The Stevenage Mixed League was big among bowls clubs this week but some did have national and county competitions to contend with.

Whitethorn's men lost 21-13 to Royston in the county fours but Chris Morley did advance in the Bowls England men's over 55 singles.

Their first SML game at Stevenage ended in a 48-48 draw.

They were narrowly beaten in a friendly against Hitchin, going down 59-57, but recovered two days later in another match with Stevenage, recording a 76-53 win with three of the four rinks winning.

Howard Garden started the week with a SML Cup match against Royston, winning 63-56, while they were up by five shots at the midway point of a league game against St Ippolyts.

However, St Ipps turned it round over the remaining ends to win 57-51.

Howard Garden did pick up a comfortable 53-17 friendly win over Shefford at the weekend though.

Letchworth Garden City began their competitive season with a SML Cup match against Stevenage Town and it proved to be a thriller.

Tied 60-60, it went to an extra end Letchworth come out on top thanks to the team of Lynn Bailey, Christopher Ottaway and Tony Sinclair.

Their first league game also ended in victory, beating Holwell 50-44 away with the best rink result coming from Danny Sims, Mick Barker and Christopher and Christine Ottaway with a 27-14 success.

North Herts played their second match of the season away to Steeple Morden but lost 66-55 despite winning on two rinks.

Tony Glenn, Jill Minton and Mike Jeffreys edged a close game 14-12 while it was far more comfortable for Andy Denniss, Sue Douglas and Sylvia Batchelor as they won 23-9.

Datchworth's one SML match was at home to last year's runners-up, Baldock Town, and the visitors took the honours 60-52.

Datchworth had one rink win, a 27-7 success for Barbara Williams, Ian Green, Steve Chamberlain and Derek Henley. 

There were also two mixed friendlies on the road.

The first at Stevenage saw them go down 45-42, with just one rink win out of the three played.

That went to Nicki Berry, Ian Green and Maurice Gordon who won twice as many ends than they lost in a 21-8 success.

The second match at Shephalbury though ended in a 66-59 win.

All four rinks were close but Datchworth won three of them, the best being a 19-14 victory for Lucy Williams, Daniel Williams and George Campbell.

That victory for Baldock was matched by a 50-45 win over Aston, another game with they picked up five league points to one conceded.

The club also had a victory for both the women and the men in national top club competitions, the ladies winning through 70-54 on shots against Northaw & Cuffley after sharing two disciplines but the men easing through by winning all five of their disciplines against Hertford.

The ladies did lose a North Division league game at St Ippolyts 18-12 and there was a 77-52 friendly defeat to Stevenage, although they did beat Welwyn Garden City 48-44 in another.

The Stevenage Mixed League has now had 13 matches declared with one result outstanding.

Baldock Town are the early leaders with 21 points from four games, 10 points ahead of Howard Garden but having played a game more.

Holwell sit third with seven points.