Thursday 17 July 2014

Matthews clinches best prize in national rallying

Our European Sales Manager, Neil Matthews, took a double victory on this weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages. Not only did he win his class by a comfortable margin of 1 minute 23 seconds, he also netted the biggest prize in national rallying the Ravenol Nicky Grist Challenge.

Partnered for the first time by Bridgnorth co-driver Jez Rogers, Matthews nearly threw any opportunity of success away with a 3rd gear crash on the events very first stage. “There was a dust cloud left by the previous car still hanging just before a fast left hand bend, I thought I still had some straight road to brake on but I was proven wrong. We left the road on the right and hit a bank and tree stump which pitched the car onto two wheels and we were very lucky not to roll” commented Quinton Motor Club’s Matthews. The pair continued but the rear suspension was badly damaged and emergency repairs were carried out over the rest of the morning, until a full repair could be completed at the lunchtime halt “We lost a lot of time during the morning stages as the handling of the car was badly affected, I knew I had to really push in the second half of the event to maintain any chance of being in the running for the prize” said a frustrated Matthews.

Following the full repair of the Bowyer powered Vauxhall Nova, Matthews stormed through the afternoon stages to reel in his fellow 1600cc competitors and take the class victory. This would put him in with a good chance in the class based competition with an unrivalled prize of a full seasons paid entries into the 2015 BTRDA –Britain’s top national gravel championship, along with up to £3000 worth of Ravenol high performance lubricants.

Matthews commented “We hadn’t had the best of mornings but it seemed to really come together on the afternoons stages. We knew we had clinched the class but the naming of the winner of the challenge was held off until the event presentation. It was quite nerve racking waiting for the announcement, which has obviously made me immensely happy. I am a clubman competitor and to win what I believe to be the biggest prize available during my rallying career feels great. I can know look to plan a full campaign for 2015, something which has never been financially viable for me previously. I must take this opportunity to thank my supporters who have made this attempt possible, and of course Brian Chase of Ravenol and Nicky Grist for this prize.

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Photo accreditation to Stuart Woodier of rally action

Thursday 5 December 2013

A new generation of lawn green bowlers

Lawn Green Bowling goes back to the 13th century. Played outdoors, it’s becoming the game of British Summer with the season being from April to September.

Our very own Material Controller, Roy Clarke, entered in this year’s Lawn Green bowling league. Roy has only been playing for two years after retiring from golf. This was Roy’s first season being in the league and he proudly got to 4 different finals. The two he won were Men’s Round Robin, which Roy won having the best of 3 sets, and Men’s Pair’s, which he won with his partner Ian Williams.  

Winning two titles after only bowling for 2 years, we must give sincere appreciation to his 83 year old mentor, Brian Foster. Brian has taught Roy everything he knows about Lawn Green Bowling, including the line & right method. All the action takes place on a standard bowling green, which is a flat square 40x40m. This is divided into six playing areas called rinks.

After a coin toss, the first bowler (the lead) places the mat and rolls the jack to the other end of the green as a target. The jack must travel at least 23m and, when it comes to rest, it is moved across to the centre of the rink. The players then take turns to bowl.

When all the bowls have been played, a competitor or team gets one point for each of their bowls that is closer to the jack than the opponent's closest bowl.

After all the bowls have been delivered, the direction of play is reversed. This is the end of an end!
 Lawn Green bowling was traditionally played by the older generation. However, recently it’s becoming a popular game to younger crowds. Roy is a proud member of the 100 year old Hewell Bowling Club in Worcestershire.

The game itself is taken very seriously, including the etiquette around the game. Specific rules are set for dressing during and after the game. Such as for when playing on the green, one must where their all white kit, then after one must wear club blazer and tie before saying grace at diner!

Well done Roy on your new trophies! We look forward to more stories and more wins!