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Anger over rules misinterpretation by council staff

By David Porter

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Chaos was caused by Aberdeenshire Council claiming to misinterpret a Scottish Office circular.

This resulted in the Garioch Indoor Bowling Centre being totally closed, when it should only have been the 10 Pin Bowling area closing.

Secretary of the Club, Bill Conn received an email with the news last Monday which was made known to all the players.

Mike Barron, hearing of this closure notice made contact with Grampian Trading Standard Department last Wednesday to be told that a notice was being served on the five Shire and City Indoor Bowling Clubs to “cease operations until further notice”.

Trading standards officer Elaine Whyte, responsible for this action at the Fraserburgh Office was emphatic that this was the correct interpretation.

The Club was closed to play from Wednesday to Sunday, but following considerable discussion behind the scenes, opened again on Monday, with the clear instruction from SportScotland’s Andrew Sinclair, head of Active Scotland division, who confirmed “Indoor bowls is a non-contact sport, and can continue to be played by adults.

“Trading Standards are wrong.”

With no grants during the March/ September, and no income the Club is in a precarious situation financially, and the loss of income from the closure is just under £1000.

Turning to bowls and the reaction from players, at seniors matches comments were quite vociferous about the loss of Tuesday to Saturday play.

Many of them have bowls as their only outing in the week, as being seniors, their shopping is delivered.

The Conn team returned to winning ways against the strong Jim Bruce rink

In terms of bowling the Hepburn rink continued to win, beating SandyFraser trio 11-9.

They were 6-0 up at the third, relaxed a little, and found themselves 9-7 up, with the final four ends going in turns for the 11-9 win.

Gordon Sievewright has a strong trio with Bill Mellis second and Stewart Spence at lead and they gave no mercy to newcomer Jim Grant from Kemnay, who went down 7-23.

Eric McIntosh lost in the Tuesday Triples to the Reid trio.

The Spence team took Madill to 20-8, while the strong Murrison trio, including Sandra and Norman Hepburn, went down 7-10 to the Low’s who had Alex MacGaughey as skip.

Robbie Cheyne was coasting 15-6, with two ends to go, and nearly tied the match. Cheyne lost 4 shots at the second end, and was down another four, with Craig drawing for a fifth but he came up short with his final bowl to end Cheyne 15 - Craig 14.

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