Appeal goes out to bowlers

Hitchin Town Bowls Club s midweek captain is appealing for more people to play the sport. Ken Porter admitted: Finding players to play in bowls games is becoming quite a problem locally, as well as nationally. Younger players are just not coming into th

Hitchin Town Bowls Club's midweek captain is appealing for more people to play the sport.

Ken Porter admitted: "Finding players to play in bowls games is becoming quite a problem locally, as well as nationally.

"Younger players are just not coming into the game in large enough numbers.

"Historically, Hitchin used to have a large interworks bowls league, where all of the large local companies had sports and social clubs, and they entered teams in the league.

"Young players would come along to Hitchin's Bancroft Park greens and enjoy playing bowls for their firms teams.

"Many players became hooked on the game and went on to join local bowls clubs. Most of the best players locally started off bowling in this way."

Most Read

With the demise of these larger local companies, the works league as it was originally known is now run as the Hitchin Midweek League.

Any group of around 10 players can now enter the league and play as a team.

There are no restrictions on who can play in this league, and there are players bowling from the age of nine to 90 locally.

The only requirement to be on the bowls green is flat bottomed shoes when bowling, and this is only to protect the grass bowling surface.

Loan bowls are available for those starting out, and funding is available for youngsters to help them with the costs of playing.

Anyone can come along to Hitchin Bowls Club in Bancroft Park at 10am at the end of the month (Bank Holiday Monday) and have a try at bowling for themselves.

Porter added: "Come on people of Hitchin and North Herts. Let's not see summer bowling disappear from our local parks because it will soon if new players do not come into the game."

The struggle was emphasised by Hitchin's return match with Luton Town, due to be played at Bancroft Park last Tuesday, being cancelled due to Luton's shortage of players.

Hitchin found a full team to take to Cambs for their return match with Foxton.

Their highest winning rink of plus 25 shots was Ken Porter, Des Owens and John Bearman (31-6) and they won overall by 27 shots (74-47) last Thursday.

Rink one: Sid Wheatley, Joan Dyer, Alan Cook lost 10-13. Rink two: Ken Porter, Des Owens, John Bearman won 31-6. Rink three: Ruby Males, Derek Conder, Diane Porter won 19-13. Rink four: Joan Squires, Terry Carter, Ivan Page lost 14-15.

On Saturday, Hitchin hosted a friendly against Jubilee Park, winning the fixture by 12 shots (83-71).

Hitchin struggled on three of the four rinks but the remaining four clinched the win with a dominant performance.

The winning rink for Hitchin was John Porter, Jackie Dawson, Stuart Dawson, Andy Hill.

Rink one: J Porter, J Dawson, S Dawson, A Hill won 38-9. Rink two: J Bearman, N Webb, A Cook, G Walker lost 16-17. Rink three: G Williams, D Conder, S Mumford, I Thorne lost 16-21. Rink four: J Squires, R, Parker, G Billingham, W Harrison lost 13-24.