Home Comforts or Living on Cloud 9 - your weekly bowls round-up
Last night’s Mirfield League First Division produced an unusual set of identical results, with all home teams winning 9-3, but not without twists and turns along the way. 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.
Ossett Flying Horse’s tough start to the season didn’t get any easier with a difficult trip to Huddersfield and Crosland Moor. It could have been more for Fly, with three lads getting close to the line. That said, they had a couple of close wins too, one of which was the in-form Kev Burns. Sam Farmer was best rider from the Flying Horse stable on the night with 21-12. Paul Wildgoose joined them in the winners’ enclosure. For Crosland Moor, who are quietly climbing the table, Terry Brook was the pick of the bunch on 21-6. Final score? 9-3 of course! To Crosland Moor.
Our other local side, Denby Grange, made the journey to the Deep South (of Yorkshire) and Dearne Sports. Is it Rotherham? Is it Barnsley? Is it Doncaster? I still haven’t the foggiest and I’ve been going there since the days when coal was king. This was a tight game, with nothing in the aggregate and the last two on the green. Dearne dug deep. The world’s slowest player, Ernie Wearing, mined a deep seam for his victory. Grant Herrington put the match beyond doubt for Dearne with a 21-11. After a tough shift the Denby lads came back up into the daylight wondering what might have been. Top scorer for Denby with 21-12 was yours truly, nicknamed ‘Grandad’ by his younger team-mates. When things don’t go your way this game is really the….pits! 9-3 to Dearne, by the way.
Speaking of the Deep South, the next instalment of home cooked comfort food comes from Crossgates in east Leeds, where the nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken sends the occasional deep-fried aroma wafting across the fences towards hungry bowlers. The ‘Gates served up their own 9-3 home win against a very experienced looking Lower Hopton ‘B’. Not many second teams can boast five Yorkshire Merits between them. The winner of three of those titles, ‘Sir’ Bob Hitchen, showed his class. Graham ‘Flicker’ Hickey (winner of the other two) produced Hopton ‘B’s best result with 21-12. Gary Wike was Hopton’s third. Otherwise, it was a nine-piece party bucket for Crossgates, James Wilcox digging deepest into the bucket for his 21-3.
Across at Lower Hopton ‘A’, the green over the back of the pigeon fanciers’ hut, another mouth-watering encounter was promised. There won’t be much in the title race between three or four clubs and visitors Thongsbridge will be up there battling with Hopton and the others again. It was a resounding 9-3 to Hopton, though, with the highest aggregate win on the night to boot. It’s hard to pick out key games from two star-studded teams, but special mention to Hopton’s Cheshire county import, Lee Johnstone, for his 21-9. Thongsbridge’s best card came from former British champion Ashley Daykin with 21-16. But 9-3 really puts the cat amongst the pigeons at the top of the table.
We’ll end this week’s top-flight round-up with the Pudsey derby, featuring new table-toppers, Pudsey BC (otherwise known as ‘Top Club’) and Littlemoor. It’s always a battle between these two bitter rivals, with local pride at stake, but this time the night belonged to the men from up the hill. Tom Hanson produced a stunning 21-1 for ‘Top Club’ and is joined in the top ten of the league averages by no fewer than three team-mates. Littlemoor’s Alex Wolfenden also sits in that same top ten and continued his great form with a 21-9 for the away team. 9-3 to Pudsey BC, who now lead the tight title race.
Standings after week 6:
Pudsey BC 48
Thongsbridge C & BC 47
Lower Hopton WMC 'A' 46
Crossgates BC 38
Dearne Sports 36
Crosland Moor 34
Denby Grange BC 31
Lower Hopton WMC 'B' 29
Ossett Flying Horse 18
In Division 3 our local hopefuls, Ossett C&AC, came down to earth with a bang. Littlemoor ‘B’ look a strong side and they used home advantage to the hilt with a 12-0 victory that leapfrogs them above Ossett Cricket. Top bats for Littlemoor were Ben Falkingham and Adam Wider with 21-6. Several of the Cricket lads nearly made an innings, but just fell short of the boundary. Pick yourselves up, lads, and go again next week.
It’s looking grim for Horbury WMC though, who prop up the table following a 12-0 defeat away at Barnsley’s Dodworth MW. Dodworth’s not an easy place to go and their side has a good mixture of experience and youth. Pick of the Dodworth wins was Brian Reed with 21-6. Gareth Gidman was Horbury’s closest player to the crucial 21. Dodworth join Littlemoor ‘B’ up top, but Ossett Cricket remain part of the chasing pack, all with a game in hand.
Thornhill continue to lead the race for the Division 4 title despite a tough night at the office over in Farsley. Andy Mitchell’s 21-7 and Mark Thompson’s 21-9 were great wins for Thornhill. Another three Thornhill lads got close, but it wasn’t to be. 10-2 is a resounding home win for Farsley, whose best card was produced by Derek Pickering with 21-6. It’s tight at the top, but Thornhill still have it.
Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’ enjoyed a fruitful evening over at Dewsbury Road with a 9-3 victory over the sadly depleted great old club, Mirfield Old Bank. Old Bank lost their first team during lockdown and club stalwarts are keeping it going, albeit lower down the league ladder in their ‘B’ team’s former slot. Frank Griffin, Terry Varney and Alan Procter all get a mention and a share of the Old Bank sweep with 21-19s. With no less than five single-figure wins, Flying Horse made hay. Malcolm Preston produced a perfect ride on 21-2, his fourth consecutive sweep and good enough to lead the league averages. Thornhill’s Andy Mitchell sits just behind in second spot.
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. Tune in again next week, folks!!