Cleakheaton Bowls Club

David Markhamin Bowls

Cleckheaton bowls Club

By David Markham

It is a busy bowling season at Cleckheaton's two crown greens with 20 different teams playing every week as well as a host of special competitions.

With a close season of only about four months on the main green, there is little time for John Hawksworth and his co-Groundsman Keith Johnston to do the winter work.

In fact, the season on that green continued so late in the year there wasn't chance to apply the top dressing.

John said: "We bowl under lights so we can play until late October. We scarified the greens towards the end of the season and normally we put on a top dressing.

"We applied a top dressing on our back green because they finished earlier, but not on they top green because that was in use for an extra month.

"We keep an eye on the greens during the winter for any sign of disease and we occasionally cut if the grass is growing.

"In February and March we try to feed the greens, scarify, look for weeds and cut the grass. We find it is difficult to apply weed killer during the bowling season.

"We have also struggled with worms on the back green and use a fungicideto get rid of it."

The new campaign has started and there will now be continuous play for the next seven months.

As well as their own club sides, Cleckheaton organise an individual competition sponsored by John Smiths in May which attracts top bowlers from all over the north.

The club also hosts county finals, all-England finals and Yorkshire Merit competitions.

The club is in the Spen Valley area, a hot bed of crown green bowling, about four miles south of Bradford near the junction of the M62 and M606.

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