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Spinning touchers and a man called 'Juan' - your weekly bowls report

Wrist action - Hopton's Stuart King

Lower Hopton remain top of the coveted Mirfield League, arguably the country’s best, following a confident home victory against Crosland Moor. The visitors from Huddersfield will feel disappointed that the close games went the way of the home side. Trevor Boothroyd (21-15) and Liam Fallas, with a stunning 21-10 away win, were the only Moor players in the winners’ enclosure. On a good night for Hopton ‘A’ Ash Tattersley banged in a 21-8, but star of the show was Stuart King’s stunning 21-6. Stuart’s nickname is ‘Juan’. I think it’s because he has Spanish heritage, though I may be wrong. Hopton 10 Crosland Moor 2 leaves the lads from behind the pigeon hut cooing from the top of the league.

Pudsey's James Hanson (photo thanks to Stuart Hanson)

Elsewhere in Division 1 Hopton’s B team suffered a torrid night at Pudsey, leaving empty handed despite a few tight games going the way of ‘Top Club’. Pudsey’s 12-0 victory puts them in contention behind Hopton’s first team with a game in hand. Our roving reporter from Pudsey remained quiet last night. I guess results speak for themselves. James ‘Floyd’ Hanson’s 21-7, who won the Pudsey sweep, remains top of the league averages with an immaculate 11 win unbeaten run. Pudsey sit pretty. Hopton ‘B’ know they have a fight on their hands, but it’s just as tense down the bottom with a tight relegation battle involving several clubs.

Mark Booth has aged a bit since moving to Thongsbridge!

The other runner in what now looks like a three horse race at the top is Thongsbridge, who hammered Denby Grange 10-2. I’ll leave you a few moments to contemplate whether I’m going to include the same joke as last week (and the week before). Reports came back from the Denby camp that Scott ‘Long Tapes’ Fisher had won 21-12, but the rest of the lads from Overton had struggled to score 21 between them! A slight exaggeration. Colin ‘Comeonbaby’ Scorah doubled Denby’s tally, whilst Thongsbridge rattled in single-figure wins. Chris Kelly (21-7), Jonny Sneddon (21-6), Adam Jones (21-8), Ash Daykin (21-7) and Jack ‘Hoover’ Dyson (21-8) all came close to the main prize. In the end it was Mark Booth’s 21-3 that earned the lad from Donny a glimpse of Nora’s tremendous tan-coloured ankles. Life doesn’t get any more exciting than this in the Holme Valley.

One of Martin Fulton's loose ends

Bottom club Ossett Flying Horse continue to improve, beating Littlemoor 7-5 over at Dewsbury Road. Whilst Fly are probably too far adrift to save themselves, recent wins give encouragement for the next campaign. The Littlemoor lads got over the line in the tight games. Paul Wilch…Wilsh…Wilczynski won 21-14, only to share the sweep with Martin ‘Full-of-it’ Fulton. ‘Full-of-it’ enjoys telling you how near he plays, often spinning them actually on top of the jack. Actually on top of it – that’s near, Martin! Several Flying Horsemen made hay, Adam Ward and Craig Newton producing scintillating 21-2 tickets. Littlemoor look safe in mid-table. If Fly can sneak an away win…who knows!

Jonny Wood of Crossgates (photo thanks to Stuart 'Stamper' Hanson)

Dearne Sports and Crossgates shared the spoils over in Chappers’ front garden down in the Deep South (of Yorkshire). Gaz Lally continues to impress with a 21-12 for the ‘Gates, but winner winner chicken dinner for the KFC crew was Jonny Wood with 21-9. Four winning cards is a decent return at Dearne, however the men from South Yorkshire enjoyed some southern fried success of their own, not least Adrian Taylor, winning 21-7 on only his second Mirfield League appearance this season. Dearne Sports 8 Crossgates 4. Dearne are safe in mid-table. Can Crossgates mount a late charge?

Standings after 12 games

Lower Hopton WMC ‘A’ 94

Thongsbridge C&BC 92

Pudsey BC 84 (played 11)

Crossgates BC 80

Dearne Sports 72

Littlemoor 69

Denby Grange 61

Crosland Moor 58 (played 11)

Lower Hopton WMC ‘B’ 55

Ossett Flying Horse 43

Noel Whitaker of Ossett Cricket signals a pair at the Trap

In Division 3 Ossett C&AC endured a tough night at the tricky green they call ‘The Rabbit Trap’, Rothwell. To return to Dimple Wells with just two points will have been disappointing for the Ossett Cricket lads. Mr Consistency Rob Dunford bagged a 21-14, only to be beaten to the money by Noel Whitaker’s 21-11. I promised Noel a pic when he next won the sweep. Happy to oblige, mate! Otherwise it was one-way traffic, with Rothwell flashing five single-figure tickets, including Graeme ‘G-Force’ Franklin’s 21-2. 10-2 it finished. The Trap are back in the hunt. Cricket sit tight with a game in hand in a very open division.

Rising Denby star - Charlie Fisher

It was bottom versus top with a local derby in Division 4. Thornhill C&BC came across the valley to Denby Grange ‘B’ in confident conquering mood. It was a tight encounter, with just one card in the aggregate in favour of Denby. A 7-5 home win might not be enough come the end of the season for Denby Grange ‘B’. Thornhill left satisfied, job done, still top. Thornhill’s sweep went to back man Ryan Mitchell with 21-9. For Denby Danny ‘Wickwack’ Walker produced the winning ticket with 21-8. The real star of the evening, though, was 10 year old Charlie Fisher, winning another Mirfield League game. Bowled Charlie!

Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’ came away from a tough away game at Lowerhouses with a creditable 9-3 defeat. The home side are pressing Thornhill at the top. Paul Metcalf’s 21-8 was the pick of the home cards. For the men from Dewsbury Road, Mark McGuire and Tim Chadwick 21-16 shared the Fly sweep.

Like the weather, things are hotting up, folks. See you next week round the greens!

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