Bowls is back as Walney League gets the ball rolling
As Covid restrictions ease, sports are being given the opportunity to not only get back training but in some cases competitive fixtures are again on the agenda.
And so it is with Crown Green Bowls, a sport hit as hard as any over the past 18 months. The sharing of equipment, closeness of competitors and the fact many teams are linked to pubs and clubs forced to close resulted in no league bowls at all in 2020.
This all changed on the 26th April when the Walney League commenced its 2021 season. Speaking to Sport Furness, League Secretary Kristian Ogilvie (pictured right) explains “It has been really tough for bowlers in the town, for many it is their main or only source of social interaction and exercise and the pandemic has affected them physically and mentally. Financially clubs have been hit hard as well, most raise funds through the playing of games and selling refreshments so they have lost that income but at the same time the greens have still needed looking after, which isn’t a cheap job. To see bowls return is brilliant and we are so pleased that we have managed to start the league with the same amount of teams as previous. For this season we have reduced the teams to 8 man teams from the usual 10 but that really is the only change we have made.”
The first round of fixtures had very much a Derby Day feel to them, Barrow Island, Walney Park and King Alfred all seeing their first teams playing their A teams.
King Alfred A had a great win against their first team, who still hold the winners trophy after success in 2019. Ethan Lowden showed the enforced absence has had no effect on his progress with an awesome 21-3 victory whilst Sarah Hogg backed him up with her own 21-9 win. It looked like Stuart Price had struggled through lockdown physically but he was the best winner for the first team 21-13. Taking the aggregate the A team won the game 7-3.
Walney Park’s first team had a comfortable win against their A team, running out 9-2 victors. Ian Fairclough took a break from the tearoom to record a comfortable 21-10 win, with Daves Jackson and Staunton playing supporting roles winning to 14 and 16 respectively. The A Team’s winners were Callum Sharples 21-15 and Tom McDougal 21-18.
At the Cavendish Park Green the Walney Park result was replicated with the 9-2 scoreline in favour of the first team. Dave Dale led the way with an excellent 21-9 win a score matched by the A teams Barbara Dent in her victory. Mike Bray took their other point with his brilliant 21- 8 win.
Down at the caravan park, South End used home advantage well to beat King Alfred B 7-3. Chris McDonald and Paul Holmes were the stars both running out 21-8 winners, Ian Gomersall 21-12 and Barney Cleasby 21-13 won well for the pub side.
The following night saw West Shore get off to the perfect start with an 11-0 victory away at Walney Park A. Katy Wright 21-3 and Ann Morrison 21-9 the stars of the show.
As is the norm on bank holidays, last Monday saw a wash out with games being postponed. However the following night saw Walney Park A visit King Alfred B and record an excellent 8-3 win. Steve Lackey having a brilliant 21-5 victory with the family Sharples, John and Connor helping secure the aggregate. Mo Mills showed she is still the best in her house with a 21-9 win whilst Ian Pearson also had a good win for the Alf.
Thursday night saw two more games played, North Scale starting their season with a 9-1 win against Walney Park B. Gordon Walker, Peter O’Connor and Stella Buckley all recording single figure wins whilst Roger Quayle secured the Park’s first point of the season .
Walney Park entertained KIng Alf A and will be more than happy with the 7-3 scoreline. It was a family affair with Daniel and Mike Davey both winning their games, backing up the good wins from Mark Howard (21-13) and Paul Hewitson (21-11). Ethan Lowden and Sarah Hogg both scored good wins again to keep their unbeaten records for the Alfred.
South End 7 King Alfred B 3, Barrow Island A 2 Barrow Island 9, Walney Park A 2 Walney Park 9, KIng Alfred A 7 King Alfred 3, Walney Park B 0 West Shore 11, King Alfred B 3 Walney Park A 8.
Full Results of all the games can be found at https://bowlingresults.co.uk/walney
MONDAY 10TH MAY
Barrow Island A v King Alfred B, King Alfred A v West Shore, North Scale v Barrow Island, Walney Park A v South End
TUESDAY 11TH MAY
Walney Park B v King Alfred