FOUR years after their previous attempt, Castle will have another opportunity to lift the Brunner Cup for the first time.

The Northwich outfit saw off Tixall on Saturday by 18 chalks – coincidentally the same margin of victory when the sides met at the same stage in 2013 – to secure their place in next month’s final.

Six-time winners Lloyd Hotel, just as they were back then, will be their opponents.

The Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association title-hopefuls were worthy victors at Orford War Memorial in Warrington, where both teams returned six winning cards.

Rob Winnington, who got his hands on the Guardian Cup last week, and Andy Hamman were first off the green after successes against Andy Hayes (21-12) and Peter Jones (21-14) respectively.

Castle proved more than able as front-runners despite Phil Lee coming from behind to beat Steve Morrey, while Danny Barwise got the better of Dave O’Brien, to leave Castle with a slender six-shot advantage after the first four blocks.

Kevin Duncalf was left frustrated after letting slip a 20-14 lead to lose a tense encounter with James Fitzpatrick, but Matty Hamman controlled his head-to-head with Anthony Thompson to keep his side in control.

Adi Faulkner battled hard to put 17 more points on the board before Ian Howell held his nerve to grind out a deserved win.

Jason Cornes was the pick of Castle’s performers with a 21-9 drubbing of Robbie Fitzpatrick, a victory that quietened the enthusiasm of Tixall’s vocal following.

They have seen their side win two of the past three editions of the competition, although the Birkenhead-based favourites were less formidable without Matt Gilmore – the reigning All England champion – and Ian Hazlehurst to help.

Paul Dooley missed out narrowly after trading ends with Nigel Hughes throughout, while Steve Curbishley resisted a rally from Jordan McDermott to settle the outcome.

It meant Dave McDermott’s 21-12 success against Paul Mackie served only to narrow Castle’s margin of victory.


Cheshire County Bowling Association

Brunner Cup


Saturday, July 22

Castle 226-208 Tixall

At Orford War Memorial

Rob Winnington 21-12 Andy Hayes

Steve Morrey 19-21 Phil Lee

Andy Hamman 21-14 Peter Jones

Dave O’Brien 13-21 Danny Barwise

Kevin Duncalf 20-21 James Fitzpatrick

Matty Hamman 21-14 Anthony Thompson

Adi Faulkner 17-21 Anthony O’Neill

Ian Howell 21-17 Mick Andrews

Jason Cornes 21-9 Robbie Fitzpatrick

Paul Dooley 19-21 Nigel Hughes

Steve Curbishley 21-16 Jordan McDermott

Paul Mackie 12-21 Dave McDermott

King & Queen 181-235 Lloyd Hotel

At Shavington BC