Champs off to a flyer

Tom Gasson at the Paul Steel Memorial Bowls Final, Ackroydon Victoria Bowls Club, Boothtown
Tom Gasson at the Paul Steel Memorial Bowls Final, Ackroydon Victoria Bowls Club, Boothtown

Elland WMC made an impressive start to their Halifax League title defence last night when they beat visitors Crossroads - traditionally one of the strongest sides - by 11-1.

Promoted pair Greetland and Akroydon Victoria both found it tough going away in the sunshine.

Greetland had five players beaten to single figures at Hove Edge, where Tom Gasson was the biggest home winner, by 21-4.

Indoor king Les Holmes was unable to make a smooth transition to outdoors, going down 21-6 in Vics’ defeat at Clayton.

Tony Riley’s 21-9 win was one of the few bright points for Brighouse Sports, who lost 8-4 at Siddal Park.

Mytholmroyd A had a thumping 11-1 home win over Asa Briggs but Hill Crest were probably even happier, having returned from Todmorden with an 8-4 success under their belts.

They took the aggregate points by just a three-chalk margin.

Division One: Mytholmroyd A 11 Asa Briggs 1 (207-145), Siddal Park A 8 Brighouse 4 (187-178), Clayton Vics 9 Akroydon Victoria 3 (188-158), Hove Edge 10 Greetland 2 (199-112), Todmorden Park 4 Hill Crest 8 (169-172), Elland WMC 11 Crossroads 1.

Division Two: Kingston 9 Pellon Social 3 (194-163), Crossroads B 6 Elland C & BC 6 (164-169), Ripponden A 8 Luddenden Foot A 4 (183-167).

The Complete Packaging Services Classic at Hill Crest enters its 40th season on Saturday when the first 16 hopefuls begin their quest for a place in the final on July 11.

Followers will have to wait until May 9 to witness Wayne Ditchfield begin his title defence but one former winner, the 2003 champion Andy Ferris, makes an early start this week. The Stoke player will face Wales’ David Gwilliam in his opening game.

Also in tomorrow’s line -up, in the same quarter as Ferris, is Danny Petcher, who lost in last year’s quarter-final to Callum Wraight.

Saturday’s draw: M.Halliwell (Whitefield) v C.Flattley (Shrewsbury), B.Lee (Alverthorpe) v A.Tattersley (Huddersfield), P.Chamberlain (Derby) v P.Williams (Shrewsbury), C.Bly (Whitefield) v J.Hargreaves (Hyde), D.Gwilliam (Wales) v A.Ferris (Stoke), D.Holt (Rochdale) v D.Petcher (Derby), S.Leach (Rochdale) v N.Simpson (Bradford), G.Gwilliam (Wales) v D.Ferris (Stoke).