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Tewkesbury Bowling Club are chasing another treble top

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 09:00

Tewkesbury won the County Cup last season Tewkesbury won the County Cup last season

We may still be in deep mid-winter but the players at Tewkesbury Bowling Club have certainly got a spring in their step.

That’s because they are eagerly looking forward to the start of the new outdoor season after last year’s remarkable success story.

The new campaign will coincide with the change of the seasons and Tewkesbury’s bowlers are counting down the days until they can roll the jack for the first time in 2018.

They completed the treble last year – winning the North Gloucester League, The North Gloucester League Shield and the County Cup – and see no reason why this summer can’t be just as successful.

Teams in the North Gloucester League are made up of five rinks of four, in the shield it’s four rinks of four and is played over one evening, while in the County Cup teams are made up of three rinks of four.

“Last year was an amazing season,” said club chairman John Lawson. “It was the first time we’d ever won the North Gloucester League and it’s been going for 35 years.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to win and we’re very pleased we’ve done it.”

Not that John, who only took up the sport six years ago at the age of 65, is happy with just the one league title.

“We’ve got a settled team and the target this season is to retain all the trophies we won last year,” he said.

That won’t be easy, of course, because there are some pretty tasty teams in the six-strong North Gloucester League – Cheltenham Town, Cheltenham Spa, Cheltenham Whaddon, Bishop’s Cleeve and Churchdown.

It’s the same six teams that compete for the North Gloucester League Shield and if Tewkesbury win it this season, it will be for the third time in a row.

The County Cup success was pretty impressive as well with Tewkesbury triumphing in a three-team final at Barnwood.

“That was probably the biggest win of all because it was a county-wide event,” added John, who is in his second year as chairman.

So how did he become chairman?

“I sort of stuck my head above the parapet,” he chuckled. “This term carries on until October and we’ll see what happens then, but I’ve got a good committee behind me.

“I wouldn’t do it for longer than three years though. The previous chairman Rod Trower, who still plays, did it for seven years and that’s a long time.”

Trower was one of Tewkesbury’s key players last time out under the progressive captaincy of Dave Boulton.

“He’s been captain for the past seven years and he’s captain again this season,” said Lawson. “In all he’s been captain for 15 years and he does an amazing job.”

And it’s not just the men who have been on a roll over the past few months, the ladies have been doing pretty well too.

“For the first time our ladies’ captain Janet Bishop was able to put two teams into the Gloucester Ladies’ League where historically we have only had one,” said John. “So we now have teams – two rinks of three players – in Division One and Division Two.”

Away from the green the club have done a pretty impressive job too.

“Two years ago, under Rod’s leadership, we put an extension on the clubhouse,” said John, who lives in Tewkesbury. “We increased the size by a third. We’re a community-based club and we host several skittles teams, the U3A needlecraft group and yoga sessions.”

The club also play short mat bowls in the winter and have six-times singles championStewartMinchew leading the teams.

The club are also fortunate to have two of ladies - Gill Johnson and Carole Preece – who are England internationals.

Clearly the club are buzzing and they will have even more to hum about should they repeat last year’s success this summer.

Other Images

Tewkesbury completed a remarkable treble in 2017
Tewkesbury captain Dave Boulton

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