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Captains Report 2018

When I was elected to be Gentlemen's Captain at last year’s AGM, I took on the position with a little apprehension and (as they say in my business) a few first night nerves.

I was helped along the way by the outgoing captain, John Brand, who gave me excellent advice on what I should expect in doing the job. He said " You can please the members some of the time but you can't please all the members all of the time ! " Thank you John for that advice. It stood me in good stead.

As the season started I began to get more confident in my method of leadership and I was helped along the way in May by my first Vice Captain, Peter Baker.

In June and July, Peter made way for Sam Howard to take the reins as VC and then in August and September, William Wheeler completed the season.

My grateful thanks to them all for their input into team selection and their support throughout the year.

In our friendly matches this year, we have achieved average success.

Played 42, Won 22, Lost 19 and drew 1. Although, some of those losses were by the narrowest of margins.

Our mixed Horam League Matches have been captained by Eddie Jones and no doubt he will give you the outcome of our league position in his report.

In the national competitions we were beaten in the first round of the Top Club by Gildredge Park and in the Double fours we went out at the first hurdle to Spartan at Bexhill.

However, our light began to shine with a cracking victory over White Rock at Hastings in the County Double fours in June.

Alas, it was the men's only bright moment and we crashed the following week with defeat by Eastbourne BC (formally known as Saffrons)

Never mind lads, next year we will come back even stronger.

Congratulations to all our members who were successful in the club competitions. Particularly William Wheeler and Christine Andrews who were our gents and ladies champions this year.

Well done also to The Swifts who triumphed in the Aubrey Crowe League.

I cannot let the report on competitions go before adding our warmest congratulations to the Ladies, for their wonderful achievements in reaching the Semi-final of The Gladys Rowland Trophy and the final of The Lifeboat Triples. Well done girls for bringing honour to our club.

Carol Downes has done an excellent job this year as Ladies Captain and I would like thank her for all her hard work and superb leadership.

We have had a great summer, weather wise, and very few matches had to be cancelled, but it was a bit of a struggle with getting enough players for away matches, and some of those games had to be reduced in numbers.

Some of our members don't like playing rinks matches, and a six rinks match challenges the Captain's ability to select a team if there aren't enough names on the list. Perhaps the Fixtures Secretary could note this.

In the middle of the heat wave, when a game of bowls was more like 'Dancing on Ice', it became apparent that the deterioration of our green was not only the work of The Almighty and the sprinkler system.

I applaud the Management Committee for making the decision to change the Green keeper.

I hope the new green keepers can restore the playing area to a far better condition in time or the start of next season.

I must mention and thank all our members who dutifully turned up and administered their cleaning and tea duties this year. You all did the club a great service. (Especially the ones who were the butt of my asides at the tea interval).

Now the club turns its attention to our Winter Season.

The lists for the indoor matches will be available for names at the Mince Pie morning in December, and selections will be made in the New Year. Members selected to play in these games will be notified by e mail or telephone.

Hope springs eternal for our club as some of our newer members are improving their games dramatically. Their enthusiasm was there for all to see at the end of season roll ups with great turn outs and some super bowling.

My year as Gentleman's Captain started, as I said, with apprehension, but is coming to an end with confidence and hope for the bright future of Hailsham Bowling Club. Thank you all for your support.

By far, the most important person to thank is my special lady Jenny.

She has been brilliant throughout, supporting me and encouraging me even when I was burning the midnight oil with matters of the club.

She has seen how much I have changed in the last six months or so and how much I have enjoyed being Captain.

With that in mind, and with her continued support, I would like to stand for election as Club Captain for the 2019 season

May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas  and a Happy New Year and good health in 2019.

Thank you everyone.

Bobby Bennett

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