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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOUTHPORT LV LEAGUE
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
BURSCOUGH & LATHOM LEAGUE
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
SOUTHPORT PARKS LEAGUE
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
SOUTHPORT LADIES’ LEAGUE
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
AUGHTON SENIOR CITIZENS’ LEAGUE
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
SOUTHPORT VETERANS’ LEAGUE
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