THE silver trophy will be changing hands again next month after Rob Winnington, the 2017 champion, was eliminated at the preliminary round stage.

His defence ended after a defeat against Castle teammate Jason Cornes at Crowton.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to win on finals night in successive years, a feat only Wharton Cons’ Tom Vickers has managed since 2005.

He is paired with Castle’s Dave O’Brien, who claimed first prize in 2010, in the intermediate round at Davenham tonight, Monday.

The Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association’s top two teams, Castle and Wharton Cons, provide half of the last 16 field.

Eight other clubs will be represented though.

Among the stand-out ties is a head-to-head between Daniel Nixon (Wharton Cons), who won the Roberts Bakery Cup in 2014, and Castle’s John Gurney – a Guardian Cup champion in 1995.

Cornes’ path is blocked by clubmate Matt Hamman while Lostock Graylams’ Jonathan Malisch, a finalist last season, hopes to make the latter stages again by ending the run of Phil Scott (Rudheath).

Cheshire regular Matt Thurlwell, of Comberbach, is one of six former winners still in with a chance of taking home the trophy again.

He triumphed in 2013.

Improving Joe Tomkinson (Owley Wood), who won the Challenge Shield in 2017, won’t be an easy opponent to dismiss though.

Alsager, with Geoff Boulton, and Tarporley – thanks to Simon Jones’ progress so far – may also yet have a player in the last eight.

Play starts at 6.45pm.


Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association

Guardian Cup

Intermediate Round

Monday, June 25

At Davenham

Simon Jones (Tarporley) v John Lightfoot (Rudheath)

Matt Hamman (Castle) v Jason Cornes (Castle)

Andy Hamman (Castle) v Geoff Boulton (Alsager)

Jonathan Malisch (Lostock Graylams) v Phil Scott (Rudheath)

Dave O'Brien (Castle) v Tom Vickers (Wharton Cons)

Jimmy Harrop (Wharton Cons) v John Brooker (Frodsham RL)

Daniel Nixon (Wharton Cons) v John Gurney (Castle)

Matt Thurlwell (Comberbach) v Joe Tomkinson (Owley Wood)

Eight to progress to finals night on Friday, July 20