Cumbria take on Midlands in Quarter-final battle

After their impressive victory over South Yorkshire in the Crown Green County Championship, Cumbria today face North Midlands with the winners earning a semi-final berth.

Whilst retaining many of the players from the previous games, availability issues have resulted in some enforced changes, with the selectors choosing to give a few players their debuts.

The home leg will be played at Hawcoat Park, a tricky green when quick but one which many of the players have vast experience of.

Gary Thompson is the first change, coming back in to the squad after his success in the King Alfred singles, a remarkable achievement when he had to go to the back of his wardrobe for his woods to play in it, rumour has it though that whilst in the wardrobe he found his county shirt and it no longer fitted. Gary is a real competitor with many County games under his belt and its great to see him back representing Cumbria at No. 3.

Bob Parkinson becomes one of the oldest players to make their county debut. After years as a journeyman bowler, the bowl’s lothario found retirement to his liking and has seen vast improvement over the past few years. If you have ever spent time with Bob green side you will know he is not short in confidence and the occasion certainly wont phase him. Bob’s green knowledge after playing league bowls at Hawcoat Park must have been a factor in his selection along with the knowledge that this Bronzed Adonis would bring in some of our more senior female supporters.

At the other end of the age spectrum we see Ethan Lowden getting his first start for the County. There aren’t many bowlers keener than Ethan and he will have been practicing the green as much as possible in the run up to today. Ethan is following in the footsteps of his dad Barry, a mainstay of the County team over many years. Lock down has seen Ethan mature from the annoying kid that would never shut up to a bowler with immense potential who hopefully will thrive under the pressure.

Other changes on the home leg see Paul Kissock and Darren Naylor moving into the home leg after playing away last time. Again green experience may well be a factor, although it is more likely that are both hoping for an easier game by hiding themselves in the middle of the order. Team captain Gareth Jones also returns to the fold after being on his holidays, Gareth used to be Cumbria’s Mo Farah but recurring injuries have forced him to give up his Olympic dream for now.

The away team face a star studded North Midland’s team at the Dunlop green in Coventry. Many of those from the previous game will again take to the green although Jonathon Cooper has been handed his debut after impressing in the Kendal area. My sources tell me he has been one of the most consistent bowlers and has probably been under the radar due to his quiet nature but is certainly worthy of his chance.

Tony Whitehouse has more caps than anyone else for Cumbria, over recent years being put out early at home to lead from the front with his close friend Barry Lowden. How he will handle being apart from Barry is anyone’s guess but hopefully his 60 years of experience will hold him in good stead.

Tony will be joined in Coventry by son Chris, who returns to the County fold after impressing with his opinions on literally everything from the side of the green in recent years, don’t ever choose the wrong bowl in front of Chris, he will have no problem telling you. Chris seems to bob in and out of the game nowadays but there is no doubting his talent or competitiveness, or that his game is suited to the County format.

Sadly Hawcoat Park’s greens are too far away from the bar to steal the wifi so Sport Furness won’t be able to go live but we all wish the squad good luck as they aim to reach the semi finals for the first time.

Support would be appreciated by all the bowlers at Hawcoat Park, the first games take to the green at 2pm.

HOME LEG AT HAWCOAT PARK

CumbriaNorth Midlands
Barry LowdenBen Percival
Martin BarrowRussell Prosser
Gary ThompsonMatt Horton
Chris IrvineMichael Lynch
Bob ParkinsonJordon Bradbury
Darren NaylorLiam Dennis
Paul KissockAndy Gibbs
Ethan LowdenBen Lynch
Gareth JonesMatty Allen
David JonesJordon Baddeley
Danny RogersPeter Varney
Paul CurwenDavid Smith

AWAY LEG AT DUNLOP, COVENTRY

North MidlandsCumbria
Darren PlenderleithZach Walker
Mark BurdettMark Ashburn
Paul LambGraham Law
Leigh BurdettMatty Stewart
Michael WarringtonDaniel Varcoe
Steve PrattTony Whitehouse
Natty TonksJames Duffin
Richard Burdett MnrIra Collier
Scott HorburyJonathan Cooper
Shane DayAdam Miller
Tyler DewisChris Whitehouse
Stuart PerryIan France

Written By
Mark Curwen

Mark Curwen

Bowls Editor

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