CALDERDALE proved up to the task in their final match of the season in Division One of the Federation’s National League, beating Cannock Chase 20-12 to ensure their survival in the section and send Sunday’s opponents down.
They were in dominant form at Mytholmroyd BC, winning nine of the 12 individual contests and coming out on top 238-170.
That success more than offset a 219-183 defeat at The Rag, Cannock, where they had five victorious bowlers.
Mid-Cheshire A, beaten 19-13 by Calderdale in July, have retained the title after an improbable 25-7 win over South Derbyshire, who need 13 points from their rearranged home leg with Ormskirk next Sunday to overtake Calderdale for second place, having already won 8—6 in Ormskirk.
Rochdale A and Fylde are the sides believed to be coming up from Division Two.
Calderdale were always in the ascendancy at Mytholmroyd, winning the first four games on the green.
Robert Hitchen produced some great edge of the green bowling to leave his opponent on 10 and that was followed by successes for James Senior (21-16) and homester Clive Austin (21-14) while Steve Wilkinson pulled off a great 21-9 win bowling across the green, leading well and giving his opponent little room.
However, with the away team struggling at this stage Calderdfale led by only one point overall.
The next four home jacks produced some tight games, apart from Robert Holmes whio was untroubled to win 21-7. Peter Craig won 21-19 but Paul Gill and Mark Barnett suffered narrow defeats.
News from The Rag was that the teams had also had two winners each, but Calderdale were now 10 in front overall and leading 9-7 on individual wins.
The last four jacks at Mytholmroyd produced three Calderdale winners. While David Warburton only managed 12, Gordon Bradford won to 14, Adrian Brier to 13 and Martin Griffiths, having rushed back from his holidays and sporting an excellent tan, played superbly and won the sweep by leaving his opponent on five.
The away team completed the job in the Cannock Wood area of Staffordshire on a green located behind the Rag Inn and Restaurant.
Oddly none of the home players play on the green in league matches but they include it in their Federation roster because of its trickiness and perhaps because the excellent buffet provided by the proprietor of the Rag.
Bowling towards the pavilion a jack or wood had to be barely moving as it came over the crown of the green, if it was to stay on. Frequently woods were left on the crown or went in the gutter. Added to that there were some outrageously swinging marks.
Three out of the first four jacks for Calderdale found the conditions perhaps at their most difficult with Mark McGorlick the one winner by 21—18, leaving Calderdale trailing by 36 chalks and with a probable heavy defeat in prospect.
In the second four jacks Paul Smyth and David Stansfield led the fight-back, winning to 13 and 18 respectively, and with the other two players in the second four both reaching the mid-teens the overall score in the match remained unchanged but Calderdale had three valuable league points now in the bag.
The last four jacks produced two more Calderdale winners through Mark Regan, playing a captain’s role to win 21—11, and John Armitage, who finished off with a five-end winning run to leave his opponent on 12.
Stansfield was voted Calderdale’s man of the match by the Cannock officials for beating Dave Wright but Smyth and Holmes at Mytholmroyd also beat Staffordshire county players.
SCORES (Calderdale names first) - at Mytholrmoyd BC: R.Hitchen (Elland WM) 21 D.Handley 10, J.Senior (Elland WM) 21 D.Murray 16, C.Austin (Mytholmroyd BC) 21 C.Hazelhurst 14, S.Wilkinson (Clayton Victoria) 21 M.Hodgkinson 9, R.Holmes (Elland WM) 21 S.Edwards 7, P.Gill (Clayton Vics) 18 N.Howells 21, M.Barnett (Hill Crest 18 I.Roles 21, P.Craig (Elland WM) 21 K.Anderson 19, D.Warburton (Mytholmroyd BC) 12 N.Egan 21, G.Bradford (Greetland) 21 S.Dale 14, A.Brier (Elland MW) 21 T.Gill 13, M.Griffiths (Elland WM) 21 C.Simpson 5.
At The Rag: P.Chalkley (Hill Crest) 13 M.Bardsley 21, R.Hobson (Hill Crest) 7 K.Handley 21, D.Holdsworth (Holmfield) 4 A.Ashford 21, M.McGorlick (Brighouse) 21 P.Chester 18, P.Smyth (Hill Crest) 21 G.Storer 13, A.Wood (Brighouse) 13 D.Storer 21, D.Fountain (Brighouse) 18 P.Gittings 21, D.Stansfield (Brighouse) 21 D.Wright 18, M.Senior (Hill Crest) 14 A.Roberts 21, M.Regan (Hill Crest) 21 G.Owen 11, J.Armitage (Elland WM) 21 L.Cavill 12, G.Swaine (Luddenden Foot) 9 S.Chapman 21.
Calderdale 2011 record: beat Ormskirk 18—14 (414—397), lost to South Derbyshire 10—22 (417—455), beat Mid-Cheshire A 19—13 (411--392), beat Cannock Chase 20—12 (421—389).
Leading Calderdale individuals - Home: Robert Hitchen P 3 W 3 +10.67, James Senior P 4 W 3 +7.00..
Away: Mark Regan P4 W4 +8.75, John Armitage P4 W 2 +1.75.
Home & Away: Martin Griffiths P4 W3 +9.50, Mark McGorlick P 4 W 3 +2.75.