead Jim Evans both had stellar games, the latter landing numerous chalkers, only to end up on the losing side.

His display was not lost on Alfie Chambers, Eye’s veteran bowler.

A massive character on and off the rink, Alfie has so much experience, nous and humour. He is also a damn good player too!

I first came across him at the Suffolk (BE) Finals Day last season when it seemed as though he was being cheered on by all four sides of the green, such was his popularity.

Quick-witted and extremely knowledgeable about the game, it was a pleasure to play against him, even if he did end up on the winning side!

There aren’t enough characters in sport, period, these days.

Football has far too many bland characters but one such person that can’t be labelled with this tag is Needham Market chairman, Mark Morsley.

Why have I gone off on a tangent? Well I discovered last week that Mark, having stepped down as first-team manager at Bloomfields last season, to concentrate on his business, has taken up bowls, playing at Brantham.

I just hope he has more luck on that green than I do!

Meanwhile, Boxford Bowls Club hosted an impromptu bowling session for people with learning difficulties from Sudbury Community Hub on Friday.

Twelve people accepted the invitation to play and they, along with their carers, were treated to a great afternoon.

Nine club members were on hand to assist them and to give them guidance and encouragement. The afternoon was rounded off with soft drinks and biscuits and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

When Andrew Blakebrough, chairman of Boxford Bowls Club’s Social Committee, asked if they had enjoyed the day he was answered by a resounding cheer.

Do you have any stories, results or pictures that you would like me to include in my column?

You can get in contact via email - chris.brammer@archant.co.uk or by contacting me on 01473 324916.

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