Lower Hopton rise to the top - your weekly bowls report
The main event on Tuesday evening was a local derby in the top division of the Mirfield League. And let’s face it, It doesn’t get any more local then Lower Hopton ‘B’ against Lower Hopton ‘A’. Unusually, Hopton have two teams in the top-flight this season, such is their strength in depth. For Hopton ‘B’ South Yorkshire county star Ryan Clark top-scored with 21-9. It was otherwise pretty much one-way traffic, with Yorkshire county men Liam Griffin and Stuart King winning to single figures (21-6 and 21-8 respectively) for Hopton ‘A’. A 9-3 victory in favour of the ‘A’ team leaves them top, with the ‘B’ team embroiled in a relegation dogfight involving several clubs.
Elsewhere in Division 1 the men from Nora Batty country, Thongsbridge, kept up the pressure with a narrow 5-7 away defeat at Huddersfield rivals Crosland Moor. This was a tight, high scoring game with no hammerings. Close games went in favour of both teams, though best winner on the night was Crosland Moor’s Nathan Haigh with 21-11. For Thongsbridge, three players shared the sweep on 21-15. James Davison and Jonny Sneddon queued up for a glimpse of Nora’s wrinkled tights, though I reckon that malarkey is old hat for the third Thongsbridge prizewinner, experienced campaigner Ash Daykin.
“Speaking of old hat, Rob,” I hear you say, “that joke’s old hat! You trot out the same gag every week, man!” Well, that’s true but what do you expect from a Yorkshireman!
No funny goings on in Leeds 15, with youthful crew Crossgates swapping chicken wings for flying horses, bar-be-cueing our local side from Ossett. James Evison (21-15) and Darren ‘Eagle’ Atkinson (21-17) managed creditable wins for Fly, but it’s Crossgates who are flying right now. Four single-figure winning cards tell the story of the night, the best being Gaz Lally with 21-4. It’s great to see Gaz back. Crossgates 10 Ossett Flying Horse 2. The ‘Gates continue to hover menacingly behind the leaders. Fly remain bottom.
Over in Roth…Barnsley…Donny…wherever, Dearne Sports entertained a Pudsey BC back from Covid quarantine last week. Our roving reporter noted Dearne elder statesman, Chapps, socially distantly coaching the Dearnesmen from his nearby garden. Bowled Chappers! Stand-out players for the homesters were Brummietyke Paul Bailey (21-7) and Ross Meese, who banged in eight doubles to win 21-5. “Both played hide the pig for 30 minutes,” according to our roving reporter. It’s a funny old place, the Dearne Valley! What with horses being bar-be-cued in Crossgates and pigs being hidden in Bolton-on-Dearne, let’s hope no real animals were harmed.* I normally only mention winners in this column, but Andrew ‘Bliv’ Whittaker’s tough battle to beat Josh Mordue 21-20 was actually Josh’s first dropped point of the season. That’s some achievement, Josh. Another Mordue, former British champ Chris, shared Pudsey’s sweep with James ‘Floyd’ Hanson on 21-10. Dearne Sports 8 Pudsey BC 4.
Over in Overton Division 1 new boys Denby Grange welcomed Pudsey Littlemoor in a crucial clash. Littlemoor were looking over their shoulders, needing a return to early season form to avoid becoming embroiled in the relegation dogfight. Denby are already in that place. With one-close game going in either direction, a 7-5 victory for Denby Grange was probably a fair reflection on the night’s proceedings, though the away team will have been happiest with that outcome. Denby’s best cards came from Scott ‘Long Tapes’ Fisher and Gaz Coates, both with 21-3. Coates, in particular, is in exquisite form. Another bang-in-form man, Alex Wolfenden, top-scored for the Moor, wrapping a 21-6. I won’t mention who he beat; I only mention winners, remember 😉 Denby Grange 7 Littlemoor 5.
Standings after 11 games
Lower Hopton WMC ‘A’ 84
Thongsbridge C&BC 82
Crossgates BC 76
Pudsey BC 72 (played 10)
Dearne Sports 64
Denby Grange 59
Crosland Moor 56 (played 10)
Lower Hopton WMC ‘B’ 55
Ossett Flying Horse 36
In Division 3 our local hopefuls, Ossett C&AC, sat out this week on the boundary with no game. Meanwhile Cleckheaton Sports enjoyed an emphatic 10-2 home victory against our other local side, struggling Horbury WMC. Andy Walker swept up the Cleck sweep with 21-4. Horbury’s best card on 21-15 came from Andy Hoult. Cleckheaton are mid-table right now, but a push for promotion is still possible. Horbury remain second bottom.
One of our clubs sits emphatically at the top of Division 4. Thornhill hammered their visitors and title rivals from Lowerhouses 11-1. Experienced campaigner Graham Sigsworth was the only Lowerhouses winner with an emphatic 21-9. Aiden Fox and Gareth Price both carded 21-5 for Thornhill, though they were pipped to the sweep by a 21-4 from Martin Laycock.
In third place are Broad Oak, who thumped another of our local sides 11-1. Denby Grange ‘B’ had a tough night, with only Darren ‘Snake’ Pitchforth registering a win with 21-10. Among five single-figure cards from the home team, Russel Beaumont’s was the money-maker with 21-5. Denby Grange ‘B’ remain bottom.
Two places above Denby, Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’ enjoyed a better night, beating Kirkheaton Con ‘B’ 10-2 over on Dewsbury Road. Easily the top card from the away team came from Danny Radcliffe (21-8). Amongst several big wins for Fly, Andrew Taylor’s was outstanding with 21-1. A welcome return to form from the Fly second string.
As the second half of the season intensifies towards the back end, stay tuned for a weekly bowls report AND THE SAME JOKE EVERY WEEK!!! WITHOUT FAIL! I PROMISE! How does this man get away with it?
*No animals were harmed during the making of this bowls report