League News 2018

Two New Life Members for 2019

posted Feb 3, 2019, 8:39 AM by stephen wall   [ updated Feb 3, 2019, 8:43 AM by Stephen Wall ]


A former chairman of the League, Ron is a true stalwart of Mid Shropshire bowls.

Having moved to Telford from the second city, he’s played locally for Dun Cow, Bridgnorth and now Madeley Cricket Club.

Ron has been secretary, chairman and president for our neighbours, the Highley League, and he has loyally served on the county executive committee for an amazing 40 years.

That service to Shropshire continues today on behalf of the Mid Shropshire Senior Citizens League, for whom he’s been a popular and long serving treasurer and past president.

And he’s still working hard each year, providing captain’s books and scorecards for our clubs – so we have good reason to salute you Ron tonight as a new Life Member


If ever there was a definition of a one club man then Richard Chesters is it.

He really should be called ‘Mr Edgmond’ because his service to that village club stretches back over four decades.

In fact it wasn’t until 1976 that Edgmond joined the Mid Shropshire League – and two years later he became secretary of the club.

Since then he has been their delegate to the League – and in 1990 he had the honour of being elected chairman of the Mid Shropshire League, a year that saw Donnington Wood crowned champions and Peter Farmer win the Merit.

Despite spells of ill health, Richard has been an almost ever present at League meetings and nobody will be prouder than him to be made a new Life Member . . .

Sincere congratulations to both of you . . .

Round-up From The AGM

posted Jan 31, 2019, 12:25 PM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Feb 3, 2019, 8:35 AM by stephen wall ]

General Secretary's Report - see below

Treasurer reported deficit of £247 on year due mainly to losses on competitions due to falling entries - and auditor advised League to consider increasing match fees at March executive, something officers are anxious to do.

Fixture secretary happy that Hadley USC are to enter a B team on Fridays; Sir Jon Bayley want to return to the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division; Newport hope to have another team on Mondays while Maddocks plan to re-launch their Monday team.

But there are renewed calls - and increasing support - to make Monday's three divisions all 10-a-side . . .

Rule change proposals to help clubs with two teams in one division, and fine teams that enter the Harris Cup and Ashton Trophies but then withdraw, were approved - but Albrighton's bid to clamp down on doubling up was rejected.

Honoraria changes approved and with 2.4 per cent increase across the board in line with the CPI in September

All officers re-elected en bloc with Martin Gaut succeeding Ian Gaut as a county delegate.

Ladies and gentlemen,

You’ll be glad to hear that tonight, with a new-look agenda full of reports from my fellow officers, you won’t have to listen to me for as long as in the past!

But I can’t let 2018 go without reflecting on some of the many achievements we as a League can be proud of - starting with the record-breaking presentation dinner a couple of weeks ago.

It’s grown into a monster and with more than 200 people attending it is inevitable there will be the odd niggle. But I can assure you that Marg and I will keep working on your behalf to make it as good a function as we can – and we already have some new ideas to improve it in 2019!

Sport England’s acceptance of the way the £7,000 coaching grant money was spent in December was a big relief. This money gave our coaches, led by tireless County Development Officer Pauline Wilson, the tools to put on sessions for more than 700 people in Shropshire last year. Now our clubs have no excuse not to try and attract new members by organising taster and coaching sessions. It just takes commitment – and a desire to see your club refuse to accept the trend of falling numbers, leading as it always does to withdrawal of teams from our League.

Late team withdrawals were a frustration last season and the future of the Saturday Division is now a real concern that we will address at the February management committee meeting in a week’s time. Other than that, 2018 was a stress-free playing season as we managed to cope with the hot weather and football World Cup without a single meeting of the Disciplinary Committee!

Highley’s fine double en route to the Premier League has already been saluted by our President and I too wish them well. But from a Mid Shropshire point of view, we had three cracking cup finals – two on one night in another history-making move – and terrific turnouts of bowlers at all 3 Shropshire inter-league championships.

The veterans, under new captain Peter Roden, won the Derek Wright Shield for the fifth time in seven years; one of our two teams in the senior inter-league did brilliantly to reach the semi-finals; and, thanks mainly to the efforts of Brenda Slingo, we had three teams in the junior event and only just missed out on another piece of under-18 silverware.

As to 2019, meetings of the Future Ideas Sub Group have continued to be fruitful and, later on the agenda, you will see some of the proposals they have come forward with, including a move to try and help clubs facing the daunting prospect of having two teams in one division.

Rewarding stalwarts of our game with Life Memberships has also proved a popular move and two more will join the ranks after this annual meeting.

So what else does the future hold for the League? We have taken so many strides forward in recent years it’s hard to imagine where we go from here.

But we stand still at our peril, so rest assured your officers and the Sub Group will continue to try and come up with new ideas and suggestions to keep Mid Shropshire bowls moving forward and increase the number of bowlers playing in our League.

Plans for results system tweaks, match fees, competition entry fees (with entries hopefully on line), and prize money are already in the pipeline and, even though we ran at a loss last year, the League will continue to offer loans to member clubs.

Our link to main sponsors Molson Coors remains as strong as ever – and this year we have a new rep in Chris Summers to work with – and we have already opened talks with our counterparts from the Tanners Shropshire League on the other side of the river to discuss matters of mutual interest and benefit.

Our website has now had well over 700,000 visits and social media continues to be an integral part of what we do, especially during the actual playing season.

But the one thing I would really like to see worked on and put in place is a succession plan as officers give notice that they will be standing down.

Thankfully your chairman Sean Round, having endured a difficult year personally, had a change of heart and will be carrying on tonight – but only for one more year. So at the 2020 AGM we will need to elect a new chairman, plus an auditor to succeed David Winwood.

And in 2021 I will have done 10 years as general secretary and, as I’m sure you will be heartily sick of me by then, it will be time for me to stand down too. There will be no change of heart from me as I firmly believe you can stay in a job too long and outstay your welcome.

I have already sounded out one potential successor, without any joy, but member clubs and their bowlers must not think that current officers will simply carry on if nobody puts themselves forward for election to take up the baton.

What’s the current saying . . . Leave Means Leave! So let’s ALL work on it, not leave it until the League faces a manpower crisis at a future AGM, and get a succession plan in place.

This has been such a rewarding job that I can’t believe there is nobody out there that would not like a crack at it – and the pay’s not bad either!

Having said all that, the Mid Shropshire League will always be close to my heart and I sincerely hope I get invited to the party to celebrate the League’s 90th birthday in 2022.

Thank you.


Magnificent Seven's Silverware Smiles

posted Jan 24, 2019, 2:49 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Jan 24, 2019, 3:01 AM ]

It wasn't just League title winners who were saluted at the Mid Shropshire annual presentation dinner earlier this month . . .




1 – SPENCER CLARKE – third time lucky after finally being crowned County Merit champion after losing in two previous finals, as well as being part of Sir John Bayley's County Cup winning squad

2 – HIGHLEY – claimed part one of double by winning the Shropshire Cup, before adding the first division championship and winning promotion to the Shropshire Premier League by beating  Hanmer in the play-off final

3 – HARRY CHURCH – shone again to retain the Shropshire Junior Merit

4 - DAVE RHODES & PETER GRIMSTON – won the County Doubles

5 - JOE KILLEN – fantastic four under-18 titles, including the Peter Ashton Consolation Cup on Shropshire Junior Merit day

6 – MID SHROPSHIRE’S VETERANS – winners of the Shropshire veterans inter-league championship yet again, this time captained by Peter Roden. That's five time in seven years the League has won this over-60s crown! 

7 – MID SHROPSHIRE’S WOMEN – gained revenge over the men by winning the second match for the Dave Ellis Challenge Shield at Allscott Heath

Winter Bowling Arrives At Member Club

posted Dec 12, 2018, 12:00 PM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Dec 12, 2018, 12:01 PM ]

Ever fancied having a go at bowling during the closed season?

Well if you have, there's the perfect chance to try it this coming Sunday (16th December) at a Mid Shropshire League club.
For Shawbury-based Elephant & Castle - who play in the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division - will host round 10 of the North Shropshire Parks winter series

"It’s open to any bowlers from any area," stressed series organiser Jamie Brookes.

"And, although it's entry on the day, due to the recent and steady high levels of competitors, early entry notification is really much appreciated to me on 07522-624773.

“Hot food will be available throughout the day – hope to see you there!”

Report time is 9.30am and the draw for 13-up handicapped round robin groups will be made at 9.50 with play from 10. The 32 best performers will then play a straight knockout.

Entry costs £7 (juniors are £4) and £3 per entrant is paid out in prize money each round.

And, to add a bit of fun at Shawbury, Jamie added: “Sunday is also ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ with a prize on offer for the best one chosen by the judges.”

Round nine at Prees last weekend was won by Stuart Rutter of Wrockwardine Wood, who beat 16-year-old Susie Lawson (Bowring-Prince of Wales Hotel) 13-12 in the final. 

Record Breaking Night Looms

posted Nov 18, 2018, 3:51 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Nov 18, 2018, 6:02 AM by Stephen Wall ]

League officials are delighted to announce that it's going to be another record-breaking night at the Mid Shropshire annual presentation dinner on Saturday 12th January.

A total of 222 people are booked to attend the 2019 function to celebrate the 2018 season at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel - up from the previous record of 214 bookings in 2016.

And if you want to make a weekend of it, by booking a room at the hotel at a special rate negotiated by the League, then you need to act fast.

For as of Friday there were only 5 of the rooms allocated to the function remaining available . . . 


Proposals From Future Ideas Sub Group & Officers

posted Nov 7, 2018, 11:44 AM by Malcolm Fletcher

Reported to the November Management Committee Meeting:


* Competitions – raise Harris Cup & Ashton Trophies entry fee to £10 for both KOs; Senior Merit up to £8; Mixed Doubles up to £8 per pair; Dixon Driscoll Doubles up to £10 per pair.

Then pay 90% of income in prizes, but all monies paid out to be subject to entry numbers . . . and put that on ALL forms.


* Honoraria / new posts – only change of honoraria would be to reduce amount paid to minute secretary to £500.

No new posts – although the League would still like to have an assistant secretary learning the ropes - but gifts to be paid to annual dinner organiser (£100), chairman (£50) and president (£50) to help with their expenses.


* Match fees / prize-money – increase match fees in Friday & Monday divisions by 5p; Thursday Division by 25p; Saturday division by 10p.

Treasurer and chairman to liaise about bringing the proportions of income paid out in each division into line.

The increased income needed as it is fines that are currently giving the accounts a small surplus each year – and they cannot be relied upon!


* Possible rule changes for 2019 AGM:


21 (b) “Clubs with two teams in the same division must list 10 players for each team. These 10 players must then play for that listed team unless a transfer is authorised by the fixture secretary in accordance with rule 21 (f), on evidence of previous individual results.”


Harris Cup & Ashton Trophies – add to rule 1 in both cases: “Any team that enters the competition but then later withdraws will be fined £20.”


* Future of the Saturday Division – urge clubs and delegates be open to any ideas to ensure it survives . . . and actively seek entries


* Life Members – put Richard Chesters & Ron Adams forward as potential recipients at the 2019 AGM



* Fixture secretary and chairman to liaise with results system guru Mike Beckett to tweak system to make it easier for the officer to do his job and also easier for clubs with things like a ‘tick all box’


Saturday Divison - The Future . . .

posted Oct 31, 2018, 12:51 PM by Malcolm Fletcher

League officers are about to launch a campaign to save the Saturday division.

Just seven teams competed in the eight-a-side Saturday afternoon set-up this year after Donnington Wood withdrew at the 11th hour.

And now three of the seven have indicated - via a Future Ideas Sub Group meeting this week - that they won’t be carrying on in 2019.

“League officers have real concerns about the future of the Saturday division next year,” said general secretary Malcolm Fletcher.

“The existing teams have been officially asked to let the league know their intentions and all member clubs have been contacted to get their views - and try and encourage entries.

“But obviously there has to be a cut-off number - possibly six - below which it is simply not worth running this division.”

The future of Saturday fixtures is on the agenda for the league’s November meeting on Tuesday the 6th at Wellington’s Sir John Bayley Club (7.30pm).

“It's not so long ago that we had two divisions on Saturdays,” added Malcolm.

“So league officers would like to encourage clubs to consider joining, or re-joining, this competition – which now has the same points scoring system as the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division - for the 2019 campaign.

“And if clubs and their bowlers have any ideas that would make the Saturday division more attractive to them – and so make an entry more likely – the league would dearly like to hear them.

"If your club is not going to be represented at the November meeting but do have some ideas, could you please let me have them by email before that meeting.

And all bowlers need to remember this current rule – “Any player who has signed for a Mid Shropshire League club may play for a secondary club in the Saturday Division, as long as they fulfil all the usual obligations to their secondary Saturday side.””

Supper Time on Thursday

posted Sep 25, 2018, 5:11 AM by stephen wall

Home teams in the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division are reminded that as it is the last game of the season this week, it is tradition to put on post match refreshments to celebrate the end of yet another successful season.

What A Title Race!

posted Sep 19, 2018, 12:24 PM by Malcolm Fletcher

One of the closest championship chases in years is about to come to the boil.

Highley, Hadley USC and St Georges are separated by just three points at the top of division one - with just two games to go in a thrilling title race.

And St Georges entertain Hadley on Friday 21st September in a potentially decisive encounter while leaders Highley host local rivals Bylet.

Then Highley go to Hadley in another crucial game on Thursday 27th September for a fixture brought forward a day due to Champion of Champions weekend absentees.

That means St Georges will know exactly what they have to do on the final night of the season 24 hours later - when they go to Madeley Cricket Club - to regain a crown they last lifted in 2013.

Highley and Hadley have both applied to feature in this year’s Shropshire Premier League play-offs, but they must be Mid Shropshire champions to take on Premier wooden spoonists Hanmer on Friday 5th October 5.

Hadley USC are the reigning MSBL champions who lost to Wem USC in last year’s Premier play-off final, having been relegated themselves from the Premier at the end of the 2016 season.

Veterans Victorious Yet Again

posted Sep 5, 2018, 12:03 PM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Sep 8, 2018, 4:04 AM by Stephen Wall ]

A famous five is the League's new claim in the Shropshire veterans inter-league championship.
For Mid Shropshire won the over-60s title for the fifth time in the last seven years by triumphing over Whitchurch B in the final at the Archibald Worthington Club.
Led by new non-playing captain Peter Roden, they won by 12 shots with six winners in the eight-a-side showdown that brought the curtain down on 10 hours of action on Sunday 2nd September.
Newport’s Mick Jones brought all his experience into play as he delivered a 21-15 best card in the final as Whitchurch B fought all the way as late rain changed the condition of the green.
Eddy Broad had given them a good start with a 21-14 card but they still trailed by four chalks after the first four – and, once Graham Turner had fought back to beat Graham Dulson, it was all over for them.

Turner, Dave Brown and Elsie Pugh were unbeaten in their three games for Mid Shropshire, but they only made the final by the skin of their teeth.

The late withdrawal of last year’s winners Tanners Shropshire – which will cost them a fine – left round robin group A at on the ladies green at Chester Road with only three teams.

And Mid Shropshire, Whitchurch A and Market Drayton all won one game, Mid Shropshire's team going through thanks to the best aggregate.

County President Isobel Jones presented the Derek Wright Shield to Mid Shropshire captain Roden, who thanked his players, referee Phil Scott and the host club and league.

Final scores Whitchurch B 146 Mid Shropshire 158:

Les Markham 16 Dave Brown 21, Alan Faulkner 20 Les Mumford 21, Eddy Broad 21 Ian Delves 14, Richard Evans 16 Elsie Pugh 21.

Mike Mullock 21 Peter Spragg 18, Barrie Thomas 19 Tony Roche 21, Graham Dulson 18 Graham Turner 12, John Bushill 15 Mick Jones 21.

All other group scores are on the SCGBA website

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