Priory clinch title with a game to spare

Tarring Priory have been crowned champions of the West Sussex League for the first time since 2009. Below: Pictures from Saturday, when Priory clinched the title with victory over Chichester

Tarring Priory have been crowned champions of the West Sussex League for the first time since 2009. Below: Pictures from Saturday, when Priory clinched the title with victory over Chichester

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WITH one match still remaining, Tarring Priory Bowls Club’s A team have confirmed their place as champions of the West Sussex League.

Chichester went into Saturday’s match with an outside chance of taking top spot, but wins on two rinks and the overall score was sufficient to make sure that Priory’s visitors went home as no more than runners-up.

Tarring Priory have won 15 of their 17 league matches this season, drawn once and lost just one game to be crowned champions for the first time since 2009.

Their only defeat came in their opening game of the season, when they lost 85-68 to last year’s champions, Worthing A. They then won eight successive matches, before a draw with Southbourne. Since then, Priory have recorded seven consecutive victories, which included collecting six points from a 75-74 win at Chichester.

It was a good contest throughout, but home green advantage was enough to see Priory home.

The rain of recent days produced a slowish green which was a markedly different pace to the Chichester home surface. Wins for Jon Clear (32-17) and Gary Wyatt (24-19) were well deserved. Matthew Smith’s rink made life difficult for themselves by dropping a seven early in the match and were always playing catch-up as they went down 25-20.

Captain Andy Clarke played at number three to Richard Dray in their match and their rink was tight all the way through, 15-15 going into the 21st end, but the ditch drama this week went Chichester’s way as they won 17-15.

Another away game for Priory B in Division 3 resulted in another match of lost chances and another seven points was no longer available in the quest for a club double this season.

David Fairs returned from holidays and to winning ways (24-16), but only John Hobbs’ rink was able to gain any return from a resolute and determined East Preston B team, as they drew 17-17.

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