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Ashley's Ace In Under-25 Merit

posted Jun 19, 2016, 4:17 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Jun 22, 2016, 12:00 PM ]

Ashley Gregory made a big bowls decision very early in the season – and it looks like it’s paying off.

For Gregory, who switched his Mid Shropshire allegiance from Hadley USC to reigning champions Donnington Wood after just two games, is the league’s new Under-25 Merit champion.

Armed with seven wins from his nine division one games for the Bell Boys, he emerged from a terrific 33 entries at St Georges on Saturday 18 June.

In a final that finished just before midnight, Ashley beat Bylet’s averages leader Cheryl Caswell 21-14 to receive the trophy from league president Mike Potter as the second winner of the title.

“The final started with Cheryl trying to get onto her preferred corners and Ashley onto his shorter length from the green centre down to a corner and back," said Potter, who was also referee on the night.

Gregory, the 2012 Shropshire Junior Merit winner, raced 17-5 up after 18 ends and, even though the British Ladies Junior Merit winner of 2004 changed to a shorter round peg when she got in, the Donnington dazzler would not be denied.

Competitions secretary and trophy donator Phil King, who had used both greens to cope with an entry that was three up on last year, made the thank you speech before the presentation.

In the semi-finals, Gregory used a 20 metre straight mark to run out from 13 across against Martin Gaut while another Wrockwardine Wood bowler, his cousin Sally Clee, was coming unstuck 21-12 against Caswell in the corners.

Quarter-final scores: Gregory 21 Harry Church (Sinclair)6, Gaut 21Craig Baugh (SJ Bayley)18, Caswell 21 Aaron King (Bowring) 12, Clee 21 David Lloyd (Bowring) 18.
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