Harpenden Bowling Club with a slight change to tradition - all to honour loyal club man.

Usually their opening day gala sees the club flag raised by the president but this year Angus Low passed the honour onto fellow member Barrie Hills.

For 29 years, Hills has been a loyal servant to the club and has had various roles both bestowed on him and taken up, including mid-week captain all along side being a well-respected player.

He is particularly well known at clubs across St Albans & District who appreciate his ability to play, lead and enliven any match with his jovial and light hearted conversations with his opposite numbers.

The gala itself was an enjoyable, albeit chilly affair. It was well attended and was won by the ex-captains who overcame the president's selection.

St Albans Bowling Club's first match of the new season was a mixed triples friendly away to Luton & Ashcroft.

The hosts, who were able to include an England disabilities international, proved too strong, winning on three of the four rinks.

St Albans did claim the victory on the other though by a score of 21-11, all through the efforts of Linda Burfield, Ian Woodcock and skip Kevin Yiu.