Bowled over by a return to playing

THE 12 bowling teams from Dobcross Band Club are ready for a long-awaited return to competitive action.

Having lost the whole of the 2020 season because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the bowling section endured a frustrating time with only minimal practice permitted between lockdowns.

But with restrictions easing, the green at Dobcross Band Club reopened on March 29 for pre-booked practice.

Chairman Kevin Lawton admitted the 2021 season will be a step into the unknown.

Dobcross bowlers – Jane Lucas, treasurer of bowling section, and Mike Lucas, club committee member

Kevin captains the Dobcross team which plays in the Oldham Men’s Vets League which begins its fixtures on April 15.

However, teams play in nine different leagues and they all have different approaches as Kevin explained: “A lot of the leagues have postponed their starts until May and one of the ladies’ leagues is just having friendlies this year.

“The British Crown Green Bowling Association and Sport England have agreed the rules for team sport.

“We will be allowed to have up to 10 players in each team, but no spectators will be permitted.”

Kevin is hoping the bowling section will have retained most of its 80 members, the majority of who are of retirement age with some in their 80s.

He added that there was little practice last year, even when play was permitted.

“There were times when we could practice but not many did as most were scared as they were of retirement age,” he explained.

But with the leagues about to resume, Kevin is hoping more will get out to play.

Kevin took up bowls shortly after retiring in 2008 and served as secretary before becoming chairman of the bowls section.

He added the past year has been a challenge financially with no income, but still needing to spend on maintaining the green.

“We have survived, and our grateful thanks go to Chris Marsden for carrying out the maintenance and mowing to reduce our external costs. The green is all ready and waiting for us to come back,” Kevin continued.

The club is looking for new members of all ages. They particularly need new players for the Tuesday night women’s teams and Wednesday night team men’s team.

They have club competitions, afternoon leagues for the over 60s and evening leagues for all ages.

If anyone is interested in learning more or having an introductory session then please contact Jane Lucas 07593 349964 or Chris Marsden 07754 461769 for more information.

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