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Two seasons ago, the Algarve Bowling League was set up with the aim of developing and fostering the game of bowls in the Algarve, and in Portugal generally. While there is naturally a competitive element among members, the emphasis is very much on friendship, sportsmanship and good fellowship.

So what is the state of play in the league? The Clube Praia D’Oura (CPO) team was the champion last season and the 2003/2004 bowling season is now about half way through. Each of the six teams involved has already played six matches and every team has won three games and lost three games, so any of the teams could still walk away with the league title. Alvor Greens currently top the league with 34 points, followed by PDF Sinners with 29 points. After this comes PDF Crusaders also on 29 points, Alvor Blues with 25 points, CPO with 23 points and Tavira County also on 23 points.

The league itself has now been formally constituted and applications for future memberships are welcomed. League matches are played on Saturday afternoons, usually during November and January/February. The league has also introduced a Double Rink knock out competition, with two teams from each club participating. This has reached the final stage and PDF Ravens will play Alvor at Tavira on Saturday, February 21 at 1pm. The teams will be competing for the Cameron Cup, kindly donated by Bill and Joan Cameron of the Tavira Club.

As part of its development and maturity, the league is now planning the introduction of a Champion of Champions Tournament for the respective singles champions of each member club. Next season will also see the introduction of the Algarve Bowling League Championships, and the organisers are inviting entries from singles, pairs and triples from any member of affiliated clubs.

The game of bowls appears to be in dedicated and safe hands, both in the Algarve and in Portugal, and the organisers are looking forward to more exciting developments as an expanding league gains further experience and maturity.

• For more information, please contact Jan McGlyn, secretary of the Algarve Bowling League, on 289 315 326.