After over 40 years it looks like the Edinburgh Evening News has given up taking reports from any games. Stewart has been given a few hints about this but there has been no Bowling News in the paper for over a month. A very bad way to tell someone that not wanting any more story’s . Im sure that all Bowling clubs and their Members would like to thank Stewart for all his hard work over the years when the sport was getting all the publicity they could take. It now means that a lot of thought will have to go into this site if it is worth while for 2020.
BRUCE RAYMOND HENSELL – 1937-2019
In some remote outpost of the bowling world there may be some poor soul who has never played with or against a ‘Henselite’ bowl, but I doubt it. For in no other sport has a name reigned so supreme for so long.
It was in 1918 that Willam D. Hensell first developed a rubber bowl for the Dunlop Rubber Company and, with his son Ray, went on to overcome the problem of expansion in extreme temperatures by experimenting with a new, more stable material called phenolformaldehyde, thus creating the first composition bowl in 1931. The ‘Henselite’ was to revolutionise the sport worldwide and supplant a centuries-old tradition of ‘woods’. But it was Ray’s son Bruce who made the Henselite company into a global business which touched the lives of millions of bowlers in every country where the game is played. To date over seven million sets have been produced.
A Victorian to his bootlaces, Bruce spent his entire life in Melbourne but visited every country where the game of bowls is played, and introduced the game to many of them. Although he dabbled at the game himself, his real hobby was motor cycling, not in competition, but touring with friends throughout Australia and in different parts of the world.
A shrewd businessman, a gentleman, a loving husband and father, and for those of us who were lucky enough to call him a friend, a kind and generous soul who will be sadly missed. His contribution to our game is immeasurable so, the next time you step on the green spare a thought for Bruce Raymond Hensell who sadly passed away last week.
Bruce is survived by his wife Jenny and sons Mark and Alistair, and the Hensellite Company enters its second century and fourth generation in the care of Mark. A memorial service takes place on Thursday 11th April.
Scotland claimed the first of the lawn bowls medals at the Commonwealth Games in sensational fashion, winning a titanic head-to-head Triples battle against hosts Australia 19-14, at the Broadbeach club.
Dalkeith’s Ronnie Duncan and Derek Oliver from East Lothian were making their first Games appearance, ably directed by Darren Burnett ,Arbroath, the reigning Singles gold medallist from Glasgow. In taking the title, it gave the Scots their first-ever success in the Triples event. Played in front of a large local and also travelling support, the Scots silenced the somewhat parochial Aussie entourage with a stunning array of outstanding bowls across the 18 ends. In their morning semi-final they overcame Norfolk Island trio Phil Jones, Hadyn Evans and Ryan Dixon 20-8 to set up the gold medal match against hosts Barrie Lester, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff who beat Canada 20-5. As expected, the contest was a wildly vociferous affair both on the green and in the capacity filled spectator stands with both teams producing a game of the highest quality in a hotly contested and entertaining battle which ebbed and flowed from the opening end, with the statistics showing that the Scots scored on 11 and the Aussies on seven of the ends. Australia went ahead 9-8 for the first time in the final with a treble on the 11th end but some truely, unnerving inspirational play by the Scottish trio saw them yield 11 shots over the closing seven ends, while Australia only counted five leaving the Scots to take gold for the first time in this event much to the delight of their fans. The defining point in the match came on the penultimate end when Burnett ditched the jack to the left-hand rink marker side. Australian skip Aron Sherriff drew the shot to the edge of the ditch which would have seen them take a 15-13 lead. However, Burnett raised the roof with an inch perfect take out which yielded the Scots a treble and a breathing space of two shots playing the last which they then dominated to deal their historic triumph. Basking in their success, Burnett said: “We had a really gruelling qualifying section where we finished in pole position just one point ahead of Norfolk Island. “We met Section A winners Wales in the knockout quarter-finals and had to negotiate a late 15-13 win against them, then had to meet our section cohorts Norfolk Island yesterday again in the semi-finals. But we desperately wanted that gold-medal winning opportunity and were more than happy to win 20-8. “We knew Australia would be the toughest of opponents and would be lifted by their boisterous home support in the final but our supporters more than matched them and egged us on. “Ronnie laid our foundations from the lead position and was more than ably backed up by “Del Boy” at second . “We’ve played exceptionally well over the last four days and at times under testing conditions. There’s been a lot of rain since we arrived here which has slowed the pace of the greens a bit and that has favoured us. It has been a fantastic team effort and the two boys at the front certainly can hold their heads up high.” Scotland will go for further glory today with Paul Foster and Alex Marshall hoping to retain the Pairs title they won in Glasgow and also in Melbourne. Marshall though will be eyeing up the title for a record fourth time, initially winning at Manchester in 2002 with George Sneddon. The second phase of the bowls also gets underway today and, after their Pairs title decider, Marshall and Foster will join with Duncan and Oliver in a bid to retain the Fours title while Burnett will be out to do the same and retain the Singles crown. The women’s event reverts to Pairs and Triples with Claire Johnston teaming up with Lesley Doig in the Pairs and Caroline Brown skipping Kay Moran and Stacey McDougall the Triples.
The Co-operative Funeralcare continued its sponsorship of the Scottish Inter County Top Ten (Bowls) Championship in 2015 and the 34th year of the prestige event saw Burnbank- Hamilton capture the coveted crown for Lanarkshire.
Burnbank were making their fourth appearance in the ‘National Top Ten’ and their first title triumph brought Lanarkshire only their second celebration having last triggered the victory salute with the success of Lesmahagow in 1984. The team and crowd reaction was particularly raucous and gloriously acclaimed as the Final Days play was hosted at bi-annual venue Eddlewood BC in Hamilton so Burnbank were bringing pleasure to an inspired vocal local support.
The final was in itself and anti-climax in that Burnbank stormed to commanding 6-2 win over Kirkconnel of Dumfriesshire having been inspired by spearhead figure Michael Docherty powering to a 21-5 win in the Singles. The high profile partnership of indoor caps Gerry Sullivan and Jim McCann took no prisoners as they romped to a 26-5 win in the Pairs while the rink of Mark McCourt, Jackie O’Neill, Sandy Hazelting, and Scott Fair dominated the Fours to win 22-14.
Kirkconnel did have the measure of their opposition in the Triples with Ryan Clark, Ian Clark, and Alistair Monteith transforming an 8-2 deficit into a good 19-11 win over Hugh Letham, Thomas Kerr, and Brian Davies. The two semi finals were real corkers however with last end drama in the Pairs tipping the scales for Burnbank in their clash with Bellsburn (Linlithgow) of West Lothian.
Burnbank had recovered from 12-6 down to cross, with the help of a super six, 16-12 but then trailed 17-16 before carding a double to snatch an 18-17 win over Sam Gray and Craig Yeaman. The result was a match-winner because it tied the result at 4-4 on points allowing Burnbank to reach the final with a superior shot margin of 9 shots. Other scores being Singles, 19-21; Triples, 22-7; Fours, 11-16.
Kirkconnel beat Fife champions Strathmiglo, 6-2, with the game changing result delivered by Lee Marshall finishing 3, 4, 3 to steal a 21-17 win over a stunned Alan Pearson in the Singles. Other scores, Pairs, 18-13; Triples, 15-14; Fours, 7-23.
The Co-operative Funeralcare was represented by Jim Lee who presented the Trophy and Prizes and paid tribute and compliments to an event that embraced 25 County Champions, nationwide.