Mixed doubles champions retain their crown in style

There was no hanging about as bowls partners Hollie Bishton and Scott Simpson retained the St Georges Mixed Doubles title.

The Wrockwardine Wood-Sir John Bayley combination raced to a 21-4 victory in the final to keep a firm grip on the Nicholas Rhodes Memorial Trophy that they had won the last time it was contested, in 2019.

Their unfortunate victims in the crunch clash on Saturday night at the Telford club were Bishton’s fellow Wrockites, Sian Skelton and Dan Taylor.

“We are so honoured to retain the Nicholas Rhodes Trophy,” said a delighted Bishton. “And proud to play our best pal in the final on both occasions!”

“Thank you St Georges for having us – and continuing the huge efforts for Blood Cancer UK.”

Promoter Tony Rhodes, who’d had to cope with a last minute drop out, said of the winners: “Class act again all day.”

Sponsored by Madeley Engineering, the one-day comp boasted a total prize fund of around £800 and in the semi-finals Bishton and Simpson beat recent County Mixed Doubles champions Ian Gaut and Angela Gaut 21-13 while Skelton and Taylor had a 21-15 success over Peter Grimston and Lorna Williams.

Clay Flattley and Mike Beer spearheaded the Shropshire challenge at the finals of the £3,000 Ray Leath Memorial at Willenhall Nordley.

St Georges bowler Flattley claimed the scalp of county No.1 Callum Wraight 21-15 in round two, but both he and Beer (Castlefields) could not clear the quarter-final hurdle. Both had to settle for £125 prizes as Flattley lost 21-19 to Jack Dyson and Beer went out 21-16 to Grant Soller as Greg Smith won the title for the fourth time in the five occasions it has been contested.

Wrockwardine Wood skipper Jamie King won his Midland Masters final rematch with Aaron Tapper 21-16 in round one on Saturday, but then fell 21-17 to Elliot McGuinness.

Castlefields king Wraight, still basking in the glory of setting a new record of 21 open title triumphs in a season, could not add to that number on Sunday either,

He opened his Charlie Tattersall Memorial finals day account with a 31-17 victory over Paul Dudley at the Red Lion, Westhoughton, but then lost 31-24 to eventual winner Gary Ellis.

Wraight recovered to win a British Professional Panel game against Chris Morrison 41-37 at the same venue 24 hours and then qualified for Saturday’s finals of the Penwortham Singles in Preston with two easy wins on Tuesday evening.

Getting back to normal as quick as possible is the aim of a leading Shropshire bowls league.

And that means the Molson Coors Mid Shropshire League wants to relaunch 12-a-side fixtures in its three main divisions on Fridays next year, delegates being told of the goal at the latest executive meeting.

A unique 2021 season, curtailed by the pandemic, saw some Friday matches cut to 10-a-side to help member clubs that were struggling for numbers.

“But the League’s officers want to see a return to a pre-Covid ‘normal’ in the 90th anniversary year of 2022, including the relaunch of the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division,” said secretary Malcolm Fletcher. “However, the goalposts are not set in stone and ultimately the member clubs will have the final say by a majority vote – but, clearly, the sooner the league knows the decision, the better the officers can plan for the next season.”

With a handful of fixtures not fulfilled this year, the final tables have been produced by using average points scored for home and away games by the teams concerned.

“I think it has been a pretty successful half season since July with the overwhelming majority of bowlers just happy to be back playing again,” added Fletcher. “The league has coped with everything that has been thrown at it, including dealing with positive Covid tests by producing its own guidelines.”

The Whitchurch League’s planned executive meeting, due to have been held by Zoom last week, was called off due to chairman Phil Scott being out of action.

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News