Springwood Division season preview
Let's take a look at the chances of each team before the start of the 2020-21 Winter League inaugural season. First up are the 7 teams in the Springwood Division. Seeing as the teams are primarily based on Veterans League bowlers it would seem sensible to initially align each team's chances with their Veterans League standing.
On that basis Clayton West and Rastrick, as the only two Section 1 representatives, must be the front-runners for end of season honours. In the Test Day event last Tuesday they faced each other and Clayton ran out comfortable 6-0 winners. Clayton fielded a strong foursome of experienced bowlers and if they continue to turn up with such a strong lineup then they will be a very strong contender to take the Springwood title. However they have registered 14 bowlers including 4 ladies and it remains to be seen if the other 10 are just backups or do they intend rotating bowlers to give everyone a game? Rastrick have registered 11 bowlers and will expect to run Clayton West closer than the opening day match would suggest.
Springwood and Kirkheaton Con are both out of Section 2 of the Veterans League and I know that my team from the Cons Club are capable of springing a few surprises but are more likely to introduce a rotating team selection which may undermine any hopes of honours. Springwood of course have local knowledge on their side and as long as they don't get distracted by organising raffles and tea-breaks will always be difficult to beat on their own lawn.
If you believe the voting in the Winners & Losers competition then the bottom spot is a tussle to avoid by the other three teams - Huddersfield Recreation Club A, Denby Dale and Lowerhouses B - with the latter currently favoured by more than half of the entries in the competition to hit rock bottom at season end. The Recreation Club (formerly Canalside) have shown by their 5-1 Test Day win that they have no intention of making the tipsters vision turn to reality. We shall see.
Bowling in the winter months can be very different from a summer sport and it may be that we see some surprise performances and as the weather deteriorates, the going gets tough and the tough get going - or not!
Tomorrow we preview the chances of the seven teams that make up the Milnsbridge Division of the first season of Winter League bowling.