Nearly 90!

Celebrating 90th anniversary gold label, vector illustration

Established in 1932, it’s nearly time to celebrate the League’s 90th birthday!

In fact the 90th Anniversary celebration is just four days away, the party being at founder member club St Georges on Saturday.

That’s when £90 in prize money will be divided between the last four in the MSBL @ 90 Singles featuring representatives of 32 present and past clubs that starts at 10.30am on the original bottom green. In addition, two trophies that are nearly as old as the League have been specially engraved and will go to the finalists.

The celebration is FREE to enter, with hot food (bacon and sausage baps) and drinks available all day – and the bar will be open too! – with those attending encouraged to buy one of 90 squares that will be on sale, with the lucky winner to receive £50.

The singles competition is the centrepiece of the day but, at 1pm, a fun challenge match will start on the top green and ANYONE with a Mid Shropshire connection who wants to be part of what we hope will be a day to remember and wants to play in it WILL get a game – against a bowler of a similar ability.

The aim is for both competitions to finish at teatime – and that is followed by the chance to see the popular music duo the James Brothers perform in the function room at the Sports & Social Club that evening from 9pm for just £5 per head.

Hope to see you there!

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Party Plan!

The countdown to the League marking its 90th anniversary with a special event as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations has begun.

The Mid Shropshire League, formed in 1932, is organising a day of its own celebrations on Saturday (JUNE 4) from 10.30am at St Georges Bowling Club.

“St Georges were one of the founding member clubs of the league so it is fitting that the 90th anniversary party is being staged there,” said League secretary Malcolm Fletcher.

“The day starts with a singles competition on the original bottom green with representatives from the last 32 clubs to have played in the league taking part and the winner to receive a trophy that is nearly as old as the league!

“Then at 1pm there will be a fun challenge match on the top green for anyone with a Mid Shropshire connection to be involved in.

“Everyone who wants to play will get a game against a bowler of a similar ability, with the two teams to be captained by Paul Beer and Alison Cotton of the host club, who the league thanks for acting as hosts.

“We just hope that we get a big turnout for what we plan to be a special day to give the League a memorable 90th birthday.”

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Merit Time!

Entries are now being taken for 2022 Senior Merit – which this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.

That’s because, thanks to sponsorship from Shropshire Vertidrain & Turf Services Ltd, the prize fund has boosted by £100 – with an additional £25 for the highest break on finals day!

Qualifying is on Wednesday 15th June (6.30pm start) with finals day for the last 16 on Saturday 30th July.

Entries should go competition secretary Phil King (for contact details see League Contacts under Admin on this site, where the entry form can be downloaded) but all who enter should be aware of:

Appendix to Competition Rules – for 2022 ONLY

    Explanation – After 2 years badly hit by Covid, the rules for both the Senior Merit and Harris Cup need amending for the 2022 season.

    The eligibility criteria for the Senior Merit needs clarification for this one season while the Harris Cup rules are added on to this Appendix, to be changed formally at the 2023 AGM.

    League officers feel an Appendix to the Rules, for the 2022 season only, is the best way forward at this stage of the year – rather than calling an EGM – and can be approved under the League’s General Rules which state:

    1. Any matter not provided for in the rules shall be dealt with by the League Executive whose decision is final.

 Individual Merit:

Change from:

1. Players on the named list as per rule 21(c) shall not be permitted to play in the Mid Shropshire Merit – unless they have played a minimum total of 10 Thursday and / or Saturday division games in the previous and / or current season at the time of the entry deadline.

To read for 2022 only (change in bold):

1.      Players on the named list as per rule 21(c) shall not be permitted to play in the Mid Shropshire Merit – unless they have played a minimum total of 10 Thursday and / or Saturday division games in the current and / or 2019 season at the time of the entry deadline.

Prize Guys

Entries are now flowing in for this year’s Senior Merit, now sponsored by Shropshire Vertidrain & Turf Services Ltd to the tune of £125 – see Competition News for details.

Wednesday 25th May is prelim round night in the Harris Cup and first round night in the Ashton Cup for Monday teams, although the tie between Wrockwardine Wood D and Charlton has to be re-arranged due to Covid.

There’s just former club Elephant & Castle (Shawbury) left to let the League know who will represent them in the MSBL @ 90 Singles at St Georges on Saturday 4th June (10.30am start).

A trophy from the 1940s will go to the winner from the 32-strong field on the bottom green, the banners and bunting are in hand, a PA system organised and St Georges are on top of the good and drink.

Everyone with any connection to the League is urged to attend and anyone who wants to play in the fun challenge match on the top green from 1pm, with Paul Beer and Alison Cotton as captains, WILL get a game against someone of a similar ability.

Meanwhile, both Mid Shropshire teams are through to the last eight of the Shropshire senior inter-league championship  without delivering a bowl in anger!

And the draw for the quarter-finals on Saturday 25th June (6.30pm start) sees MSBL A take on Whitchurch B at Old Shrewsbury (No.2 green) while MSBL face Premier League Blue at Donnington Wood.

The MSBL A squad is: Michael Cooper (captain), Les Mumford, Paul Beer, Lee Parton, Darren Lord, Nick Mullinder, Aidy Ashley,  Joe Killen, Alison Cotton.

MSBL B (Malcolm Fletcher non-playing captain!)  – Peter Millington, Tony Garmson, Phil Craggs, Tony Roche, Jayne Craggs, Pauline Wilson, James Blair, Paul Bradburn, Tom Killen.

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Cups & Teams

The draws for the Harris Cup and Ashton team knockouts – now both 5 home-5 away – have been made, with opening ties to be played on Wednesday 25th May – see Competition News

And the squads for the MSBL A and B teams for this year’s Shropshire senior inter-league championship have also been selected – see below.

The A team were due to play a preliminary round tie in the 8-a-side knockout on Saturday 21st May – but that is now OFF as scheduled opponents Tanners Shropshire can’t raise a side due to lack of interest.

So both will now feature in the quarter-finals on Saturday 25th June – unless the county association’s competitions committee decide otherwise!

The League is still waiting to hear from 3 clubs as to who will represent them in the MSBL @ 90 Singles at St Georges on Saturday 4th June (10.30am start).

And anyone who wants to play in the fun challenge match on the top green from 1pm, with Paul Beer and Alison Cotton as captains, WILL get a game against someone of a similar ability.

The MSBL squad for Shropshire veterans inter-league championship on Saturday 11th June at Wrockwardine Wood is being picked this week and bowlers selected will be notified via their clubs.

SENIOR INTER-LEAGUE SQUADS

MSBL A – Michael Cooper (captain), Les Mumford, Paul Beer, Lee Parton, Darren Lord, Nick Mullinder, Aidy Ashley,  Joe Killen, Alison Cotton.

MSBL B (Malcolm Fletcher non-playing captain!)  – Peter Millington, Tony Garmson, Phil Craggs, Tony Roche, Jayne Craggs, Pauline Wilson, James Blair, Paul Bradburn, Tom Killen

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Cup Time!

Wednesday 25th May is preliminary round night in the Harris Cup – now 5 home-5 away – and also first round evening in the Ashton Cup for Monday division teams thanks to a perfect 16 entries.

The full draws for that night are:

Harris Cup – Prelim Round on Weds 25/05/22
1SJ Bayley (+2)    Allscott Heath (+12)AtSJB
1Allscot Heath (+12)    SJ Bayley (+2)AtAllscott
2Shifnal (+17)    Hadley USC (+1)AtShifnal
2Hadley USC (+1)    Shifnal (+17)AtHUSC
3Horsehay (+7)    Newport (Premier, -31)AtHorsehay
3Newport (Premier, -31)    Horsehay (+7)AtNewport
4Wrock Wood (Premier, -28)    Bylet (Premier, -25)AtWrock Wd
4Bylet (Premier, -25)    Wrock Wood (Premier, -28)AtBylet
Ashton Cup – First Round on Weds 25/05/22
1Wrock Wood D(+22)    Charlton B(+16)AtWrock Wood D
1Charlton B(+16)    Wrock Wood D(+22)AtCharlton B
2Newport C(+1)    Much Wenlock B(+11)AtNewport C
2Much Wenlock B(+11)    Newport C(+1)AtMuch Wenlock B
3Hadley U S C B(+21)    St. George’s D(+29)AtH U S C B
3St. George’s D(+29)    Hadley U S C B(+21)AtSt. George’s D
4Trench C(+8)    Sinclair C(+10)AtTrench C
4Sinclair C(+10)    Trench C(+8)AtSinclair C
5Madeley CC C(+4)    Shifnal C(+7)AtMadeley CC C
5Shifnal C(+7)    Madeley CC C(+4)AtShifnal C
6Horsehay C(+17)    Wrock Wood CAtHorsehay C
6Wrock Wood C    Horsehay C(+17)AtWrock Wood C
7Allscott Heath C(+1)    Bowring C(+12)AtAllscott Heath C
7Bowring C(+12)    Allscott Heath C(+1)AtBowring C
8St Georges C(+5)    SJ Bayley C(+2)AtSt Georges C
8SJ Bayley C(+2)    St Georges C(+5)AtSJ Bayley C

Dave’s delight

MIKE POTTER REPORTS ON DAVE BOWN’S SECOND OVER-60 MERIT TRIUMPH

The first winner of the Mid Shropshire League’s Over-60 Merit was Dave Brown in 2016 at Trench.

And back at the same venue for the 2022 competition on Saturday 14th May the day ended with the same winner after Dave Brown – PICTURED – defeated last year’s champion, Kevin Carter of Broseley 21-9 to have his name engraved on the trophy for a second time.

A preliminary round game saw Dave Oldcorn fight his way back from 5-12 down and eventually tie his game with Helen Clee 16-16 before going on to finish the game off 21-17.

Quarter -Finals

Dave Oldcorn began well to lead Tony Roche 6-1, before losing the jack for 10 straight ends that saw Tony stretch into a 17-6 lead and kept up the pressure to maintain his advantage as the game ended 21-10.

Kevin Carter opened up a strong 9-1 on Steve Wall which he turned into 12-5 and up to 18-10 and managed to hold Steve’s late surge to get the win from 19-15 to finish 21-15.

After an even start with the scores between reigning British Veterans Merit champion Keith Pessall and Pete Spragg 6-6, Pete took control of the game to go 14-8 up before ending Keith’s hopes by winning 21-13.

Dave Brown & Dave Wall found difficulty trying to out-fox each other on different marks around the green as neither could not hold onto the jack all the way down the card, 8-8, 12-12 and 17-17. Until at 18-18 Browny managed to hold it for 3 ends to go through 21-18.

Semi-finals

With all four of the Semi-finalists having been winners of this title, the small group of gathered spectators were not disappointed as they were to see some top class bowls.

A very evenly matched game between Kevin Carter and Tony Roche began 6-6, and went on to 11-11, 15-15 and 17-17 before Kevin grabbed his chance and take the last 4 ends to make the final, winning 21-17.

Meanwhile, Dave Brown & Pete Spragg were also trying to break away from each other that saw their scores go from 4-4, 7-7 and 12-12 until Dave did take control of the jack and won 7 of the game’s last 8 ends to seal his 21-14 win through to the final.

The final:

Dave Brown established a 5-4 (6 ends) over the reigning champion Kevin Carter and, once he had found a favourable 25 metre mark along the bottom edge of the green, Dave wasted little time by taking 8 unanswered ends and into a commanding 16-4 (15ends) lead – from which point the players shared the next 10 ends, each counting 5 single chalks that saw the contest end with Dave Brown winning 21-9 (25ends)

Standing in for the holidaying Competitions Secretary, League chairman Sean Round thanked the competitors and Trench Bowling Club for the hospitality and generous use of a green in pristine condition before League President, Mike Potter, presented the Ray & Jeff Hutchinson Cup to a delighted and deserving champion, Dave Brown.

More History

Two more slices of Mid Shropshire history have been made in this, the League’s 90th anniversary year.

The Over-60 Merit returned to the same venue, Trench, where the competition was played for the first time back in 2016, and – like then – it ended with the same winner!

That was Dave Brown, now bowling full-time with Sinclair, who defeated last year’s champion Kevin Carter (Broseley) 21-9 in the final on a day that saw Helen Clee of Wrockwardine Wood become the first lady bowler to compete in it.

But it was Dave who came out on top of 9 entries to earn the right to have his named engraved on the Ray & Jeff Hutchinson Trophy for a second time

The 2022 Over-60 Merit entrants face the came at Trench: Back (from left) Dave Brown, Dave Wall, Pete Spragg, Kevin Carter, Keith Pessall; front, Tony Roche, Helen Clee, Steve Wall, Dave Oldcorn,

For full details see Competition News.

Now all the over-60s who bowl in the League will be waiting to see who is selected to represent Mid Shropshire in the Shropshire veterans inter-league championship on Saturday 11th June at Wrockwardine Wood.

The squad to be captained by Peter Spragg will be finalised at a meeting this week.

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May Update

In the wake of another poorly attended May management meeting of the League, clubs have been emailed direct with matters arising from it – one of the most important being that the May meeting may become a thing of the past! Things to note are …

Fixture Secretary update:

The season has started pretty well with only a few minor issues, Wrockwardine Wood withdrawing their division 3 team on the day the Friday leagues were due to start. Unfortunately, this left the division with two byes and I don’t think we have any way of manipulating the fixtures now that the season has started,

Unlisted players for various reasons: I’ve been lenient as regards to fines with it being early in the season and with many new club officials not familiar with the system. Clubs now know the score so fines will be imposed from this meeting on.

There’s one fine for a walkover – Albrighton for their C team v Wrockwardine Wood in division 6 on 11th April.

Cups/Comps update:

General secretary Malcolm Fletcher is now the person to contact with late entries for the Harris Cup or Ashton Cup before the deadline day of Wednesday, 11th May. The draws for both knockouts will be made on Monday 16th May.

HARRIS CUP (now 5 home-5 away) entries to date – 20:

St Georges, Hadley USC, SJ Bayley, Newport, Bowring, Wrockwardine Wood, Horsehay, Trench, Sinclair, Madeley CC, Allscott Heath, Worfield, Shifnal, Charlton, Hadnall, St Georges (Prem), Newport (Prem), Wrockwardine Wood (Prem), Highley (Prem), Bylet (Prem).

ASHTON CUP entries to date – 14

Allscott Heath, St Georges, Wrockwardine Wood C, SJ Bayley, Madeley CC, Sinclair, Hadley USC, Newport, Trench, Bowring, Wrockwardine Wood D, Charlton, Shifnal, Much Wenlcok.

The OVER-60 MERIT will be played on Saturday 14th May at Trench, starting at 11am. Entries will be taken on the day and the League is anxious to encourage ladies to enter this competition. To clarify eligibility, bowlers must be 60 by the day of the competition. Entry costs £8 and in charge on the day will be chairman Sean Round and former vice-chairman Dave Evans of the host club.

DIXON DRISCOLL DOUBLES report- see Competitions News

 90th Anniversary Celebration:

Most clubs have now nominated a representative to play in the MSBL @ 90 singles knockout on Saturday 4th June on the bottom green at St Georges, starting at 10.30am. This will be a 32-strong field featuring the 25 current member clubs and 7 recently lost to the League.

The plan for the top green is a fun challenge match starting at 1pm with a whole host of bowlers to be invited to play. But I can’t stress enough that ANY League bowler who wants to be part of the special day by playing in this match WIIL be accommodated!

Inter-league News

Wrockwardine Wood will host the Shropshire veterans championship on Saturday 11th June. Sinclair stalwart Peter Spragg will captain the MSBL team.

Mid Shropshire has entered 2 teams in the senior inter-league championship and MSBL A, with Michael Cooper as captain, face a preliminary round tie against the Tanners Shropshire on the small green at Whitchurch club Bridgewater on Saturday 21st May (6.30 or 7pm!).

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Nice one Nick

Hadley USC’s Nick Mullinder has a liking for the Dixon Driscoll Doubles – and now he’s doubled up in it.

Partnered by former clubmate Ash Gregory, Mullinder won the League’s main doubles trophy for a second time with a 21-13 final victory over Chris and Ann Grocott (Horsehay).

That brought the curtain down on eight hours of action at Allscott Heaton Saturday 30th April in what may be the last league competition to be played on the green before the club moves over the road to a two-green home that will be part of a multi-sports development.

A full house four to go 16-9 ahead was vital in the crunch game for Mullinder and Gregory, now playing Premier League bowls for Newport, as they had to battle hard to see off the husband and wife duo and deny them what would have been a remarkable triumph.

For former county senior team man Chris Grocott, now 34, has not played competitively for five years until signing for Horsehay this season while Ann had just an hour’s practice as preparation for the competition.

Mullinder, who first claimed the title in 2018 with Ayden Smith, and Gregory beat Hollie Bishton & Dan Bodley (Wrockwardine Wood) 21-20 in a marathon semi-final while the Grocotts were easing to a 21-12 victory over Sir John Bayley father and son, Paul and Owen Evans.

Nineteen of the 20 pairs who had entered turned out on the day and eventual winners Mullinder & Gregory enjoyed two huge wins to start the day, beating Carleen Doody Millington & Shavorne Osborne (Trench) 21-4 and organiser Phil King & Phil Jones (St Georges) 21-3.

PICTURED are the proud 2022 winners Ash Gregory & Nick Mullinder