By Liam Sykes

The Weston Park Trophy returned over Easter bank holiday weekend for another year, with bowlers flocking to the Holme Valley to stake their claim for this year’s title.

Despite being only days into the 2024 season, bowlers from all over the UK head into ‘Summer Wine Country’ for the Weston Park Trophy, which boasts a large prize pot which puts it up there as one of the more sought-after open competitions to play in.

The event continued its busy format of four qualifying sessions across just two days, consisting of 16 bowlers per session playing down to four qualifiers, who will then return for finals day on Saturday April 6.

Play got underway on Easter Saturday, basked in bank holiday sunshine, with the players being treated to a phenomenal Brockholes Bowling Club surface for playing on after greenkeeper Peter Beaumont has put in some serious work over the winter.

Brockholes has a reputation as one of the best playing surfaces in the area and this year was no different.

Early season jitters would’ve been expected, but weren’t an issue for the calibre of players in this year’s competition, with the standard of bowls on show being as good as anyone could’ve hoped for by the 32 bowlers across the two Saturday qualifying sessions.

The pick of the bunch was arguably Matt Gilmore from Merseyside, a former British champion, showing his class to qualify with relative ease.

The Saturday afternoon session saw Josh Mordue, of Leeds, qualify with a 21 break from 6-0 behind, winning 21-6.



On day 2, the weather was not quite as kind to the bowlers but that did not stop them from putting on another show of top quality bowls.

Another 32 bowlers arrived to fight for their place in the finals day line-up. The game of the day was arguably that between Chris Ellis of Spen Victoria and Gareth Coates of Halifax, with Coates seen as one of the pre-competition favourites to go all the way having already won a title in Nuneaton only a week ago. However, Ellis came out of top, holding his nerve to see off Coates by a score of 21-20.

At the conclusion of the Easter weekend, 16 players have qualified for finals day and will battle it out for the £700 first prize. Play commences at 1pm on Saturday April 6, the full line-up is below:

  1. Matt Gilmore (Merseyside)
  2. Johnny Orbell (Leeds)
  3. Jack Dyson (Huddersfield)
  4. Ben Halliday (Halifax)
  5. Ryan Clark (Sheffield)
  6. James Wilcox (Leeds)
  7. Chris Ellis (Spen Victoria)
  8. Paul Bailey (Sheffield)
  9. Callum Mailer (Sheffield)
  10. Gaz Lally (Leeds)
  11. Dan Edmonds (Barrow-in-Furness)
  12. Jon Terretta (Runcorn)
  13. Darryl Harrap (Castleford)
  14. Ryan Mitchell (Thornhill)
  15. Josh Mordue (Leeds)
  16. Graeme Wilson (Droylsden)

Spectators are encouraged, with hot and cold refreshments available from the start. There will also be a raffle, with all proceeds going in support of the Weston Park Cancer Charity in Sheffield.

For further details you can find the event’s Facebook page by searching ‘The Weston Park Trophy’, where there will even be live streaming of selected games throughout finals day.

For players and spectators, the full address for the venue is: Brockholes Bowling Club, New Mill Road, Brockholes, Huddersfield, HD9 7AL.

The Weston Park Trophy, first held in 2016, has raised almost £10,000 for the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in Sheffield in memory of local bowler Paul Sykes.

Images from last year’s finals day by Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE