David O’Brien brings us the latest bowls news from around the region…

THE Castle Classic was won on Saturday night by Ben Harris of Birmingham in a one-sided final against Tom Vickers of Wharton Cons.

In making his way to the final, Harris accounted for two previous winners of the competition in Glynn Cookson and Matt Gilmore before coming through a tense semi-final with Anthony Walker. 

Vickers had himself eased his way into the final with victories over Chris Ashton, Wayne Ditchfield and Gareth Coates. 

The large crowd in attendance were expecting a close fought final, but Harris used a mark along the edge of the green to good effect to win the final by a surprisingly comfortable margin to take home the winner’s prize of £1000.

Vickers will be looking to bounce straight back from the disappointment of his final loss at Castle on Sunday afternoon when he bids to add to his five Mid-Cheshire Merit titles, with the last 16 being staged at the Red Lion, Frodsham, starting at 2pm.

Standing in Tom’s way in the first round is Gerald Merry – another former winner. The tournament is sponsored this year by D&D Coatings of Winsford.

Paul Drinkwater, the Managing Director of D&D Coatings, has been the long-term sponsor of the Mid Cheshire Federation team.

There are four other former winners in the field on Sunday – John Gurney, Andy Hamman, David O'Brien and Glynn Cookson. Cookson holds the record for number of Mid Cheshire titles having won the title on 10 previous occasions.

The full draw for the finals day is John Gurney v Nick Hamman, Ashley Blackburn v Mark Winnington, Andy Hamman v Glynn Cookson, Gerald Merry v Tom Vickers, David O’Brien v Dan Moores, Stephen Baskerville v Lester Bebbington, Andy Gregory v Jack Bushell and Paul Farrington v Owen Cookson.

The Mid Cheshire Federation team face a nervous wait to see if they will be promoted from Division Three this season.

In their final fixture, they fell to a 21-11 defeat at the hands of South Lancs.

The away side put up an impressive display, recording six winners against a strong South Lancs side.  Paul Charlesworth of Middlewich CC recorded the best score of 21-11.

The team will now have to wait to see if the 15-point lead over East Lancs is enough to gain promotion when East Lancs face Ormskirk in the final round of fixtures to be played on August 21.

Dennis Leather won the first individual title of the Norley League season when he won the Fred Hopkins Trophy on July 12, defeating Andy Houghton 21-19.

The competition is made of the best average performances from the previous season in the Norley afternoon league.

The latest qualifiers at Wharton Cons on Sunday were Gareth Coates and Cedric Bancroft. The competition continues next Sunday when arguably the games number one player, Callum Wraight, is in attendance.

The full field is Lee Brown, Craig Jones, Nathan Dawes, Lee Traylor, Keith Lackford, Simon Hargreaves, Scott Taylor, Kyle Chapman, Micheal Bishop, Callum Mitchell, Dan Bowater, Callum Wraight, Darren O'Hanlon, Jon Palmer, David O'Brien, Adam Bloor.