All the News and Announcements direct from the Mid-Shropshire League can be found here.
Does your club have newcomers to the sport who you don't feel are quite ready for the cut and thrust of league games on Friday, Thursday or Monday nights?
Well how about considering entering a team for them to be part of in the Saturday afternoon divisions which, starting this year, will boast the same points scoring system as the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division that was so successfully launched in 2014.
Matches are eight-a-side, starting at 2pm, and the points scoring system actively encourages novices by rewarding them for scoring chalks, thus adding to their team's final total for the fixture.
A bowler who scores 5 chalks will earn their team 1 point; scoring 10 will earn 2 points; scoring 15 will earn 3 points; scoring 20 will get a bowler 4 points; and getting to 21 to win the individual game will earn a player 5 points. There are no extra points for total team aggregates.
Shifnal have already been accepted as a new team for the coming season, but withdrawals from last year mean there are spaces for more newcomers.
So the opportunity is there . . . interested parties just need to contact either fixture secretary Ric Hudson or general secretary Malcolm Fletcher to express an interest before the March meeting on Tuesday the 3rd at Wellington's Bayley Club (7.30pm).
League officers are urging all 27 member clubs to attend the AGM of the county association on Monday, February 2 – for two reasons.
Firstly, all affiliated clubs that are not represented at the Reman Sports & Social Club in Shrewsbury (SY1 4JD) at 7.30pm will be fined £10 for the first time in the history of the SCGBA.
Secondly, and more importantly from a Mid Shropshire point of view, the league’s nomination for County Presdient in 2015 will be formally presented at the end of the meeting.
Mike Potter has served a 12 month apprenticeship as Deputy but now is ready to step up to the figurehead role of Shropshire crown green bowls – one he richly deserves.
“We hope all our clubs will be at the county AGM to give Mike the backing he so clearly merits,” said a league spokesman.
The county need to find a successor to John Coxill as competition secretary but Irene Wood of Bylet is willing to stand as County Welfare Officer in place of Barry Jennings.
There is just one rule change to consider – the county executive proposal to increase the annual registration fee from £1 to £2 per player per club.
Last year the same proposal received 45 votes in favour and 34 against – below the two-thirds majority required to bring it into force.
AND DON'T FORGET, the league's monthly meeting for February is on Tuesday the 3rd at Wellington's Bayley Club (7.30pm).
A chance to play in only the second season of the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division, with its revolutionary points scoring system, is up for grabs.
Donnington Wood, one of the 14 members clubs who launched the new division in 2014, have informed league fixture secretary Ric Hudson that they are withdrawing from it.
“Donnington Wood have pulled out so club need to know that there is now a space in the Thursday division,” confirmed Ric.
But Donnington are due to have two teams playing on Fridays this coming season after their B team won division four last year.
Sadly their Thursday Division team, comprising many newcomers to bowls, lost all 26 fixtures, winning just 20 individual games in the eight-a-side set-up.
Clubs interested in taking the vacancy on Thursdays as should contact Ric and general secretary Malcolm Fletcher ASAP.
Three new teams are lined up to play in the league this coming season.
Highley Miners Welfare and Hadley USC B were voted into division three of Mid Shropshire’s Friday set-up at its AGM while Shifnal were accepted as newcomers to the Saturday divisions.
The new additions would give the league three divisions of 14 teams on Fridays in 2015, but Hadley - who would play their home games at nearby Charlton – will make a final decision on their entry, based on playing numbers, before the March 14 cut-off.
All officers were re-elected en bloc, treasurer Celia Miles having reported a profit of £474 on last season despite expenditure of £416 on a new laptop for competitions secretary Phil King and £215 on new shirts for the inter-league teams.
Secretary Malcolm Fletcher told delegates 2015 “is going to be the year of the potter" - with Mike Potter the league’s nomination to become County President next month.
“Mike will be the figurehead of Shropshire bowls this year as County President and we wish him all the very best. I know he will do a superb job and I can promise him the full support of this league and its officers and clubs,” said Fletcher.
Proposed rule changes to bring the league’s Saturday divisions into line with the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division in terms of player eligibility and points scoring system were passed.
So too were changes to give clubs extra time - 28 days- to re-arrange fixtures and to ensure the Ashton Trophies were contested by Monday night bowlers.
Premier bowlers playing in Mid Shropshire on Thursdays and Saturdays will now be allowed to play in Dixon Droscill Doubles, but not the Senior Merit.
Fixtures start dates – Friday divisions on April 3; Mondays on April 13; Thursday on April 2; Saturdays on April 11.
The champions of 2014 in the Molson Coors-sponsored league were honoured at a function attended by nearly 200 people on Saturday night at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel.
And chairman Sean Round told them the league was always looking to keep improving – introducing the Mike Beckett results system, launching a new Thursday Division, working towards on-line cup results this year and a junior development policy for all member clubs in 2016.
“That’s why I think we are the best league in the county,” said Round, who will complete his first year as chairman at tonight’s annual meeting at Wellington’s Sir John Bayley Club (7pm).
Fellow speaker Mike Potter, the league’s nomination to be County President next month, introduced the numerous past Presidents at the dinner and paid tribute to the “cogs of the game” – the few who work hard to organise the sport.
“I think the new Dennis Lewis Thursday Division is the league’s flagship, so well done to everyone involved,” added Potter.
League president Jeff Hutchinson, Round, Potter and league and county junior selector Rob Burroughs made most of the presentations, but it was June Lewis – wife of late chairman Dennis Lewis – who presented the Thursday Division prizes.
And Matthew Rhodes, skipper of the St Georges team that won the super trophy donated by June, said: “We are so proud to be the first winners of this because I knew Dennis really well and he was a top man.”
Special presentations were made to the league’s team that won the Shropshire junior inter-league championship for the fourth year in a row and the side that Tony Roche captained to a second veterans inter-league crown in three years.
All the main officers are prepared to serve for another year when tonight’s AGM goes ahead.
On the agenda are proposed rule changes to give clubs extra time to re-arrange fixtures, open up competitions to more bowlers and tighten up the rules of the Ashton Trophies knockouts contested by Monday night teams.
In addition the league wants to bring the eligibility and points scoring rules for Saturday division teams into line with the successful Thursday Division.
As for new teams applying to join the league, Highley Miners Welfare want to launch a side on Fridays and Shifnal aim to join the Saturday divisions.
The league’s oldest trophy has been successfully renovated and given a new lease of life.
The division one championship cup, first presented in 1932 to lone-gone Dawley club Royal Exchange, has had 22 new shields put on its original wooden base.
That’s because the silver band listing the winners for the last 81 years is completely full, leading the Shropshire Trophy & Bowling Centre to come up with the shields solution.
And the first of those shields has now been engraved ‘2014 Newport’ after their table-topping feats last season, when Fishes star Martyn France also topped the first division averages.
The upgrade of this trophy, which is solid silver and would cost in the region of £6,000 to replace like-for-like, is part of the review of all the Mid Shropshire trophies that has been carried out by officers.
So they should be in tip-top condition for the league’s annual presentation dinner on Saturday,10 January, 2015, at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel (7pm start) when more than 200 are booked to attend.
Two clubs will boast two divisional titles and two will boast a double of averages prize-winners at the league's annual presentation dinner on Saturday, January 10.
St Georges are the proud first winners of the new Dennis Lewis Thursday Division and also added the Saturday Division A title, while rejuvenated Donnington Wood finished top of division 4 and the Saturday B Division.
Bowlers from Mid Shropshire champions Newport and third division winners Madeley Cricket Club will also be in the spotlight in front of a crowd of 200-plus at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel early In the new year.
Martyn France finished top of the first division averages and his Newport clubmate Philip Emery is the first winner of the Thursday Division prize.
Madeley duo Peter Jones (division 3) and Reg Bennett (division 6) did the averages double for them during a fine season for the MCC.
The league's officers have held an informal meeting to assess the condition of all the trophies due to be presented at the annual prize-giving dinner on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel (7pm).
Three need additional engraving, one shield needs a new stand, another requires new 'mini' shields on it and another needs a repair to its base.
Two more cups need new bases and bands and another is in need of a repair to a broken handle.
Katie Carpenter, representing league sponsors Molson Coors, will be among the guests at the dinner, bookings for which now stand at 176.
Can we break the 200 barrier? Watch this space . . .
Winners of ALL league trophies are reminded that they MUST be returned to competitions secretary Phil King at the October Executive meeting on Tuesday the 7th at Wellington's Bayley Club (7.30pm).
League officials want to carry out a full scale review of the state of all the trophies to see which need updating, repairing or even replacing before they are officially handed over at the league's annual dinner on Saturday, January 10, at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel.
Tickets for the function can be booked through club secretaries and delegates, the cost being for adults £20 (£21 for the beef main meal option) and juniors £10 (£11 beef option).
Finalising a guest list for the presentation function is on the agenda for the October Executive Meeting, along with a review of the Thursday and Saturday divisions, prize money levels and the league's proposals for rule changes next year,
Newport’s buzzing bowlers are celebrating winning the league's first division championship - the club's third league title in Shropshire this year.
Having already wrapped up the Shropshire Premier and Wem titles, Newport’s Mid Shropshire A team ended the 2014 season 28 points clear of last year’s division one winners St Georges A after the final fixtures on Friday, September 26..
Fishes star Martyn France also topped the first division averages, but St Georges still managed a Mid Shropshire double.
The Dragons were crowned the first champions of the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division, finishing two points ahead of Hadley USC after both picked up maximum 40 point hauls from away fixtures on the last night of the campaign - at Stockton and Charlton respectively.
And St Georges also won Saturday Division A with Alison Cotton enjoying 15 straight wins to take the averages. Donnington Wood A won Saturday Division B with Martin Williams topping the averages.
Albrighton secured their second successive promotion by pipping Stockton to top spot in division two while Madeley Cricket Club B beat title rivals Allscott B 9-6 at home on Friday to finish top of the third division by just five points.
Mid Shropshire official are now busy planning for the special tribute night to late chairman Dennis Lewis, to be held at Wellington's Sir John Bayley Club on Saturday, October 4, from 6pm.
It will be centred around two challenge matches - a Mid Shropshire League 12 versus a Shropshire Ladies 12 on the bottom No. 1 green and MId Shropshire juniors past against present showdown on the No. 2. These will be followed by some fun events to raise money for charity before refreshments inside.
1-10 of 85