Big week for Fylde coast bowling on greens closed since 2019

The majority of the Fylde coast’s crown green bowling leagues will return next week, with clubs playing their first competitive games for up to 20 months.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 12:30 pm

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Not all leagues are ready to return after the pandemic and those competitions which will not take place in 2021 include the Fylde Amateur Ladies’ League, the Blackpool and Wyre Ladies’ Evening League and the Welcome League, though its Monday competition for over-50s is among those starting next week.

It means the only competitive bowls for women’s teams on the Fylde coast this year will be in the Lytham St Annes leagues, though other clubs are planning friendlies.

The Fleetwood Bowls Festival is set to return this July

Even though the season is getting underway six weeks late for most clubs, the inten-

tion of many competitions is to play a full programme of fixtures. Afternoon competitions can manage this by extending the season into October.

Some leagues are yet to make a final decision on this season, and the Fleetwood and District Men’s League is proposing to play only the second half of the scheduled

fixtures, starting June 21.

In the leagues that are going ahead, not all clubs will be playing – but it looks like the vast majority will.

FABA chairman Peter Jose told The Gazette: “Looking around the Fylde, there are only a few clubs who have decided they don’t want to play.

“In the leagues I’m involved in, we’ve told any teams who want to sit this year out that they can come back in the same division next year, though we will be having promotion and relegation.

“We’re very grateful to Pat Conchie for redoing all the fixtures so we have a complete season.”

As for FABA stealing a march on most of the Fylde coast competitions with last week’s opening ends, Jose added: “Clubs were ringing me to ask when we could start, and it was clear the majority wanted to start as soon as possible to get the full season in. Of course, with evening leagues, it isn’t so easy to extend the season.”

Jose is also among the organisers of the Fleetwood Bowls Festival, which is set to return this year in the week starting July 19, and is likely to be the focal point of the coast’s crown green calendar in the absence of events at the Waterloo Hotel.

He added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of entries, especially for the men, though we’ve had to set a limit on the number of entries for each competition.

“Fleetwood Bowling Club will be the main venue, possibly with overflow at Belmont and Fleetwood Cricket Club.”

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