Halifax lose top-section status

HALIFAX and District have lost Division One status in the Federation of Crown Green Bowls’ national league after five years.

A 26-6 defeat to Huddersfield’s Colne Valley team sealed their fate last Sunday.

Halifax briefly lost their place in the top division in 2012 but bounced back as Division Two champions the following year with Leeds second.

Halifax had a 50 per cent winning record this season, beating Wallasey and Barnsley, but heavy defeats to Leeds and Colne Valley proved their undoing as two out of five teams go down.

Colne Valley deservedly took the title. They have beaten all four opponents in 2018 and having been champions in five successive seasons since joining the Federation in Division Five.

The Halifax home and away teams started the day in comfortable mode having two winners at each venue from the first four jacks. They were only three chalks adrift on overall aggregate scores with Mark Regan (Brighouse Sports) and home bowler Kieran Bannister winning at Mytholmroyd BC and Robert Hitchen and Paul Ingleby (both Elland WM) successful on the demanding Linthwaite C & BC green.

Thereafter the wheels came off in dramatic fashion with Halifax managing only two more wins through James Senior (Elland WM) at home and Neil Slattery (Lower Hopton) away.

Debutant John Horsley (Brighouse Sports) came nearest to adding another point at Linthwaite. He lay game with two perfect woods, perhaps too perfect as they were both struck off, and he conceded three chalks at the next two ends to lose to 19.

The away team, with five players scoring in the top teens, restricted their opponents to a 227-201 win, which was more than creditable.

The home team, up against a strong outfit, also had three early losers with scores in the high teens. Had they all turned into wins it could perhaps have changed the course of the match.

Halifax will face Bury, Dudley, Fylde and Wallasey in Division Two in 2019.

Final points: Colne Valley 85, Leeds 80, Barnsley 57, Halifax 50, Wallasey 48.

At Mytholmroyd: Mark Regan 21 Michael Sweeney 20, Kieran Bannister 21 Gary Siswick 19, Mark Sykes 16 Paul Ingleby 21, Philip Holroyd 18 Michael Martin 21, Graham Roberts 18 Dave Fox 21, Scott Haynes 19 Andy Cairns 21, Robert Holmes 15 Barry Holland 21, Tony Bannister 13 Jack Dyson 21, Keith Hatzer 15 Danny Kilburn 21, Paul Dem 15 Danny Teale 21, Andrew Gallagher 9 Matt Richardson 21, Dale Holdsworth 11 Matt Hollingworth 21, James Senior 21 Josh Brown 5.

At Linthwaite: Robert Hitchen 21 Craig Gant 14, Mark Sykes 16 Paul Ingleby 21,Terry Brook 21 Jason Horsley 3, Jason McMahon 8 Neil Slattery 21, Nathan Haigh 21 Clive Austin 18, Trevor Boothroyd 21 Scott Tattersley 15, James Martin 21 Danny Radcliffe 19, Richard Walker 21 Hedley Kettlewell 9, Ray Whitwam 21 Richard Hobson 13, Ashley Daykin 21 Tom Gasson 18, Richard Mozley 21 Gordon Bradford 17, Mark Atkinson 21 Gareth Swain 18.

Hill Crest Bowling Club at Sowerby Bridge will host the Yorkshire Cup final on Sunday (2.30).

Lower Hopton will take on holders Thongsbridge in what promises to be a close and exciting encounter sponsored by Yorkshire Timber & Builders Merchants of Halifax.

Lower Hopton’s team is likely to include several players with connections to Elland WMC, whilst Thongsbridge will have the current Yorkshire Merit champion Craig Gant and previous All England Champion Ashley Daykin in their ranks plus a host of South Yorkshire county players.

Final line-ups (Lower Hopton names first): S King v C Gant, W Ditchfield v M Booth, I Booth v J Dyson, G Higgins v R Jackson, L Griffin v C Kelly, J Brown v R Clark, S Mort v A Cairns, J Martin v A Daykin, D Scott v N White, A Tattersley v J Davison, R Hitchen v A Sorsby, G Hickey v J Sneddon.