Two of the most hotly-contested titles in English lawn bowls will be decided this weekend in Royal Leamington Spa when Victoria Park plays host to the Middleton Cup and Johns Trophy finals – the inter-county team competitions for men and women respectively.
The finals are being held outside the National Finals because, when the schedule was being developed in Spring, there was uncertainty as to whether COVID-restrictions would enable the Middleton and Johns to be played this season. The extra week was intended to help ensure the competition could reach a conclusion in a worst-case scenario. We expect these prestigious events to form a key part of the National Finals in future years.
Saturday will see the finals of the Middleton Cup, with defending champions Devon once again through to the final four where they will face Kent in a repeat of the 2019 final. The other semi-final sees a repeat of last Sunday’s Balcomb Trophy last four match between Northamptonshire and Cumbria, which saw the Midlands side triumph on their way to the title.
The Johns Trophy takes centre stage on Sunday, with favourites Surrey seeking to win the event for the third successive time. They play Cambridgeshire in the morning’s semi-finals with the winners going on to face Lincolnshire or Devon in the final.
It was not viable to keep in place the National Finals’ event infrastructure for another two weeks. The event is not ticketed and, given the lower number of participants and spectators expected to be in attendance, there is no requirement to evidence double vaccination and/or lateral flow tests. We recommend attendees exercise caution in terms of social distancing, wear a face-mask when indoors and bring their own hand sanitizer.
Limited seats will be available on a first-served, first-come basis. Spectators may also bring their own seats should they wish to do so. Toilets for spectators will be available within the clubhouse and on the corridor between the large meeting room and the café, and both Royal Leamington Spa BC and the café have confirmed that they will be open for refreshments during the event. The café will open from 8.30am.
Litter bins will be provided across the site and we kindly request that all players/spectators dispose of their own litter to keep the site tidy on behalf of all attendees.
There is no official event car park and spectators are advised to utilise car parking facilities (pay and display) within close distance of Victoria Park, details of which can be found here. The nearest disabled parking can be found at the Adelaide Bridge car park, which is a short walk to the greens.
The annual Leamington Food & Drink Festival is being held in the Pump Room Gardens on this date, therefore, we do expect the town centre and car parks to be busier than usual.
Middleton Cup – Saturday 11th September
Semi-Finals (9.30am start)
B Green: Cumbria v Northamptonshire
C Green: Kent v Devon
The start time for the final will be 2pm, which will be played on A Green.
Johns Trophy – Sunday 12th September
Semi-Finals (9.30am start)
B Green: Surrey v Cambridgeshire
C Green: Lincolnshire v Devon
We will post regular score updates across the weekend on our website and social media for those unable to attend.