The second round of matches in this years BCGLBA Ladies County matches were played on 15th May.
Cumbria lead group 1 following a 41 point win over North Shropshire. Cumbria Ladies, normally so strong at home, were grateful to their away team who had 7 winners away in Malpas. The best win was a stunning performance by Thelma McBratney who won 21-02 and closely followed by Emma Thornton’s 21-04 win. This cancelled out the excellent performance by the North Shropshire away team who won at Cumbria’s home venue of Bowness. They were thankful to a fine lead off performance from Carol Goodwin (21-09) and a middle block masterclass from Helen Crocker (21-05).
Cumbria lead the group from Warwick and Worcester. They had a clear win over Burton & District which was largely thanks to a dominant performance on the tricky King George V green. Burton couldn’t claim a winner as Warwick & Worcesters Kate Fall led the way with a 21-04. Burton had a better result at their home green of Romsley and Huntington. Kay Brooks led the way with a 21-07 but Warwickshire’s Sarah Coleing replied with a 21-04. Warwick & Worcester eventually winning the match by 87 points to draw level with Cumbria on 4 points but trail by 38 points on the combined aggregates. The next set of fixtures may decide the group as Cumbria and Warwick & Worcester play each other.
In Group 2 North Warwickshire demolished Wales at their truly fearsome Bedworth green. This is known as being one of the toughest greens in the country. Louise Hamilton led the way by preventing her opponent from scoring and North Warwickshire claimed another five single figure wins. Wales gave the North Warwickshire away team a similar hammering on Colwyn Bay RBL claiming seven single figure wins. Probably the clinching result was the only away win in the match. Step forward Pat Moore who won 21-13.
The other game in the group was between Cheshire and North Midlands. At Cheshire’s home venue of Llysfaen Denise Conliffe led the way for the home team with a 21-04. This put Cheshire on the way to a 45 point win but this was eclipsed by the home performance of the North Midlands team. A 77 point win was achieved thanks to Carol Blakey and Ros Taylor who both won 21-03.
Group 3 has been called the group of death and is led by Yorkshire. They had another convincing win against Mid-Cheshire thanks to a 96 point win at home at Hartford BC. This was thanks to 5 single figure wins with Karen Gant leading the way (21-02). The Yorkshire away team also won their leg by 29 points. This was largely thanks to Debi Davis (21-06) and another sensational start by their first block.
The other game in the group saw holders Lancashire lose their match to South Yorkshire. South Yorkshire dominated the early stages of the game at Norden BC in Rochdale. Linda Hawksworth led the way with a 21-05 as the away team got the measure of the green. Although Lisa Kerford replied for the Lancashire Ladies they couldn’t get their noses in front. In the end South Yorkshire won the away leg by 17 points. At the South Yorkshire home venue, at Penistone BC, Shirley Darnhill led the way with a 21-04 and Lancashire were never back in the game and overall South Yorkshire won by 74 points.
Group 4 saw Greater Manchester take on Merseyside and North Lancs and Fylde take on Dudley.
Greater Manchester won their home leg by 42 points thanks to winning 10 of the 12 games. The Merseyside home game was played at one of my old home greens, Heswall RBL. This was a closer game and fairly even all the way through. Betty Foster recorded the best win (21-06) for the visitors, as the middle block won them the game, and Joan Jones (21-08) launched a comeback for the Merseysiders but they couldn’t get within 11 points.
North Lancs provided a dominant display at home on Bicton BC. Linda Traynor (21-03) led the way as 10 winners brought a 75 point win. The Dudley home game at Dudley Dell BC was a much closer affair. Although North Lancs had the most winners it was Dudley who took the game thanks to two single winners. Marlies Perks (21-07) was the best winner as the Dudley Ladies won the game by 1 point.
Fixtures for the 5th June
Cumbria V Warwick & Worcester
Staffordshire V Burton & district
North Warwickshire V Cheshire
North Derbyshire V North Midlands
Mid Cheshire V Lancashire
South Staffordshire V South Yorkshire
Greater Manchester V North Lancs & Fylde
Shropshire V Dudley & District