Malpas Sports – with defending County Merit champion Jack Hewitt at the helm – has five weeks to hold on to the top of the District Invitation Winter League, but are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their rivals at bay.
A scare of a chalk (111-110) against Bridgewater meant the match points were split 5-5 and followed a draw against District A, with the end result being that Hewitt & Co had their lead at the top reduced to seven points.
Main title rivals Adderley took advantage by beating District B 8-2 (117-84), with Tony Sherratt winning 21-6, but District A were held tied 107-107 by Woore in a card game without figure.
Kerry Dance’s 21-8 map was ahead for Elephant & Castle as they beat Shropshire Mix 7-3 (120-88) while Alan Ball won 21-7 as Archibald Worthington got the better of Wem USC by the same score and 121-103 on aggregate.
Adderley are aiming to keep the heat on top tonight when they take on E&C on the back green while AWC and the Mix battle it out on the front.
Malpas can expect another tough night tomorrow against District A while Friday’s double header is Bridgewater against Woore and District B against Wem USC.
Current points total after 13 games: Malpas Sports 99, Adderely 92, District A 76, E&C 75, Bridgewater 73, AWC 68, Woore 63, Wem USC 46, District B 34, Shropshire Mix 24.
Elsewhere, bowlers in Shropshire and Wales are mourning the loss of a hugely popular figure on the local scene.
Terry Williams, longtime powerhouse of St Martins-based Ifton Bowling Club and a major Welsh Bowls promoter, died on Thursday.
His poor health meant he hadn’t been seen around many greens in recent years, but news of his passing – announced by fellow Chirk resident and current Ifton captain Dave Jones – sparked a flood of tributes.
Premier League chief Rob Burroughs said: “Terry was a key part of Ifton’s club and brought them into the Premier League, while also putting them through difficult times during their early years in our league. Our thoughts are with Ifton and Terry’s family.
Bylet County man Scott Harries said: “This is terrible news – he was a fantastic guy who will be sorely missed. Condolences to the entire family of Ifton and Terry. All the love from myself and everyone in Bylet – RIP Terry.
And Tony Rhodes of St Georges added: “Such sad news regarding the flag bearer of the Ifton and Oswestry bowls. Terry clung to it and fought tooth and nail to keep the bowls at the highest level at Ifton. A true gentleman and a wonderful man to be around.
In other news, updates on open competitions have poured in from Shropshire bowls clubs.
The date and venue for Wenlock Olympian’s doubles knockout has been confirmed on Sunday July 10 at Broseley BC from 11am.
“Entry details will be shared later – and the Olympian singles knockout will take place at Much Wenlock on a date to be confirmed shortly,” Broseley spokeswoman Gail Hall said.
Meanwhile, drastic action has been taken by organizers of the £5,610 Coors Meole Brace Open ahead of the first qualifying session in March.
“We have 13 players who have signed up and have not paid their £20 entry fee – so we have taken them out of competition,” said Ade Jennings of Meole on behalf of promoter, his father Barry. “If they wish to re-enter, they will have to make do with whatever places become available and we must receive their entry fee before confirming their place.”
Final day is set for Sunday April 3 – the day after the one-day Burway Open, which booked all 64 places, a Ludlow club spokesperson is urging everyone to pay the 15 fee £ as soon as possible to secure entry to an event with a £500 Premier Prize.