STEVE Morrey says Castle were motivated to win their Brunner Cup semi-final last weekend by critics writing off their chances.

They saw off Tixall on Saturday by 18 chalks to secure their place in next month’s showpiece.

Coincidentally, the teams were separated by an identical margin when they met at the same stage four years ago.

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

“Not bad for no-hopers, is it?” asked Morrey, Castle’s captain.

“We’d been written off on social media and by other bowlers, but I felt confident we could beat them.

“Our performance was pretty much perfect – everybody made a contribution on the day – and that makes me proud to lead them.”

Rob Winnington and Andy Hamman were first off the green in Warrington after successes against Andy Hayes (21-12) and Peter Jones (21-14) respectively.

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

Morrey said: “We’d spoken beforehand about making a good start.

“It might have been a better one too, because I was well up before losing.

“That dampened my spirits, but not for long.

“We kept our noses in front, and that quietened them. All you could hear were our supporters.”

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 (21-14) 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 on the day with a 21-9 drubbing of Robbie Fitzpatrick.

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 as a consolation for the Birkenhead-based outfit.

Six-time winners Lloyd Hotel, as they did in 2013, provide the opposition in the final.


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