Bowls: Champions all in a stellar year

Competition sponsor John Tempest presents Ira Jeffers with his award for winning the Leeds area Champion of Champions honour. It is a competition organised by the Crossgates & District Evening League.
Competition sponsor John Tempest presents Ira Jeffers with his award for winning the Leeds area Champion of Champions honour. It is a competition organised by the Crossgates & District Evening League.
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As we draw this column towards the natural conclusion of bowls in 2012, we take one last look at the summer past; predominantly the winners of the leagues and cups of the associations touching the boundaries of our city’s game.

It is amazing how many columns a review of the season requires, but when you consider the number of leagues we have yet to touch on, it is hardly surprising.

There is the popular Barkston Ash and Crossgates and District Evening League. The periphery – in terms of distance from our offices – of the valleys – Airedale, Wharfedale, Tadcaster, Spen and West Riding.

Not to forget the looming beast that is the Bradford Leagues; the leech to our very own Leeds & District Saturday league.

The Airedale and Wharfedale association is made of a series of singles and pairs, as well as veteran’s leagues across four days – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. The association has representation from Leeds’ clubs such as Farsley, Pudsey and Guiseley to name but three.


The associations divisional winners by day and competition are as follows: Monday singles League Division One: Rufford ‘A’; Division Two: Burley in Wharfedale ‘A’; Division Three: Menston ‘A’ and Division Four: Yeadon Park ‘B’. Tuesday Veterans League Division One: Farsley; Division Two: Myrtle Park. Tuesday Evening Pairs Division One: Burley in Wharfedale; Division Two: Shipley Club ‘B’. The Collins Concept League winners were Farsley ‘A’.

There are two leagues on a Wednesday, with the two division Afternoon Singles League and the four division Evening Pairs League. The Afternoon Singles winners were: Division One: Rufford Park ‘A’ and Division Two: Wharfemeadows ‘A’.

The Evening Pairs winners were: Guiseley ‘A’; Division Two: Grove Hill ‘A’; Division Three: Adel and Division Four: Calverley ‘B’. The Saturday Singles: Division One: Black Swan ‘A’; Division Two: Knaresborough ‘A’; Division Three: Black Swan ‘B’ and Division Four: Rawdon ‘B’.

The local Leeds league that has recently be viewed as having the strongest Saturday set-up is the Barkston Ash League. It’s a four-divisional set- up with two major cup competitions throughout the summer.

The league winners were Division One: Garforth Rec ‘A’; Division Two: Crossgates Rec ‘A’; Division Three: Methley and Division Four: Crossgates BC. Crossgates also took the Barkston Ash Trophy, beating Roundhay 198-172. In the Jack Cook Trophy, Barwick ‘A’ beat Rothwell BC ‘A’ 191-186.

The Bradford Saturday league is the main interest for Leeds’ clubs playing outside of our district. The competition is split in to eight leagues, with the top division proving to be another ding-dong battle between our two biggest clubs.

In time honoured fashion, Crossgates took the Naylor Premier League from Pudsey ‘A’ by 15 points – even though they won one game less than the second-placed side.

Littlemoor are also in this division, finishing fifth, but once again they won more games than the side above them in fourth.

The other major Leeds’ successes in the Bradford league were: Whitkirk winning the Observer League (Division Three); Guiseley ‘B’ winning the Riley League (Division Six) and Drighlington ‘B’ winning the Field Packaging League (Division Seven).

The Crossgates and District Evening League not only run four divisions and two main cup competitions, they also provide the bowlers of our district with an end-of-season champion of champion’s competition.

Winners were: Premier League: Roundhay Park ‘A’; Division One: Colton ‘A’; Division Two: Crossgates Rec ‘B’ (who beat Fearnville by two points and Grove Road in to third, by three points – even though the latter won two more games than the team above them). Division Thee was won by East End Park ‘B’ who lost just one game all season. The cup competitions were won by Crossgates Rec ‘A’ (Knockout Cup) and Swillington ‘A’ (Turpsoft Trophy). The Leeds area Champion of Champions was won by Ira Jeffers.

The Tadcaster & District Evening League is supported mainly by clubs around the Tadcaster, North/North East Leeds and Harrogate areas. It has four divisions and one major cup competition.

The winners of those competitions are as follows: Division One: Scholes; Division Two: Magnet Old; Division Three: Black Swan ‘B’ and Division Four: Wetherby Crusaders. The cup competition, The Richardson Trophy is split in to eight groups of five, with the group winners playing down on one day from quarter-final to final stage. Garforth Rec ‘A’ came through the various stages to beat Whitkirk Knights 78-70.

The drama between Crossgates and Pudsey BC continued across in the West Riding and Spen Valley BA League, as once again, Crossgates ‘A’ came out on top by nine points from Pudsey BC ‘A’ – even though both clubs finished level on 14 wins from 18 games played.

There were three other performances of note in the league set up, as Armley Park won Division Three, whilst New Farnley ‘A’ went up as champions in Division Four, followed by Western Flatts as the other promoted side from that division.

That is the last of the crown green reviews of the season. It is important to name, where possible, all the winners from our local region.

It’s hard to maintain a perfect view of the leagues throughout the summer, harder deciding which league should always take precedence – be they stronger or of a greater local interest. It is why we therefore choose to hand over this column to the roll call of winners each autumn. Congratulations to one and all.

The latest group winners in the Potternewton Winter Pairs were: P Hill & M Holmes, T Harrison & C Hargreaves and J Bird & S Kane.

David Walker with the ABA Men's Merit trophy.

Bowls: Walker claims convincing Men’s Merit title victory