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Ups And Downs . . .

posted Mar 4, 2016, 6:59 AM by Malcolm Fletcher
Slightly down in total number, but still attracting new teams – that’s the heartening news for league officials after finalising the 2016 programme.

There will be one extra side - Albrighton B - playing in the main three divisions on Friday nights this year . . . but numbers are down in other divisions.

Bowls ending at both Abbey and Ercall Magna last year has cost the league three teams in its three Monday divisions, but those blows have been softened by newcomers from Sir John Bayley D, Albrighton D and possibly Bowring E.

If they all go ahead it would give the league a fourth division of 12 sides and 11 in divisions five and six, while Hadley USC’s withdrawal from the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division – plus Shawbury’s inability to follow up their interest - leaves that competition with 12 teams.

The biggest drop in numbers is in the Saturday afternoon divisions from 15 last year to just 12 in two divisions in 2016 – and that may fall further if reigning champions St Georges are forced to withdraw.

"Members of the league’s ideas sub group will discuss the future of the Saturday divisions during the year, but we are sure the interest is still there as a new team from Trench has joined the action this year. We may just need a different approach,” said a league spokesman.

Fixtures for all divisions are due to appear on this website this weekend and Mid Shropshire is to bid to host the Shropshire veterans inter-league this year as the reigning champions.

The sub group is to also to set up the disciplinary committee required by the new rules on unsociable behaviour and bad language that were approved at the AGM following a proposal from Hadley USC.