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The Bowling Game 

Last time, I told you about Teide Bowls Club’s first foray into the Spanish Nationals in May 2012 and how they achieved a much better result than could have been expected. I also said that as a coach, I felt that the club could do even better. I honestly felt that but the following year, even my expectations were to be eclipsed. Much to my delight.

For me personally, I had achieved what I had really wanted during the National Championships. I had received an invite to trial for the National Squad. Things were to get better and take a dramatic twist.

My trial went well, not as well as I would have hoped, but nevertheless, I did enough to get my invite to join the National squad. That was quickly followed by my first “cap” against Portugal in September, which Spain won comfortably. I was happy as Larry.

Then in the beginning of November, I had a phone call from the Spanish National Director, John Muldoon, asking me if I was free to play in the World Championships in Adelaide, Australia. Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, one of the men in the squad had had to withdraw and the needed a substitute. I just couldn’t say no. The experience was wonderful, playing against the best in the world.

My own International call up was quickly followed up by another club member, Carole McQuade, being called up to the Irish Squad. So things were going well for the club and myself personally.

After my return from Oz, we held some meetings regarding the Spanish Nationals in May 2013. As a result 16 players entered the tournament, namely, Cathie Burgess, Norman Gardner, Allan Hood, Jean Hood, Robert Cathcart, Grace Cathcart, Bill Rogerson, Penny Tomlinson, Ian Tomlinson, Bob Booton, Pauline Robinson, Jackie Playford, David Playford, Derek Ward, Diane Ward and myself.

Even before the tournament started on May 12th, things were looking good. We played a warm up game against Quesada Bowls Club, which featured eight current or ex-Spanish International players. Although we were beaten by 22 shots, we did very well against a very strong team on their home green.

I have to be honest, before the tournament started in earnest, I believed we could do really well. I certainly believed the squad as a whole could do a lot better than they themselves believed they could do. You have to remember, aside from the four who had played in the Nationals the year before, and were seasoned players having played extensively in the UK, the other 12 players had only ever played in Tenerife. As a result, their confidence wasn’t very high in their own ability, purely because they had never did what they were about to do. But they were up for the challenge.

I expected our club to match and maybe slightly improve on the performances and results from the previous year, get the “newcomers” a few wins under their belt, to give them confidence so that we could build upon it in 2014. For me, given the lack of experience that would have been a great result. How wrong I was!

Once the dust had settled at the end of the tournament, we had a runner up in the ladies triples (J. Playford, P. Robinson & D Ward), runners up in gents pairs (N. Gardner & B. Booton), beaten semi-finalists in the gents singles (N. Gardner), beaten semi-finalist in gents rinks (G. Cathcart, R. Cathcart, A. Hood & B. Rogerson), two beaten Quarter finalists in gents singles (I. Tomlinson, B.Booton) and five teams / players who made it to the last 16 of the different disciplines. Jackie Playford, for “her leadership, encouragement of her team and sporting manner”, won the Ladies’ Player of the tournament.

The players did themselves, Teide B.C. and Tenerife proud. A few of the players surprised themselves.

This period was rounded off very nicely when I was lucky enough to be selected for the European Championships. Our team of four (two men and two women – Peter Bonsar, myself, Lynn Greenland and Jan Dando) did very well against Europe’s top countries winning Gold in the ladies pairs, Bronze in mixed rinks and bronze in the Team competition, just finishing behind Scotland and England.

So personally, as a player, member of Teide B.C., a coach and International it has been a great year. For Teide B.C. it has been a phenomenal year. Its members have done both the club and Tenerife proud. It goes to show with a bit of dedication, a will to win and practice how much you can achieve in a relatively short space of time.

Fancy trying the game? Want to see if you can achieve as much? Want to take up a new pastime? New to Tenerife but want to take up the sport again? Feel free to contact the Winter Gardens bowls reception at Golf del Sur on 922 738683.