More than 50 teams sign up to play in senior citizens bowling league
22nd June 2021
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Fifty six teams from 29 clubs will be competing in a new format of six divisions of the Shrewsbury and District Senior Citizens Bowling League this season, which started on June 3.

A shortage of players has resulted in the withdrawal of Bishops Castle B, Crescent, Hadnall B, Llanrhaeadr B and Shelton A, B & C but the league has gained four new teams from Atcham, Albert Road, Battlefield and Castlefields. 

The league was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a late start this year, due to lockdowns and other restrictions, means there is insufficient time to play all the matches in the normal five divisions, each with 12 teams. 

For this season only, the league will therefore have six divisions, each with a maximum of 10 teams, enabling all the fixtures to be completed by the end of September.  

Due to these changes, all matches will be “friendly competitive” with no promotions or demotions at the end of the season. The 2022 fixture list will return to the previous format of five divisions with a maximum of 14 teams. 

Member clubs span an area stretching from Llanrhaeadr y Mochnant, Oswestry and Wem in the north to Craven Arms and Worthen and Brockton in the south. Whilst most of matches are played on a Thursday afternoon, nine teams play their home matches on Wednesday afternoons. 

“The league provides friendly competition and a valued social activity for retired people to enjoy every week,” said league secretary Chris Kershaw. “Having an afternoon senior citizens league enables some of the older bowlers who don’t like bowling in an evening to carry on playing competitively.”  

The league has around 700 registered players, 336 of whom bowl weekly. Sponsor for the 13th season is Shrewsbury-based caravan, motorhome and campervan dealership Salop Leisure, which has regional sales centres in Machynlleth and Stourport-on-Severn.  

The three League Knock-Out competitions - the Dick Meyrick Cup for the top 16 teams, the Ron Smout Cup for the next 16 teams and the Sponsor’s Shield for the remaining 28 teams have been cancelled for this season due to the late start but will be resumed in 2022

The league’s annual singles knockout competition will be held sometime in July and the doubles sometime in August, both at Meole Brace Bowling Club. The annual challenge match against the Mid Shropshire Senior Citizens League for the Dixon Cup will not be played this season. 

The season culminates with a President’s Day competition for the Bill Garratt President’s Cup in mid-September at Meole Brace BC.  

Salop Leisure’s chairman Tony Bywater said the company was proud to be associated with such a successful league. “Many of the players in this league are caravan owners and customers of Salop Leisure who stay active and make the most of their leisure time in retirement,” he added.  

“The league is very popular with senior citizens across Shropshire and the Welsh border. Long may it continue to prosper.” 

The league executive committee consists of president and treasurer, Margaret Cooper from Bagley BC, chairman Roger Whitfield from Battlefield BC, secretary, fixtures and results officer, Chris Kershaw from Meole Brace BC and deputy chairman Harold Banks from Battlefield. Dave Kibbler from Bayston Hill BC is the only honorary life member.

 

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