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First ever Lockwood Con whitewash defeat

Veterans League

Review of the 10-Man League Divisions 1 & 2 fixtures played on Tuesday 11 June

Two team captains agreeing the result and game scores is part of the post-match routine. Usually it is a very straightforward process carried out in a friendly manner with both teams having given their all. This was the scenario as Dougie Mellor and I completed the paperwork after our Division 1 match on Tuesday. In my 5th year as captain of the Kirkheaton Con A team I can't recall a more reflective moment than comparing notes with Dougie at that time.

He was distraught as the team he had selected had been beaten 0-9. He said a lot of things in the small captain's hut that will remain between us but he lamented that he couldn't ever recall his team ever losing 0-9 before. I can now tell you Dougie, that I checked as I said I would, and you are right, the Lockwood Con team has never recorded a 0-9 loss in any of the 11 years that Bowlsnet has been used for collecting Veterans League results. So you must look in your own club records to tease that complete answer out of the history books. Bowlsnet confirms that you've inflicted a few 9-0 drubbings but never before been on the receiving end of one.

Yet even in the moment that clearly would never feature in his top ten bowling moments to remember he was thinking ahead about how he could turn things around for the next match. He was already conducting his own post-mortem on what had happened and he was clearly formulating his response to his team's defeat. The Lockwood team traditionally decamp after matches at Kirkheaton to the clubhouse for liquid refereshments. Not this time, as I suspect that Dougie was ready to share his thinking on the performance with his teammates but that wouldn't be undertaken in such a public place.

Even at this low moment Dougie was showing the competitive element that has become so much a driver of the Lockwood Con spirit that saw them become League Champions for 7 years on the trot (2014 to 2022). The competitive spirit that has developed over the 50 years and counting that this set of lads have stayed together as a team since their footballing days and is a model of friendship envied by many.

They will bounce back I am sure and I certainly wouldn't want to be the team to face them next (at Clayton West actually) as Dougie puts his plans and thoughts into action and reminds his team of the history and standards they have set. I can only hope that if I am ever in a similar position that I could act as dignified and as determined as Dougie did on Tuesday. He was very complimentary of our team's performance but his thoughts were really concentrating on what he had to do next and what was best for Lockwood Cons.

Apologies if you think I've hogged the front page a bit when other important matches were being played but I try hard to ensure that I don't overplay the Kirkheaton Con card in these reports but this was more about Lockwood Con than Kirkheaton Con. However as a team member I am very proud of that result and the manner in which we did it which has taken our team up to third place.

The top of the Division 1 table clash saw Lowerhouses confirm their superiority over their nearest rival for the title with a 7-2 away win that puts them 9 points clear at the top of the table as Longwood remain second. That extended Lowerhouse's winning run to seven matches whilst it was a first defeat in six for Longwood There was a second 9-0 scoreline as Cowcliffe overwhelmed Netherton Con A although Bowlsnet shows that the visitors did get a 20 and two 19's in the seven games which shows how close they were to picking up some valuable points.

Golcar Lib and Waterloo both won their home fixtures to continue to feature in the top half of the table but Lindley BC A dropped into the bottom half after a 2-7 home defeat by Marsh United A. It is worth noting that 5 of Marsh United's 7 fixtures to date have been played away from home so they are probably in a false position in the table.

Into Division 2 where the top three teams, all relegated from Division 1 last season, maintained their monopoly on the promotion race, although third-placed Milnsbridge A did lose at Thongsbridge A 3-6. That was especially disappointing for the Milnsbridge team after beating Elland C&BC last week and closing the gap on them to one point which has now been stretched back to six. That Milnsbridge defeat coupled with second placed Elland C&BC having an 8-1 home win over New Mill A being responsible for that change in fortunes. That outcome for Elland also closed on the gap on leaders Meltham to 7 points who won 6-3 away at Almondbury Lib. Those three points were enough to lift the Almondbury team off the foot of the table and condemn Broad Oak A, 1-8 home losers to Shepley, to that fate.

That big win for Shepley lifted them to 8th position passing Linthwaite Hall who went down 2-7 at Lindley Lib A who retain their place on the fringe of promotion matters. Almondbury BC A had a good 7-2 home win over Golcar Lib B to move up a place to 9th position. All that has resulted in the bottom places becoming more spread out. Before this week's fixtures only four points separted the bottom five teams. That has now become a nine-points spread which will be worrying for the bottom two who are in danger of becoming adrift.

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