The Christmas and New Year break has definitely given the men at Sidmouth Bowls Club a great start to their New Year bowling, writes Carol Smith.

We started the week with an excellent win in the National Over 60's Rinks Knockout Competition, played at home to four of Madeira's finest. Madiera started well and, after five ends, were 7-3 in front.

However, our men certainly got their act together and Madeira surprisingly scored just one more shot over the next 13 ends, whereas Sidmouth men scored another 17 shots to win the game 20–8.

Great result for Andrew Lowe, John Mason, Paul Irvine and skip Don Smith. This now puts them into the Zone final against either a team from Exonia or Isca.

There was also a great overall win against South Hams in the InterClub, 75 to 69 shots, which I believe gives them 10 of the available 14 shots to bank.  The home rink of Brian Deam, David Parsons, Clive Brook and skip John Mason won 21 - 14. The second home rink kept their loss down to just two shots.

Away, the rink of John Richards, Wilf Radburn, John Chew and skip David Timms also had a good win by the same score of 21 - 14. The second away rink also managed to keep their losses down.

More good news, this time the Ladies County Pairs. Brenda Somerfield and Jill Bishop played their third game against yet another pair from Madeira. The Madeira ladies won 12 of the 21 ends, there were also two "dead" ends but our duo were the victors, winning with a great score of 25 - 16.

They are now in our Section final and will play two of Honiton’s finest, Carole Binmore and Sue Evans. This will be played on a neutral green sometime soon, watch this space!

Sidmouth ladies played a friendly against our neighbours from Honiton, a terrific morning game played in a great spirit.  Our triple of Lynn Pike, Elaine Reed and skip Jane Painter had a great win of 17 - 9.

Our second triple of Sue Doughty, Anita Mason and skip Karen Hollingdale had a very close game, going into the final end level at 13 all. It was a good end with the shot changing several times, however Honiton won the end to finish 14 - 13. Our third triple, well, suffice to say, things didn't go too well and they were out-bowled. The final overall score being Sidmouth 37 and Honiton the victors on 47.

Next came our Ladies indoor Captains Day. It was a lovely, well organised day with good food, drinks and lots of laughter. Captain Sue's teams wore Pink and Captain Marie's teams wore Blue. There were two sessions meeting halfway for our lunch, which was prepared by Sue, Lynn and catering guru Debbie. 

The men on our committee: Clive, Patrick, Tony and Captain Paul did a great job of not only serving but doing all the washing up. Ron opened the bar for us and sold a fair amount of wine, which probably contributed to all the afternoon laughter. 

Anyway, a great day was had by all with the Pink team just winning the morning session by two shots, 47 – 45, also winning the afternoon session, 33 – 30, so a very close final aggregate  score being 80 shots to Sue's Pink team and 75 shots to Marie's Blue team. 

The best Blue rink of the day were Linda Knight, Sue Doughty and skip Christine Ward, with a great score of 17 - 9.  However, the top rink of the day were the afternoon Pink rink of Carole Williams, Lynn Pike and skip Carol Smith 24 - 13. 

On this evidence, bowls in Sidmouth is ready for a superstar 2024.