THE fifth running of the rapidly growing in stature £5,050 Rastrick Bowling and Social Club’s Classic commences on Sunday, July 26, at the Toothill Bank-based club.
Dyed-in-the-wool crown green player and enthusiast Neil Broadbent came up with the idea in 2011 and its been a winner for the club and the bowling fraternity and those who just love to see the top players in the country in action.
Marstons, who took over Blackburn brewers Thwaites, have just agreed to sponsor the Classic for the next three years at £1,800-a-year and the remaining amount for the total purse is made up of £3,200 in entry fees from the 128 participating at £25 a time.
This season the dates for the diary are Sundays, August 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th, then Sundays September 6th and 13th and the finals night is on Sunday September 20th at 5pm.
The weekly attendances for the qualifiers usually draw up to 50 spectators and then around 250 pack the green on finals night.
Nine out of the top ten in the UK National Ranking list – Ian Nicholson from Kendal in Cumbria being the exception – have played Rastrick BC in the Classic and now Rastrick has also become a firm favourite with Yorkshire County. `
Seven out of the top 10 are also returning this year and the list is as follows:
Gary Ellis (Whitefield), events won 100, ranking 1st; Graeme Wilson (Audenshaw), 82, 2nd; Simon Coupe (Preston), 53, 3rd; Callum Wraight (Shrewsbury), 37, 4th; Lee Lawton (Failsworth), 34, 5th; Chris Brown (Sheffield), 28, 6th; Andrew Cairns (Rawtenstall), 24, 7th; Ian Nicholson (Kendal), 23, 8th; Andrew Spragg (Chesterfield), 23, 8th; Tom Johnstone (Warrington), 22, 10th.
Neil adds: “I run it with regards to the bowling side of things, assisted by Graham Hall and all the committee and other members help out with catering, which is overseen for the rota by long serving Janet Holroyd, marking and other things like getting sponsorship.
“Our sponsorship started out at £4000 and is now over £5000 and in the top 10 in the country for prize money and the winner of the event becomes a reserve for the prestigious Champion of Champions at the famous Waterloo Bowling Club in Blackpool.
“We have been full for many months now and a reserve list is in force for those who cannot make it.”
Rastrick Classic week 1
Play starts at 5.30, practice from 4.30.
Tom Pritchard (King George V (W&W)) v Tom Roden (Telford), Andy Hodgson (Pudsey) v Simon Walder (Lower Hopton),
Anthony Thompson (Merseyside) v Danny Fountain (Brighouse), Kevin Handley (Staffordshire) v Gary Foulkes (Ossett Flying Horse), Conor Davies (Pudsey) v Robbie Fitzpatrick (Morton House), Lloyd Walker (King George V (W&W)) v Harry Seehra (Lower Hopton), Matt Gilmore (Merseyside) v Kez Smith (Crossgates), Neil Slattery (Lockwood Cons) v Rob Burroughs (Telford).