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

WHEN I started bowling in the mid-eighties, there was a real buzz about it.

There were big money competitions all over the counties playing crown green bowls. It was one of the very few sports where you could watch games on the television and then find yourself playing one of those bowlers you watched on TV.

Slowly though, the game has lost its appeal. For the last few years, very few new bowlers have entered the sport.

This year, however, Mid-Cheshire clubs are starting to work towards bucking the trend.

Owley Wood, Castle Sports and Wharton Cons have long been the carriers of spotlighting bowls in Mid-Cheshire, with their competitions that draw the country’s top crown bowlers to the area.

This year, they have added more competitions to their calendar and 2024 has brought new clubs running tournaments.

Comberbach have run two phenomenally successful pairs comps while the Shavington club added a singles pre-season comp for the first time that they filled in under two weeks and are hoping to gain sponsorship next year to increase prize money.

Middlewich RBL have continued holding their comps and are trying to bring in new bowlers. On the afternoons of June 15 and 16, they will be holding bowling sessions using their bowls buddies kits (flat shoes or trainers please), also cream teas will be served.

Meadowbank have been trying for weeks now to introduce bowling to ladies every Thursday (6.30pm) and Sunday (5.30pm). Each two-hour session costs just £2 so ladies, if you want a new hobby, why not have a wander down and have a go.

Davenham have a social bowls on Thursday afternoons at 1.15pm, £3 for non-members and £2 for members.

We need more clubs to try to bring new players into the game at all levels. The reality is the more clubs try to bring new players to the game, the better chance of bowls surviving along with its clubs.

You never know where the next Glynn Cookson, Stan Frith, John Gurney or Nicola Boulton will be found but the more clubs looking, the better the odds.

Any club wishing to try to start something up, please get in touch through the Mid Cheshire Bowling League Facebook group. I will be happy to help all I can.

In the Mid-Cheshire League, Frodsham Red Lion maintained top spot and their unbeaten run at home to Crewe PO, with the home team getting nine winners to their opponents’ one to win 203-122.

Castle Sports A drew a little closer to Frodsham with a 206-107 home victory against Owley Wood A while Wharton Cons A had an away match against Rudheath and came away with an impressive eight winners to Rudheath’s two, winning the game 188-157.

In Division Two, Victoria kept their run going with a full house against Barnton CC B, winning 210-118 to make it six wins in six matches.

Barnton CC A beat Lk Graylams 209 -117 to keep the pressure on Victoria at the top of the league.

In Section Four, Comberbach C – the only other team in the five divisions still on an unbeaten run – did not have a game this week.

The Littler Cup semi-finals removed the last two Premier clubs from the competition, with Lk Graylams defeating Wharton Cons 240 – 224.

The second semi between Barnton CC A and Rudheath Bowls A saw the team from Barnton win 259-245. The final is on Friday, July 5.

The Mid-Cheshire Federation team had a tight game in the home leg against Bradford, with six winners each.

Luckily, our winners were slightly better, giving us the extra two points for an aggregate win of 231-189.

Our away side picked up an extraordinary win on a very tough green, winning eight games to the home team’s four. This also gave us the aggregate win 218-193 and the additional two points.

The home and away legs gave us an overall win of 22 points to 10 – should we manage to beat Wallasey next month, we have a chance of going up into Division One.

In the Mid-Cheshire Ladies League, Red Lion maintained top spot with an away win at Castle – they came away with five winners to Castle’s three for a final score of 149-123.

Winnington keep second place in Division One despite losing 142-130 away at Norley A.

The Mid-Cheshire ladies play their second county game against Lancashire on Sunday. Their home matches will be played at Kingswood club near Frodsham (WA6 6JF) while the away team traveling to Burscough CC.

After a tough first match, the ladies will be hoping to get a win and I am sure they would appreciate all the support they can get, home or away.