Shropshire Star

More teams aim to join the oldest league in county

More teams joining could lead to the welcome launch of an extra division this year, but fewer league fixtures for some sides as a consequence.


That’s the conundrum facing the oldest bowling league in Shropshire – the Oswestry League – ahead of its AGM on Monday night at Chirk AAA Sports & Social Club (7.30pm).

Applications to field new teams from Chirk AAA, Cynwyd and Overton will be voted on at the meeting and, if accepted, the league’s officers are proposing to re-launch a sixth division to accommodate them.

If there are no withdrawals, it would result in three top divisions of 12 teams playing 22 fixtures in 2024, a fourth division of nine sides and then two of eight.

But there is a plan to give the lower-ranked teams extra games, fixture secretary Trevor Roberts explaining: “To make up the shortfall we intend to run divisional cup games in divisions four, five and six.

“Losing teams in the first rounds will enter divisional consolation cups and this will guarantee all teams have at least 18 games.”

A number of rule change proposals will be considered, including a Llangynog bid to give away teams in the lowest division 10 minutes practice ahead of matches.

Treasurer Gerry Owen will report a loss of £383 on last season, saying: “This is partly due to fewer teams in the league and a general increase in expenses.”

All member clubs of a league that will celebrate its centenary next year were praised for their efforts by secretary Lorraine Lewis.

She said: “Thanks as always goes to the unsung heroes of the club who work tirelessly behind the scenes, ensuring the greens are well kept, refreshments provided etc etc.”

Esclusham have applied to join the popular veterans divisions and Johnstown want to field an extra side, both to be voted on at the vets AGM that will follow the main meeting.