There was great weather for bowls clubs this week and they took full advantage.

Harpenden ladies got off to an encouraging start in the Women's Top Club competition by beating Hemel Hempstead and setting up a clash with Welwyn & District in the next round.

The men meanwhile set up a clash with Welwyn Garden City in the next round of the National Top Club competition by beating Potters Bar in the first round.

John Osborn got the first point on the board for Harpenden with a 19-4 win in the two-bowl singles and Nick Muir followed that up with a 21-9 win in the four-bowl singles. 

Harpenden's triple of Kevin Brazier, Trevor Glanfield and Tony Redford secured the overall victory, but they need one shot on the final end to do so, winning 16-15.

At that point, the pair of Trevor Tharby and Neil Herrington were leading comfortably 21-10 while Harpenden's four of Andy Stephenson, Gordon Burrow, Roy Polley and David Brooks held a 19-15 advantage.

A mixed triples friendly against Stotfold resulted in an exciting and tight match, but a six-shot loss.

Townsend Bowls Club welcomed a strong contingent from Berkhamsted to Waverley Road for a four-rink midweek clash.

The St Albans-based hosts started strongly but their guests soon found their rhythm, and with tea being taken after nine ends, the home team then needed to refocus in order to cement their victory.

As it was Townsend won on all four rinks, and by an overall score of 88-43. 

Three rinks produced big wins.

Lorna Thomson, Ian Forster and Robbie Ransted triumphed 22-11 while the next two both won by 16 shots, a 23-7 success for Sandra White, John Oakey and Andy Scarborough and a 27-11 victory for Les Perkins, Nigel Whittle and Bob Lawrie.

The club also hosted the St Albans & District fixture against London Scottish.

Due to clashing commitments, the home numbers were somewhat depleted, but their hosts stepped in to make up six rinks.

The afternoon started with a nearest the jack competition, which resulted in the top prize of a bottle of whisky finding its way back to its homeland.

However, that turned out to be the only win for the visiting team as the combined District and Townsend squad won 137-75 overall and on all six rinks.

Three Townsend rinks ended up being the highest scorers, with Brendhan Silke, Roger Potter and Andy Scarborough winning 30-18 and Gordon Clapworthy, Les Perkins and Alan Charran by 27-13.

The top rink though was Phil Rayner, Ian Forster and Peter Thomson who won 25-6.

St Albans Bowling Club's ladies had two games this week.

A district rinks league match at home to Kings Langley ended in a draw, one rink finishing 18-18 and the other 14-14. 

On Thursday, the ladies played an enjoyable triples match away to Hemel Hempstead, but finished on the wrong side of a 58-40 result.

The top rink for St Albans, winning 20-14 included Deidre Moynihan and Brenda Pitkin.

Batchwood Hall have had a tremendous start to the season in the St Albans & District Bowling Association competitions.

Brian Parkes has already beaten two club champions, from Shire Park and Townsend, to reach the semi-final of the Stan Winters Champion of Champions.

He now faces a formidable challenge in the last four, reigning champion from Harpenden, Nick Muir.

Parkes continued his success in the Steve Howe Officers Singles, overcoming club-mate John Bell to reach the third round.

He will now play Gus Edwards of Shire Park in a rematch from last year's final which Edwards won.

Two Batchwood teams have entered the Stockman-Winser Mixed Fours competition.

The first team to play, David and Jenny Gauthier, Sandra Clark and David Richardson, beat Harperbury 22-8.

In the national competitions, Batchwood's team of David Richardson, Jackie Bell, and Jerry and Yvonne McAuliffe came from behind to beat Metropolitan Bushey 19-16.

In friendly matches, Batchwood won against Radlett, Hatfield and Berkhamsted but lost to Redbourn and Potters Bar.