Stockport Express

So eager to get into the swing


JUST five weeks after outdoor sport was given the go ahead in relaxation of Covid pandemic restrictio­ns, the crown green bowlers are enjoying practises and friendlies. Now they are ready for Alderley Edge League fixtures on local greens.

Secretary to the League, Steve Fletcher, explained that his committee was devastated when the planning and organising for 2020 fixtures was thwarted.

He added: “Our frustratio­n on behalf of all the teams and clubs in 2020 has ensured we were fully prepared to implement all the amended league arrangemen­ts for 2021, with immediate effect. We have needed to make some minor alteration­s in the operation of all the leagues. But our season of competitiv­e matches is now ready to run.”

There will be a full fixture list of home and away crown green bowling matches for all the various sections, Ladies, Gents, Mixed and Vets teams. The annual knockout events and special competitio­ns have been shelved this year, in order to allow time to fulfil the league schedule of weekly encounters between May and September.

Fixtures in the Gents League start on Monday May 3rd. In 3 divisions, 32 teams commence their 2021 battles, based on 2019 results. New club,

Kerridge, field 3 mens teams this year. The champions Poynton Sports A, and indeed champions for 9 years running, begin their 2021 Alderley Edge League matches facing the only team promoted to division 1, Parkside, in a home fixture. Division 1 runners up Bollington bowl at home against 4th placed Hazel Grove Mens team, who beat them in the 2019 knockout championsh­ip by a very narrow margin, to start their challenges this year.

Wednesday 5th May is the beginning of weekly evening Ladies League matches. 28 club teams are participat­ing in 3 divisions this season.

In Division 1, at home, Poynton Sports A meet promoted Waggon and Horses A to defend their title. And promoted Bramhall Queensgate also face a challengin­g first Division 1 game, against Parkside.

Great Moor Sports bowler Annette Reece, who scored a significan­t average of 11.57 over 16 matches in 2019, joins her team members with their 2021 campaign after promotion to Division 2. They play away to Prestbury. Also promoted were Hazel Grove, meeting South Park away in their first fixture.

Division 3 sees the 2 relegated teams from Division 2 in 2019, Thorn Grove A and Cheadle battling each other in their first match. And both teams down from Division 1 to 2 are also matched, with Crown hosting Railway. Crown team member Chris Bates smiled: “It has been a long wait, but I am delighted that the competitiv­e league season for 2021 is finally underway.”

Thursdays feature Alderley Edge Mixed team activity, from 39 teams in 4 divisions this year, played in both mornings and afternoons. A fixture between both teams promoted to Division 1, Macclesfie­ld and Bramhall Queensgate promises to be a close first game. Dave Beaumont of QBC commented, “This match will be very demanding, but Division 1 participat­ion is a reward we have long awaited. We are eager to experience bowling against the top teams.” And Barry Marsland from 2019 Thorn Grove D team aims to maintain his stunning 2019 averages score of 11.88 over 16 matches in Division 4, with his captaincy of the B team in his first match against the Thorn Grove C team in Division 3 this season.

And each week concludes with Vets matches in the Alderley Edge League, on Friday afternoons. 2021 sees 31 teams, 4 fewer than in 2019, compete in 3 divisions.

Derek Hird of Ryecroft in Cheadle Hulme said: “Our 2 Vets teams eagerly await matches starting. The fixture list is out, our green is fully prepared and we are ready.”

His team hopes to improve on their 2019 finish in the middle of Division 1, beginning their campaign away at Wilmslow RBL.

From the first week of May, bowlers will populate the bowling greens of the borough and beyond, in enthusiast­ic and competitiv­e teams. All aim to prove that their skills are retained, after a year of absence of any league fixtures.

Some teams have current vacancies. Interested bowlers should enquire about clubs and teams via the league secretary, Steve Fletcher, on 0780508205­6.

 ??  ?? ●●Vice captain of Bramhall Queensgate, Dave Beaumont, bowls off at home for his team
●●Vice captain of Bramhall Queensgate, Dave Beaumont, bowls off at home for his team

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