Milnsbridge Division first season preview
As in the Springwood Division there are two Veterans League Section 1 teams in the Milnsbridge equivalent as well as two Section 2 teams, just as there are at Springwood. It doesn't require a great deal of thinking to realise that these are most likely to form the top four in the race for the Milnsbridge Division title, but in which order?
The two Section 1 teams being Meltham and Milnsbridge who have the obvious home green advantage that could prove critical. However the host club has registered 22 different bowlers, more than any other team in either division. The only thing I can read into that number of registrations is that they intend giving many of them some game time over the winter months. That likely rotation of personnel doesn't go hand-in-hand with a win at all costs approach and could undermine any challenge for honours but as genial hosts that is probably not their top priority.
Meltham has a strong all-male line-up of 13 registered bowlers and if they decide to play their strongest side each week then they will be firm favourites to finish the campaign on top. Veterans League Section 2 side Lindley BC had a good 6-0 Test Day victory whilst Thorpe Green also opened with a good 5-1 win and again both teams have a large number of registered bowlers, 14 and 16 respectively. Thorpe Green in particular have a history of rotating bowlers which is very commendable but doesn't always sit hand-in-hand with a high place finish. If you are looking for table-toppers then the choice seems obvious.
If you are looking for bottom of the table candidates then there may be more choice as the three losing teams from the Test Day all look vulnerable. Dalton will enjoy the bowling of that I have no doubt regardless of where they finish and are always friendly opponents and they have recruited some new names for the coming season. With just 6 registered bowlers Huddersfield Recreation Club B have the lowest number of bowlers to choose from at present so their Test Day defeat may become a habit. Lowerhouses A probably looks the pick of the bottom half candidates and the head-to-head confrontations between these three teams will be critical in deciding their final positions.
Regardless of the outcomes, I hope that all 14 teams come to enjoy themselves, make new friends and get some bowling on the clock after a dreadful year for crown green bowling in Huddersfield.