Bowls: Trophy triumph is Cherry on cake for hungry Wilcox

James Wilcox.
James Wilcox.
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James Wilcox, Yorkshire County ABA representative and Crossgates regular, won the Graham Cherry Memorial Trophy at Horsforth Woodside BC last Sunday.

The competition, dedicated in memory of Cherry, a past member of the club, has attracted a lot of interest in the region over the last couple of years – with past champions including Mick Hall and Keiran Smith. The field is set at 32 bowlers, which ensures a tightly packed day of action.

The green was in super condition as Wilcox found his day getting decidedly harder as he moved towards the semi-final stage. An early start with a win to four was followed up with closer-run matches as he saw off his next two opponents to 16 and 19 respectively.

It was clubmate Ashley Wilcock who fell just two chalks short. That was before he faced Pudsey Littlemoor’s Danny Towning.

Towning would have fancied his chances of unsettling the county bowler at this late stage, but it was Wilcox who near kept the jack in his pocket as he rolled around the green to win 21-7.

In the other half of the draw, John Armitage beat Ian Howard and past winner Keiran Smith. His progress to the semi-final stage was steady, with those two victories falling within a run of three wins to 13, 11 and 14. His final-four stage win was a closer affair as he beat Steve Longley 21-18 – even though he had led 12-3 at one stage.

The final was close up to the 15th end mark, with no player able to really break free. Scorelines of 8-8 and 12-10 show just how keenly fought a contest it was. From there, Wilcox applied the afterburners to move clear of his opponent and take the title, 21-12.

This Sunday the ABA Men’s Merit sponsored by Chris Firth will take place at Drighlington BC. The competition is open to all affiliated district bowlers aged 16 and over. It is £10 to enter with a scratch time of 10am.

Yorkshire have set up a winner-takes-all final group game encounter with local rivals South Yorkshire in the Drakes Pride Junior County Championship. After the second game of the season, held last weekend, both Yorkshire sides now have a two from two win record – with Yorkshire comprehensively leading the shot difference by +350 to +147.

The competition is traditionally dominated by Yorkshire, Shropshire and Warwick and Worcester, so it is no surprise to see those two dominating their groups as well.

The Ladies county side face North Midlands this coming Sunday.

The last time the two sides met was in the final of the 
Waterloo Cup, which saw the White Rose come out on top by 25 shots.