Gary Preston, Captain of the Marshall Shield squad kindly prepared this commentary.
Harrogate men entered the Marshall Shield for the first time in many years this year. The Marshall Shield is a competition for men that started in the post war years. Harrogate had their name engraved on the shield twice in the forties, the last time being 1948. I am reliably informed by Derek Chappel that Marshall himself was a member of our club. It is a rinks format (4 players with 2 woods each) and is now played on 3 rinks, with the aggregate deciding the winner.
It was with great excitement that our journey started at Hornsea on Sunday 18th June. We won on all 3 rinks, winning 66-39. Our next trip was to Dunnington, a Division 1 team in the York league, on Sunday July 16th. Again we won, 54-40.
This meant we were part of the finals day at Thirsk Bowling Club on Sunday 6th August.
The semi-final was against Westpark in Hull, a team with some very good players. Again we won on all 3 rinks.
The final was against Brotton from near Saltburn by the sea. The games were all played in a lovely spirit, and the end result was very exciting.
A high quality, very competitive match ensued.
Our first rink to finish was made up of myself, Paul Morton, Lee Coutts and Les Bentley. We won by 6 shots. The next rink to finish was Mick Metson, John Drake, David Lamb and Douglas McWee (who was playing for the injured Andrew Morton, Derek Chappel played in the first game). They won by 4 shots, giving Harrogate a 10 shot lead.
But going into the last end, our last rink to finish, David Small, John Russell, Phil Deval and Ian Brickley (David Moulder played in an earlier game) were 9 shots down. With just the skips to play Harrogate were one shot down on the rink, meaning it was a drawn game overall at that time. But David moved the Jack back to one of our woods to win the end by 1 shot and only lost the game by 8 shots meaning we won overall by 2 shots.
It was a nail-biting finish to a wonderful day.
Disappointed, but great competitors.
The HBC Team
Thirsk bowling club hosted the event very well, with plenty of tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches available for all.
The Marshall Shield will be on display in the clubhouse from Tuesday evening!
Well done to everyone who took part, it was a real team success, which means everyone who played in any of the games. We are already looking forward to defending our position as Marshall Shield champions next season.
AND THE THANKS OF ALL MEMBERS GO TO
GARY PRESTON, AS CAPTAIN OF OUR SUCCESSFUL SQUAD.
More photos of the full day, including the semi-final are
available in the galleries section of our website.