LIKE many that play bowls, Rod Weedall wants to produce his best in a final.

His results on Sunday, when the 73rd edition of the Guardian Cup reached a conclusion, were particularly impressive.

“Immaculate,” was Steve Curbishley’s verdict after the final.

“The lads have told me he’s the best in the league, and they’re right.”

As greenkeeper, Weedall didn’t send a wood at Winsford Conservative Club on Sunday.

However his preparations were as thorough as any of the eight bowlers.

“I was here at nine o’ clock to cut it,” he said.

“But I wasn’t happy and so I came back a couple of hours later, knocked the blades down a notch, and did it again.

“I’m glad I did; it had a bit more run in it after that.”

It’s not that he felt under pressure.

But for a final, when players and their supporters visit from rival clubs, there is pride at stake.

From the moment Peter Walton, competition secretary for the Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association, asked them to host, members at the Ways Green club doubled their efforts.

Weedall said: “You’ve got to get it something like because the Guardian Cup is a prestigious competition.

“We change our routine, and that means spending more time on it.

“You have to be careful though because half an hour can become three without you realising.”

Like many of the volunteers that look after greens at clubs in mid Cheshire, he has learned on the job.

All the while, he’s been getting to grips as well with the game itself after only starting to play after he retired.

“I had no interest in bowls whatsoever until I stopped working at 65,” he added.

“Even then it wasn’t at the top of my list.

“I always said when I get too old for golf and fishing, then I’d take up knitting. Bowls came after that!

“As for the green, I was asked to cut it five years ago and got lumbered with looking after it.

“I’ve been figuring it out ever since.”

He appears to have the hang of it.

A small group of helpers include Joyce, his wife, and one or two others.

Weedall said pleas for further assistance often had little response.

However that doesn’t appear to have lessened his own enthusiasm.

He said: “I spent all winter getting it ready.

“You can’t just lock the gates when the season finishes and turn up again in April.

“Some people think you can let it die off and then it will come alive again on its own, but they’re wrong.

“It’s been better this year, much better.

“Last summer was one of the worst we’ve had weather-wise.”

It hardly rained, while this summer has been a stark contrast.

While the rest of us curse, the likes of Weedall want more of the same.

At least for now.

“We’ve got four competitions here in the space of 10 days and this is the first,” he said.

“They’re queuing up to come on.

“That’s a compliment, I suppose, but it’s also plenty of work.”

And, sometimes, that graft can be thankless.

Curbishley, who lifted the trophy after beating Simon Jones in the final, did at least acknowledge how well the green looked and played.

His opponent did the same.

Weedall said: “There’s always one or two that blame me when they lose, but it’s never down to me if they win!

“It’s nice they noticed.”