2023 HOBA Bowling Challenge (Russell Smith Memorial Trophy)

On Sunday, , a glorious, sun-drenched afternoon, the 15th edition of the Russell Smith Memorial Trophy was contested at Greenroyd Bowling Club.

Several old regulars being absent from the event, only ten names went into the hat, and the pairs were drawn as:—

Under a cloudless sky, on a green fringed by bluebells and blossom, the drama unfolded.

Whilst Bingham and Stollery made a promising start, Freeman and Crosland blazed into the lead with a 10–0 victory over the hapless Smith and Parker, who were later to improve.

The general standard of play was not very inspiring at this point, with few bowls troubling the ‘jack.’ ‘This is what you could call a relegation battle,’ was heard.

At the halfway stage, when drinks were taken, most pairs seemed to have won two and lost two — an intriguing situation.

An hour or two later, the finalists emerged: Farrell and Hobson versus Freeman and Crosland. After another dismal passage of play, all rested on the final ‘end.’ This produced the best bowling of the match, with several bowls reaching their target. Freeman and Crosland, undefeated throughout, became worthy winners and R. Crosland graciously accepted the cup.

The buffet followed, during which Jim Farrell spoke with feeling about recent developments in the school archives, the possible site of the original school building, the finding of the school seal after many years of search, the date of the school house and so on — to end a memorable afternoon.

Thanks to Greenroyd for again hosting the event, to Jon Hamer and Grayham Smith for organising and to John Hudson for the buffet.

Another good HOBA event in all but number.

Rod Eastwood [1954–1961]