Ladies champions will be heading back to Waterloo

Bowls | Published:

The two ladies champions of Shropshire have been issued with return tickets to Blackpool’s Waterloo early next year.

Tracy Ryan with the Castletown trophy

Shropshire Ladies Merit winner Tracy Ryan and North Shropshire Ladies singles champ Donna Bennett were both first-round winners on Ladies Champion of Champions day in September.

But then heavy and incessant rain stopped play, forcing organisers to re-arrange the competition to be played at the famous seaside venue on Saturday, April 18, 2020.

“Torrential rain caused the abandonment of this year’s Ladies Champion of Champions once the first round had been completed,” said a British Association spokesperson. “The green looked more like a lake than a bowling green with the Waterloo, regrettably, calling time on proceedings due to unsafe underfoot conditions, not withstanding any damage that may be caused to the green.

“The 16 remaining ladies will now return to the Waterloo Hotel green on Saturday, April 18 with play getting under way at 11am.”

Ryan (Meole Brace), who had defeated Heather Johnson 21-2 in terrible conditions, will now play Warwick & Worcester Merit winner Steph Witherspoon.

Malpas Sports bowler Bennett, a 21-5 first-round winner against Katshryn Gee, will take on Lacnashire Merit winner Sharon Ridgen in the last 16.

n Another green loved by some of the best bowlers in Shropshire has been lost to the sport.

County leading lights Peter Farmer and Callum Wraight have won prestigious titles at Chadsmoor Progressive, while the likes of Mick Jones, Dave Rhodes and Scott Harries played for many a season for the Cannock club.


But they – and the bowls world – have been stunned by the shock news that the unique green will become a beer garden next summer.

Devastated club spokeswoman Lynn Pritchatt said: “Chadsmoor Progressive WMC is under new ownership – and the new owner has made the decision to convert the bowling green into a beer garden.

“Despite repeated and the best possible effort on the part of key members of the bowling club, the decision is made.

“I have no words to convey my deep sadness and feeling of loss all over again.


“Chadsmoor is one of the most iconic venues in our sport and I never ever imagined this day would come.”

But Prichatt vowed that the Easter Monday Invitation Classic, which bears the names of her late partner Mel Evans and his father Les, and the George Pritchatt Memorial Ladies Classic tournaments will go ahead in 2020.

“Both tournaments will be staged at a different Cannock venue and I have commenced work on sourcing the best venue or venues possible.”


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