Preston’s Parkfield Labour Club proved too hot to handle for all the teams on the finals day of the 2018 BCGBA Grounds Training World Club Championships held at the Fox Lane Club in Leyland.
The club should be congratulated on their three years hosting the event. The Club is without one of the best venues in the country and the greens are almost constantly in use.
The competition, run over four Sunday’s, saw the best teams from each county come together in the battle to be crowned World Champions and not even the ‘beast from the east’, though postponing the event for a week could stop the best teams in the country.
The draw for the finals day saw a tough route to the final for the Preston men. After battling past two of Warwick and Worcester’s finest teams they faced Shropshire Premier League Champions Castlefields.
It was Wayne Ditchfield who inspired them to a 40 point win over The George (Warley) in the quarter finals with Sam Patterson also recording a single figure win. Elliot McGuinness claimed the Birmingham men’s best win.
Castlefields had a tough game with 2015 winners Thongsbridge. With the Shropshire men’s Leighton Roberts proving to be in awesome form. Craig Gant responded with an excellent win over 2017 BCGBA Fred.Olsen Cruises Champion of Champion Michael Beer. The Castlefields men marched on to the next round with five wins out of eight games and a 14 point win.
The first semi-final saw a ‘castle’ battle as Shropshire’s ‘Fields’ took on Cheshire’s ‘Sports’. Moving to the bigger green seemed to inspire Michael Beer as he stormed to a 21-08 win. By again recording five wins out of eight it was the Shropshire men who triumphed and claimed a place in the final.
The second semi-final was a clash between the last two champions. 2016 champions Parkfield Labour and 2017 champions King George Vth.
Owen Jackson was immense in his game, against Jason Galvin, on his way to a 21-05 win and Andy Gibbs responded with a single figure win over Ashleigh Woof. It was close game all the way and the eight games were shared but it was the Preston men who won with a narrow 5 point win.
There was a brief discussion to clarify if the final would be played on one or two greens which was played in quite gorgeous but growing chilly weather. The bowling gods had cleared the skies of the earlier clouds so they could watch the action more clearly below.
Some of the best young players in the game lit the stage in the final. Parkfields’ Owen Jackson was very impressive in a win over the forever impressively battling Jon Palmer. Michael Beer responded for the Shropshire men with another inspired performance to win 21-08 over Sam Patterson.
At the half-way stage it was the Shropshire men in front by a narrow 4 points.
After that it was the Preston men who took over. Reigning Co-op Funeralcare Waterloo Handicap Champion Wayne Ditchfield gave little chance to Leighton Roberts on his way to a 21-11 win and Gary Ellis made sure there was no way back for the Shropshire men. One of the best players to have stepped foot on a green saw out the game with a 21-12 win and 15 point win.
A huge thanks one again to Fox Lane who have proved, in the three years they have held the event, to be one of the best venues in the game. The final word should go to Parkfield Labour who have proved to be the team to beat on these greens.