MATTHEW Thurlwell, who lifted the Guardian Cup for the first time last summer, bowed out of this year’s edition in the qualifying round on Monday.
The Comberbach bowler was one of three current Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association title holders to crash out of the competition at Kelsall.
Cowley Cup champion Dennis Leather, Thurlwell’s clubmate at Comberbach, and Wharton Cons’ Terry Bebbington – winner of the Joe Robinson Trophy last season, fell at the first hurdle too.
Simon Cookson, who reached the final a year ago, was another casualty at the same venue.
Mark Cookson, of Rudheath and Castle Private’s Rob Winnington – winner in 2005 – were the ones to make it to the last 16 later this month.
Five other former champions join him there.
Among them is Glynn Cookson, the most decorated bowler in Mid-Cheshire Merit history with 10 final wins.
He qualified at Spinner & Bergamot along with Comberbach’s Daniel Moores.
Wharton Cons Thomas Vickers, a victor in three of the past six finals, is safely through along with four-time champion Jason Cornes (Castle Private).
The other former winners still standing are Gerald Merry (Delamere), John Gurney (Comberbach) and Alan Vickers (Wharton Cons).
Wharton, with six survivors, is the club that supplies the biggest contingent for the next stage.
Two others to reach the final in 2013, Nicola Boulton (Frodsham Red Lion), Geoff Dale (Beech Tree), missed out on Monday too.
Julie Green, from Section One pacesetters Beech Tree, is the only woman to make it through.
The competition resumes on Monday, June 23, from 6.45pm.
Monday, June 9
At Beech Tree: Dave Hamlett junior, WhC; Gerald Merry, Del
At Davenham: Graham Spruce, WhC; Mark Winnington, CP
At Hartford: John Gurney, Com; Jon Gurney, Com
At Hazel Pear: Jason Cornes, CP; Chris Koral, OW
At Kelsall: Mark Cookson, Rud; Rob Winnington, CP
At Owley Wood: Julie Green, BT; Thomas Vickers, WhC
At Rudheath: Daniel Nixon, WhC; Alan Vickers, WhC
At Spinner & Bergamot: Glynn Cookson, WhC; Daniel Moores, Com