The Welsh Club Championship 2022 was played on Sunday 18th September at Brymbo Bowling Club.
Referees on the day were Peter Hughes, Arthur Peake and Tom Lockyer.
There were four teams in contention for the title – one from each area of North Wales and each the winner of their respective Area Cup. They were; Flintshire Area – represented by Mold Rec. BC, Glyndwr represented by Colwyn Bay British Legion, Gwynedd by Beaumaris BC and Wrexham by Cunliffe BC.
The eight-a-side competition got underway with the players in the first half very evenly matched for most of their games. Good wins for Cunliffe against Beaumaris, with Paul Bradley winning 21-19, Nick Hughes 21-13, Martin Jones 21 – 18 and Robin Bennet 21 – 12. Fortunes were more mixed between Mold Rec. and Colwyn Bay. Mold Rec’s John Jones and Colwyn’s Jason Jones had a very close game and it could have gone either way until John pulled ahead 18 – 15. He eventually won 21-16. The Rec’s Mike Riley had a much more relaxed first match against Dylan Pritchard winning 21-8.
The mammoth game from the first four was that between Jordan Riley – Mold Rec. and Chris Slater – Colwyn BL. Jordan was well down at 12-5 at one stage and couldn’t find a length. Veteran bowler Chris was unable to put a foot wrong and some accurate striking kept Jordan from gaining any ground. Chris extended his lead to 16-6. Determination learnt over the years began to pay off for young Jordan and he steadily crept back to lead 18-14. Chris’s striking, which had served him so well before, couldn’t help this time and Jordan triumphed 21-18.
In the second four, Cunliffe’s fortunes continued to hold sway. Ian Jones sailed away to an outstanding 10-0 start against David P Williams and won his match 21-2. In fact Cunliffe took a full house with every player winning their match. Final scores were – Cunliffe 168 and Beaumaris 102.
It was much closer for Mold Rec. and Colwyn BL. Mold Rec eventually won 140 and Colwyn BL 139.
There was no hesitation in getting the final underway, and the players seemed to be half way through their games before you knew it.
Mike Riley had a tougher second game with Nick Hughes. Nick won 21-18. John Jones lost his match with Martin Jones by the narrowest of margins 21 – 20. More solid wins by both teams meant that at the half way point there were only 3 points separating Cunliffe and Mold Rec.
Once again Jordan Riley found himself the underdog against Ian Jones. Giving it everything he had, Jordan pulled back enough points to win his game 21-18 and earn himself the title of ‘come back king’.
In the end Cunliffe took the title with 155 points to Mold Rec’s 130. Cunliffe had only dropped two games all day – pretty impressive.
Cunliffe and Mold Rec. now go through to represent Wales in the World Club Championships next year.