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Harrogate Bowling Club wins the Dalesman League for the first time.

Our congratulations for a fine win go to the Harrogate Spa squad, captained by Mick Metson. This is the 2023 squad.

Ian Brickley, Frank Devaney, Norman Jackson, Mick Metson, Douglas McWee, Andrew Morton, Paul Morton, John Russell, David Small.

The 2023 Dalesman League consisted of the following eight teams:

Ben Rhydding, Bishop Monkton, Boroughbridge, Harrogate Spa, Harrogate Stray, Kirkby Malzeard, Ripon, Wetherby.

Mick Metson, kindly provided the following report on the season. Photographs are of the last match of the season against Boroughbridge – a match that confirmed Harrogate Spa as the league winners.


"Our season began on 17th May with our first match away to Wetherby. We won taking all 8 points in the process having won both rinks and the aggregate score. Ahead of us lay a further 13 matches.

In a concerted effort to win the Dalesman League - something the club had so far been unable to achieve - a tight team of nine players was formed under the Harrogate Spa name, the plan to play whenever possible in ‘fixed’ triples.

As the season progressed, we found ourselves near or at the top of the league and feeling positive about our chances.

Then came a slight wobble and all of a sudden, we were third in the league and 10 points behind the leaders Ben Rhydding with last year’s champions Bishop Monkton in second place.

With five games left three of them were against our closest rivals, Ben Rhydding, Kirkby Malzeard and Bishop Monkton with a fourth against the other Harrogate team ‘Stray’.

But we didn’t panic and won 4 of our last 5 matches 8-0 to seal the league win in our final game at home to Boroughbridge on 30th August.

The trial ends.

The match is underway.

The shadows lengthen as play draws to a close.

The Spa team win is confirmed with a handshake.

A very well deserved celebration.

A great season with everyone playing their part in the success of the team. We won 11 of our 14 matches winning 19 rinks of the 28 played and losing just 6 with 3 drawn.

Looking ahead we hope to build on the success of 2023 in the next season. Harrogate Bowling Club is back on the map."


Footnote: It is understood that the trophy will be presented at the Dalesman League AGM in January 2024.



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