Each year the ESMBA holds a Summer Championship ( this year held in Tamworth ) for affiliated short mat bowls clubs in England. The championship also doubles as a qualifying event for the ESMBA / TLH Top Club Championship finals held annually in Torquay, with the next event being held in May 2019. This year one club from Worcestershire competed – Churchill and Blakedown Short Mat Bowls Club – participating with a team of seven bowlers. These were – Terry Clifford / Richard Rose / Trish Clifford / Sandra Felton / Dave Grove / Garry Markham and Malcolm Saunders.
Churchill and Blakedown compete against Woolhope Club from Herefordshire, Old Stratford from Northamptonshire and Magic Circle from the West Midlands. The familiar format of Singles/Fours playing first, followed by Pairs/Triples took place resulting in five bowlers being involved in each session.
There was strong opposition, and Churchill and Blakedown in the group stage lost three of their four individual matches against Woolhope – Richard Rose and Dave Grove, however, had a convincing 13/8 win in their Pairs match. The second club to play Churchill and Blakedown – Old Stratford – was very strong with Churchill and Blakedown losing their four individual matches. Churchill and Blakedown then went on to play their third and final group match against Magic Circle from the West Midlands and won three of their individual matches in convincing form. Richard Rose won his Singles match 13/10, Terry Clifford’s Fours team won 9/4 and Terry’s Triples team won 7/2.
After a very hot but enjoyable day, and in spite of early setbacks, but with an improved performance at the end of the day, Churchill and Blakedown were pleased that they had qualified for the Top Club Finals which will take place in Torquay in May next year.