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Winter Cup 2023

Winter League


At the recent meeting of the Winter League's Management Committee thoughts turned to the end-of-season Winter Cup competition. Prompted by a generous donation of a perpetual trophy by Garry Senior and Tony Butterfield, an individual knock-out competition had been staged last season. This had been well supported with 60 entries from the three divisions culminating in Steve Haigh running out the first-ever winner at Milnsbridge in early-April.


The meeting soon agreed to a similar format being deployed again this year although the extension to five divisions this season has complicated that process. It was agreed that each of the five divisions should stage their own qualifying competition to provide successful bowlers to progress through to Finals Day.


Further discussions with the competition sponsors followed before a format was finalised and as before each division will hold it's own KO competition on the usual 'home' green although the number of qualifiers will now vary to set up a Last 16 scenario. The top four bowlers from the Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 qualifying events will progress through to the next stage along with the top two bowlers from the Division 4 and Division 5 qualifying days. This split is required to get down to 16 bowlers for the later stages of the competition with the expectation that fewer entries will be received from Division 4 and 5 bowlers. All bowlers will play off scratch in the five qualifying competitions.


This sets up a Last 16 which can become a straight knock-out competition and handicaps will be introduced for this stage and going forward. The actual handicaps are still to be agreed but are likely to be different to last season when handicaps of +2 (for Division 2 bowlers) and +4 (for Division 3) were added.


It is considered that playing down to the winner from 16 bowlers in one day is unrealistic with the finalists having to contest 4 rounds before the winner can be declared. Asking over-60's to be outside for 4 hours in the middle of February and the two finalists having to play four matches is too much.


Therefore the intention is for a Round of the Last 16 to be played on one day before the last 8 progress through to the Quarter-Finals which will be part of Finals Day along with the Semi-Finals and Final.


Continuing the intention to rotate the Finals Day to be shared among the host greens the venue this season will be Springwood. Provisionally the date of Finals Day has been set as Sunday 19 February as a Sunday provides some additional parking spaces adjacent to the green.


Last season the qualifying rounds and Finals Day were played at the end of March and beginning of April. The greenkeepers at our host greens have made a strong appeal for this to be changed this year to immediately follow on from the League season. The thinking being that little maintenance work can be undertaken on the greens during February whilst the end of March is a busy time preparing greens for the summer season.


So it agreed that the competition will be staged immediately upon the conclusion of the League seasons on each green. With the Round of the Last 16 and then Finals Day following the following weeks. Taking into account that the last day of the League season varies in each division sees the following provisional schedule of dates and rounds.

DIVISION

Last day of League Season

Qualifying Round

Last 16

FINALS DAY

1-Milnsbridge

Wed 1 Feb

Wed 8 Feb

2-Springwood

Wed 1 Feb

Wed 8 Feb

Wed 15 Feb

Sunday 19 Feb

3-Thorpe Green

Mon 23 Jan

Mon 30 Jan

4-Lindley Lib

Mon 23 Jan

Mon 30 Jan

5-Netherton Con

Thurs 26 Jan

Thurs 2 Feb

Entries will be opened up in January and as last year an entry fee of £3 per bowler will be charged to go towards green fees, raffle, beverages and trophy costs.




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