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Boulton ends barren run in Winter Series

Bowls | Published:

The head scratching is over for Shropshire super veteran Alan Boulton now that he’s ended his mystery winter lull.

Alan Boulton

Adderley’s ace senior citizen finally put a poor run in the North Shropshire Parks Winter Series behind him by winning a record-breaking round 19.

Boulton, winner of numerous vets titles, emerged victorious again at Prees on Sunday when series organiser Jamie Brookes was left staggered by the turnout.

“I know I keep saying this but wow!” exclaimed Brookes.

“There was another new record turnout of 60 entrants, with another high cut off of 10.67 shots in the round-robin groups to make the last 32 for the knockout stages.”

Boulton, who also won his three group games as 15 of them were needed to cope with the entries, beat Connor Whitehall of Wem USC 13-8 in the final.

“So after about five weeks of scratching his head, wondering where it all went wrong, the veteran kicks back into form and strikes the winning bell again - well done Alan,” said Brookes.

Boulton won round three in October and featured in two finals in November, but has rarely got out of his group since the turn of the year, despite hardly missing a round.

But there were no doubts on Sunday as he beat Greg Fordham (Bridgewater) 13-12 in the semi-finals to climb back to fourth in the series points table and on course for finals day next month.

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Whitehall beat Stoke’s Ian Howell 13-12 in his semi and the quarter-final results were: Alan Boulton 13-3 Rich Lawson; Greg Fordham 13-12 Jock Timlett; Conner Whitehall 13-11 Stuart Rutter; Ian Howell 13-7 Gary Whitehall.

Round 20 this coming weekend is at Adderley BC (TF9 3TF) and, with the new outdoor season fast approaching plus a mild forecast, another big entry is on the cards.

Meanwhile, Newport have been given added incentive to try and win back the Shropshire Premier League championship.

The Fishes, champions five seasons in a row from 2011 to 2015, have been confirmed as hosts of the Salop Leisure-backed league’s presentation evening on Friday, October 11.

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A Premier spokesman said: “We held it there back in 2003 when Newport entered the league and they have won the league five times since.

“With a few young signings being made over the winter, they will be looking to claim their sixth title come September.”

The signings, believed to include Josh Bradburn, Stuart Clee and David Lloyd, will boost a team captained last year by Sam Millward that finished runners-up by 13 points to Castlefields and lost in the final of the County Cup to Sir John Bayley.

The October 11 prize-giving at Newport will be preceded by the finals of the Pool A and B knockouts, which are about to get a new sponsor.

But the league spokesman added: “I am pleased to announce that sponsorships of the Merit (Seaton Sports), Pairs (KGJ Insurance), Mayhew Trophy (Barlows Fire & Security) and Player of the Month (Shropshire Printers) are set to continue for this season.”

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