Juniors end season with win over Staffs
Shropshire’s under-18s are sitting pretty as joint premier division leaders of the Drakes Pride British Junior County Championship.
A 61 shot overall victory against Staffordshire on Sunday afternoon, thanks largely to a 40 shot success by the away team at Penn, puts them level on points with reigning champions Yorkshire.
The White Rose county’s youngsters would have to suffer a huge defeat in their final game against Warwick & Worcester next month to be denied another title, but Shropshire, having now completed their programme, look set to finish runners-up.
And that represents a huge turnaround in fortunes from last year’s struggle against relegation – and is a fitting tribute to bowlers like Harry Parsonage and Emma Massey-Jones who will be too old to play in the competition next year.
A hand injury meant double Shropshire Junior Merit champion Harry Church was unable to play at Penn, but Killen twins Tom and Joe both won to steady any nerves and Finn Leonard (21-3), Halle Crawford (21-6) and James Shepherd (21-9) piled on the points in the middle as the visitors finished with seven winners out of 12.
It was harder going at home on Old Shrewsbury No.1 despite three winners in the first four led by Rhys Marshall’s 21-6 card.
Emmet McKinley (21-7) was the only Shropshire winner in the middle as Staffs went ahead and it took Charlie Hotchkiss (21-3) and Susie Lawson (21-5) to turn the tide at the back and secure a narrow home win by 21.
Reflecting on the match, the season and recent years, selector Phil Scott said: “All the selectors say thanks to the players on their last game for Shropshire in the junior section.
“We wish them all the best in their bowling careers going forward and thank them for their dedication over the last few years.”