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As tight as a....Yorkshireman - your weekly bowls round-up

Mike Sweeney in action for Crosland Moor

When it comes to generosity, we Yorkshire folk have got a reputation that precedes us. And this week’s Mirfield League games were also as tight as a duck’s whatsit. The Mirfield is Yorkshire’s top level and arguably the best anywhere in the game, so make sure you tune in each week to the Horbury & Ossett Community News for all the latest reports.

Ross Meese (right) was on top form for Dearne

We’ll start from bottom up this week with our local side Ossett Flying Horse. Nobody would deny that the boys from Dewsbury Road have found this season a struggle so far and Dearne Sports isn’t an easy away venue. That said, Flying Horse found Dearne (which is good going as I still can’t work out whether it’s in Barnsley, Doncaster or Rotherham) to their liking, returning with a creditable 8-4 defeat. Kev Burns continued his good run of form for Fly with 21-9, though he had to surrender the kitty money to Adam Ward this week. 21-7 is some away win on that track! For the South Yorkshiremen Ross Meese bowled tidy again with a 21-8, though Dearne’s resident Brummie Paul Bailey trumped them all with a 21-6. Dearne Sports 8 Ossett Flying Horse 4. Dearne remain mid-table. Fly will take the positives from a good away day.

Another successful delivery from Denby courier Paul Mottram

Speaking of good away days, our other local side Denby Grange ventured over to Huddersfield and arguably the division’s toughest green, Crosland Moor. After a few ‘might’ve been’ results, Denby’s talisman Scott Fisher set the tone for the evening, first block off and 21-7 to the good. The Denby near misses then rolled in again, player after player not quite getting over the line but with solid performances clinging onto the aggregate. In the middle four Wayne Moseley (21-15) and Mike Sweeney (21-14) seemed to sway the game back in Crosland Moor’s favour. Stuart Thompson (21-13), Paul Mottram (21-11) and Gaz ‘My least favourite green’ Coates (21-14) swung the game back Denby’s way. In the final act of the evening, Colin ‘Come on Baby’ Scorah ran, stamped, wafted, fist-pumped and hopscotched his bowls over the line. Baby’s ticker was pumping so fast that team-mates alerted the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to free up a bed. Unbelievable scenes, Jeff. A rare home defeat for the Moor. Crosland Moor 5 Denby Grange 7.

Over in the Mirfield suburb, behind the pigeon fanciers’ hut, Lower Hopton ‘B’ entertained Pudsey Littlemoor. For the second week running Ian Newby found immediate flight, homing in on the Hopton sweep with a fine-feathered 21-9. Elsewhere it was a mostly tight affair, with only ten chalks in the aggregate in Hopton B’s favour. Paul Wilch…Wilc…Wilz…Wilczynski preened and strutted around the green, parading his fine plumage with a 21-10 win for the Littlemoor. Five winners each and not much at all in the game, it finished Lower Hopton ‘B’ 7 Littlemoor 5.

Hopton's former Pudsey star, Liam Griffin

Up at the top of the table Lower Hopton ‘A’ travelled to Pudsey BC in another crunch encounter that could help decide the title. Pudsey’s attack was led by Hansons (Tom and James) and Mordues. Having pipped his son Josh to last week’s sweep, former British champ Chris ‘T-Rex’ Mordue was ambushed for the Pudsey kitty this time around by the fruit of his loins. Son Josh returned an excellent 21-10 for Pudsey and stays top of the league averages. Ashley Tattersley and returning ex-Pudsey star Liam Griffin fought back for Hopton, both recording 21-13 wins. It finished Pudsey 8 Lower Hopton ‘A’ 4, which keeps things tantalisingly close at the top of the table.

Over in east Leeds behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Crossgates hoped to gain ground on the race leaders from the head of the chasing peloton, hosting many pundits’ title favourites Thongsbridge. This was a high-scoring game, with only five chalks between the teams and no less than six away winners ruthlessly pedalled home by the now league leaders from Nora Batty Country. South Yorkshiremen, Adam Jones and Chris Kelly top-scored with 21-14 for Thongs. Jonny ‘Future’ Wood celebrated his call-up to the Yorkshire squad for Crossgates, with a 21-7 that helped secure at least the aggregate for the home side, ably assisted by an impressive 21-10 from Ira Jeffers. Crossgates 6 Thongsbridge 6. An opportunity missed by ‘Gates. Thongsbridge freewheeled home to Nora, up hill and down dale on a ten-seat tandem. They lead the race this week, although the yellow jersey changes ownership on a weekly basis in the rollercoaster Mirfield League.

Standings after week 8:

Thongsbridge C & BC 62

Lower Hopton WMC ‘A’ 60

Pudsey BC 59

Crossgates BC 51

Dearne Sports 48

Littlemoor 46

Crosland Moor 46

Denby Grange BC 43

Lower Hopton WMC 'B' 41

Ossett Flying Horse 24

In Division 3 Ossett C&AC endured a tough night away at Dodworth MW, one of the other clubs vying for promotion this season. Whilst the contest was mostly one-sided due to Dodworth’s home strength, fair play to the Ossett Cricket lads for digging in, returning home with three winners. Graeme Eyre sneaked over the line with 21-20, Rob Dunford managed 21-17, but Noel Whittaker took the Cricket kitty with a resounding 21-6. Three Dodworth players recorded single-figure wins, Dave Mallinson (21-8) and Brian Reed (21-6), both pipped by Joe Wiltshire’s 21-9.

Horbury WMC move off the bottom of Division 3 after a 10-2 defeat away at Littlemoor ‘B’. It’s not an easy place to go, Littlemoor, particularly if you like to send bowls a long way (it’s a tiny green) but hats off to Andy Hoult (21-15) and Mark Young (21-12), who managed wins for the men from Cluntergate. For Littlemoor ‘B’ John Armitage, Steve Bowes and Glen Pratt all managed to win big, but Ben Falkingham topped them all with a 21-3. Dodworth and Littlemoor ‘B’ now lead the way, although Ossett C&AC remain well-positioned in the pack.

The Division 4 leaders Thornhill relaxed with a week off yet remain top of the pile. Elsewhere, Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’ enjoyed a resounding home win against Spen Victoria ‘B’, only dropping six individual chalks between ten players. Top Spenner on the night was Kevin Wood with 21-17. The Ossett Horse was flying, though, their three single figure winners including those wily brothers Armitage. Special mention to Roger Lunn for a 21-3 victory. Roger is a great servant to bowls and to a club that not long ago was threatened with extinction by developers. Well bowled Roger!

Denby Grange ‘B’ stay rooted to the bottom of the table, although they enjoyed a more successful night at home to a strong looking Lowerhouses side. The visitors from Huddersfield recorded five winners and are comfortably positioned joint second in the table. Their best card belonged to David Haigh with 21-10. Denby had five winners of their own to boast and enough in the tank to take the aggregate 7-5. James Makepeace starred for the home side with a dominant 21-3.

If you enjoyed this Mirfield round-up, join me every week at the Horbury & Ossett Community News. Why not follow us on Facebook to get the latest news. Pedal along again next week, folks!!

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