Review of the 2019 season

Following the decision to reduce the number of divisions in the league in order to increase the number of matches played which resulted in the league season being lengthen until the end of September compounded with the near monsoon rainfall throughout August & September resulting in all the greens, except Longton VM, being closed earlier than planned for emergency maintenance which resulted in the KO Cup competition having to be postponed at the semi-final stage, until next season, due to insufficent greens being available.

Following a number of key signing prior to the start of the season, the 1st Division title was comfortable won by Banks St Stephens, for the 3rd time, with a winning margin of 24 points securing 20 wins in their 22 matches. Whilst Burscough RBL A finished runners-up for the 10th time with a narrow 3 point margin over 3rd placed Bretherton. At the another end of the division, Holmeswood A & Mawdesley A finished in the relegation positions. The 1st Division Player of the Year award was won by Carl Gregson (Burscough RBL A) for the first time by winning 20 of his 22 games.

The 2nd Division was also a one-sided affair, with newly promoted Mere Brow winning successive divisional titles, with a 40 point winning margin over runners-up Croston Black Horse, who had only a point in hand over 3rd placed Longton VM B to gain promotion to the 1st division. After winning the 3rd Division Player of the Year award last season, John Greenwod (Mere Brow) won successive divisional titles by taking the 2nd Division Player of the Year award for the first time, by winning 23 of his 24 games.

Unfortuately, due to a lack of support & entries from other clubs, the League's President Day had to be cancelled for the first time in the league's history.

The Steve Rimmer Memorial Singles Shield competition, which was run as a one day event for the first time, was won by Bill Roddan (Zetland) for the second time on a sunny afternoon with occassional showers. In the final, which was a fitting tribute to Steve Rimmer, he beat homster Gary Burgess 21-16 playing 25-30 yard straight marks. The turning point of the final was when Bill led 18-16 & he tapped out Gary's toucher to leave himself two to go all-but & then led a two foot bowl in the corners, which Gary could not beat, to take the coveted title. Earlier in the day, Bill also beat last year's winner, Matty Greenwood (Mere Brow) 21-13. The trophy & prizemoney were then presented to the winners by this year's president, Mr Bill Nowell, following the speech from the secretary which paid tribute to the contribution Steve Rimmer made to the league over many years as well as thanking Crossens BC for hosting the event & to all the league players & spectators who supported this competition.

The 33rd running of the League Pairs Competition, which was run as a one day event for the first time on greens throughout the league, was won by Steve McCall & Neil Rigden (Bretherton) for the first time, beating Andy Carr & Brian Wilson (Bretherton) 21-13 in the final at Crossens. Steve led exceptionally well all day on his favourite three-quarter length marks across the green with Neil either playing woods out or striking when needed. In the semi-finals, they beat another Bretherton pairing of Graham Pilkington & Darren Wilkinson 21-15 whilst Andy & Brian accounted for the Fleetwood Hesketh pairing of Jack Beecham & Andy Draper 21-19 which was only decided at the last end with both pairing's lying game at some stage during this dramatic conclusion. Bill Nowell (President) presented the trophy & prizemoney after Keith Robinson had thanked everyone who was involved in running another successful competition.

Officials are now looking forward to another rewarding & successful season commencing in April 2020.

If you are interested in joining this Friday Night league, there are currently vacancies for players &/or teams of 8 players for clubs based in the West Lancashire & Southport Areas. For further information, please e-mail me, Keith Robinson (Secretary), at secretary@burscoughleague.org.uk with your details.

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