Sixty-one teams from 30 clubs will be competing in five divisions of the Shrewsbury Senior Citizens Bowling League this season.
The popular league has around 700 registered players, 360 of whom bowl weekly. Sponsor for the 15th season is Shrewsbury-based caravan, motorhome and campervan dealership Salop Leisure, which has regional sales centres in Machynlleth and Stourport-on-Severn.
Division Two matches started on March 30, followed by the other four divisions on April 13. Whilst most of matches are played on a Thursday afternoon, nine teams play their home matches on Wednesday afternoons.
A shortage of players resulted in the withdrawal of Old Shrewsbury A midway through last season but the league has gained one new team, Ye Olde Crofte based in Oswestry, this year.
Member clubs span an area stretching from Llanrhaeadr y Mochnant, Oswestry and Wem in the north to Craven Arms, Bishops Castle and Worthen and Brockton in the south.
“The league provides friendly competition and a valued social activity for retired people to enjoy every week,” said league secretary Chris Kershaw. “Having an afternoon senior citizens league enables some of the older bowlers, who don’t like bowling in an evening, to carry on playing competitively.”
Three League Team Knock-Out competitions – the Dick Meyrick Cup for the top 16 teams, the Ron Smout Cup for the next 16 teams and the Sponsor’s Shield for the remaining teams – will all be played in 2023, with the semi-finals and finals at Meole Brace Bowling Club and Old Shrewsbury Bowling Club in August and September.
The league’s annual singles knockout competition will be held on July 3 and the doubles on August 7, both at Meole Brace. The annual inter-league challenge match against the Mid Shropshire Senior Citizens League for the Dixon Cup will be played on September 4 at an away venue in the Telford area yet to be confirmed.
The season culminates with a President’s Day competition for the Bill Garratt President’s Cup on Wednesday, September 13 at Meole Brace.
Salop Leisure’s marketing manager/associate director Ed Glover said the company was proud to be associated with such a successful league.
“Many of the players in this league are caravan owners and customers of Salop Leisure who stay active and make the most of their leisure time in retirement,” he said. “Long may this very popular league and the clubs continue to prosper.”
League officials are president and treasurer, Margaret Cooper, Bagley BC, chairman, Roger Whitfield from Battlefield BC, secretary, Chris Kershaw from Meole Brace BC and deputy chairman, Martin Blizard from Meole Brace BC.