Bowls: Greenfield close in on division one title

Members of the East Lancs bowls team who were beaten by Colne Valley

Members of the East Lancs bowls team who were beaten by Colne Valley

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

THE race for both the first and second division titles appears to be over.

Although not yet mathematically certain it seems that Greenfield and Longshaw B have done enough.

The top of the table clash in Division One went Greenfield’s way. After finding themselves 2-1 down the leaders dug deep against a determined Park who were desperate to keep their own hopes of the runners up spot alive.

Chris Lawson was relieved when Olly Taylor missed pink in what was looking like an easy clearance in the opener after fighting his way back from an early run of 30 by his opponent.

Frame two started off a tactical affair between Mark Jennings and former team-mate Craig Steele.

After some intense safety play Jennings got in first and scored 18 before inexplicably miscuing on an easy red. Steele got the red but finished nowhere and that was the last opportunity he got as Jennings ran out a 63-1 winner.

He and partner Baz O’Kane then took the opening pairs to put Greenfield behind for only the second time this year.

In the next George Holden was in superb form as he opened up a 42 point lead on the green, only for opponent Mark Farrimond to somehow lay three successful snookers.

Holden didn’t panic and jumped on a loose safety to run out a comfortable 76-25 winner.

Pete Arkwright has been out of action for a few weeks due to a back injury but you wouldn’t have noticed as he beat O’Kane to put the visitors 3-2 up.

The next pairs was a fantastic frame to watch as Greenfield veteran Gary Hampson rolled back the clock to knock in a superb 71 clearance, 4-2 to the visitors.

Dave Houghton used all his experience to take the next against the highly rated Steve Aspinall to ensure victory for the leaders.

Hampson couldn’t repeat his earlier heroics in the last, going down to Steve Sweeney. The result, along with Hoddlesden’s splendid 7-1 victory over West View means that Park drop to third.

The relegation battle is also getting tense. Mill Hill played host to Punch and had no answer to Ian Harle and co.

The Darwen outfit raced into a 4-1 lead, winning all the singles. Mill Hill's woe increased in the next when Harle fired in a lovely 51 break to put his team 5-1 up.

Eamon Bufton and John Ferguson managed to pinch the final doubles but when Phil Ryder took the last it left Mill Hill pondering life in the second division next year.

Fellow strugglers West View ran into a juggernaut as they took on Hoddlesden who claimed seven points and are now favourites to finish second.

Fox & Hounds entertained Cherry Tree and came off second best.

Fox’s two points came courtesy of Simon Ashe who took his singles and his pairs with partner Lee Entwistle.

The final match saw an under strength Stanhill pip Park B 5-3.

In Division Two, Longshaw B were at their brilliant best as they whitewashed a hapless Anchor.

Jonny Hannan took the opener against Bob Graves and in frame two Frank Jex was imperious as he smashed in a run of 66 to beat Luke Hargreaves. Hannan and Jex took the next thanks to a well taken 46 from Hannan and the night just got worse for Anchor as frame after frame zipped by in double quick time.

Who joins Longshaw in division one next year is anyone’s guess as just five points separate the next three teams.

Longshaw A will be kicking themselves after going down 5-3 at home to Borough and they find themselves they points behind second placed VIP A who beat Feniscowles 5-3.

VIP B took all 8 points because of a Blackburn Golf B no show but it was too late to help in their fight for promotion as they find themselves five points behind Rishton Golf Club’s in and out season continued with a 5-3 win over bottom placed Hole I’th Wall.

EAST Lancs slipped to defeat against Colne Valley in the Federation of Crown Bowls National League Championship.

East Lancs held a slender lead after the first leg held at Darwen Subcription Club, winning seven of the 12 matches on the day with a total score of 197-188.

However, Colne Valley dominated on their home patch at Longwood Bowling Club, Huddersfield, with Rushton Street’s Craig Rammell the only East Lancs player to taste success as Colne won 11-1 for an overall match aggregate of 22-10.

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