BOWLING: City of Derry look confidently to new season

Members and guests pictured at the opening of the 2015 season by City of Derry Bowling Club at the Lisnagelvin Bowling Greens. Included are, front row from left, Uel Galbraith, Treasurer, James Moore MBE, who was made an honorary member of the club, former Mayor, Brenda Stevenson, who was a guest at the event, and Charlie McDaid, President. INLS1515-102KM
Members and guests pictured at the opening of the 2015 season by City of Derry Bowling Club at the Lisnagelvin Bowling Greens. Included are, front row from left, Uel Galbraith, Treasurer, James Moore MBE, who was made an honorary member of the club, former Mayor, Brenda Stevenson, who was a guest at the event, and Charlie McDaid, President. INLS1515-102KM

It’s that time of year again, that time when the extra hour of daylight is greeted with a reverence that heralds the approach of something special.

The greens are already in manicured magnificence and the language is earnestly centred on Taylor Lignoid, Henselite and Drake’s Pride.

The rallying call to members is to assemble at City of Derry rinks on Saturday April 2nd at 1pm and ostensibly to bring a friend to the opening day of the 2016 season.

President elect George Burns leads an administration that has a distinctly leaner look this term with the absence of the club’s third team, Lisnagelvin. The logistics and pressures associated with fielding three teams, onerous at the best of times, ultimately became untenable. When the numbers were crunched, the outcome revealed that options had narrowed considerably and the two team representation was decided on for the incoming season.

In an effort to boost recruitment of new members, the Lisnagelvin greens will be open and available to newcomers till the end of April to allow them to ‘test the waters’ free of charge.

This year’s AGM returned Ian Montgomery as Secretary, Uel Galbraith as Treasurer and, as already stated, George Burns as the new City of Derry President

President Burns, as is his wont, will lead from the front with a momentum that will be nothing less than frenetic.

His acceptance speech charted a path that was optimistic in the extreme, with all new horizons seen as attainable challenges.

For the new season, Robin Donaghy will captain the City of Derry ‘A’ team and Raymond Hutchinson will lead the ‘B’ side.

The ‘A’ team will open proceedings on the 23rd of April with the sternest of tests as they go head to head with last years champions Cookstown. Nothing like starting at the summit. The ‘B’ team open their account in a tussle with Coleraine ‘B’.

Back now to matters domestic as the spotlight is firmly fixed on Saturday, April 2nd and City of Derry’s Opening Day.

This day is the precursor to the cut-and-thrust of competitive fixtures and is embraced eagerly by club members.

Proceedings begin with the dignified unfurling of the club flag, followed by the opening of the greens and the ceremonial throwing of the first bowl by the wife of the President.

This year, Beth Burns will perform the perfunctory task to set 2016 in motion.

The day will continue with an inter-club competition and this traditionally is the opportunity to flex taught sinews and dull wit. Old pal’s session it most certainly is not.

The dots for the new campaign are almost all joined up and the finishing touches are being applied.

Every new season is rich with expectation and this one is no exception.

All start behind the same white line, how things will then progress is the stuff of drama.