Gosport celebrated their return to the top flight of the Portsmouth & District League by producing a shock win.
They defeated reigning champions Southsea Waverley by one shot as the sun shone at Anglesey Gardens.
In a hard-fought match, it was probably the efforts of Jim Oswell’s rink – in gaining seven shots over the last five ends to draw their match against Paul Cooke – that turned the tide in Gosport’s favour.
Gosport had two winning rinks – Dave Blackledge scoring a three-shot success and Ken Kingston taking victory by one. Matthew Marchant won Waverley’s sole rink by three.
Waterlooville lost another close battle at Lee-on-the-Solent – again by one shot – with each team winning on two rinks.
It’s been a bad start to the season for last year’s runners-up Rowner A, who suffered a second defeat – this time by 11 shots at home to Fareham.
Fareham then made the most of the Waverley’s slip-up when – in a game rearranged because of rain – they recorded a home win over Lee-on-the-Solent by seven shots to take top spot in the division.
Cyril Friend’s 10-shot victory for Fareham was matched by Lee’s Peter Gentry.
That meant Dorian Bishop’s six-shot win swung the game for Fareham.
Alexandra soundly beat Priory by 38 shots, thanks to Geoff Anderson’s 20-shot win over Nigel Mundy.
In the remaining division one game, College Park almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
However, they held on to claim a one-shot victory over Vospers.
Leading by seven with only two ends remaining, Vospers gained six shots on the two rinks in play – failing on the measure to get the win.
For Vospers, Marty Wake won by 19 and Dave Harding by four.
In reply, Steve Feilder won by 13 and Adrian Snook by 11 for College Park.
Denmead, who were relegated last term, started strongly in division two with a 31-shot win at Bridgemary.
Tony Sewell’s 14-shot win over Peter Cooper led the way.
Portsmouth Water carried on from their 100-per-cent season last year with a 14-shot win at Milton Park, thanks to Keith Wright’s 13-shot defeat of Dave Biggs.
The other two matches were much closer affairs, however.
Cowplain defeated Copnor by one, thanks to Graham King grabbing three shots on the last end of the match.
Leigh Park also had a one-shot away win at Star & Crescent – despite dropping six shots overall on the last end of each rink.
Two clubs had huge wins in division three.
Bedhampton thrashed Phoenix (114-51) by 63 shots, while Crofton (101-54) also broke the 100-shot barrier with their 47-shot win at Forton.
Elsewhere, Naismith beat Purbrook Heath by nine, Cosham had a four-shot win at Emsworth and Pembroke Gardens beat Gas Social by two.
n Cosham Bowls Club are holding open days this weekend.
The Cosham Park outfit will throw open their gates from midday to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Members of the public are invited to come along and give bowls a try.
If you have never played before, now is your chance.
All you’ll need to do is wear trainers or flat shoes.