A REST has been as a good as a change for one of the contenders to lift the Roberts Bakery Cup on Friday.

Jimmy Harrop decided he was playing a game he first tried as a boy too often, and packed away his woods last year.

The Wharton Cons member returned at the start of this season, and has rediscovered top form quickly to reach the last eight in both of the Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association’s premier singles competitions.

And he hopes the timing is right to claim one of those prizes for the first time.

“A few people have said I’m due to win one,” he said.

“I’ve played at finals night plenty of times, but never gone further than the semi-finals.

“I’d be over the moon if I could change that; it would be the icing on the cake after winning league titles and cups as part of a team.

“As any bowler will tell you, it’s difficult to get your hands on one of these trophies because there are some quality players around.”

He told the Guardian that the margins between success and coming up short are small, and has spoken to clubmates Glynn Cookson and Tom Vickers – two of the most successful Winsford bowlers of all time – about how to close that gap.

Harrop added: “They’re both great, and have encouraged me.

“I think for me concentration has perhaps been an issue; winning three games in one night takes some doing, and I’ve been guilty of letting my mind wander at times.”

He begins his latest bid to win the Roberts Bakery Cup with a head-to-head against Alan Vickers, a familiar face from Wharton Cons.

Should he prevail, then two-time champion Jason Cornes (Castle) is likely to await in the last four at Crosstown.

Harrop is happy with the green choice though.

“It’s fast, and that suits me,” he said.

“Most greens are running like that at the moment because they’re so dry, so I hope I can make the most of it.

“I’d rather not be playing somebody who has been a teammate, but that’s part and parcel of being a member at a top club.

“Alan has been a bit of a bogey player for me over the years too – I can’t remember beating him many times.”

Play starts at the Knutsford venue from 6.45pm.

Order of play

Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association

Roberts Bakery Cup

Quarter-finals (bowlers’ handicap in brackets)

Alan Vickers (WhC) (2) v Jimmy Harrop (WhC) (2)

Jason Cornes (Castle) (2) v Dave Johnson (Tar) (4)

Nick Hamman (Castle) (3) v Dan Moores (Com) (2)

Matt Hamman (Castle) (2) v Dave Watters (Castle) (2)