The top 2 teams in the Springwood Division meeting yesterday promised much and certainly delivered on all fronts. With 5 of the 8 bowlers involved protecting unbeaten records, the standards were high, so high in fact that 3 of those unbeaten records went by the wayside. Leaders Clayton West had to battle all the way to get anything out of the match after losing the first 3 singles games, 2 of them to 20 and the other to 19 - things don't get much closer.
With two unbeaten bowlers left in the final pairing, it was Clayton's Malcolm Gilbert who clinched a 21-16 win to give his team the 2 extra points for the better aggregate score (80-79) and a 3-3 draw. That enabled the West to retain their 11 point lead at the top with Kirkheaton Con staying second with a game in hand.
But the closeness didn't end there with another 3-3 draw on the same green as Lowerhouses 'B' and Huddersfield Recreation Club shared the spoils as well. This saw a different path to the shared points with both teams winning two of the games and then drawing the aggregate 68-68. There have only been 3 drawn matches all season, all at Springwood, and two of them have now involved Huddersfield Recreation Club after they drew with Rastrick in October.
Another 2-2- draw in games when Rastrick and Springwood met in the other division match with Rastrick taking the aggregate 70-51 to ensure that the teams remain 3rd and 4th respectively.
Over at Milnsbridge, we have the closest contest with just four points separating the top three teams with only four matchdays left for the outcome to be finalised. Leaders Lowerhouses 'A' returned to winning ways with a 4-2 win over Thorpe Green after a 2-2 draw in games and an 80-73 advantage for the aggregate. That result did halve Lowerhouses lead at the top as Milnsbridge 'A' inflicted a 6-0 win over their 'B' side to reduce the gap between first and second to 2 points.
Another two points further back, but with a game in hand sits Lindley BC after a 6-0 win over Dalton to clock up 7 consecutive wins, the longest winning run by any team in the League this season. Lots to look forward to as the season builds up to a suitable climax but for now a week off as bowlers can recharge their batteries (and glasses) and enjoy the Christmas break. All the action returns on Tuesday 5 January with matches also on Thursday (7th) that week as well.
It was the last matchday before Christmas and the two host host clubs laid on sandwiches, savouries and mince pies in what seemed like the start of a very welcome annual tradition. As a weekly matchday visitor to both greens I felt obliged to partake of such refreshments at both venues - it would have been rude to do anything other. Merry Christmas everyone.
All the results, fixtures, bowler averages and league tables are on our Bowlsnet pages.
Enjoy the break and see you all in 2021. Before then the website will be posting something every day so come back and keep up to date with all the local out-of-season bowling news.