North Midlands are county champions

2017 BCGBA Endsleigh Insurance Senior County Champions – North Midlands

North Midlands claimed their first Crossfield Cup since 2005 with a narrowest of victories over Potteries on a cold and blustery Sunday afternoon. 

In a remarkable final both sides won twelve games each, with two of the victories away, and had wins of over seventy points at their home venues. In the end it came down to a narrow two points which sent the trophy south to the home of BCGBA President Phil Brown.

I was at the picturesque Dilhorne Recreation Bowling Club where buoyant Potteries home crowd watched their heroes dominate a high class away side. Nick Tideswell led the way as the home team claimed a thirty-one lead after four games but this was eclipsed by the North Midlands home first four who, had two single figures wins, had a thirty-seven point lead. Mark Burdett narrowly taking the honours over Jamie Dunn.

Potteries player of the match Anthony Lloyd

Both away sides claimed their first away win in the middle-four as Adam Jackson won on the tricky Haunchwood and Paul Ward battled his way to a win on Dilhorne for the North Midlands men.

The middle-four at Dilhorne saw Potteries increase their lead to fifty-two points but North Midlands home team had, by this point, put themselves sixty-three points ahead as British Senior Merit champion Darren Plenderleith and Ben Percival displayed their mastery of the Haunchwood green.

Man of the match Stuart Perry leading out

This match was just getting better and better. An away win at Haunchwood and a stunning performance by Anthony Lloyd at Dilhorne put the Potteries men in front. The North Midlands men responded to lead by a couple, thanks to a man of the match performance by Stuart Perry, before the momentum swung the way of Potteries men again as Mark Melvin and Richard Clay defeated high quality opposition. This meant Potteries led by three with one game left at Haunchwood. 

The teams were gathered around a mobile phone each as the action from the last few ends of the last game was broadcast to all who could listen. Richard Burdett had to play the winning bowls to claim the cup and he responded magnificently. A 21-16 win with a lead toucher last end saw the trophy won by a jubilant North Midlands team and their supporters went wild. 

At Haunchwood:

BCGBA President Phil Brown with Stuart Nash and Stuart Perry

North Midlands 246 v Potteries 167

Jamie Dunn 21 Matt Fellows 09

Steve Pratt 21 Gareth Stanway 14

Willie Beal 21 Kevin Boon 18

Mark Burdett 21 Chris Jenkins 06

Darren Plenderleith 21 Josh Towey 07

Ben Percival 21 Craig Podmore 05

Leigh Burdett 20 Adam Jackson 21

Jin Robertson 21 Lee Dale 14

Matty Allan 16 Joe Williamson 21

Lenny Fulleylove 21 Matt Hill 16

That winning moment

Peter Varney 21 Mark Ferris 20

Richard Burdett 21 Sean Morrey 16

At Dilhorne:

Potteries 245 v North Midlands 168

Lee Brown 21 Paul Lamb 13

Gary Owen 21 Russ Prosser 13

Nick Tideswell 21 Andy Gibbs 12

Steve Parkin 21 Jordie Baddeley 15

Joe Melvin 21 Matt Horton 14

Andrew Owen 21 Tyler Dews 12

Peter Hulse jnr 17 Paul Ward 21

Jon Price 21 Alan Belcher 12

Anthony Lloyd 21 Carl Wilkins 05

Mark Norcup 10 Stuart Perry 21

Mark Melvin 21 Stuart Nash 15

Richard Clay 21 Shane Day 15


Please check the Bowls Observer page on Facebook for more photos from the day.


About Steve Davies 171 Articles
Throughout his bowling career Steve has always supported the admin side of the game as well as a keen player of the game. As a club secretary, association secretary, county delegate on the BCGBA (National Governing Body) Management Committee, Media Officer for the BCGBA, Merseyside champion in 2002 and Merseyside County President (2014-15) Steve has always been keen to promote the game especially through the broadcast of the game on TV or Internet. Steve set up the LIVE BOWLS YouTube channel which became the Bowls Observer channel and, through the LDBA, runs national competitions. Seeing an avenue to report on and promote the game Steve set up the Bowls Observer on-line magazine.