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Madeira went on their bi-annual tour on this occasion to Gloucester and the Cotswolds last week, writes Jenny Smith.

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Forty seven members made the trip and everything went well – the weather, the hotel (the Bowden Hall Hotel, Upton St Leonards), the company and the bowls!

Everyone on the trip agreed it was arguably the best tour they could remember.

The group played nine clubs over the five days, split between two venues on all days except on the return journey when everyone played and lost against Portishead. The first day was split between Cheltenham and Cheltenham Spa both of which Madeira lost although Madeira retained the Friendship Trophy for which they play the Spa each year over a home and an away fixture by losing by less than Cheltenham Spa lost when they played at Madeira.

On the Tuesday the games were at Gloucester and Severnside Co-op BC and Pineholt with the best result being a draw of 103 each against Pineholt. Results were close on Wednesday – losses of three shots to Moreton-in-the-Marsh and two to Chipping Campden. On Thursday they travelled to Gloucester and achieved a two-shot win against Gloucester City but lost against the Spa. The best shot difference of the week was achieved by Colin Healy who skipped his team of Dee Williams, Joyce Coggin and Chris Fox to a plus 18 shot difference against Gloucester City with secured the only win of the tour.

Liz Healy, unable to play following a recent leg injury, operated her version of a sin bin from her wheelchair imposing fines for perceived misdemeanours throughout the week and these together with an auction of prizes raised £125 for the captains’ charity, Hospicecare.

Last Saturday Madeira held another Fun Day to offer those interested a taste of bowls and were pleased to attract 17 new potential bowlers to their coaching sessions and three experienced bowlers looking to take up their sport again. A four rink mixed friendly team also travelled to Belmont in Exeter, a game they were pleased to win by 79 shots to 65, winning on two rinks with a draw and loss on the other two. Jenny Smith’s team of Trevor Morrish, Janet Grundy and Alan Halpin did well to win on their rink by plus 14 shots.

The week ended on a high note. On Sunday, two Madeira teams travelled to Bideford for the Devon Ladies All-finals Day. Sue Harriott with sister Christine Macaulay and Liz Smerdon won the two-wood triples competition against a team from Torbay Country Club by 17 shots to 9. Annette Flockhart and Pat Harris reached the final of the Over 70s Pairs but in the event were runners-up to a team from Abbrooke Park. A great performance by all of them.

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