Shropshire Star

Malpas look to take advantage of rivals’ slip-ups

The early pacesetters in the long-established Whitchurch-based winter bowling league are back in the hunt to finish runners-up.


Malpas Sports might have fallen out of title contention in the District Invitation Winter League but, with Chirk and Adderley wobbling, they now have second spot in the final table in their sights.

A 10-0 (126-63 on aggregate) victory over Calverhall puts Malpas within touching distance of the sides in the shadow of champions elect Archibald Worthington with two games to go.

Ben Hinton won 21-8 and is second in the overall singles averages behind Callum Wraight, who was tops again in AWC’s narrow 7-3 (118-112) win over Bridgewater to stay 21 points clear.

Chirk struggled to beat District 6-4 (119-95) and Adderley lost to last winter’s champions Woore 7-3 (106-102) – despite father and son Gary and Conner Whitehall winning a doubles match 21-3 - while Crewe brushed aside Elephant & Castle 10-0 (126-68).

Malpas against Adderley tomorrow is the week’s crunch clash while AWC face Woore on Thursday, when Adderley return and head to the back green to take on E&C. Tonight sees Crewe tackle Calverhall and it’s District against Bridgewater on Friday before the last week of fixtures starts on Tuesday.

No news is good news as far as Highley Bowling League chief John Palmer is concerned ahead of tonight’s AGM.

Club delegates and officers will gather at Bridgnorth BC (7.30pm) to reflect on a 2023 season that saw 21 sides compete in two divisions with eight-a-side matches on Tuesday nights.

And, looking ahead to the coming season, chairman and fixture secretary Palmer is not aware of any withdrawals or applications from new teams.

Chelmarsh are proposing the league adopts the points scoring system employed in Mid Shropshire League’s Dennis Lewis Thursday Division, in which individual bowlers are rewarded for the chalks they score up to a maximum of five.

The other potential rule change is an idea from Brsoeley to split fixtures into two sections of four games, with a 10 minute break between them.

A Broseley spokesperson explained: “Some teams only have eight people at the game and with marking, scoring and playing it gets difficult to keep on top of everything.”

The league structure, fixtures and competitions for 2024, plus election of officers, are among the last items on tonight’s agenda.