THE final stages of the Castle Sports Classic were played out on Saturday at the David Street Club, writes David O'Brien.

Greg Smith from Birmingham ensured it was a fruitful journey up the M6 by defeating Wayne Ditchfield 21-18 to take the first prize of £1,000.

Smith eased his way into the final with 21-12, 21-13 and 21-6 victories against Kieron Cooper, Adam Bishop and Alan Manuel respectively.

Ditchfield also made it into the final with little drama as he defeated Gerald Merry (21-5), Paul Bailey (21-15) and former winner Lee Johnstone (21-12).

In the final, Smith always seemed in control, establishing an early lead, but a late fightback by Ditchfield looked to have the final on course for a deciding end with the score at 20-18 to Smith, only for Smith to pull out a wonder bowl to clinch victory.

Danny Nixon was the only local bowler to make it through the first game on finals night but lost out to Lee Johnstone at the quarter-finals stage.

Smith took his fine form to Wharton Cons on Sunday evening, winning a further three games to progress to the final day on Sunday, August 27 when he will be joined by R Higgs. Qualifying continues on Sunday, starting at 6pm.

Moulton RBL face Crewe Post Office in the Norman Cup semi-finals on Saturday at Castle Sports & Social Club, with the game starting at 2pm.

They will be looking to make the most of the 60-shot start when they take on the Crewe side that currently sit in third place in the Mid Cheshire League’s Premier Division.

Owen Cookson was the best performing Mid Cheshire player at the Federation Merit on Saturday at Owley Wood.

Cookson made it to the semi-finals stage before losing 21-12 to the eventual winner Adam Penlington.

Rob Pace took the honours in the Mid Cheshire League Challenge Trophy on Saturday at Comberbach BC. Rob defeated Paul Haddock in the final 21-15.

Mid Cheshire bowls has recently lost one of its most respected players with the passing of Norman Greatbanks.

Norman had played the game for many years and was part of the formidable Farmers Arms team in the 1970s.

In later life he was a regular supporter of competitions around Mid Cheshire.

A true gentleman who will be sadly missed by all.

His funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church, Weaverham, on Monday, July 31, at 2pm.