It's coming home? - your weekly bowls round-up
After a few weeks away it’s great to be back bowling in the Mirfield League. The start of the back half of the season began pretty much the same way as the first session back in April, with torrential rain sporadically hammering the greens, taking the bite out of home advantage.
We’ll start over at Dewsbury Road with a local derby of sorts. The Germans would also call it a ‘Kellerderby’ - when the bottom two clubs play eachother. Ossett Flying Horse entertained the team just above them, Denby Grange, with a couple of experienced heads returning for the Fly in the shape of ex-Yorkshire players Gary Amatt and Graham Blenkinsop. Fly flew out of the traps, with three winners from the first four, including their top card (Adam Ward with 21-7). Denby hit back in the middle four, with no wibble-wobbles this week, winning the close games that they would have previously thrown away. Denby’s best performance came from Gareth Coates with 21-12 and an unbelievable exhibition of corner bowling. A narrow victory for the Fly. Ossett Flying Horse 7 Denby Grange 5.
Denby moved just above Lower Hopton ‘B’ outside the relegation zone following Hopton B's visit to Nora Batty botherers, Thongsbridge. Hopton ‘B’ are a match for any side in this division, with a mix of experience and youth, the latter in the form of rising star Finley Hickey. Andy Cairns, Ashley Daykin and Mark Booth all won to around half-way for Thongsbridge. With an impressive 21-9 card it was Lancastrian Cairns who won the right to a glimpse of Nora’s nylon-covered ankles this week. A couple of close games went the way of Hopton ‘B’, but Paul ‘Ding’ Ingleby chimed loudest with 21-14. Both teams will be satisfied with the result, Thongsbridge possibly more so as it takes them to the top of the league. Thongsbridge 9 Lower Hopton ‘B’ 3.
Hopton’s ‘A’ team are in a menacing position just behind Thongsbridge after thrashing Dearne Sports round the back of the pigeon fanciers’ hut. To be fair to the Dearnesmen they had a couple of narrow defeats to add to wins from Andrew Whittaker (21-15) and Brummietyke Paul Bailey (21-17), but four single figure cards from the Hopton boys sent out a signal to the rest of the league. Cheshire county man Lee Johnstone was the pick of the bunch for Hopton with a resounding 21-3. Like the Hopton pigeons, is the league title coming home? Lower Hopton ‘A’ 10 Dearne Sports 2.
Speaking of hanging menacingly, that youthful mob from east Leeds, Crossgates, took a break from hanging menacingly behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken, travelling to Littlemoor to continue their chase to join the leading pack. ‘Gates’ had a great night in Pudsey, only dropping 16 chalks away from home and turning six winners into a rare Littlemoor home defeat. Adam Wider was the best of Littlemoor’s four winning cards with 21-13. Several Crossgates lads were in contention for the sweep, but KFC king Kez ‘Colonel Sanders’ Smith wasn’t for sharing, diving into the bucket with 21-8. Littlemoor 4 Crossgates 8. The ‘Gates boys continue to loiter menacingly behind the leaders.
On a serious note, the game between Pudsey BC and Crosland Moor was postponed due to a couple of suspected Covid cases within Pudsey’s bowling community. Here’s hoping anyone infected is okay and making a speedy recovery. As much as we love bowls it’s only a game.
Standings after week 10:
Thongsbridge C & BC 77
Lower Hopton WMC ‘A’ 75
Pudsey BC 68 (played 9)
Crossgates BC 66
Dearne Sports 56
Denby Grange BC 52
Lower Hopton WMC 'B' 52
Crosland Moor 49 (played 9)
Ossett Flying Horse 34
There was another local derby in Division 3, Horbury WMC hoping to climb towards safety at home to Ossett C&AC. It was one-way traffic from Ossett Cricket though, with eight winners led by opening bat, Rob Dunford (21-1). Rob would grace any team in any division of the Mirfield but is helping build a strong side down at Dimple Wells. Horbury WMC 2 Ossett C&AC 10. Horbury remain second bottom. Ossett Cricket are right in the mix at the top.
Another of our local clubs, Thornhill, are in the mix at the top of Division 4 following an impressive 8-4 away victory at Kirkheaton Con ‘B’. Jack Wareing won the Kirkheaton kitty with 21-9. Thornhill’s sweep money was shared by Gary Mountain and Andy ‘Plum’ Mitchell with 21-11. Kirkheaton Con ‘B’ 4 Thornhill C&BC 8.
Our final game from Division 4 takes in the ‘B’ team derby between Denby Grange ‘B’ and Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’, like their first teams both languishing round the bottom end of the table. It was a good night for Denby, who are clawing back points in the fight to stay up. For the visitors from Fly Andrew Woodlock and Mark McGuire both won 21-15. All other games went Denby’s way, with Adam Morgan and Raymond Hughes top-scoring on 21-7. Star of the night was ten-year-old Charlie Fisher, winning in the Mirfield for the first time after trying so hard all season. Well done, Charlie. There will be many more 21s in the future.
That’s it for this week, folks. Stay safe and stay tuned to the Horbury & Ossett Community News as the season gets more and more intense.