Super Stuart

A Sinclair bowler’s dedication to the League has reaped the richest individual reward possible.

Stuart Church has played his way to the top of tree for Sinclair in the MSBL over more than a decade – and now he’s king of the League too.

He won the 2022 Mid Shropshire Senior Merit on Saturday 30th July at Maddocks, capping a day of fine performances with a 21-12 victory over Ian Pessall of Hadley USC in the final.

Stuart’s day did not start too well though as plans to pick up son Harry en route to the Shropshire Vertidrain & Turf Services Ltd-sponsored competition went awry and he was left to cut a lone figure for most of the afternoon.

But it did not stop him performing on the green as he beat young Akeel Khan (Shifnal) 21-17 in the quarter-finals and then comp organiser Phil King (Sir John Bayley) 21-16 in the semis.

And in the final Stuart produced a vital burst of three doubles to go from 11-6 up to 17-6 and then holding his nerve to get over the finishing line.

With Sinclair doing so well in the top flight of the league this season, Stuart – second in the club averages behind son Harry – must surely have his sights on his championship title too.

The consolation for runner-up Ian Pessall, younger son of Shropshire legend Keith, was to be the recipient of a new trophy donated by County and League President Mike Potter.

“I tried but the better bowler on the day won,” he said, after he had rallied well to beat Jamie Brookes 21-19 in the semi-finals, the Shifnal bowler then heading straight off to the Conwy Festival.

Brookes had ended the four in a row title hopes of Wrockwardine Wood star Jamie King 21-16 in the quarter-finals when the other scores were: Pessall 21 Alison Cotton (St Georges) 16; Phil King 21 Harry Brookes (Shifnal) 13.

The competition was played as a one-dayer, lack of entries meaning qualifiers were not needed and 22 bowlers competed for a prize fund boosted by £125 by the new sponsors.

PICTURED (from left) sponsor Mike Humphries, winner Stuart Church, League President Mike Potter, Ian Pessall, sponsor Paul Beer