League News 2018

Great Progress With Sport England Grant

posted Feb 16, 2018, 1:57 AM by Malcolm Fletcher

The first batch of equipment bought with the £7,145 grant from Sport England to boost junior and bowls coaching in general has already arrived.

Newly appointed County Development Officer Pauline Wilson has received all the tapes, targets and mats ordered as part of the scheme.

Thanks to her efforts in getting quotes and negotiating discounts etc, the project will make every penny count.
Burton Bowls Centre are the main suppliers in an order worth £6,717 - that includes 20 extra bowls sets and 22 extra practice jacks over and above the original 50 sets and 50 practice jacks in the 2017 bid.

And Pauline has also been able to buy extra coaching aides to the value of £308 to add to the package she and here fellow coaches can offer to clubs who want to put on fun and modern coaching sessions to try and attract new and young bowlers.

Now it's up to the clubs to take a positive attitude and grasp the nettle . . .  

County Crackdowns . . .

posted Feb 9, 2018, 3:37 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Feb 9, 2018, 3:38 AM ]

Bowlers and officials of member clubs need to be aware to the changes below, which were approved unanimously at the SCGBA's AGM on February 5 in a bid to improve behaviour both on and off the green:

1 - “Any breach of the (County) Code of Conduct may result in a fine, deduction of league points or suspension of players, teams or clubs. Appeals will be heard on payment of £50, which will be refunded if the appeal is successful, by a disciplinary sub-committee”

2 - “Only alcohol which has been purchased at the venue of any county or league event may be consumed. Anyone found to be bringing in their own alcohol will be asked to leave”

3 - Any player registered with the SCGBA who enters any competition whether in Shropshire, or any other Association and fails to pay the appropriate entry fee for that competition by the date stipulated by the competition organiser, will in the event of a non-payment, an immediate 12 month ban from all bowling within the county will be implemented, without exception or right of appeal, which will be at the discretion of the County Executive Committee. 

NO February Meeting - Unless . . .

posted Feb 5, 2018, 8:44 AM by Malcolm Fletcher

Calling all member clubs, secretaries and delegates - there WON'T BE a February Management Committee Meeting on Tuesday the 6th.

Everything that needed to be relayed to clubs ahead of the county association's annual meeting was done at the League's AGM.

The MSBL officers will be meeting during February ahead of the March Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday the 6th - when the 2018 Club Information Sheets (to be sent to secretaries shortly) will need completing and returning by.

But if anything crops up that requires a full meeting of member clubs in the interim it will, of course, be called - with the required 7 days notice. 

Secretary's Report to 2018 AGM

posted Feb 2, 2018, 1:44 AM by Malcolm Fletcher

Ladies and gentlemen, I reflect on 2017 with a huge amount of personal pride – which I hope you all share in.

The year got off to a great start from a personal point of view when the League bestowed life membership on me at the 2017 AGM. I was puzzled as to why, but honoured and humbled in equal measure. Honouring people for their efforts while they are able to enjoy the acclaim is something very important to me and the League – and it’s something we will continue later tonight as three more deserving Mid Shropshire stalwarts (John Hughes, Steve Wall and Frank Booth) get their moment in the spotlight.

Since succeeding the late Ray Butler as secretary in 2011, my over-riding goals have been to secure the long term future of the League, give it a more modern feel by introducing new ideas as smoothly as possible and to make it one of the powerhouses of Shropshire bowls again.

And the proud securing of a £7,000 grant from Sport England in September to pay for five sets of modern coaching equipment can help the League achieve all of those things.

I’m tired of member clubs complaining of falling memberships and a lack of younger bowlers - and we still seem to lose as many teams as we gain each season.

But now, with the help of this grant and our qualified coaches led by Pauline Wilson, we have the tools for clubs to use to try and stem the decline. They just need to take a positive approach, organise coaching sessions for all ages, advertise them as widely as they can and even approach their local schools to spread the message far and wide that bowls is not an old man’s game – it is an inclusive sport for everyone of any age.

The successful grant bid, albeit at the second attempt and after an EGM, followed on from the launch of our Junior Development Policy at the after school bowls club at Hadley Learning Community and Charlton. With Paul Taylor taking over the reins, this scheme enjoyed a second successful year, delivering new members for the host club.

Shifnal and Sinclair continue to benefit from their junior coaching programmes, the Ketley club being awarded a £500 grant from train operating company London Midland thanks to vice-chairman Steve Roberts. And on a personal note, I would like to thank Steve for everything he has done for the League and myself as he now leaves the post after 5 years.

It was the league’s juniors who gave me the biggest bowls thrill of the year. Thanks to people too many to name, we amazingly organised two teams to travel to Ludlow for the Shropshire junior inter-league championship in September. We drew with the host league’s red hot favourites on their own patch and came away with silverware as winners of the consolation cup. Captained by League and County Junior Merit winner Harry Church, these under-18s did themselves and Mid Shropshire proud – and their smiles made this job worth all the effort.

Sticking with the playing side of 2017, Hadley USC returned from the Premier League to regain the first division championship, Sir John Bayley ended the St Georges domination of the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division and Sinclair retained the Saturday division title. 

The Dragons recovered to end Newport’s hold on the Harris Cup, Wrockwardine Wood won the Ashton Cup yet again and the Dave Ellis Memorial Shield was re-launched as a Mid Shropshire ladies against gents challenge which the men won with a good captain at Sinclair!

From a secretarial point of view it has been a fairly smooth year with just one appeal heard by the new disciplinary committee, so ably chaired by Colin Rudrum. We have tried to address its findings later on the agenda under Proposals for Rule Changes.

These proposals include other advances such as the payment of green fees to clubs hosting League competitions, a fee for people who serve on disciplinary committees and one later in the season bill for club accounts.

But there’s other progress still to be made. We can do more on welfare and safeguarding issues and, on the subject of helping hands, your chairman Sean Round is eager to launch an informal self-help group for greenkeepers to share knowledge accumulated over the years.

If we vote Shawbury’s Elephant & Castle into the League later we will be extending our geographical boundary even further. And our influence already spreads beyond that as both the Tanners Shropshire and Whitchurch leagues have adopted our Code of Conduct – and the Tanners have even followed us by moving their annual presentation dinner to January!

And we continue to have a strong voice at county executive level with your delegates being behind the proposal to change the way future County Presidents are nominated.

As for 2018, we aim to launch a Club Person of the Year award, hold the two Ashton finals on the same day at the same venue, re-start the Junior Doubles, target new sponsors and carry out yet more trophy upgrades to make them all things to be proud of winning.

Being the compere for the presentation of those trophies at the annual presentation dinner earlier this month - as stand-in for Phil King - was also a proud if nerve-wrecking time for me.

This function, easily the biggest in Shropshire bowls, is one we should all be rightly proud of. But with attendances of 200-plus I have to admit it has become a bit of a monster for me and my wife Margaret. Put simply, without her efforts I don’t think it would happen . . .

That’s one of the main reasons why I feel we need to appoint an assistant secretary - so that he or she can get an insight into what goes into running this fine League of ours.

I have committed to one more year in this role and then we will have to see what the future holds. But it would seem to me that the future would be a whole lot brighter if we could get a natural successor in place and learning the secretarial ropes.

Oh, and one last piece of news – Ashley Paterson told me at the dinner that Molson Coors will sponsor the League again to the tune of £800 in 2018.

Now can you understand the pride?

Thank you.

Summary Of The 2018 AGM

posted Jan 31, 2018, 12:16 PM by Malcolm Fletcher

Chairman Sean Round thanked all serving officers for their efforts in 2017, one of the highlights of the year being another successful annual presentation dinner earlier in the month.

Secretary Malcolm Fletcher expressed his pride in the award of a £7,145 grant from Sport England to boost coaching resources to help clubs try and attract more new and young recruits to safeguard the future of the League. He also announced that main sponsors Molson Coors would continue their £800 a year backing in 2018.

Treasurer Celia Miles reported a small profit of £35 on 2017 and said that, depending on the number of teams competing in the coming season, the League would have to consider increasing League and match fees. She will produce figures to be discussed by delegates at the March executive meeting.

All officers were re-elected, with the exception of Steve Roberts who was succeeded by Dave Evans (Trench) as vice-chairman. But there were no volunteers for the proposed new post of assistant secretary . . .

All Rule Changes proposed by the Future Ideas Sub Group were passed – and all but one of those put forward by fixture secretary Ric Hudson. Bowring’s ‘playing order on results system’ rule change was passed 12 votes to 10 after a recount, but Madeley Cricket Club’s bid to reduce numbers to 10-a-side in the Monday divisions was rejected with only 4 votes in favour. Shifnal did not attend and so there was nobody to propose their changes.

Hadley USC’s application to field a new B team in division 3 on Fridays was accepted, along with applicants Elephant & Castle (Shawbury) who will be newcomers to the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division.

The constitution of the League’s various divisions and stdart and finish dates for them will be finalised at the March executive meeting.

With the business of the AGM completed in just over an hour, the meeting was followed by a short ceremony to confirm life memberships upon Steve Wall, Frank Booth and John Hughes.

YOUR Chance To Serve League

posted Jan 28, 2018, 12:44 AM by Malcolm Fletcher

There are a number of roles available at this week's AGM for any bowlers or club members who would like to give something back to the sport by helping to run the League.

And current officers are eager to appoint newcomers, in particular an assistant secretary for 2018, at the annual meeting to ensure a smooth transition when planned changes are afoot next year . . .

Notice for the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Mid Shropshire League

The AGM to take place on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at the Sir John Bayley Club, Wellington, Telford (TF1 1QX), starting at 7pm

Election of League Officers for 2018

Office                                                  Post Holder                             2018

President                                             Mike Potter                             Prepared to stand

Chairman                                             Sean Round                            Prepared to stand

Vice-Chairman                                    Steve Roberts                          Wishes to stand down

General Secretary                                Malcolm Fletcher                    Prepared to stand

Assistant Secretary                             (possible new post)                  ............................

Treasurer                                             Celia Miles                              Prepared to stand

Fixture Secretary                                 Ric Hudson                             Prepared to stand

Competition Secretary                        Phil King                                

Minute Secretary                                 Robert Burroughs                   Prepared to stand

Referees Representative                     Mike Potter                             Prepared to stand

League Welfare Officer                      Malcolm Fletcher                    Prepared to stand

Auditor                                               David Winwood                     Prepared to stand


Inter-League selectors

Senior team: Sean Round, Chris Lodge & Ian Pessall in 2017 (IP standing down)

Junior team: Derek Killen, Rich Lawson & Peter Roden in 2017 (all prepared to stand)

Veteran team: Tony Roche in 2017 (wishes to stand down)

County delegates - Malcolm Fletcher, Sean Round & Ian Gaut in 2017 (all prepared to stand)

County youth selectors: Rich Lawson, Peter Roden & Derek Killen in 2017

AGM Time Looms . . .

posted Jan 23, 2018, 12:27 PM by Malcolm Fletcher

Notice for the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Mid Shropshire League

The AGM to take place on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at the Sir John Bayley Club, Wellington, Telford (TF1 1QX), starting at 7pm


1  Chairman’s opening address – followed by Apologies & In Memoria

2  Minutes of the 2017 AGM

3  Matters arising

4  General Secretary's Report

5  Treasurer’s Report (accounts circulated with agenda)

6  Auditor’s Report

7  Election of Officers (see page 2)

8  Honoraria for 2018

NB: Club delegates have agreed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) should be used to calculate honoraria increases, with October the trigger point. In October 2017 the CPI was 2.8 %.

9  Proposals for Rule Changes (see pages 3 to 8)

10 Constitution of the League for the 2018 season

11 Start dates & schedule for the 2018 season



As the annual meeting has been combined with the scheduled January Management Committee meeting, the AGM will be followed by a short session to deal with the ordinary business of the League. This will include correspondence, a report of the County Executive meeting on January 8 and consideration of proposals for the county AGM on February 5.


That Was The Year That Was!

posted Jan 16, 2018, 1:46 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Jan 18, 2018, 6:32 AM by Stephen Wall ]

Prize money of £6,500 was presented at the League's latest successful annual dinner at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel on Saturday 13th January .

Hadley USC marked their return after relegation from the Premier League by winning the first division championship and St Georges star Sonya Lucas made history as the first female winner of the division one averages title.

Sir John Bayley ended St Georges reign in the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division, Bayley Boy Paul Reeves also winning the Senior Merit, while Sinclair retained the Saturday Division crown.

Peter Millington won two divisional averages awards as Trench clinched the second division championship, County Cup winners St Georges added the Harris Cup, Wrockwardine Wood won the Ashton Cup yet again and Allscott won a cracking Ashton Shield final.

Ashley Gregory, now back with Hadley, retained the Under-25 Merit title and 16-year-old Harry Church of Sinclair did a superb League and Shropshire under-18 Merit double.

Late no-shows due to illness etc meant an actual attendance of 203 on the night when County President Mike Caddick was the main speaker and Ashley Paterson (Molson Coors), Mike Potter (President), Sean Round (Chairman) and bowlers Angela Gaut and Harry Church were guests of honour.

And an incredible £493 was made on the raffle as the league celebrated the 2017 campaign in style.
League secretary Malcolm Fletcher said:"I want to say a very big and sincere thank you to everyone who helped in any way at the annual presentation dinner. I just hope all the 200 plus who attended enjoyed it as much as my wife Margaret - who really is the main organiser - and I."

Countdown - Tonight's The Night!

posted Jan 13, 2018, 2:47 AM by Malcolm Fletcher

The waiting is over . . . today's the day when the Mid Shropshire League celebrates the 2017 campaign at Shropshire’s biggest bowls presentation function.

County President Mike Caddick will propose a toast to the 86-year-old League at its annual dinner that has 212 booked to attend on Saturday 13th January at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel (7pm, meal at 7.30).

Bowlers in the spotlight will be Angela Gaut, the Wrockwardine Wood stalwart who won the Isle of Man September Festival and was runner-up in the British Ladies Champion of Champions just days later, and Sinclair’s Harry Church.

The 16-year-old completed a super double of Mid Shropshire and Shropshire Junior Merit crowns as well as captaining the league’s team to silverware in the Shropshire junior inter-league championship.

Hadley USC will be crowned as champions, Sir John Bayley as first time winners of the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division while Sinclair retained the Saturday Division trophy.

Countdown - 1 Day To Go . . .

posted Jan 12, 2018, 2:11 AM by Malcolm Fletcher

The man who keeps the League on the straight and narrow will be among the guests of honour at the MSBL's annual presentation dinner on Saturday 13th January at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel (7pm).

MSBL Chairman Sean Round had big shoes to fill - and in difficult circumstances - when he succeeded the late, great Dennis Lewis in the role at the 2014 AGM.

But has done so admirably, guiding and encouraging the League's officers to keep trying to deliver the best they can for member clubs and their bowlers.

The productive Future Ideas Sub Group was his initiative, he's supported all moves to encourage more youngsters to take up the game and now wants to form an informal self-help group for greenkeepers to share knowledge.
And, as well as doing all that, Sean's also found time to be the chairman of Bowring and one of that club's green maintenance team . . . 

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