THE 2019 crown green bowling season got under way last week with league games in the Merit and 54321 league.

The annual season opening competition, the Jeff Clark Spring Floodlight, was held the previous week.

The qualifying round took place on Tuesday evening in Skipton, using all four greens to accommodate the 56 entries.

The final then took place at Gargrave Bowling Club on Thursday evening, the eight finalists looking to win the Jeff Clark Trophy and first prize of £100.

The four quarter-finals saw some good matches with wins for Nigel Breadley 21 David Precious 17, David Scott 21 Mick Gadd 15, Peter Clark 21 Arron Harrison 18 and Jim Calvert 21 Idris Wade 11.

Clark took on Calvert in the semi-final, Clark was always in charge of the match, with Calvert just pulling back late points to make the final score Clark 21 Calvert 13.

The other semi was a much closer affair with Scott and Breadley putting up some good bowling.

It looked like Scott was heading for the final as he pulled back Breadley’s 12-8 lead to go 17-15 up.

But Breadley then got back in to make a winning six-point break to win the match 21-17.

The final was an all Devonshire final with Breadley joining the Skipton club for the coming season, and Clark was looking to win his father’s trophy for the third time.

It was Breadley who got the better start to soon lead 10-5. Unusually Clark struggled to get into the match and Breadley continued to lead well with 13-7 lead.

Clark tried to rally back to 14-11, only to see the match slipping away as Breadley led 19-11. Clark again showed determination to battle back again, with a five-point break, but the two points Breadley were forthcoming as he took the final with a 21-17 victory.

The new league president, Colne Bowling club's Steve Clamp, was in attendance to present the prizes and trophy.

The league has had some very sad news from Cononley Bowling Club, as the village club has lost one their most prolific members in David Calvert.

He had put so much effort into getting the club back on a sound footing.

He also was a member of the league’s executive committee for many years, and when asked to take on the role of president of the league, he turned down the approach preferring to stay in the background.

The league and everyone at Cononley Bowling Club will miss the honourable and fine gentleman David Calvert.