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Six Division 1 teams in relegation battle

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

Winter League

Thorpe Green 'A' and Lower Hopton both won 6-2 this week to retain the top of the Division 1 table running order and open up a 6-point lead at the top. The remaining six teams are all in a relegation battle although it may already be over for Lindley BC 'A' as they are now 15 points adrift at the foot.

However the other five teams are only separated by 4 points with one of those 5 destined for Division 2 bowling next year. To demonstrate how tight things are you only have to look at New Millers leap from 7th position to 3rd this week. An 8-0 win over a depleted Lindley BC 'A' and a first win in four provided that four position leap in the table. They replaced Clayton West who drop two places to 5th after losing 2-6 to Lindley Lib 'A'.

Two weeks ago Meltham sat proudly at the top of the table, two matches later they are in a relegation place as the turmoil in the fight to stay up continues to develop and throws up more and more unlikely scenarios.

This week Meltham lost to Lower Hopton 2-6 but only lost the aggregate by 3 points (43-46) to demonstrate how tight matters really are. Accompanying them in that drop are Kirkheaton Con who also lost 2-6 but to the leaders Thorpe Green 'A' and are now level on points with Meltham. The first match after the Christmas break pitches Meltham and Kirkheaton Con against each other in a critical encounter for both teams with the loser likely to be left in the relegation places.

Division 2 leaders Lindley BC 'B' returned to winning ways with a 6-2 victory over Springwood 'A' after missing out to Lowerhouses 'A' the previous week. Lowerhouses were unable to make any inroads to the leaders 10-points advantage as they matched the leaders score when overcoming bottom-of-the-table Rastrick 'A' although a 46-43 average was never comfortable.

Jackson Bridge made it four matches unbeaten when talking the match 6-2 against Milnsbridge 'B' and damaging their opponents promotion hopes but they still remain in a relegation place and 10-points from safety. Things are unlikely to get much better very soon as they will face the table toppers when bowling resumes in the New Year. In a day when all four Division 2 matches had the same 6-2 scoreline, Denby Dale maintained their 10-points advantage over the relegation candidates after beating Lockwood Con who extended their winless run to six matches.

Well done to the Milnsbridge and Springwood catering teams serving up seasonal treats free of charge to all and helping the League finish on a high as we enter the Christmas break period. As I try and get to both venues most Wednesdays I felt obliged to sample and enjoy a wide range of offerings from both venues, it would have been very rude to refuse.

No matches now until the New Year and we are well into the final leg of the 2022-23 season. Plenty of promotion and relegation issues to be progressed but as bowlers keep reminding me this is not what this League is all about. Even in the competitive top division the bowlers are there for more reasons than just the bowling. So many bowlers keep telling me how things have changed for them with the opportunity to play every week or watch bowling 3-days a week throughout the winter months and get many of them out when otherwise they would be home alone and may not talk to anyone all day. Someone even suggested that we should be sponsored by NHS Mental Health Service for all the benefits that we bring to an increasing number of people.

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