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Gameweek 17 Preview

Old rivals clash, Hanwood face tough trip, Hanmer in must win 

Two of the most successful teams clash in Gameweek 17 of the Salop Leisure Shropshire Premier Bowling League as Castlefields take on St Georges in one of the biggest rivalries in the league. It will be a hotly contested match on Queen Street, with both captains looking forward to a difficult game for both. Fields captain Alan Peach knows it will a “tough game against a team that won well last week with some really good players. They beat the top of the league 10 4 at home last week and have to be shown total respect. We need to win to keep up with the pace at the top.” Opposition joint skipper Ian Gaut also knows it is a “tough game against an old foe that can be brilliant with their full compliment of signed players but you never quite know which 12 players you will be up against. However we have achieved great results there in recent years and our away form speaks for itself so you target as many winners as you can and see what that gets you.” The top two are both at home as they look to recover from last week’s poor away results. Newport take on Chester Road, who generally struggle on the green, but did win their last away game on Hanmer so will be full of confidence despite losing at home last week. Newport have been great at home this season and will want to continue it. Sir John Bayley only had one home defeat last season, against Bylet, who they face again tonight, and will be wanting to make up for that 8-6 loss. Bylet though have been very good recently, despite getting just one last week at Hanwood, so won’t be an easy task for the 2016 Champions. However the Bayley have been playing well themselves until last week and will want a good result to keep the pressure on the leaders.

Hanwood are 3rd and face a tough trip to Ifton, the team that whitewashed them in 2016, but got 6 there last season. Joint captain Mark Shore is back from holiday and comments “we travel to Ifton looking to get back on track away from home following our defeat at Castlefields. The lads produced a great result last time out at home against Bylet which just about kept us in touch with the top end of the table. A solid result will be needed to maintain that.” Ifton are in great form now, culminating in a win at Chester Road last week, and won 12-2 last home game too. Meole Brace are just above Ifton in 7th and will be hoping to take advantage of bottom side Hanmer’s woes. They won on there last season, and given they have done so twice already this season, means they may be looking to do so again. But Hanmer know they must win if they are to overcome the 18 point gap at the bottom of the table. Captain Dave Ellison knows it is “another massive game at home against Meole Brace and we are now 18 points adrift so it’s time for the great escape music to be played! I honestly believe we can still get off bottom spot but I also believe we have to win one of our 4 remaining away games to do it. Meole had a great result on Friday but we know it is a must win game for ourselves.” Wem USC and Bowring are separated by just a point near the bottom end of the table but are just 10 points off a top half finish, so both will be looking for a good result to be able to achieve that. Wrockwardine Wood can’t find the form of early season but are still comfortable in 5th place at moment, and will be wanting to find that form again to stay there. They host Burway who have struggled away this season apart from getting 5 at Newport and Hanmer, but will be coming off a fine 13-1 home win last week.

Gameweek 17 Fixtures:

Sir John Bayley v Bylet

Newport v Chester Road

Castlefields v St Georges

Ifton v Hanwood

Hanmer v Meole Brace

Wrockwardine Wood v Burway

Wem USC v Bowring

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