Hipster Thongs & Wrinkled Stockings - Your Weekly Bowls Round-up
It was a tough night at the office for our local Mirfield League First Division clubs, but after five rounds the league is starting to take shape. For the non-bowlers reading this, there’s plenty of Mirfield League interest in Ossett, Horbury and surrounding villages and the Mirfield League is arguably the best in the country. Make sure you follow the Horbury & Ossett Community News Facebook page to get your weekly round-up from the top division, plus reports on our local sides playing further down the very competitive Mirfield ladder.
We’ll start this week with Ossett Flying Horse, whose tough start to the season didn’t get any easier with a trip to current champions Thongsbridge. Gone are the days of comical capers in Holmfirth, courtesy of Compo, Clegg and Foggy. These days the far more serious Brammo, Sneds and Sorsby chase the affections of Nora Batty. The wheels didn’t come off the Thongsbridge tricycle last night as it freewheeled a message from the Holme Valley to the rest of the league, sending Ossett flying back to Dewsbury Road with an 11-1 defeat. In the battle of the undergarments it was hipster thongs all the way for the ‘Bridge, Sheffielder Chris Kelly leading the charge with 21-5. It was a night of wrinkled stockings, however, for the Fly, for whom Kev Burns was the solitary winner on 21-19.
It wasn’t much better for our other local side either, newly promoted Denby Grange entertaining title hopefuls Pudsey BC. You must win your home games at this level and Denby came unstuck early on in an 8-4 defeat. Key for Pudsey this season will be the couple of new faces in their line-up and ‘Top Club’ appear to have made good signings. Three 21-12 wins killed the aggregate for Pudsey, courtesy of ex-British champ Chris Mordue, along with Yorkshire stars Josh Mordue and James Hanson. After last week’s cream egg delivery, Scott Fisher continued to cream them out in the corners, replying with 21-10 for Denby. Speaking of cream, it looked set for 5-7 before Jon Edmondson ground out a 21-20 to complete Pudsey’s night. They used to call Jon ‘Pinky’ in his youth, due to his pink bowls and pink apparel. Middle-age comes to us all though and Jon must have bought his more sedate, new, cream-coloured bowls from Greenwoods. 4-8 it finished. Bowled ‘Creamy’, erm, I mean ‘Pinky’. Beige is all the rage, it seems, in Pudsey.
There was a further home defeat of sorts over at Pudsey Littlemoor, where another of the title contenders, Lower Hopton ‘A’, took a tight match by just one chalk. Thankfully for Littlemoor their six winners resulted in a 6-6 draw, but Hopton will have been most pleased by that result at a difficult away venue. Hopton’s top performer on the night was James Martin with 21-5, followed by a 21-6 from former Littlemoor star, Stuart King, whose nickname is not printable in this family-orientated newspaper. Alex Wolfenden continued his great form for Littlemoor, replying with 21-4.
It was another tight affair over at Lower Hopton, where Hopton ‘B’ followed their first team’s example, coming through with a one-chalk aggregate victory of their own and a 7-5 home win over Dearne Sports. James Senior’s 21-7 was the pick of the Hopton ‘B’ cards. Midlands exile Paul Bailey top-scored with 21-10 for the men from South Yorkshire.
It wasn’t quite so close over in Huddersfield at the ‘battle of the crosses’. Crosland Moor’s 9-3 home victory against Crossgates from east Leeds pulled them into the chasing pack in what looks like a tight bottom half of the table. Terry Brook’s 21-7 won the sweep for ‘Moor’, whereas Mark Hughes replied with a 21-7 of his own for ‘Gates, who remain tucked behind the leading group.
Standings after week 5:
Thongsbridge C & BC 44
Pudsey BC 39
Lower Hopton WMC 'A' 37
Crossgates BC 29
Denby Grange BC 28
Dearne Sports 27
Lower Hopton WMC 'B' 26
Crosland Moor 25
Ossett Flying Horse 15
In Division 3 one of our local teams sits top and with a game in hand to boot! Ossett C&AC have made a great start to the campaign and that form continued with an impressive 9-3 home win against Elland C&BC, who themselves boast some very good players. The Ossett Cricket lads battle hard for the sweep, the best score, and a mention in this column. This week’s accolade goes to Chris Nuttall with 21-5. Elland’s best was a 21-9 from Adrian Kenyon and those three away points keep them in the race.
At the other end of the table, Horbury WMC’s difficult start didn’t get any easier with an away trip to Rothwell. Known as the ‘Rabbit Trap’, Rothwell is a tough away green and Horbury returned just one winner – Andy Hoult’s 21-13 - in an 11-1 defeat. Mick Goodall’s 21-1 for ‘the Trap’ was the best of several high-scoring cards.
Another of our local clubs, Thornhill, sit proudly atop Division 4 following an 11-1 home drubbing of Broad Oak. Aidan Fox’s 21-6 was the best card of the night for Thornhill, whereas Steven Shaw’s 21-18 will have been scant consolation from the visitors from Huddersfield.
Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’ came through a tight home encounter against Farsley, winning 7-5 and the aggregate by 7 chalks. For the second week running Malcolm Preston produced Fly’s best card, winning 21-9. Coincidentally, Farsley’s best card was also a second in succession for Dan Beardsworth, with a 21-10 this week.
This week’s round-up ends with Denby Grange ‘B’s visit to Spen Victoria ‘B’, which finished in an 8-4 Spen home win on a night of 7 single figure wins and in both directions. Phil ‘Hero’ Smith’s 21-5 was the pick of the bunch for Spenners. Adam ‘Muuurgy’ Morgan reached his block, then reached out his hand to collect the Denby kitty money with a 21-3.
After last year’s lack of bowls, next week sees this season already a third of the way through. As the leagues take more shape we’ll find out who will be in pole position and who’ll be battling against relegation. We’ll also find out how long your bowls columnist can get away with the same old ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ jokes.
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