ALL roads lead to Owley Wood in Weaverham for the Brunner Cup Final on Saturday, 2pm start.

The showdown between Castle Sports and Wharton Cons is being considered as the biggest game in Mid Cheshire bowls for several years.

These Northwich and Winsford rivals will contest the first all Mid Cheshire final in the competition since 1993 when Wharton Cons defeated Owley Wood at Lostock Social Club.

Cons are looking for their fourth victory in Cheshire’s most prestigious team competition, their most recent success being in 2012, whereas Castle are aiming to get their hands on the trophy for the second time, having defeated Lloyds Hotel in the final two years ago.

Castle are also looking to complete a clean sweep of Cheshire County competitions, having already secured the Inter League Trophy, while their B team collected the De Knoop Cup.

Wharton’s route to the final has seen them have resounding wins against fancied opposition in Tixall and Lloyds and this must give them confidence.

Castle’s route to the final has seen them tested on only one occasion when they overcame Houldsworth in a close fought quarter-final.

Owley Wood has to be seen as an excellent choice of venue, with good facilities and a testing green for these fiercest of rivals.

After fears that the match would be staged outside the area, holding the match at Owley Wood should bring in a large crowd and an excellent atmosphere.

Glynn Cookson, a winner of around 300 open competitions, a Mid Cheshire bowling legend and Wharton Cons stalwart, as well as Adi Faulkner, the Castle Sports A team captain, expressed their delight at the choice of venue.

"Owley Wood has traditionally been one of the iconic venues in crown green bowls," said Cookson, with Faulkner echoing his views.

"The green is challenging and for decades it has hosted umpteen Cheshire County matches.

"The club with its vast facilities is able to cater for what I suspect will be a huge crowd."

This is Castle Sports' third appearance in the Brunner Cup final in seven years and, having tasted victory two years ago, challenging for the trophy again was at the top of their priorities for the season.

That is not how Cookson saw things for his side.

"At the start of the season I didn't have too much hope in the Brunner and thought the best we could do was finish second in the league," he said.

However Wharton's season has turned out better than expected, with this appearance in the final and still pushing for the Mid Cheshire League title.

To add intrigue to the Brunner Cup decider, Wharton and Castle played out a vital game in the Mid Cheshire League on Sunday in Winsford in front of a large crowd.

Castle Sports recorded a narrow victory by four chalks and after last weekend’s fixtures Castle lead Wharton by 16 chalks going into the last two games of the Premier Division calendar.

The Brunner Cup holds a special position with both representatives of the clubs, Faulkner admitting that if Castle can clinch the title on Saturday, with him captaining the ship, it would be his ‘proudest moment in bowls’.

And Cookson, while immensely proud of his individual successes in the game, admits to a different kind of satisfaction in helping his club and teammates to titles and trophies.

Both men and their teams are looking forward to a day of intense rivalry, and even the most studious follower of the sport would surely admit this game could go either way in what should be a great advert for crown green bowls.

Faulkner said: "It's a fantastic achievement for two Mid Cheshire teams to reach the final.

"Let's put on a good show and prove that Mid Cheshire bowls is alive and kicking and may the best team win."

Cookson concluded: "Both teams will be 110 per cent out to get a win over their local rivals, but after the game has finished, and the trophy has been handed out we will all go to the bar to share a few cold beers."

Line-ups: Castle Sports v Wharton Cons: 1 Rob Winnington v Glynn Cookson; 2 Andy Hamman v Tom Vickers; 3 Jason Cornes v Nicola Boulton; 4 Kevin Duncalf v Danny Nixon; 5 Matty Hamman v Pete Illidge; 6 Steve Morrey v Martin Kettle; 7 Adrian Faulkner v Ashley Blackburn; 8 Paul Mackie v Owen Cookson; 9 Steve Curbishley v John Hazeldine; 10 Ian Howell v Graham Donnelly; 11 David O’Brien v Gareth Evans; 12 Mike Yearsley v Simon Cookson.

Meanwhile, The Whitby Cup Final will be contested by Castle Sports B and Owley Wood B at Comberbach on Sunday.

In the semi-finals Castle B recorded a victory over Rudheath A 250-223, while Owley make their fourth consecutive Whitby Cup Final appearance having defeated Rudheath B 275-258.