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Welcome to the Hesketh Arms Bowling Club Season Review for 2023. The Club enjoyed another busy year, with our membership numbers slightly higher than in 2022. As in previous years, we continued to run a full programme of events, which included :- 

11 internal competitions for members

2 open competitions

Weekly Round Robins held on Tuesday and Friday mornings. 

We were pleased to again have twelve teams playing in the various local bowling leagues and thank the captains of these teams for the work they do to keep these teams running. Below is a summary of how our teams performed in 2023, together with the merit winners for each team. Full league tables can be found on the website for each league but if anyone would like to receive a copy of the final tables, please email  


The Club continued to run two teams in the Southport LV League, with both of our teams playing in the Premier Division.

The Eagles again competed strongly at the top of the division, finishing as runners-up to Scarisbrick NSC ‘A’. This is the seventh successive season in which the Eagles have finished as either runners-up or champions.

Having retained their Premier Division status by finishing 6th in 2022, Jeff Brown’s Falcons were again competing in the top division and ended the season in 8th position.

Eagles Merit Winner – Jim Halsall

Falcons Merit Winner – Bill Bloor


Having won the 1st Division Championship in 2022, the Vultures put up a strong defence of their title. They won 17 out of their 20 matches to finish in 2nd place, just four points behind champions Banks St. Stephen’s. The season was ended in style when they won the Knockout Trophy, defeating Burscough RBL ‘A’ in the final at Holmeswood.

The Ospreys, again captained by Mark Rowlinson, won the 2nd Division championship in 2022 and were playing in the top division of this league for the first time. They performed well enough to finish in 9th position, therefore retaining their 1st Division status for the 2024 season.

Vultures Merit Winner – Darren Edgerley

Ospreys Merit Winner – Jim Halsall


The Kites, having won the 1st Division in 2022, were playing in the Premier Division of the Southport Parks League for the first time and found wins difficult to come by. Although they improved as the season went on, the team ended the season in joint 8th place with Tarleton. A play-off match was held to determine the final league placings and this was won 7-3 by Tarleton.

A special mention must be made of Jim Halsall, who won 15 games out of 18, to finish in 6th place in the overall individual merit for the Premier Division, with just one win fewer than the eventual winner.

Kites Merit Winner – Jim Halsall


After a successful inaugural season in 2022, the Buzzards, captained by Debbie Barnes, were playing in the 1st Division of the Southport Ladies’ Afternoon League. The team performed well, winning 50% of their league fixtures to finish in 5th place, only 7 points behind the team in 3rd position.

Buzzards Merit Winner – Noreen Lewis


We continued to have two teams playing in the Maghull League on a Monday evening.

The Owls (“A” team) were again playing in the strong 1st Division and competed well, repeating their 4th place finish of 2022. They won 16 out of the 20 league matches, which included excellent away wins at top three teams Brownmoor Brooke ‘A’ and Our Lady’s. At the end of the season, they reached the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup before losing out to champions Skem Park Rebels.

In the 2nd Division, Sparrowhawks (“B” team) were captained by John Townsend, who succeeded Sue Davies. Sue had been a captain on a Monday evening since the club entered a team into the Maghull League in 2016 and we thank Sue for all her work in establishing the Hesketh Arms in this league. In 2023 the Sparrowhawks won half their games to finish in 8th position.

Owls Merit Winner – Darren Edgerley

Sparrowhawks Merit Winner – Alan Hatton


The Club continued to run two teams in the Aughton League on a Wednesday afternoon, with George Hitchmough captaining the Hawks and the Kestrels being led again by Mike Burrill. Both teams were playing in the 1st Division.

The Kestrels again did well in this strong division to finish half-way in 5th position, one place lower than in 2022. The Hawks were not far behind the Kestrels in terms of points, scoring just ten fewer over the 18 game season but in a closely fought division, finished two points behind Aughton Institute ‘A’ in 9th place.

Kestrels Merit Winner – Brian Sutton

Hawks Merit Winner – Bill Bloor


Having achieved promotion by finishing as runners-up in the 2nd Division in 2022, the Merlins this year played in in the top division of the Southport Veterans’ League. They won eight matches at this higher level but despite this they ended the season in 11th position out of 12 teams. Should they find themselves in Division 2 next season, they will be confident of an immediate return to the top flight.

Since the formation of the Hobbies in 2017, the team has been led by Roger Van Beever but sadly this year Roger had to step down for health reasons. Many thanks to Jeff Brown, who took over the running of this team at fairly short notice, in addition to being captain of the Falcons in the LV League. With several new recruits being added to the squad, they finished their league campaign in a comfortable 9th place.

Merlins Merit Winner – Bill Bloor

Hobbies Merit Winner – John Hughes

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Congratulations to the Hesketh Vultures on winning the Burscough League Knockout Trophy, defeating Burscough RBL ‘A’ 6-2 in the final at Holmeswood.

This is the second time the Vultures have won this competition, having won it at the first attempt back in 2017. It completes a fine season for the team, narrowly missing out on retaining the 1st Division Championship, finishing just four points behind Banks St. Stephen’s. Congratulations to captain, Chris Harding and all the players. 

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Hi, it’s Dave Bannister’s (Banny’s) granddaughter here Natalie, passing on the details for his funeral.

It will take place on Monday 6th November.

My grandad did not wish for everyone to be in black, 

he requested for those attending to wear something blue.

Details as follows:

10am- Main service at Holy Family Church- 1 Brompton Road PR86AS.

11am- followed with a smaller family and close friends service at Southport crematorium. -159 Southport Road PR85JQ.

The wake will then take place at the Fleetwood Hesketh, Fylde Rd, Southport PR9 9XH. Access to the venue will be available from 10:45. Food will be available once service at the crematorium  is complete, approximately around 12:00/12:30.

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I regret to inform you that DAVE BANNISTER (Banny) passed away earlier today.

Dave was a long-standing member of the Hesketh Arms for many years and played for several of our teams.

Dave organised the town and country competition over recent years and was well known to the bowling fraternity in and around Southport.

I have no further details for now and I will keep you informed should I get further information.

We send our condolences to Daves’ family.

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Congratulations to Darren Edgerley on retaining the Coronation Cup, overcoming Chris Porter in the final. This singles handicap has been played throughout the season and the final turned out to be between two of the best players in the club and was a fitting finale to the club’s programme of internal competitions.

Chris started off well in the final, winning the first three ends but Darren won the next five ends to lead 8-3. Although Chris had several runs with the jack and closed the gap to 17-18 at one stage, Darren held on to the lead for the rest of the game to take the title with a 21-17 win.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this competition and helped to complete it by organising their games. Many thanks also to Club President, Peter Smith, who was on hand to mark the final and present the Coronation Cup to Darren.



Following the final league games of the season, the green has now been closed to allow for the essential annual maintenance work to take place. Many thanks to our greenkeeper, Andy Bate, who has done a great job in ensuring that the green has been in excellent playing condition throughout the season. It was particularly pleasing to receive positive feedback from bowlers coming from outside the local area to play in our open doubles and singles competitions. We look forward to the green being in top condition again next Spring, ready for the 2024 season.


Many thanks again to Peter and Lynne Smith, along with all those who helped throughout the season, for running the regular Round Robins. These sessions, which are held every Tuesday and Friday mornings, are a very important part of the Club’s programme of events and provide members with an opportunity to enjoy social bowling and meet up with other members of the Club.


Eleven club competitions were staged in 2023 and five new names were added to the Club’s Roll of Honour. These were Steve McManus (Rose Bowl), Andy Draper (Vice-Presidents Trophy & Championship Cup), Noreen Lewis (Ladies’ Championship), Alan Hatton (Chairman’s Shield) and Graham Meadow (Chairman’s Shield).

We look forward to running a full programme of events again in 2024.


The fourth staging of the Hesketh Arms’ Champion of Champions will take place at the beginning of the 2024 season. For this event, all the club competition and merit winners from the previous season are invited to take part and the trophy presented to the winner is the “Blowick Cup”, which was previously played for at the old Blowick Hotel Bowling Club. 

The qualifiers for 2024 are as follows :-

Kez Adams – Spring Pairs ; Floodlit Trophy

Sue Andersen -Spring Pairs

Dave Bedford – Last Chance Cup

Bill Bloor – Falcons Merit ; Merlins Merit ; Hawks Merit

Andy Draper – Vice-Presidents Trophy ; Championship Cup

Darren Edgerley – President’s Cup ; Floodlit Trophy ; Coronation Cup ;

      Owls Merit ; Vultures Merit

Jim Halsall – Eagles Merit ; Kites Merit ; Ospreys Merit

Alan Hatton – Chairman’s Shield ; Sparrowhawks Merit

John Hughes – Hobbies Merit

Noreen Lewis – Ladies’ Championship ; Buzzards Merit

Steve McManus – Rose Bowl

Graham Meadow – Chairman’s Shield

Mike Milne – Blowick Cup

Brian Sutton – Last Chance Cup ; Kestrels Merit

Fergal Wright – Vice-Presidents Trophy

Over Winter Maintenance

 We will need your help with clearing the green of leaves some pruning and a general tidy up for the winter months.

We hope you will be able to assist when required.

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Congratulations to Dave Bedford and Brian Sutton on winning the Club’s final one-day competition of the season, the Last Chance Cup. Their opponents in the final were Pat McArthur and Steve McManus and after ten ends it was Pat and Steve who held an 11-9 advantage, helped by a three at the 9th end. Dave and Brian hit form at this stage however and some excellent lead bowls by Brian saw them count at the next five ends to establish an 18-11 lead and although Pat and Steve scored a single to make it 12-18, Dave and Brian ran out 21-12 winners.

This was Dave’s first club competition win since winning the Chairman’s Shield in 2014 and Brian’s third pairs success, having won the Chairman’s Shield and the Floodlit Trophy in 2020.

Runners Up Pat McArthur & Steve McManus
Semi finalists Jackie Jackson & Peter Croston

A plate competition was held and this was won by Chris McManus and Mike Milne, with a 15-11 win in the final against Sue Andersen and Alex Rimmer. 

Plate Winners Mike Milne and Chris McManus

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Competition News

The latest club competition took place on Saturday evening when we played for the Floodlit Trophy. For this event, pairs are divided into groups, with the highest placed pairs progressing to the knockout phase. The four qualifying pairs were Kez Adams and Darren Edgerley ; Jason Chapman and Mike Milne ; Derek and Sue Wignall ; Debbie Barnes and Jeff Brown. In the semi-finals, Kez and Darren comfortably overcame Debbie and Jeff, whilst Jason and Mike narrowly got through against Derek and Sue.

The final was won convincingly by Kez and Darren with a 15-3 winning scoreline.

Runners Up MIKE & JASON


The final one-day club competition will be held this coming Sunday, 17th September, when we will be staging the Last Chance CupThis is a random pairs, with pairings being drawn out on the day. To enter, please report at the green by 11.45 am in time for a 12 noon start.


The Coronation Cup, which has been taking place throughout the season, has now reached the final, where the holder, Darren Edgerley, will take on Chris Porter. Both players are playing off scratch, which should make for a great final. We hope to hold the final on a weekend date before the end of the season. We will notify members when a date has been arranged so that spectators can come along to enjoy what should be an excellent finale to the Club’s programme of internal competitions.

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There are still two more internal doubles competitions to be played before the end of the season.

The first of these will be the Floodlit Trophy, which will be played on Saturday, 9th September. This is a non-random pairs and will start at 5.00pm.

The final club event of the season will be held on Sunday, 17th September. This will be the Last Chance Cup, which is a random doubles, with pairings drawn on the day. There will be a plate competition for pairs losing their first game. To enter, please report at the green by 11.45 am, for a 12 noon start.

Saturday 9th September – 5.00 pm start – Floodlit Trophy – non-random doubles

Sunday 17th September – 12.00 pm start – Last Chance Cup – random doubles with plate


The Southport Federation team’s August fixture resulted in a 22-10 win against Fylde which was enough to see them clinch second place in Division 6 of the National League and therefore gain promotion to the 5th Division for the first time in their history.

The home leg was played at Tarleton Bowling Club, where the team had a convincing 11-1 win. Amongst the winners were Andy Draper (21-5), Chris Porter (21-10), Ali Adams (21-16) and Kez Adams (21-19).

The away team travelled to East End Bowling Club in Lytham St. Annes and came away with a decent five winners on a tricky green. Of the Hesketh Arms’ players, there were excellent wins for Darren Edgerley (21-14) and Fergal Wright (21-19).


Menai 85 points

Southport 72

Warrington 62

Fylde 58

Bradford ‘B’ 43


Please note that the green will close for the season on Monday 2nd October, following the final Southport Veterans’ League match of the season. This is to allow for the important annual maintenance work to be started as soon as possible.


Due to Maghull League Knockout Cup matches taking place, the green will be unavailable for use by members on Sunday 3rd September, between approximately 10.30 am and 4.30 pm. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.


We would like to thank ANDY DRAPER for clearing and tidying up the green surrounds. He’s made an very good job of it’


Congratulations to Alan Lloyd on winning the Churchtown Conservative Club’s B.J.P. O’Malley President’s Cup, playing with Conservative Club Chairman, George Wilson.

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The Club held it’s fifth Open Singles competition last weekend when we welcomed bowlers from St. Helens, Wigan, Chorley, Liverpool and Preston, as well as members from the Hesketh Arms and other local clubs.
The top half of the draw saw Mark Holden, who plays for Scarisbrick NSC, reach the semi-finals with wins against Paul Culley (21-10), Andy Prescott (21-13) and Chris Harding (21-7). His opponent in the last four was Peter Tilley from Chorley, a first-time visitor to the Hesketh Arms for our open competitions. It was Mark who reached the final with a 21-12 victory.
In the bottom half of the draw, Michael Heap, who won our Open Doubles in April with Paul Culley, had a close game against Brian Fairclough in the first round, eventually coming through 21-20. Michael was then able to reach the final with comfortable wins against David Charlesworth (Preston), Aaron Backhouse (Ormskirk) and one of former members, Liam Gregson (Skem Park Rebels). The final was close in the early stages, with Mark starting strongly but it was Michael who was able to maintain his form to win 21-13 and claim the £200 first prize. 
Many thanks to the Birkdale Insurance Group, for their support again in sponsoring this competition and everyone who came down on the day and helped with marking and measuring. A special thank you also, to our referees, Peter and Mary Fishwick, who helped to ensure the smooth running of the competition. Finally, thank you to our Club President, Peter Smith, who presented the prizes.
We look forward to running our open competitions again in 2024.