The Winter League Division 2 fixture programme kicks off this week at Springwood featuring six new teams in the 9-team division. One of those new teams, Almondbury BC, start off with a bye but in the main, this is an open division with only the Denby Dale, Huddersfield Recreation Club 'A' and Springwood 'A' teams left from the Springwood Division of last year.
Many people ask why are the Springwood A, Milnsbridge A and Thorpe Green 'C' teams playing all their matches on their own greens. Obviously it is preferred that all teams play on a neutral green and we would certainly have preferred to have constructed a fixture programme that did just that but it was not possible.
Trying to fit in a programme that enables host clubs to have sufficient home bowlers available to provide catering, raffle and admin functions does not sit easily with providing a totally neutral green setup. Add into that some teams that can only play on a certain day of the week, splitting teams of a similar standard into divisions and factor in days when the greens are available complicate the total process.
Let me assure you that a lot of hours went into getting the format as open as possible taking all the different factors into account. We were keen to accommodate as many teams as possible in the League as we looked to build on the success of our first season. Goodness knows how it will pan out next season when teams get promoted and relegated and new teams (hopefully) are queueing up to join us. It will be a nice problem to have.
Two of last year's active teams meet up when Meltham play Huddersfield Recreation Club 'A' although Meltham did play at Milnsbridge last season so maybe the Recreation Club can make their previous green experience pay off. Host club Springwood have their 'A' team in action as they welcome the new Thorpe Green 'B' team to their green. Two of the new teams meet up with Paddock I&C taking on Jackson Bridge (although the nucleus of their team played for Clayton West last year) with another new team Lindley Lib meeting Denby Dale who won 4 and lost 4 of their matches on this green last year.
We are looking forward to seeing how the teams fare up against one another and tasting the Springwood hospitality once more. Spectators are very welcome and refreshments are available throughout the day for all. Be mindful of the parking restrictions and enjoy the bowling.