BOWLS: CHESHIRE are on the verge of a hat-trick.
After years of being much fancied under-achievers, the Cheshire set have reached their third consecutive BCGBA Inter Counties final, after soundly beating Greater Manchester on Sunday.
The tie was won by a superb away performance and man of the match was undoubtedly Owley Wood veteran Stan Frith, won beat Alan Hodgson 21-7.
Gerald Merry (Hazel Pear) and Glynn Cookson (Wharton Cons) were also winners, both having to hold for two-shot triumphs, while Jason Cornes (Castle Pte) and Stuart Kellett (Cons) both contributed 17 points.
Cheshire won at Chadderton 235-200, which was a welcome relief to the home leg players, who could only squeeze a four shot advantage from the Sale Excelsior green, 226-222. Cheshire have beaten North Midlands in both the 2001 and 02 finals and they now play South Yorkshire on September 7, host greens still to be decided. NONE of the Wharton Cons all-conquering team reached the Cowley Cup finals - but a quartet of youngsters did.
Interest not so much surrounded who was in last night's finals at Winsford Cons, as to what happened to some of the favourites en route.
Out went Glynn Cookson, fresh from his Roberts Bakery Handicap triumph, and his Cons team mate Stewart Bailey too, both victims of Castle Private prospect and ex-County Junior Merit winner Andy Hamman.
It was giant-killing on a grand scale. Cookson fell 21-16, Bailey by 11.
Hamman is joined by other teenagers who took senior scalps. Tom Vickers beat Gerald Merry 21-17 and Barry Ellams 21-15; Steven Fields (Beech Tree) defeated John Clare and Geoff Dale, both by two chalks; and Jon Gurney (Farmers
Arms) ousted Steve Kellett and Ray Brandreth 19 and 12.
All of which left the Cowley outcome in doubt, even though the likes of Mark Winnington and Paul Mackie had experienced eyes on the trophy.
Cookson had beaten clubmate Dave Hamlett Jnr 21-15 to win the Roberts Cup for a record fifth time.
Cons A, off scratch, concede 47 handicap points to Castle B at Slow & Easy in the semi-finals of the Whitby Cup on Monday.
Comberbach A (14) play Meadow Bank A (32) at Barnton CC in the other semi.
There will be a different name on the Joe Robinson Veterans Trophy, the finals of which are at Beech Tree tomorrow.
Draw reads: Norman Greatbanks (OW) v Eric Hamman (MB), Norman Mathias (OW) v Fred Hopkins (Kel), Ron Hitchen (FA) v Arthur Nicholas (Kel), John Spruce (Kel) v Sid Barnard (OP). CASTLE Private prised the Mid Cheshire League championship open a little further with a superb victory at Wharton Cons.
It makes no immediate difference to the top of the table.