Stuart Greenhalgh brings us the latest bowls news from around the region...

The Brunner Cup last 32 was played on Saturday, with the big match of the round being Castle Sports A vs Wharton Cons.

It ended with Castle coming out on top, beating their Mid-Cheshire rivals 231-208 at Crosstown BC.

All of the individual matches were close, with the majority of losing bowlers scoring in the mid to high teens.

In the other matches, Middlewich RBL advanced with a 235-186 win over Davenham Rec while Frodsham Red Lion narrowly beating Crewe PO to progress to the last 16.

Brunner Cup last 32 results:

Sale Excelsior 215 Meadowbank BC 196, Metro Sports 210 Manor Road 190, Heswall RBL 216 Kingswood BC 215, Castle Sports A 231 Wharton Cons 208, Poynton Sports 242 Barnton CC 177, Tixall BC 237 Owley Wood 164, Victoria 249 Crewe Bowling Club 196, Lever Club 213 Castle Sports B 205, Middlewich RBL 235 Davenham Rec 186, Quarry Bank 237 Kerridge BC 171, Lloyd Hotel 239 Shavington 146, Houldsworth WMC 224 Packhorse BC 187, Swettenham BC 189 Moulton RBL 172, Frodsham Red Lion 196 Crewe PO 187, Mersey Valley 216 Rudheath Bowls 186, Macclesfield BC 232 Oxton Cons 161

The last 16 of Littler Cup managed to spring a few surprises with Rudheath A, Rudheath B and Lk Graylams all managing to overcome teams with a lower handicap.

The match between Rudheath A and Victoria gave the closest game, with Rudheath A winning by just four points.

The Littler Cup takes a break now ahead of the resumption of league bowling.

Littler Cup last 16 results:

Owley Wood A (+57) 260 Comberbach B (+94) 241, Wharton Cons A (+28) 238 Frodsham Red Lion B (+83) 219, Lk Graylams (+100) 274 Castle S&SC A (+56) 235, Rudheath Bowls B (+100) 276 Wharton Cons B (+72) 249, Rudheath Bowls A (+52) 224 Victoria (+42) 220, Crewe PO (+38) 240 Middlewich RBL A (+79) 211, Frodsham Red Lion A (+35) 232 Kingswood BC (+67) 225, Barnton CC A (+97) 279 Winnington A (+121) 269.

Friday sees the opening fixtures in the Mid Cheshire League 2024 take place, with the Premier Division dropping down from 12 to 10-a-side to match the other divisions.

There are many positives and negatives in decreasing team size – it reduces the opportunities for a bowler to play in the Premier Division and improve their game faster.

What it will do is strengthen individual teams, who only need find their best 10.

It will be very interesting to look back over the season and see what effect the new rule will have on the final positions.

From next week, we will begin to pick out a few individual matches that have interest to highlight but all matches can always be found on Mid Cheshire results website.

This week’s Mid-Cheshire League fixtures (Friday unless stated):

Premier: Castle S&SC A v Castle S&SC B, Comberbach A v Kingswood BC, Crewe PO v Wharton Cons A, Frod Red Lion A v Middlewich Community BC, Helsby A v Rudheath Bowls A, Owley Wood A v Alsager Inst

Section One: Castle S&SC C v Frod Red Lion B (Thursday), Crosstown A v Meadowbank, Middlewich RBL A v Comberbach B, Rudheath Bowls B v Sandbach Park A, Shavington A v Owley Wood B, Wharton Cons B v Tarporley A

Section Two: Barnton CC A v Barnton CC B, Davenham A v Wharton Rec A, Kelsall v Castle S&SC D, Lk Graylams v Helsby B, Winsford Cons A v Moulton Rbl A

Section Three Barnton CC C v Middlewich RBL B (Thursday), Owley Wood C v Shavington B (Thursday), Crowton v Davenham B, Hartford A v Winsford Cons B, Sandbach Park B v Rudheath Bowls C, Winnington A v Delamere A

Section Four: Comberbach C v Comberbach D (Thursday), Davenham C v Davenham D (Thursday), Tarporley B v Hartford B (Thursday), Cuddington v Barnton CC D, Moulton RBL B v Winnington B, Owley Wood D v Castle S&SC E

Comberbach’s brand new mixed pairs competition was held on Sunday, and a high-quality field turned out to battle for the prizes.

A great day’s bowling ended with Mid-Cheshire pairing Carly Williams and Owen Cookson winning the competition and the £300 prize, beating Neil Slattery and Stacey Dyson.

Two Mid Cheshire pairs – A Hamman/E Gowen and S & P Drinkwater – missed out, losing in the semi-finals.

The day was made easier and more enjoyable by how impressively the competition was run – all credit must go to the whole team at Comberbach.

Local company D&D Coatings carried on a tradition of supporting bowls in Mid Cheshire by sponsoring this event as well as next week’s open competition at Comberbach.

This Saturday – April 27 – the Owley Wood Spring Open takes place at Owley Wood Recreation Club, Barrymore Road Weaverham CW8 3LS.

Starting at 10am, 64 bowlers from across the country will be competing for a share of the £2600 prize fund.

Callum Wraight, Dave Mcdermot, Glynn Cookson, Nicola Boulton and Tom Vickers are just a few of the top names registered to play along with last year’s winner, Matt Gilmore – a likelihood of top bowling at one of the country’s best crown green bowls venues.

Refreshments will be available to purchase all day, from start of bowls until the end.