Top two face tough clashes, Crunch game at bottom
The top two of the Salop Leisure Shropshire Premier Bowling League face a tough away game in Gameweek 20. League leaders travel to unbeaten Hanwood who have lost just once since their return to the league last season. Captain Mark Shore comments “Biggest home game of the year. We have the utmost respect for the quality of Castlefields and we will be going all out to halt their march to the title if only temporarily.” Hanwood haven’t done quite so well lately at home with Newport getting 6 there but still presents a challenge to a rampant Castlefields side who won 11-3 away last time out. Vice captain Keith Walton says “at the end of the season every away point is essential and Friday will be no different. Local derby will add some spice to the proceedings and the Fields are ready for a tough game.” Sir John Bayley will aim to take advantage but face a tough trip as well to St Georges, the only green, apart from Hanmer, they have yet to win on. Vice-captain Rob Burroughs comments “it’s not going to be easy but they have been up and down this season so hopefully we can catch them on a down night. But we still need to be at our very best to get anything from them, they have a quality team and should be much higher in the league than they are.” St Georges have a County Cup final to look forward to but know that they still need to do well in the bread and butter of the league. Skipper Tony Rhodes know it’s a “very tough match against the reigning champions who aren’t out of the race just yet. We simply aim to have positive results against SJB and Castlefields in our next two home games and that’s the focus.”
There is a big game at the bottom as Ifton, who are 7 points adrift, host Hanmer who are directly above them. Ifton know they need to start producing soon enough to get off that bottom spot and home games will be key to doing that. Captain Dickie Jones says “it’s an important game where we need to get a good win. Hanmer have surprised others with their two away wins so we know we are in for a tough game.” Hanmer will be buoyant after their shock win at Meole Brace next season, and skipper Dave Ellison will want to build on that. “We go to our local rivals on Friday on the back of two great away results last week. We had a target of 8 points from the two games against Meole and Ifton so what we get there will be a bonus now. Ifton will be looking for a big result being in the position they are in and games are running out for them but we go into this week full of confidence and knowing that we have two home games next weekend.” Bylet will look to capitalise on the two teams meeting but they face a tough trip to Newport. Newport have struggled at home though and know that they need to return to their good form earlier this season there to be able to keep that top 3 place. Bylet have done well away, including an amazing win at St Georges, so know they can produce a result. Wem USC are also away at a flying Bowring who have rediscovered their form after a rocky patch. They have scored 41 from their last four games so will want to keep that up to keep hopes of their first ever top 6 finish. Wem have struggled away and know that they need to back up their good home form to keep away from trouble.
Burway and Meole Brace are two teams reeling from poor results and will want to put that right when they meet in Ludlow. Meole do have a good record there and need a result to keep their hopes of catching Newport for a top three finish in sight. Burway can still get a top half finish but know they can’t afford any more slip ups at home. Chester Road have quietly crept away from trouble and are currently ahead of their hosts Wrockwardine Wood, albeit having played a game more. Both teams are capable of a strong finish and finishing in the top half but will need to produce some good results to do so. Chester Road tend to do well at Wrockwardine so the Wrockites will be wary of them.
Gameweek 20 Fixtures:
Hanwood v Castlefields
St Georges v Sir John Bayley
Ifton v Hanmer
Newport v Bylet
Burway v Meole Brace
Bowring v Wem USC
Wrockwardine Wood v Chester Road