The 2016 season of the Manchester Premier League starts this evening. Last year’s champions, Tonge bowling club from Middleton, welcome last year’s sixth placed team Nursery. Nursery bowling club, from Stockport, were arguably the most improved team in the league last year and they gave Tonge a tough game here last year. Nursery’s Dave Walker produced a stunning performance to leave Tonge’s Jim Derby shaking his head. This game was between two of the league’s best players and cost Jim the chance to win the season’s average prize.
Game of the night will be the local derby between Lloyds and Sale Excelsior. During last season Lloyds were Tonge’s only real challengers for the league title. These two teams have faced each other in more league and cup games than you can count and are two of Cheshire’s most famous teams. Lloyds will no doubt be hoping for a repeat of last year’s game which brought them seven wins and ten points against their closest rivals. Sale Excelsior will be looking for Neil Grant to repeat his performances of last season when he won the league averages. Lloyds will be hoping the Mike Geraghty can repeat his performances of last year as he brought the team so many wins from his position on the last block.
South Manchester RBL enjoyed a good season last year. The third placed finish was a fine result for the hard work put in on and off the green by Captain Glen Beeley. They face Liverpool’s Richmond team who will be hoping for more than the three wins they got there last year. Richmond became reliant on the performances of Phil Lee who made sure of a top five finish in the averages. South Manchester will hope the same from Warrington’s Lee Johnstone who finished twelfth in the league averages.
One of the closest matches of last season was the visit of Bury’s Tottington Conservative club to King and Queen in Warrington. This game was only decided on the last end of the game in what can only be described as a thriller. The result of the game was a win for the visitors by two points and a repeat of this close game irrespective of the result will be a pleasure to see. King and Queens best player of last season was Captain Damian Morrison and he will be looking to repeat his performances. Tottington endured a difficult season but they battled for every point and they will be looking to make sure last season was a blip.
The major change to the league for this season will be a reduction from ten to eight players per team. This brings the league in line with the national club competitions.
Wed 11th May fixtures
King and Queen v. Tottington Cons
Lloyds v. Sale Excelsior
South Manchester RBL v. Richmond
Tonge v. Nursery