Introducing the London Irish Bowling Association

The Begining

The London Irish Bowling Association, which was originally known as the London Irish Bowls Club, was created in 1955, by recruiting Irish bowlers and those with an Irish name or connection, from a number of London Bowling Clubs.  Great support was given by the Guinness Club in many ways, not least by offering the use of the Guinness Club's facilities on match days.  Indeed the first President was C. E. Guinness whose earlier encouragement had been so instrumental in the successful creation of the Association.  By March 1956 there were 40 founding members who agreed that the Club should become an Association.  Hence, the birth of the London Irish Bowling Association.

As a result of a casual conversation, in 1961, between the then President (C. E. Guinness) and a member of the London Welsh there arose an annual outdoor competition, now known as the Miniature Internationals, between the London Welsh, Scottish, Irish and an appropriate team which could be 'dubbed'  the London English, who play for the Edward Guinness Trophy.  Since 1978 an indoor Miniature International has also been played.  Since 1961 the Association has gone from strength to strength and now has a membership of 320, and a waiting list of Clubs who wish to have an annual fixture.

Also see 'History of LIBA' page.

More Recently

2023 Outdoor Mini Internationals

The London Irish were successful in regaining the Edward Guinness trophy at Sutton yesterday, beating the Welsh in the first game, losing to the Scots in the second and beating the English in the third.

Pictured is the grandson Christopher, of Edward Guinness presenting the trophy to president Frank Oliver. Also our victorious captain Sean with the spoils. 

2023 Mini Internationals 1
Mini Internationals 3


2022 LIBA Singles Championship Competition

Congratulations to Noel O'Shea on regaining the London Irish Singles. Below you can see Noel with fellow finalist Mike Allen and our president Frank Oliver. The day also incorporated the captain's invitation. Clubs on the day were Putney Town, Mid Surrey and Southey.  A big thank you For Putney Town for allowing us to use their club for the match.

LIBA Singles 1 LIBA Singles 2022 2LIBA Singles 2022 3

2022 Indoor Mini Internationals

The London Irish made history yesterday by having ladies playing in the Mini International. With their help we were able to beat the Scots in the morning and the Welsh in the final in the afternoon. In the photos you can see the winning side. Later President Frank Oliver is being presented with The Edward Guinness Plate by Jim Lumsden of the London Scottish.  Our thanks also go to the Riverain club for looking after us so royally. 

Mini  Internationals 2022 1 

Mini Internationals2022 2 

2019 Outdoor Mini Internationals (In pictures)

Frank Oliver receiving the 2019 Winners Trophy

FrankOliver receiving the Winner's Trophy from
Edward Guinness's grandson

President & captain & Team

The President and the Captain holding the
winners trophy, with the London Irish team

Captains Invitation Day 2019

The pictures below show the presentation of, the Member of the Year Award to Frank Oliver, the Singles Trophy to Noel O'Shea and the Runners Up Plate to Ken McCarthy.

Frak OliverNoel O'SheaKen McCarthy

London Scottish Centenary Presentation

Frank Oliver  ondon cottish President 2019 

Irish president Frank Oliver presenting a commemorative glass bowl to London Scottish president Bob Alexander to celebrate the London Scottish centennial game against the London Irish. At Mid Surrey bowls club  

The 2019 Indoor Mini International

The picture below shows the LIBA Team about to play in the 2019 Mini Indoor Internationals at Riverain IBC.  In the Semi finals LIBA beat the Londo English 84 - 77, but lost the Final to the London Scottish by a single shot.

2019 Mini International Team 

The 2018 LIBA Tour to Portugal

The 2018 tour to Portugal proved to be very sussessful, with all three matches played producing a win for thr London Irish. We couldn’t have picked a better place to come and the weather has been wonderful, 26 everyday and although we had some light rain during the final match, with the warmth it didn’t matter as it only lasted a few minutes and we were dry in no time. All in all a marvellous holiday, thoroughly enjoyable The hotel and food was truly superb and the resort location was really ideal and beautiful with a lovely marina full of rich man’s toys!! The drink here is also very cheap, even a bottle of good quality wine can be bought for two euros. Irish member Mike Kett who now lives locally and played in the games has astounded us with the cheap cost of things to be found here on the Algarve !!!!  It has been a very happy tour with everyone getting on well together and the atmosphere among everyone was brilliant,         Click Here to view the match results.

Below are thumbnails of pictures from the first match at Valverde. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the picture

The Team at Valverd Bowling at Valverde

Pictures from second match Alvor.

 The Team at Alvor Bowlin at Alvor

Pictures from the third match at Pedras.

The Team at PedrasBowling at Pedras

The tour ended with a gala dinner.  Here are some photographs from the gala dinner minus  the LIBA Captain  who couldn’t attend due to sickness.

Gala dinner 1Gala dinner 2Gala dinner3

Following the dinner was the presentation evening for which the LIBA Captain was able to be present. The top man bowler was Eric Parsons and the top lady bowler was Janet Stokes.  The picture below shows Nigel Penn and FRank Oliver with Paul Lazenby, the Bowing Abroad representativve, who was presented with a LIBA Banner.

Nigel Frank and Paul Lazenby

And, finally, our lovely wonderful ladies.

The Ladies


The 2018 Outdoor Mini Internations won by theLondon Irish

The weather for the day was absolutely superb but unfortunately the greens were both in a very poor condition. Nevertheless it was pleasing to see Our President Frank Oliver be presented with the trophy by Sir Edward Guinness who is now 95 and was assisted by his grandson.

Sir Edward Guinnes presnting the trophy to Frank Oliver
Nigel Penn (Captain) Sir Edward Guinness and Frank Oliver holding the Trophy
The London Irish Team with the Trophy


Jack Owens Memorial Trophy

The picture below shows the winning captain Nigel receiving the the Jack Owens memorial trophy from Jack’s wife Ronnie, after the LIBA victory at Southey BC.

Jack Owens


The 2018 Indoor Mini  Internationals won by the London Irish

The Irish once again victorious as mini winners after beating the Welsh in the morning and beating the Scots in the afternoon.

See the 'Indoor Mini Results 'page for the scorecards and the Indoor Mini Badge winners and the 'Limavdy Trophy' page for the latest winners.

Congratulations to Captain Sean Fallon and the players of the London Irish team and a special mention of the two new Indoor Mini International players, Neil Kelsey and Nick Gaffney, who were part of the Limavady Trophy winning rink.


The 2018 Mini Team
The 2018 Mini International Team
Frank receiving the trophy

Frank is receiving the winners plate from John Brechin president of the London Scots

The 2018 LIBA Dinner/Dance

Adrian Mellet receiving the Falls Trophy  
Member of the Year, Adrian Mellett, receiving the Falls Vase from the LIBA President's wife Mary Oliver, and President Frank Oliver

The 2017 Outdoor Miniature Internationals

The Outdoor 'Minis' were at Sutton BC.  The Tropy was presented by the grandson of LIBA patron, Wedward Guinness.  The pictures below show the presentation.  The Barr trophy, presented to the Irish four with the highest aggregate score on the day of the Miniature Outdoor International, was won by Bruce Mac Bride, Noel O'Shea, Kevin McNamee and Des Hunter.

Minis Trophy presented to LIBA President

The Trophy Presentation by the grandson of Edward Guinness
 to LIBA President Frank Oliver

LIBA 2017 Outdoor Minis Team

The 2017 Outdoor LIBA Minis Teamwith the grandson
of Edward Giunness

The 2016 / 2017 Indoor Miniature Internationals

The Indoor “Minis” were again played at Riverain with the Semi Finals being played between, the Welsh versus the Irish and the Scottish versus the English. The picture below sows the 2017 team.

Indoor Mini 2017

The Results being:

The London Irish BA overcoming the London Welsh BA by 109 to 57, and the London Scottish winning over the London English by 91 to 58.

After lunch the battle was joined for the play-off positions in which the London English in a close contested game won by 97 to 83.

The Final between the Irish and the Scottish, which of course starts off at the same time, became a very exciting and hard fought game. The Irish started after 5 ends with a lead of ten shots, down to 4 after 10 ends, and with some great ends from the Scottish who now put themselves in front to 6 shots at 15 ends. One more shot added against the Irish with 18 ends played by each rink, but as some rinks having played more than others it finally came down to the best Irish rink in the morning session requiring a five to draw the game.

All the other competition bowlers, reserves plus visitors waited for the thought to be inevitable end of the game and the Irish hoping for a miracle. When the Irish had 4 of the shots required after the leads and twos had played the game was “on again”. Some players were then thinking they may have to dress back into whites.

Excitement, doubts and expectations grew when the back end made a five which quickly turned into a three by a lovely drawing wood. The Irish skip was then looking to wrest the Scottish wood. Everyone held their breath. The line and weight looked right but when it passed by less than 2 inches Irish hopes were dashed and the Scottish were exuberant.

What an end to the game, The Scottish have won the Mini Trophy and well deserved lads


The 2016 LIBA Tour to Northern Ireland

This short report summarises the tour experience. Great Clubs: Hospitality,meals and greens very good; players very welcoming and enjoyable to play against. Bobby our tour coach driver: Grand tour experiences as well as getting us to and from our games. Jury's Hotel: staff, rooms, accommodation and breakfasts were first rate and well situated for shopping etc in Belfast.

Pictures below show the men about start playing whilst the ladies go sight seeing

LIBA Tour 2016 2 
The LIBA team at Old Bleach Bowling Club 
LIBA Tour 2016 1 
LIBA Ladies sight seeing on tour

 Congratulations to Jim and Sue Collins who provided a well arranged event and sorted any unexpected problems.

The match results are shown below

22rd Aug: LIBA 90 -- 75 Belmont BC (Belfast)
23th Aug: LIBA 85 -- 68 Recreation Club (Limavady
25th Aug: LIBA 84 -- 127 Pickie BC (Bangor)
26th Aug: LIBA 96 -- 95 Old Bleach BC (Randalstown)
27th Aug: LIBA 78 -- 99 Falls BC (Belfast}


The 2016 Indoor Mini Internationals

Once again Riverain IBA was the venue for the Guinness Mini Indoor Internationals

Great result again for the London Irish who are the winners of the Mini Internationals (See the 'Indoor Mini Internationl Results' page.)

Semi Final:

A very close defeat for the London Welsh B.A., the London Scottish B.A. winning by just one shot for 85 to 84 scoreline.  


A clear win for the Englidh against the London Welsh by 90 shots to 81.

Go to to the Tropy Winners 'Limavady' page to see the winners of theTrophy.  

The picture below shows.the presentation, by Bill Copeland, to the Captain of the winning LIBA team.

2016 Indoor Mini Plate presentation


LIBA 60th Anniversary Dinner Dance and Presentation of Prizes 2016

Thanks to the hard work of Jim and Sue Collins along with Des Hunter, approximately 90 members and guests enjoyed an excellent evening at the Annual Dinner Dance and Presentation of Prizes held at Hounslow Conservative Club.

The Falls’ Vase was presented to one of our newer members, Alan McInerney, for supporting the L.I.B.A. and Captain by playing 38 games since joining in April 2014.  Congratulations!

Thanks also to those who supplied raffle prizes and contributions.

The pictures below show the raffle prizes and the venue. 

 2016 Dinner 1

2016 dINNER 2

The Frank Shaw Trophy (May 2015)

The newly instituted 'Frank Shaw Trophy', donated by Maidenhead Town BC to honour the memory of Frank Shaw, is to be presented to the winner of the annual matches between Maidenhead Town BC and the London Irish BA.  The pictures below show the presentation by Ann Shaw, Frank's widow, to Des Hunter, Captain of the London Irish BA, the first winners. Alo shown in the pictures is Grant Oxtaby of Maidenhead Town BC.

Frank Shaw Trophy 1  Frak Shaw Trophy 2 

The 2014 LIBA Dinner

Thanks to the hard work of Jim and Sue Collins along with Des Hunter 66 members and guests enjoyed an excellent evening at the Annual Dinner Dance and Presentation of Prizes held at Hounslow Conservative Club.  After a very good meal the dance floor was rarely empty with so many enjoying the opportunity to let their hair down dancing to the musical talents of the excellent Eamon Gorey.

 Guest Frank Doherty

Trophies presented by our guest Frank Doherty of LSCBA.
Helen Power

Helen Power, foreground, enjoying the excellent music provided by Eamon Gorey.

Sue Collins who again organised the evening so well enjoying herself on the dance floor with Eileen Cummins.
Bill Copeland and wife Helen 

President Bill Copeland and lady wife Helen.

 The Lady Supporters 

London Irish Ladies This photograph was taken at Whiteknights IBC in January 2014. It shows a number of ladies who regularly support the LIBA team during their games.  It is the Lady supporters who collect the sweepstake monies each week which is the only regular income of the Association.Thank you Ladies!