A CELEBRATION match to mark the selection of Ilminster Bowling Club as Bowls England’s ‘Club of the Year’ will take place on Monday, June 10, from 1.30pm.

The title is awarded annually to the club that is judged to have shown the greatest efforts to promote the club, increase membership and work with the local community.

Ilminster BC is very active on social media and continues to engage with regularly with local media; in the last 12 months, the club has gained four new sponsors.

Bowls England chief executive Tony Allcock MBE said: “It is clear that many clubs are raising their game to recruit and retain new members.

“It was unanimously felt that Ilminster BC’s work to increase membership across all ages and abilities gave them the edge.”

President Hazel Marke, from Alton Social Bowls Club in Hampshire, will bring a 24-strong Bowls England side to contest a six-rink mixed fixture against Ilminster members.

The Bowls England side will consist of members of the current Bowls England presidential team, including Paul Robson (Hampshire), Terri Keen (Buckinghamshire) and Bill Smith (Leicestershire).

Marke said: “A celebration match against a Bowls England representative side is an ideal way for a club to celebrate their special occasion in style.

“We hope that our visit will leave a lasting impression on the club, and ensure many new friendships are made both on and off the green.”

Rachel Charles, Ilminster president, added: “As a club, Ilminster has always prided itself on the services it provides to all members, both playing and non-playing, and the role it plays in supporting the local community.

“Having been runner-up for this award in 2017, to win in 2018 is something of which we are rightly proud.

“Our club is delighted that Bowls England will help us to enjoy this occasion with a celebration match.

“We look forward to welcoming Hazel and her team to Ilminster on our special day.”

The club will be presented with a Bowls England pennant to celebrate the occasion, while the best performing rinks for both sides will be awarded with a commemorative spoon to mark their success.

Latest Results

Mixed friendly - Ilminster 83, Fenton 61 (D Maull, J Weeks, B Dickie, M Wakeling 19-17 S Howley; T Pinder, S Dickie, D Crouch, B Pinder 20-16 D Coyne; E Reid, A Eckley, N Pugh, K Giles 25-11 C Jacob; S Wall, J Morris, L Beale, B Sims 19-17 A Kury).

Mixed friendly - Ilminster 124, Avon Vale 123 (E Turner, J Smith, B Ball, P Avery 22-15 S Howard; B Madden, A Beckley, B Dickie, K Giles 14-33 J Lowden; T Pinder, M Smith, D Hall, B Pinder 12-18 P Isles; E Reid, J Weeks, C White, D Crouch 22-19 S Ford; D Maull, R Madden, T Cole, H Grinter 20-24 J Wood; B Madden, S Dickie, C Cox, K Crouch 33-15 I Jenkins).

Wessex Mixed KO Cup - Ilminster 86, South Petherton 59 (S Lightfoot, C Robinson, Barry Sims 30-14 G Meecha; D Maull, H Grinter, M Mitchell 15-23 G Whittle; T Pinder, B Pinder, I Lightfoot 24-6 T Farrington; S Wall, P Avery, D Crouch 17-16 P Motram).