THONGSBRIDGE are going to face a strong challenge to retain their title in the Slawit & Golcar Cars Huddersfield Bowling League.
The 117-team league kicks back into action in eight sections on Saturday with a handful of clubs queueing up to try and wrest the top-flight crown and Subscription Cup.
One big question is can Netherton Con, strengthened by the addition of Jack Dyson, Darren Hennessey and Rob Wiltshire, and having won the Subscription Cup for five consecutive years up to 2008, win it back?
Lockwood Con, Longwood BC and Moldgreen Con may also have something to say about the top of the league, while Lindley Lib may surprise one or two this season.
It will also be interesting to see if Linthwaite C&BC can consolidate their place in the top tier, having achieved promotion to that level for the first time in 50 years.
Interest in the Drayton Cup will focus on whether new club Spen Victoria can gain promotion to the top flight at the first time of asking.
No doubt Paddock C&BC, Netherton Con B, Meltham BC, Elland CA&BC, and perhaps one or two more will be determined to make their own impact.
The so-called Syngenta ‘All Stars’, comprising mostly young bowlers, will have their eyes on the Littlewood Cup, while Moldgreen Con B will also have some interest in that section, having gained comfortable promotions in winning the Bamforth and Ingham Cups over the last two seasons.
These two actually clash in the first week on the Elland No1 green.
Moldgreen Con have withdrawn from the Binns Cup, which affects both the sides they were due to have played and also the neutral greens on which those matches should have taken place.
The first four qualifiers for the Enid Blackburn Memorial Trophy at Marsh Utd are Dawn Bray, Lyn Carter, Margaret Cooper and Suzy Ladbrooke.
Draw for Saturday’s second qualifier: F Beaumont v B Helyar, M Beaumont v H Dyson, S Joyce v S Turner, A Buckley v S Smith, D Sturma v B Hirst, B Lunn v D Dunning, S Harper v B Priestley, A Lunn-Gadd v J Senior.