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Six of the best into Meole Brace Open

Six of the best bowlers with Shropshire connections headed home from the first weekend of qualifying £5,660 Coors Meole Brace Open more than happy.

Through to the final: Callum Wraight
Through to the final: Callum Wraight

Spearheaded by four-time winner Callum Wraight, they all booked their places in the last 32 for the finals day on Sunday, April 2, when a £1,000 first prize and place in the Champion of Champions will be a stake.

And the safe passage achieved by the reigning British Senior Merit champion from Shrewsbury was matched by his step father Rich Goddard, new Castlefields signing Gary Neal, Peter Grimston (St Georges), Kiah Roberts (Burway), Dan Bodley (Wrockwardine Wood) and Highley’s Darrell Handley.

“Callum Wraight was always ahead of Kirk Stevens in his qualifying game, leading 10-3 and running out from 14-9 up,” said new competition promoter Rob Burroughs.

Having already qualified for the finals of the West Brom Open, it’s clear the 36-year-old Wraight is already into his stride for the main 2023 season

“Gary Neal was always in control against Dave Nicholls, leading 11-1 and winning 21-4, but Peter Grimston trailed Andy Armstrong 10-4, 13-6 and 19-15 before he ran out,” added Burroughs. It was nearly a double for the Grimston brothers but James lost 21-17 to Darren Plenderleith in his qualifier, the same agonising fate befalling past winner Adie Rowe and fellow Salopian Simon Lane.

Also safely through to finals day are Lee Brown, Daniel Jones, James Wilcox, Jamie Bramley, Dave Worthington, Cliff Massey, Geraint Booth and Dave Jackson. The last qualifiers are this coming Saturday and Sunday, late vacancy details from Burroughs (07901 229623), entries costing £20.

The newest bowls body in Shropshire already has something to celebrate.

Launched less than two months ago, the North Shropshire Crown Green Bowling Association (NSCGBA) is the single administration that now runs both the Whitchurch and Market Drayton leagues. And a NSCGBA spokesperson declared: “Bowling in North Shropshire is on the up!

“We have had five new teams applying to join the Market Drayton League and two new teams wanting to join the Whitchurch League.

“Unfortunately, Esclusham (from Whitchurch divison three) and Cholmondeley (from Drayton division three) have had to withdraw.

“Adderley have also accepted the opportunity to play in the Premier League and so they have also had to withdraw one of their teams from the Market Drayton league as a result.

“All of this has meant that, in both leagues, we have had to make more changes than might have been expected, particularly in the Market Drayton League, to allow for all the new teams.

“The result of this is that some clubs/teams will find themselves in a division that they may not have expected – any queries to go to Roger Candlin ( and we will look into it.”

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