At the half-way stage of the season the defending champions Woolhope A have put themselves in a strong position to defend their county short mat bowls league title. After being neck and neck with their habitual rivals Ross A across the early part of the season the situation swung in their favour as Ross A lost their last game before Christmas and then suffered a heavy 9-1 home defeat to Woolhope A in the first match of the new year. As a result, Woolhope A lead the division by 4 points having played one match fewer and are well placed to secure the club’s 16th consecutive title.
Newly promoted Fownhope are finding life difficult once again in the top division and, together with Langarron, are falling a little behind at the bottom of the division although they are still very much in touch.
Division 2 is, as usual in recent years, a much more open competition and at the halfway stage the top 4 teams are separated by only 4 points. Ross B head the division but only on shot difference from St Martins Hawks with St Martins Falcons 3 points further back, a single point ahead of Ledbury Swifts. The St Martins and Ledbury teams are all looking to reach the top division for the first time.
The county teams are reaching the climax of their Inter County Championship qualifying groups and the A team, in particular, have had a very strong season. The Premier team have had some very close results against both Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, along with two wins against Avon, but are realistically chasing only one qualifying place for the main knockout competition as the country’s top side, West Midlands, are dominating the group with convincing wins against all the other counties. The A team, however, are leading their qualifying group following convincing wins in all of their home matches. They have secured qualification for the main knockout stage and, barring a particularly bad result in their final match away to Worcestershire, should win their group.