Last Update 29/09/2021

REVIEW OF THE 2021 SEASON (our 99th)

“Did you have a good season?” That is the question which is inevitably asked at the end of September when all matches have been played, the results have been collated and all we now have to do is hand out the trophies and plan for the year ahead.

This year the question has had a greater meaning, but, in many ways the answer is simpler…an unqualified “YES!” this has been the year when, more than ever, it wasn’t about the winning or losing, it was all about getting back out there, playing bowls against our friends from other clubs and trying to carry on as normally as possible.

We cannot pretend that it was easy. Covid was, and still is, that great big ogre looking over our shoulder at all times. Long before our first wood was sent down the green we had spent a lot of time debating, writing and re-writing the Covid protection procedures for the season, knowing that the Government could change things at any time. At least we had the benefit of a Roadmap to follow, and, to be fair to the Government and their advisors, once published it was adhered to with the exception of one deferral which made our life a little easier.

A big thankyou is owed to all of our members and visitors who did their very best to adhere to the procedures which we put in place. It was obvious that the committee had the support of all members, even when we did not always loosen up the procedures as quickly as legislation allowed.

Unlike in 2020 our green was ready for the beginning of the season, and it looked good. With the help of generally favourable weather conditions, less bowls being played and a lot of hard work by club members the green was still looking good at the end of the season. We received our fair share of compliments from opposing teams, and that always means a lot to us. We are a small club without the resources available to some of our visitors and so we have to make the most of what we have.

So, it wasn’t about winning and losing, but had it been, we would still have been happy, playing 30 matches and winning 18. Against this, we did lose the Fairwin Trophy for the first time.

Due to Covid not all teams were able to commence the season at the usual time, and, mainly due to the size of greens and other facilities, some clubs, ourselves included, chose to only field 9 players per match at home, instead of the usual 12. This inevitably meant that the Rother League did not take place in 2021. Sadly we also saw the demise of 2 clubs against whom we have played for many years. The closures were not entirely due to Covid.

The final event of the season was an internal competition, fun day and barbeque which was attended by the vast majority of club members. It was one of the most enjoyable and successful end of season ‘flings’ that we have ever held.

We introduced a new system for members to log their availability for matches. Due mainly to having to field fewer players almost all matches were oversubscribed which has not always been the case in previous years. Overall it meant that not all players ended up playing as regularly as they have done in previous seasons. Conversely it meant that some of the less regular players will have played more.

One of the most pleasing aspects of our season is a noticeable improvement in performances of many players, let’s hope that this is an indication of things to come.

Another casualty of Covid was our opportunities to raise much needed funds. However, this was the year in which several members made significant donations to the club all of which were gratefully received.

And so the season has come to an end. Within 24 hours of the last wood being bowled the green was already being worked on to ensure that we can make it as good as possible for 2022, our centenary year.

AND SO THE WINNER WAS…WINCHELSEA BOWLS CLUB AND EACH AND EVERY ONE OF ITS MEMBERS…THANK YOU!!!

Author: Mr K Sellens.