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Current Committee



GSMBA History

The Gloucestershire Short Mat Bowling Association was established in June 1999, but its roots trace back to 1992. That year, five local clubs—three from Gloucestershire and two from Herefordshire—came together to compete in the inaugural Macmillan Charity match. The clubs from Herefordshire were Lea and Fownhope, while Listers, Quedgeley, and Brockweir represented Gloucestershire. Brockweir had the honor of winning the first trophy.

These pioneering clubs laid the foundation for a joint association of Short Mat Bowling Clubs spanning both counties. At the time, the English Short Mat Bowling Association’s regulations stipulated that at least five clubs were needed to form a county-level representation. Consequently, the clubs sought recognition for a unique ‘dual county’ status, a testament to their collaborative spirit and shared passion for the sport.

Norman Davies from Lea SMBC in Herefordshire was fittingly chosen as the inaugural chairman of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire SMBA, recognizing his pivotal role in founding and developing Short Mat Bowling locally.

The initial committee also included Treasurer Norman Allen from Fownhope SMBC in Herefordshire and Secretary Tom Hughes from Gloucestershire. Norman Davies believed the joint association was a provisional measure, yet it persisted until 1999. At that point, both counties amicably agreed to pursue individual memberships with the ESMBA, a move that was formally recognized by the association. Subsequently, both Herefordshire and Gloucestershire were welcomed into the Inter-county “A” Team competition as the new millennium dawned.

It’s important to acknowledge that the late Norman Davies was the cornerstone of the original group, and his tireless dedication to the cause has left us all deeply indebted… our heartfelt thanks go to Norman.

The Gloucestershire Short Mat Bowling Association (SMBA) has consistently grown stronger over the years. After clinching the “A” Team Consolation Trophy consecutively in 2003/4 and 2004/5 with Stewart Minchew as captain, the county team ascended to the Premier Division in the 2005/6 season, a position they’ve maintained ever since. In the 2011/2 season, the GSMBA expanded its reach by fielding both a Premier Team and an “A” Team, providing more members with the opportunity to compete at the Inter-County level.

The connection with Herefordshire remains robust, with both counties frequently competing in the same Premier Division. They also engage in Summer matches to vie for the Bill Mackie Cup. Bill Mackie, a well-respected Gloucestershire County Captain known in both counties, is commemorated through this competition after he passed away in 2008.

The LEH Trophy, harking back to the formative years of the two counties, represents another link. Open to any club within these counties, the trophy is generously sponsored by Norman Allen, taking its name from his business, Lifting Equipment Hire. The contest operates on a knockout format, with each round comprising home and away matches. Victory goes to the team with the greatest aggregate score across both games. Comprising ten players—singles, pairs, triples, and fours—the competition fosters inter-county club connections.

The connections with Herefordshire remain robust, as do the ties with neighbouring counties such as Avon, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire, and even with more distant ones like the West Midlands. The senior teams from Gloucestershire and the West Midlands compete for the Roy Sentance Cup, a tribute to Roy who passed away in February 2010 while serving as Chairman of the GSMBA. He is warmly remembered by many from these counties.

The GSMBA is dedicated to fostering the growth of the sport and preserving these amicable relationships for many years to come.