The early season story was dominated by the weather. The greens suffered a lot from the ice and snow of the winter and the problems were exacerbated by heavy rains which flooded the greens on many occasions during May and June. Amazingly the club was able to complete all the scheduled tournaments during that period and the hard work of Ralph Stoffers and Mike Hendren paid off by July when all the bare patches had filled in and the greens got firmer and faster.
The club held ten in club tournaments during the season and four members had more than one win. David Brister had three successes (the anniversary, novices and singles tournaments); Kathleen Shirley had two (Coach’s Cup and Canada Day tournament); Eve Gorringe had two (Cut Throat and anniversary tournament); and Shirley Vander Schaaf had two (Coach’s Cup and Novices).
There were also nine open tournaments which attracted entries from all over Ontario, including numerous Ontario champions and some Team Canada members. The only multiple winners were Norm and Mary Smith of the Peterborough club who won two mixed pairs tournaments. Generally the main opposition to the home club teams was from very strong Peterborough and Oshawa teams. However the visiting clubs did not have it all their own way with Cobourg wins for Ron Covert and Helen Beaton in a mixed pairs tournament and for Martin Foxhall and Steve Haslam in an open pairs tournament.
None of these tournaments could go ahead without the support of sponsors. The club is fortunate to have some long term sponsors such as James Gordon Insurance, MacCoubrey Funeral Homes, Scotiabank, the Wicks family, Reg Ward Insurance, Martin Foxhall, Pharmacy 101, HTM Insurance, Thomas Buick GMC, Rona Cashway, Richard Bruton (TD Waterhouse) and Meet at 66 King Street. In the last few years the club has also been fortunate to have new sponsors in Spectacular Water Systems, On Site Computer Support and Sales, Hogans Hearing Aid Centres, Amica at Quinte Gardens, Rosewood Estates, we fix u physiotherapy and foot care, Lauria Hyundai and Dan and Sharyl Ann Milligan. Finally MVP Sports and Cobourg Buy and Sell have been strong supporters of the junior tournaments.
The club juniors have had another successful season with some excellent bowling from brother and sister Ben and Baylee Van Steijn but pride of place goes to Will Richardson who won silver at the Ontario under 18 championships and competed in the National Under 18 championships. These three juniors have the ability to go on and compete at the highest level in future years.
In District singles play downs there were strong performances from Ben Van Steijn and Bill Arthur who both lost out at the semi final stage, Arthur losing to Rob Steffen of Oshawa who went on to win the Ontario singles title. In 2014 Ralph Stoffers and Bill Arthur were members of the winning District seniors team and reached the quarter finals of the Ontario championships. However they were unable to retain their District title this year. Arthur was a member of the District Novice champions again this year but the team had a disappointing result at the Ontario championships and did not get past the round robin group stage.
The many visitors to the club were attracted by the quality of the bowling and the splendid greens. But a significant factor is the club’s location in Victoria Park with the views out to the lake. It is probably the best lawn bowling location in Ontario. And it is also a big attraction for non bowlers as many visitors to the park hang over the fence to watch the play, take photos, talk with members and have the game explained to them.
Overall the club has enjoyed another successful season but that has only been achieved through the hard work of a key number of members who volunteer many hours of their own time to keep the club running. Membership is key to the future success and the club will be looking for new members again next season.