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Bradford Saturday League bowls season starts this weekend
The Bradford Saturday League gets under way this weekend with action in the lower five divisions.
Hipperholme & Lightcliffe A, Peel A and Asa Briggs B just missed out on promotion in the Bartle division last year and all will be looking to go up this time around.
West Bradford A and Pudsey C both had great seasons last year in gaining promotion from the Haigh section and could be in the shake-up for a repeat.
Hightown, relegated from the Observer division, will be looking for a quick return.
Bartle opening fixtures: Asa Briggs B v Harold Club (2.45pm), Peel A v West Bradford A, Eccleshill C v South Leeds Cons (1pm), Harold Park v Hipperholme & Lightcliffe A, Royd House v Pudsey C.
The Haigh section is very open this year, featuring many teams in with a chance of promotion.
Some sides have been affected by additional levies incurred by Leeds Council to all members of Leeds clubs.
One club drastically affected by this are Drighlington B, who were Riley division champions last season and may well have challenged this year. But having lost numerous members, they may well now struggle.
Bradford Moor were promoted to the top division 27 years ago and were one of the leading teams in the area.
But after last year’s relegation, they now find themselves in the Riley division, which is as low as they have ever been.
Maybe this is the year their fortunes change but Peel B and Hove Edge B just missed out last year and will surely be challenging again.
Another club on the slide are Horton, who were Godwin division champions in 1969.
They had a disastrous 2013 season and finished bottom of the Riley section, so they will be looking for an immediate return from the Field Packaging division under the captaincy of Eddie Pells.
Greengates B could well be the team to watch this season with so many younger bowlers in their ranks. They will soon start to feel the benefit of all the hard work put in by Garry and Pam Nellist.
The basement Mellor division welcomes two new teams for 2014 as Greengates C and Hipperholme & Lightcliffe B join the league.
With many teams here giving new bowlers a chance, it is always hard to predict who will be in the running come the end of the season.
Bailiff Bridge B and Peel C were relegated last year and will have to adjust by losing two players as this division is for eight-player teams.
West Bradford B are a mixture of youth and experience and are the tips for promotion, along with Bailiff Bridge B.
Mellor opening fixtures: West Bradford B v Bailiff Bridge B, Greengates C v Bowling C, Peel C v Oakenshaw B, Shelf B v Queensbury C (1pm), Hipperholme & Lightcliffe B v Bradford Moor B.
* The Monday Evening League has reduced to five divisions for the 2014 season due to a reduction of teams.
The Worthington Sports section has 12 teams, which means an extra four dates are required, and starts on Monday.
Clubs in the bottom division should be aware that Troydale have withdrawn due to a lack of players, so number eight in the fixture chart becomes a bye.
* The West Riding Cup began last Saturday, with teams looking for pre-season games before league fixtures get under way.
Big games saw Lower Hopton edge out Pudsey A, while Morton House get the better of Pudsey Littlemoor.
The losers of the qualifying-round games now play in the Pilling Cup, with all games scheduled for Friday evening. The full draws are:
West Riding Cup: Shipley Club v Crossgates A, at Harold Club; Eccleshill v Crossgates B, at Pudsey; Brighouse Sports B v Pudsey B, at Lower Hopton; Lower Hopton v Clayton A, at Rastrick; Mirfield Old Bank B v Guiseley, at Cleckheaton Sports; Brighouse Sports A v Cleckheaton Moorend, at Spen Victoria (bottom green). Byes: Mirfield Old Bank A, Morton House.
Pilling Cup: Rastrick v Spen Victoria A, at Hightown; Pudsey Littlemoor v Cleckheaton Sports B, at Elland CA & BC; Elland CA & BC v Pudsey A, at Mirfield Old Bank; Hightown v Harold Club, at Brighouse Sports. Byes: Spen Victoria B, Cleckheaton Sports A, Ossett Flying Horse, Clayton B.
* Clubs should by now have submitted their members’ list to the fixtures secretary and the www.bowlsnet.org.uk website. Saturday is the deadline for ‘registered players’, which again should be submitted to the fixtures secretary.
* Entries are now being taken for the Howarth Cup, Four-a-Side Knock-out (sponsored by Kolorco Printers) and Pairs Knock-out (sponsored by Leeming & Peel Ltd).
These Bradford competitions are to be played on Friday evenings, with teams in the Howarth Cup this year consisting of only eight players.
For further details or to enter, contact John Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is Thursday, May 1.
* The Yorkshire Ladies crown green team begin their season on Sunday with a friendly against the Civil Service at Hove Edge BC in Brighouse, starting at 2pm.
* Entries are still being taken for the Hove Edge Easter Monday competition. There is a limited entry of 64, with play starting at 10am. Entry costs £5 with prize money of £150. Entries to Sheila Whiteley on 01484-769979.