Lloyd wins Yorkshire Merit crown

Graeme Wilson's hopes of another Yorkshire Merit title were dashed early on
Graeme Wilson's hopes of another Yorkshire Merit title were dashed early on

Graeme Wilson and Robert Hitchen were unable to add to the seven Yorkshire Merit titles they have won between them yesterday when Glasshoughton Welfare’s Rob Lloyd took the honours at Almondbury Libs.

Elland-raised Wilson, successful in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2007, started 7-2 favourite for the 32-man final but lost 21-16 to Phil Dowgill in his first game.

Ex-county junior Dowgill from Crosshills then edged out Halifax’s Hitchen, the 1984, 1985 and 1994 winner, by 21-20 but he eventually lost 21-19 to Lloyd in the semi-finals.

Lloyd, a 25-1 chance before the start of the day, went on to beat Simon Walder 21-14 to complete a notable double, having won Yorkshire’s E.E.Cockroft Handicap at Lockwood Cons last year.

Father and son Chris and Josh Mordue, who played alongside each other at Brighouse Sports last year, made it through to the last 32 from Saturday’s qualifiers.

Chris eventually crashed out to Lloyd in the last eight, losing 21-3 after trailing 16-0, but he, Halifax’s Gareth Nicholson and the other quarter-finalists will represent the white rose county in the all-England event in Birmingham at the end of July.

The final was refereed by Yorkshire President Keith Hatzer from Halifax who said the event had run like clockwork.

“Rob Lloyd was a very deserving winner. He played the most consistent bowls throughout the day,” said Hatzer.

“In mid-afternoon the wind got up and there was a bit of rain but he handled it best.

“He also adapted well to a slowing green in the final.”

First round: G Wike 21 A W Riley 19, J Jennison 21 M Farmer 18, P Clark 19 S Walder 21, P Kain 8 P Turner 21, N Cranston 19 J Spinks 21, G Nicholson 21 P Worsnop 15, R Wiltshire 21 J Dyson 10, G Smith 19 W Moseley 21, C Bedford 6 M Hughes 21, C Gant 18 R Lloyd 21, K Smith 21 J Mordue 16, C Mordue 21 A Daykin 16, R Hitchen 21 J Schofield 13, G I Wilson 16 P Dowgill 21, M McGuire 13 J Webster 21, R Fitzpatrick 16 J Davison 21.

Second round: G Wike 21 J Jennison 16, S Walder 21 P Turner 9, G Nicholson 21 J Spinks 20, R Wiltshire 21 W Moseley 16, M Hughes 19 R Lloyd 21, C Mordue 21 K Smith 18, P Dowgill 21 R Hitchen 20, J Webster 21 J Davison 14.

Quarter-finals: S Walder 21 G Wike 19, R Wiltshire 21 G Nicholson 11, R Lloyd 21 C Mordue 3, P Dowgill 21 J Webster 10.

Semi-finals: S Walder 21 R Wiltshire 11, R Lloyd 21 P Dowgill 19.

Final: R Lloyd 21 S Walder 14.

Halifax made it two wins out of two in Division Two of the Federation National League with a 25-7 thrashing of Ormskirk on Sunday.

Pictures and full details in two pages of bowls in Friday’s paper.