BOLTON Flat Green Bowling Club welcomed the stars of this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Bowls England sent its competing sides to the bowling club, in Gorses Road — including the visually impaired and paraplegic teams — and they took part in a number of games last weekend.

Among the players were existing ladies singles champion Natalie Melmore, and John Bell, performance director at Bowls England.

The visit was also part of the Bolton club’s celebration at the completion of their new playing surface, which has not been replaced since 2005.

The £72,000 carpet was funded through the club itself, a grant from Viridor Credits, and a loan from Bowls England.

As well as its own games, the club hosts county games as well as charity events, such as the Transplant Games, which is being held this year in Bolton between August 7 and 10.

Club president Ken Hayes said: “It was a fantastic weekend, weather aside, and it was an honour to host the Bowls England teams.

“We played a number of games on our new carpet, although on the Sunday the torrential rain got the better of us. We played two sessions against the Commonwealth squad before bringing in members from other clubs, including Heaton Hall, to strengthen our team for the third session.

“The players came back on the Sunday for a club practice session but the weather was so bad that the green was unplayable, which was a shame. I am looking forward to seeing their performance at the Commonwealth Games — hopefully they thought we put up a good show for them.”