MSBL 2020 singles Relaunch

Peter Millington (pictured above) could barely walk due to gout in his right ankle seven days ago – but the healing process received a £100 boost at the MSBL’s 2020 Relaunch Singles at Edgmond on Saturday 5th September.

On the day that he should have been travelling to the Isle of Man Festival, the Trench bowler made up for the disappointment of that being cancelled due to the pandemic by winning the first externally organised competition in Shropshire this summer.

The 51-year-old, still limping slightly, made off with the top cash prize by winning a tense 21-20 final against Nick Mullinder of Hadley USC.

Millington looked in control at 11-5 up after 14 ends, but soon found himself 15-11 adrift as Mullinder – using new bowls - produced the kind of burst that had made him look unbeatable earlier in the day.

It was nip and tuck after that as the score went to 17 across, then to 19 across and, almost inevitably, 20 across before a last end that did not reflect the high standard of the day, given the lack of competitive action this year, took Millington to victory.

Mullinder, who had the consolation of a £50 prize, raced to a 21-7 semi-final success over Mick Jones (Newport) while Millington was getting the better of historic double division one averages winner Sonya Lucas (St Georges ) 21-17.

Millington, from Hadley in Telford, is no stranger to winning Mid Shropshire honours either and got a celebration kiss from his wife, card marker and clubmate Carleen Doody-Millington at the end of more than five hours of sunshine action on a surface in super condition.

In fact host club Edgmond were rightly praised to the hilt by competition organiser and League president Mike Potter as all the Covid-19 guidelines were followed to the letter in coping with a field limited to just 16.

Edgmond’s safeguarding officer Helen Wilson said: “It was a great day and great final, going to the wire – and we loved hosting it.”

It was a proud day for League officers who, despite having to call off all divisional fixtures for 2020, simply refused to give up on the whole season.

And the aim now is to run another one-day singles, again limited to 16 entries at £10 each, on Saturday 19th September at the same venue, but with a slightly bigger prize fund . . . so watch this space!