Season Summary

Again, its that time of year again – blinked and you missed it!

Its been a solid season for the club, although we retained the Millennium trophy for the 2nd season running we failed to maintain our league form in each league. We can be pleased with finishing 6th in the South West Durham League, as it was our 1st season in the 1st Division. Our final game in the Durham and District League ruined what was almost a very successful run, we need 7 points to win the league and we lost 1-0 at home to Wolsingham. The Sherwood League saw us finish 3rd which was ok but after doing the league/cup double last season in was quite a drop back.

Despite all this our biggest success was gaining 5 new bowlers, not only were they an asset on the bowls green, they are probably showing more interest in the club on a social side that our old regulars. This can only help take the club forward – we have 3 social events planned over the winter and will be ordering club shirts in the close season.

Links to final results and league tables can be found on our fixtures page!

See below this seasons successful competition bowlers, a massive well done to all but an even bigger well done to Barry Hopkins Jnr who became only our 6th ever Durham County Champion Winner:-

Mick Coleman Shield
Winner – Stacey Pattison
Runner-Up – S. Morland

Stan Johnson Plate
Winner – B. Hopkins Jnr
Runner-Up – Sam Pattison

George Hill Trophy
Winner – J. Pattison/Sam Pattison
Runners-Up – K. Bousfield/M. Hole

Fred Hopkins Trophy
Winner – S. Hopkins
Runner-Up – B. Hopkins Jnr

James Morrison Trophy
Winner – S. Hopkins
Runner-Up – S. Morland

Centenary Shield
Winner – J. Pattison/Stacey Pattison
Runner-Up – Sam Pattison/G. Gamble

Glass Bowl
Winner – P. Bailey/R. Price
Runners-Up – S. Morland/R. Pattison

Henderson Shield (Quoits)
Winner – M. Hole
Runner-Up – J. Pattison

Sherwood Triples
Runners-Up – S. Morland/M. Hole/K. Bousfield

SW Durham League Singles
Winner – B. Hopkins Jnr

Durham County George Turley Champions of Champions
Winner – B. Hopkins Jnr

Sherwood League Champion of Champions
Winner – S. Hopkins

Durham County Ladies Under 25 Singles
Runner-Up – J. Hopkins

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For all 2014 season photos click here.

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We Retain Millennium Cup

After another fantastic season in the Durham & District Leagues Millennium Cup we managed to battle by Spennymoor after an extra end to retain the trophy for a 2nd year.

Last years team that included the exited Mathew Raftree gave way for Dave Beck to enter to fold and he stepped up to the task fantastically.

7 players took part over the competition – Dave Beck, Simon Brodie, Jane Pattison, Scott Morland, Barry Hopkins, Sandra Hopkins and Barry Hopkins Jnr. All played a massive part along the way with some massive games especially against Houghton Dairy Lane, an extra end against Pelton Fell and also in the final against Spennymoor. All of these teams have some great bowlers and to achieve this for the 2nd year in fantastic for our club!

Social Improvements

South Park Bowls Club aims to be the leaders of small bowls clubs in Darlington. While other clubs are dying we have increased membership this year and can report of increasing attempts to build relations and the social image of bowls.

This week we are pleased to say we had a night out at Darlington Quoit Club. A sport with a similar reputation to Bowls yet we loved it. We were invited as a team and took 12 of our members for a few beers and an introduction to Quoits.

We can only thank Robin Price and colleagues at the Quoit Club for their hospitality in which we hope to make these social events a regular thing.

As a club next year we hope to pencil in a variety of events into the bowling calendar, these are to include promotional events and fund raising events which include the general public as well as social nights out for our bowlers.

If we have a successful AGM next week we may be looking to become a Registered Sports Club which we may look to improve the facility at our green, but watch this space……………..

Scouts Try Bowls Out!

Thanks to Ken Bousfield we had a collection of Scouts and their families giving bowls a try this morning. Ken is new to the sport this season himself and is also a scout leader on Friday nights. It was a pleasure having them, hopefully a few photos of the morning will be in our gallery soon as soon as I resolve its technical problems :-/

Thanks to Barry Hopkins and Paul Bailey who helped host the morning, Barry quotes ‘the kids show a lot of promise’. Barry is our qualified Bowls Coach who used to help run the Darlington Indoor Bowls Youth Scheme and will hopefully be involved in many coaching sessions that we hope to schedule in 2015.

Again if anyone wants to try the sport or take it up as a new hobby please contact me Scott Morland scott@southparkbowls.co.uk or 07984 603455.

Many Thanks!

Petition to disband from DPBA – Please Sign!!

Please all note, this petition is now on hold. Discussions are in place for a resolution – Many Thanks for your support.

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Background
As you are probably aware the bowlers of South Park currently pay the Darlington Parks Bowling Association (DPBA). This means we pay them to look after North Park and North Lodge Bowls Green. We receive no benefits as a club and no repairs from the DPBA, we pay our fees to them and have to find further funds to provide basic equipment for our members.
Currently we abide to the DPBA’s unwritten rules, are rarely invited to meetings and we are yet to see any accounts this year, let alone an AGM for the 2014 Season. We do not feel the Association is running a democratic system and they certainly have little positive impact on Bowls played at South Park.

Darlington Borough Council currently has the responsibility of the day to day running of our green due to their commitment from lottery funding of South Park, however the bowlers of South Park are effectively trapped in the middle – the facility is getting considerably worse season upon season, vandalism is increasing, and public respect has gone.
We basically look to disband from the DPBA and become part of the South Park Community to safeguard the future of the facility and its players.

We have attempted to negotiate and have made proposals offering the DPBA a significant donation to ensure we do not ruin their endeavours. (that is not our aim).
The Council kindly was willing to act as mediators to help find a middle ground and the 1st meeting seemed a good start. Unfortunately the DPBA stalled the day before the 2nd meeting with no future discussion date suggested other than they weren’t willing to discuss fees themselves until at least September and have distanced themselves from any involvement with South Park.

The result of this means we are now pleading to the Council to set us free and are no longer willing to sit and watch our facility/clubs go under without a fight!

I have regular meetings with the Park based staff to discuss our issues and despite how great they have been so far they are yet to make a decision to influence the issue either way. We expect to get 100% of the bowlers at South Park to sign but feel our case will be strengthened if we can show a wider audience from the sport in Darlington.

We have seen what wonderful things Hundens Bowling Association are doing with their freedom and despite us not having their membership numbers and willing volunteers they have inspired us to aim high.

The Long Term Plan
We are forming a South Park Bowling Association for all the Parks Bowlers; this is to become a fundraising Association and hopefully charity. We aim to raise funds for extra works not undertaken now such as green repairs/boarding repairs/a mini fence around the green. Basically anything that improves the environment for the bowlers and more so the park itself.

We are forming an allegiance with Friends of the South Park and are building relationships with Darlington Borough Council and Darlington Quoit Club. We have also started bringing clubs/junior groups to the Park such as the Districts Scouts. We aim to further this by inviting school groups and offer coaching sessions on set dates every year to encourage new bowlers.
Our Aims:-
1. To give the facility back to the people of Darlington and Join in with the Parks Annual Events (allowing public access to the green on these days)
2. To improve the facility.
3. To promote the sport.

If successful everyone in Darlington is welcome to join our Association free of charge to have their say on decisions regarding the facility. This will be a democracy and funds gained from bowler’s fees will be used to benefit Bowls and the Park and we must be flexible to everybody’s needs!