Monday, March 1 is the opening day of an International Crown Green Bowling Festival at Alvor Bowls Club, when teams representing Portugal compete against bowlers representing the UK. The majority of the visitors from the touring side are from the Huddersfield Examiner Newspaper Group, who are no strangers to the Algarve.
Monday commences with selected teams bowling both singles and doubles, which may prove difficult for the expat ‘crowners’ who have become used to rink restrictions, strict dress codes, lack of atmosphere and absence of characters and gamesmanship, all of which form part of their only alternative!
Tuesday is a rest day but Wednesday sees the start of two days of the random drawn ‘Round Robin’ with all contestants bowling three rounds and group winners progressing to the final rounds. First round losers will be included in a ‘must try harder’ secondary competition!
Things will get serious on Friday morning when the final knockout stages commence. Wagers will be struck, gamesmanship will be apparent in all corners and the atmosphere will become increasingly electric as the final approaches and support increases for the favourites.
The organisers, Peter Clarke, Janette Oneill and the management of Alvor Bowls Club, hope that this will be the first of many such events. With a prize fund in excess of €500, it is hoped there will be entries from former crown green bowlers along with the best of the rink specialists as well as vociferous crowds of spectators every day.
Spectators, who can watch the games for free, are a most important element of these competitions, and breakfasts, lunches and a great selection of refreshments will be available throughout the festival.
The entry fee for up to four days bowling, including lunch on finals day, is €50 and the event is limited to 32 bowlers.
Anyone interested in entering should contact Peter on 965 700 536 or Connie Borrell on 964 444 452.
By Stuart Greenwood
Photo from left: Stuart Greenwood, Janette Oneill and Peter Clarke