The Shropshire Premier Bowling League was created in 1994 to help the Shropshire Senior County Team by providing top quality competitive bowls in the county on a Friday. This was achieved in 2009 when the county won the Crosfield Cup for the first time in 35 years, and have since reached two more semi finals and finals, only losing to Yorkshire or Warwick and Worcester in that time. It was initially set up with 12 teams from all over Shropshire which has now grown into a 14 strong league with teams from nearly all areas of the county. Teams play each other twice over a 26 game season with 12 players on each side with the team with the most points winning the league trophy and £1200 prize money and the team with the least having to face the dreaded playoff.
The playoff is when a team from outside the league wins one of the other county affiliated leagues and is able to apply to join the league, as long as they are eligible. If more than one team applies then there are pre-playoff games played for the right to take on the Premier League’s bottom club. This game is usually played on the first Friday in October watched by over 400 people, one of the highest watched team games in the country, at a neutral venue in a hotly contested game with so much at stake.
We also run competitions alongside the league. The Alan Mayhew Trophy, kindly donated by Alan Mayhew, is for all teams from the league, as well as up to two invited teams from outside it, played on a 6 home 6 away basis until the final, which is on a neutral green. The Pool A & B Competitions are played after the season finished with the top 7 teams in the league in Pool A and the bottom 7 in Pool B. The two finals are played on second Friday in October at a Premier League venue now decided by a rota. This doubles up as a Presentation Evening where we award all our prize winners from that season a tankard, as well as having a large buffet.
There are two other competition for players, both played on one day. The Individual Merit is a singles competition played for the John Coxill Trophy, kindly donated by our first ever League President, while the Mike Hinton Pairs, kindly donated by our former President, is a doubles competition.
The League Averages are given to the player who wins the most games in the league that season, and receives the Neville Edwards Trophy, kindly given by another former league President. There is also a most consecutive wins award for the player who wins the highest successive number of games in a season. They awarded the Mick Jones Trophy, kindly donated by our current Chairman.
There used to be a top 16 competition ran for the Team Averages winners from the previous seasons, but this was stopped after 3 seasons due to lack of sponsorship or suitability of dates. We also had the most Valuable Player award for 5 seasons given to the player who was thought to have played the best on the opposition side.
The league won the Senior Inter League title in 2016 captained by Rob Burroughs on Wem USC for the first ever time
Over the years we have ran competitions to celebrate anniversaries of the league and special events. We ran our Millennium Doubles in 2000 at Severnside, while to celebrate our 21st anniversary we held a four man team competition at Donnington Wood.