Hotspurs promoted as Division Two champions at bowls club

There was tension in the air as the final round of matches in Cammacks Division Two of the Evening League at Boston Indoor Bowling Club got under way last week. Both Hotspurs and Optimists, sitting first and second in the table, were hoping to become the division’s champions and get the promotion spot into the Orchard Health Group First Division.
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Hotspurs faced Kingfishers and Optimists played Woodpeckers, both having 6-0 victories, leaving Hotspurs top of the table with 133 points and Optimists just behind on 130 points.

Mick Rate’s Hotspurs rink took control of their game after a cagey start to run out winners 30-7. Mike Long skipped his rink to a close win, 17-16, in an enthralling game. Special mention should go to the Kingfishers’ rink of Angela Richardson, Sue Holderness and David Richardson who played very well on the night to stay within touching distance throughout the game.

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Hotspurs headed the table from October and go back into the top division at the first time of asking. The photo shows their squad of Mike Long, Janet Woods, Ted Woods, Yvonne Smith, Mick Rate, Pam Rate and captain Rob Druce. Absent from the photo was Mike Nelson, who played for them until late March when he moved away from the town.

Hotspurs, champions of Division Two in the Evening League at BIBCHotspurs, champions of Division Two in the Evening League at BIBC
Hotspurs, champions of Division Two in the Evening League at BIBC

Optimists were a new team last September, comprising a mix of experience and youth, including several bowlers who had started the sport only a few months earlier. That they were challenging for the promotion spot into the First Division was a credit to all concerned.

On the night, Andrew Reeson’s rink was quickly 19-0 ahead and eventually won 30-7. Stewart Reynolds skipped the other rink to a 19-9 victory.

Third met fourth as Vikings played Desperados, with Vikings assured of third place whatever the result on the night. As it happened, Desperados won both rinks, 16-13 and 15-14, in two close games where they established early leads, saw Vikings catch and overtake them, before finishing well to grab the wins.

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Both teams finished two places higher than in the 2022-2023 season, with Vikings on 117 points and Desperados on 114, an encouraging improvement. Both reached a high spot of second in the table around Christmas and into the New Year.

Central ended the season in fifth place on 104 points and Amateurs in sixth on 99, both having had solid seasons. With a gap of 30 points, Amateurs finished well ahead of Woodpeckers on 69 in seventh place.

In the final round, Central beat Shipmates 4-2, Fred Epton winning his rink convincingly 29-9. Ian Drury’s Shipmates’ rink fell 4-8 behind, then took control to post a 17-13 win. Shipmates have struggled this season, but improved results from February onwards moved them off the bottom of the table to finish ninth.

Phantoms and Vectors played out the last match, Phantoms winning 4-2, taking Paul Greenhough’s rink 20-13, while Ollie Tyson won 19-15 for Vectors. Phantoms finished in eighth, two places higher than in 2022-2023, and Vectors were in tenth.