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Helen Gilroy joins British Ladies' select band
Eccleshill’s Helen Gilroy has won the British Crown Green Ladies’ Champion of Champions tournament.
She defeated Katrina Caley (South Yorkshire) 21-15 in the final at The Waterloo, Blackpool last Sunday.
Gilroy won the British Ladies’ Merit to qualify for this prestigious event, in which 32 of the best lady bowlers from all over the country play for the title of All-England Ladies’ champion.
This achievement should not be underestimated as Gilroy joins an elite group of bowlers to have won the event.
There were plenty of supporters from Rufford, Eccleshill and Pudsey there – and they weren’t disappointed.
This year the competition was played as a one-day event this year, with first- round games getting underway at 10.15am.
Shipley Club A overcame Asa Briggs C to set up a semi-final with Brighouse, who had beaten Asa Briggs A in their quarter-final.
Clayton A beat Asa Briggs B, while Shipley Club B edged out Harold Park to set up the other semi-final.
The semi-finals and finals took place at Rufford, Clayton carding a full house of winners against Shipley Club B, who were made up of high-handicapped players, as they progressed to the final.
In the other semi-final, Brighouse made the better start as Kevin Wood beat Martin Hayton 31-19 and Dave Stansfield edged out Tracy Preston 31-30 to give Brighouse a 13-point advantage at halfway.
John Preston defeated Tony Naylor 31-15 to give Shipley a three-point lead, which meant Mark Cunningham required 29 points in his game with Andy Wood to send Shipley through to the final.
From 16-14 down, Cunningham upped his game to lead 29-22, Wood then conceding.
In the final, all four jacks went on together under the floodlights, and from the off Shipley were in control as Cunningham raced into a 25-4 lead over Clive Austin, and quickly finished the game off 31-10.
Hayton was always in control against Graham Chappell, and when he came off winning 31-21 Shipley were 31 points ahead.
Clayton’s Paul Gill reduced the deficit to 17 points after a 31-17 victory over Tracy Preston, and with David Scott and John Preston tied at 24-24, victory was assured for Shipley shortly before 8pm.
Gill presented the trophy on behalf of the Bradford Association, and thanked all teams for taking part, as well as all the host clubs.
Clayton B were crowned Bartle League champions, finishing with a 19-11 home win over Royd House, thanks to a superb 21-5 from league average winner Alan Peel.
Wyke B carded a final-day 25-5 success over Rufford B, helped by Mick Walton 21-8 and Ray Wilkes 21-9, which ensured promotion for Wyke. Relegated with Rufford B are Cleckheaton Moorend.
West Bradford A had already become Haigh League champions before last weekend’s games and finished with a bye.
West Bradford had a great season, winning 17 out of 20 games and ending 31 points ahead of runners-up Pudsey C, who make a quick return to the Bartle League as they finished 35 points ahead of Guiseley B in third. Relegated were Bradford Moor A and Cleckheaton Sports A.
Drighlington B’s terrific home form helped them take the Riley League.
After losing their first home match of the season 18-12 to Peel B, they won their remaining nine home games, scoring not less than 22 points.
Their away form was lacking, however, and they finished with a 19-11 defeat at Asa Briggs C.
Promoted with Drighlington are Armley Cons, who finished with a 22-8 home win over Horton, thanks to a great 21-6 win from Mavis Brown.
Peel B slipped up 18-12 at Bowling A to finish three points behind promoted Armley, but will feel things slipped away from them.
Shelf A and Horton were relegated, both only mustering four victories all season.
Bailiff Bridge A dominated the Field Packaging League, finishing 20 points ahead of Rufford C.
Bailiff only lost three games all season, and were another team who finished the season early, already crowned champions.
Rufford’s home form helped them gain promotion, losing only to the champions. Going in the other direction are Bailiff Bridge B and Peel C.
It was tight at the top of the Mellor League as three clubs were fighting for promotion. Guiseley C finished the season strongly, winning their last six games to pip Bowling B to the title, who themselves edged Shipley Club B into third.
Joe Cranston (Crossgates) was the winner of the 15th Pudsey Junior Classic after defeating Robbie Ellis (Shipley Club) 21-13 in the final.
Cranston once again show-ed what a class bowler he is turning out to be by winning the event for the third time in four years, and now that the age has been extended to under-18s, who’s to say he won’t win it again?
Ellis, another of the junior game’s brightest prospects, played well all day but found Cranston’s green knowledge too much for him as Cranston played a long three-quarter corner mark.
Beaten semi-finalist Jack Green (Thornhill C&BC), on his first visit to Pudsey, played exceptionally well, but lost 21-16 to Ellis.
The future looks bright for another Thornhill product. Ten-year-old Aaron Brine (Rothwell) was the player of the day after reaching the semi-finals and leading Cranston 18-16.
The prize for last girl standing went to quarter-finalist Chloe Hirst (Queensbury), who lost to the eventual winner in the quarter-finals.
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