Buckets at the ready - it's the battle of the window cleaners!
Lower Hopton ‘A’ stretched their lead at the top of the prestigious Mirfield League with a commanding 9-3 victory away at first division new boys Denby Grange. It was tight to begin with, both sides carding two winners from the first four. Hopton gained the advantage in the middle, edging 4-3 into the lead. The game that caught the eye was the ‘battle of the window cleaners’ with Hopton’s Graham ‘Flicker’ Hickey and Denby’s Stephen ‘Licker’ Walker swapping chamois for shimmies on the green. Neither player reached right into the corners, surprising given their profession (sorry, I know my jokes are a pane), but a close encounter went Walker’s way 21-18. Hopton’s back two finished Denby off in brutal fashion, James Senior carding 21-4 and Liam Griffin 21-8. Hopton now stand 6 points clear.
Elsewhere in Division 1 Hopton’s B team enjoyed an encouraging 9-3 home win against bottom club, Ossett Flying Horse. Pick of the bunch for Hopton ‘B’ was Yorkshire county appearance record holder ‘Sir’ Bob Hitchen with 21-7. Bob never seems to age. For Flying Horse it was a flying eagle that did the business. Barnsley boy Darren ‘Eagle’ Atkinson gave his opponent the chop with a 21-4 away victory for Fly. Special mention to young Leighton Shuttleworth, who managed a 21-13 away win on his Mirfield League first division debut for Fly. Bowled lad. Hopton ‘B’ remain in a relegation spot, but only on goal difference. Fly look doomed.
Thongsbridge retain second place after a 7-5 defeat away at the tricky Pudsey Littlemoor. Jack ‘Hoover’ Dyson sucked in the Thongsbridge sweep money with a 21-9 that keeps the Yorkshire player in the mix for the league averages. Two single-figure wins for Littlemoor secured the aggregate. Paul Wilch….Wilsh…Wilczynski’s impressive 21-9 was outdone by Marc Armitage’s eye-catching 21-6. Littlemoor look comfortable now in mid-table.
Pudsey BC’s title challenge took a dent on a very wet Crossgates, going down 10-2 to their bitter Leeds rivals. I would normally rattle out the same old Kentucky Fried jokes at this point, but not this time. You see, Crossgates vs Pudsey is deadly serious. It began with a deluge and the Gates lads sweeping puddles off the green. Our roving reporter describes three winners from the first four firing Crossgates into a big lead, with the green still treading water. Kez Smith and Gaz Lally secured a big ten points for the home side, fighting back from behind to secure 21s. Ira Jeffers took the Croggy kitty though with 21-8. For Pudsey Dave Poole was outstanding, winning 21-12. Top bowls referee Jon ‘Pinky’ Edmondson claimed Pudsey’s second point with 21-14. A setback for Pudsey. A call to arms for Crossgates. Exciting stuff.
In the final game Crosland Moor eased away from the relegation zone with a resounding 10-2 at home to Dearne Sports. It can take a few visits to get hold of the Crosland Moor green and Dearne won’t have been too many times. Three single figure wins sum up the night for the home side. Nathan Haigh’s 21-7 and Terry Brook’s 21-9 were usurped by a thunderous 21-2 from Yorkshire county star Wayne Moseley. For Dearne, John Hardwick’s 21-14 and Andrew ‘Bliv’ Whittaker’s 21-9 will have been hard-fought victories. Both sides possibly need just one more big result to steer clear of the relegation battle.
Standings after 13 games
Lower Hopton WMC ‘A’ 103
Thongsbridge C&BC 97
Crossgates BC 90
Pudsey BC 86 (played 12)
Dearne Sports 74
Crosland Moor 68 (played 12)
Denby Grange 64
Lower Hopton WMC ‘B’ 64
Ossett Flying Horse 46
The bottom two sides met in Division 3, with Horbury WMC travelling to Milnsbridge. It was a tight affair, with the homesters edging a 7-5 victory. The men from Cluntergate converted tight games into wins, the best card being Mark Young’s 21-14. For Milnsbridge Paul Edwards’ 21-6 sealed the aggregate. If Horbury score in their game in hand they will launch themselves off the bottom rung.
Another local team with a game in hand is Ossett C&AC. That extra game will be so crucial for the lads from Dimple Wells. A good result will put them back in the promotion fight. Last night’s 8-4 home win against top of the table Shipley was hard-fought, with just two chalks in the aggregate in Ossett Cricket’s favour. Rob Dunford produced this week’s winning ticket for Cricket with 21-9. Shipley’s star man was Chris Jacques with a stunning 21-5 away from home. Rob Dunford leads the divisional averages, with Chris Jacques’ brother Matt in second spot.
In Division 4 league leaders Thornhill ran riot at home to Mirfield Old Bank. A 12-0 result illustrates why Thornhill are probably favourites for the title (along with Farsley). Five Thornhill lads got home to single figures, Mark Thompson’s 21-2 being the best of the bunch. Ere, leave it arrrt, guvnor – the Mitchell brothers* are both in contention for the league averages for Thornhill.
Denby Grange ‘B’ visited the division’s other favourites, Farsley. Denby sent a strong side, but only returned to Overton with 21-13 wins from James Makepeace and George Fisher. The home side banged in eight winners, a 10-2 result keeping their title hopes alive, the best card being a 21-7 from Mark Barker. Denby remain bottom.
Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’ have enjoyed a resurgence of late and this continued with a 10-2 home win against Broad Oak. No less than three men shared the Fly sweep (£1.50 each??), with the Armitage brothers**, David and Michael, joined by Andrew Woodlock on 21-9. Had Roger ‘Currant Bun’ Lunn beaten his opponent to 9 instead of 10, they would have needed calculators to divide the kitty money down on Dewsbury Road.
Five weeks left and all to play for. See you next week round the greens!
* Okay, I know, they aren’t brothers, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story.
** Genuine brothers, those pesky Armitages.