BOWLS: THE Norley Bowls League is in crisis.
A 'heated' split on the management committee has so far resulted in secretary-treasurer Chris Raddy and fixture secretary Maurice Nixon resigning and elected chairman Gerald Merry stepping down to vice-chairman.
This has left acting chairman Fred Hopkins, of Kelsall, trying to carry the league through to an extraordinary general meeting on August 19.
Merry is supported by president Fred Gallimore, although neither side wanted to talk about the dispute.
Raddy said: 'At the present time I am not secretary. I don't want to go into the reasons.' Merry was unavailable for comment.
Hopkins said: 'It is a very serious dispute and I am trying to keep the league running smoothly. It is diff icult but we will get there - I don't want to see the league go down.
'Gerald has reversed roles with me. Chris and Maurice tendered their resignations, which the management committee refused to accept. We don't want to lose Chris. Ideally we don't want to lose anyone.
'Some of the things that have gone on are ridiculous, but it is my job to stay neutral. I am hoping the EGM will settle the issue. It will be up to the clubs to decide what they want.
'The two sides cannot work with each other. There is a stalemate.'
At the annual meeting, Merry's idea for a 'premiership' within the Norley League for the best teams and players and with greater cash incentives was rejected by clubs. He argued a 'super league' would increase playing standards.
Hopkins admitted the dispute was 'partly connected' with the issue.
The Chronicle understands there was a heated clash of personalities at Poynton during a Cheshire tournament fixture several weeks ago, and the current situation has developed since.
An insider said: 'The league is in a right mess and it could get even worse. If all the committee quit, it would fold.'
The Norley League, while always being second in stature to the Mid Cheshire League, has more players and teams because of the Tuesday Afternoon League. The dispute has restricted publication of results and tables for the past three weeks. Division Three is the latest place in the Frodsham and District League for a shake-up.
This was mainly because of Runcorn Hill's home win against leaders Kingsley which demoted Kingsley to third place.
A full house for Kingswood B, which include five single-f igure winners, the best 12-2 by Carl Massey against Grapes B, sent them into a narrow lead over Sub-scription B.
In Division One, the top four places remain unchanged with Grapes A (Ray Worthington 21-6) returning to form with a home win over Pavilions B.
Red Lion A were again too good for their B team, as were Pavilions A (Bill Burton 21-3) for second-placed Goshawk A, while Chetwode A (Trevor Carter 21-5) won at home to Halton A.
Helsby B stay top of Division Two after winning at Castle Park B, Cindy McLean (21-6) being one of four single-f igure winners.
Helsby A won at home but kept to a low score by Manley A, mainly because of a 21-9 win for Les Cowap, but they did go second as Egerton crashed at Conservative Club A (Andy Phillips 21-7).
Norton Arms B moved closer to the top of the fourth division following a win at Spinner and Bergamot with f ive single-f igure winners, including Margaret Ratcliffe and Pete Ashbridge with 21-5.
Leaders Willow Brook B were well beaten at Halton B (Nellie Hignett 21-7), as were third-placed Kingswood A at Helsby C (Terry Byrne 21-6).
Chetwode B won at Manley B, while Overton (Mike Oakley 21-3) were home winners against Pavilions C.