Castlefields need double, big battle for 4th, two aim for cash
Castlefields just need two points to be crowned 2017 Salop Leisure Shropshire Premier Bowling League champions as they travel to Chester Road in Gameweek 26. They know they are almost there and it would have to be a disaster for them not to claim their first title since 2010. Chester Road though have 10th place to play for, and with it, the last prize money in the league available this season. They are 6 behind Hanmer, who face a tough trip to Newport, but Hanmer skipper Dave Ellison says “we go to Newport full of confidence now hoping to clinch 10th place.” Chester Road captain Paul Fowles comments “looking forward to the game with the new league champions. We hope to end the season on a high after last week’s poor performance.” Newport are virtually going to finish 3rd barring a slip up for Sir John Bayley.
The battle for 4th is the main intriguing part of the last game of the season with 5 teams still in with a chance. Bowring hold the trump cards though, being 4 clear of Meole Brace in 5th, and 8 ahead of their opponents St Georges, so know 4 points would require a 9-5 Meole win at the Bayley to prevent them clinching 4th and their highest ever league finish. Skipper Jamie King comments “it will be a big game for both teams. They beat us in the County Cup semi final, so hopefully we can do the job on Friday. I think we have already past our previous best points total. To have finished in the top half is an achievement, never mind fourth. We have had a balance of experience and young players and it’s gelled really well.” St Georges captain Tony Rhodes is looking “to get as many points as possible to secure top 6 in our last match and a game I think we need to test us. Bowring will always be challenging so expect a tough test.” Meole know they will need a 9-5 win at least to be able to finish 4th and after last week’s Barlows Fire & Security Alan Mayhew Trophy loss, captain Pete Bound says they “didn’t do ourselves justice. Our away performances of late haven’t been good so a target of 5 winners is the objective in a difficult game for us.”
Hanwood could finish 4th, but only with a 14-0, so “with the final game upon us we know 4th place is all but mathematically impossible to achieve.” says joint captain Mark Shore. “We go into the last game hoping to put in a solid home performance to finish in the top 6.” Burway are the visitors, and know if they could repeat the Ifton win at Hanwood just two weeks ago, they would leapfrog their opponents into the top half and into the Pool A for the first time. Burway generally do well at Hanwood to so it could be a possibility, but will be more looking over their shoulders at Wrockwardine Wood who host Ifton. Wrockwardine know a top half finish is probably out of their reach but a good home win could mean 7th place and an improvement on last season. Ifton have done well to get themselves out of trouble but would like to finish on a high and could sneak 10th place with an away win. Bylet will be relieved that they cannot be bottom this season so have avoided a potential decider with Wem USC. Bylet are in pole position to be the most improved team this season so know if they can improve on their 9-5 win from last season they should get the £50 prize. Wem will be looking for some form ahead of their Playoff final on Friday 6th October in order to preserve their record of being in the league every season so far.
In the League Averages, Pete Farmer knows a 10 win will guarantee him them as well as the most consecutive wins. Mike Beer could pounce if Pete loses, or if he betters his result by 11 chalks, with Callum Wraight and Derek Wright still in with a chance if the players above them lose.
Gameweek 26 Fixtures:
Chester Road v Castlefields
Sir John Bayley v Meole Brace
St Georges v Bowring
Hanwood v Burway
Newport v Hanmer
Bylet v Wem USC
Wrockwardine Wood v Ifton