The History of the Whitchurch and District Skittles League

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The Whitchurch and District Skittles League was formed in 1919/20 season. For many years, up until the 1970/71 season owing to the difficulty of travelling from one town to another, the League was zoned as follows:                                                                                      

                                            North A and B  :    South A and B  :  West A and B  :   Central A and B

The winners of each section would play off in a knockout competition to find out the sectional Champions. Then each Sectional Champion would play off in another knockout tournament to decide the overall champions and runners up. In the early years of the League the Cross Inn, Gabalfa were the dominant force winning the overall League Championship, and the William Hancock Shield for the first four years of competition.

The League had only the one trophy at this point in time, but in the 1926/27 season T.E.Shell presented the League with their second trophy. This it was decided would be the Leagues’ annual challenge cup. In 1929/30 S.A.Brains presented a cup to the League and was used as a sectional winners cup. In 1931 Sam Wonnacutt presented the Infirmary Cup to the League and this was used as the 4-a-side knockout cup, which was run during the close season until it was finally abolished in the 1989/90 season.

In 1933/34 season Major Gaskell presented his shield to the League and this was used as a sectional winners trophy. At the start of the Second World War in 1939, the League was suspended until the end of the War in 1945. In the first year after the war the League started the Individual Championships and used a cup presented by Lloyd Williams as the Champions Cup, which it remains to this day.

Also in this year the Harry Pontin Cup was presented to the League and it was decided to use this as the runner up trophy for the T.E. Shell challenge cup. In 1946/47 the Ely Breweries presented a shield to the League and this was used as a sectional winners trophy. in 1948/49 the League was presented with the Stuart Hill Shield and the Ind Coup Cup, the shield being used as a section winners trophy and the cup being used as a sectional runners up trophy.

1949/50 saw Stuart Hill present a cup to the League which was used as a sectional winners trophy In 1950/5I two trophies were presented to the League, Roath Furnishers Shield and the Ansells Brewery Bowl These were the last trophies presented to the League for just over a decade until in 1962/63 the H.McDougal Cup came into being. 1964/65 saw the Rhumney Brewery cup presented to the League.

1970/71 saw the Bill Davies Cup (Individual Runners Up) and in 1975/76 the Lewin Smith Cup made it’s entrance The last cup to be presented to the League was the Dennis Taylor Cup (1985/86) which was used as the runner up trophy for the 4-A-Side competition, but had a very short life as this competition finished in the 1989/90 season.

In the 1970/71 season the league was reorganised into Divisions with promotion and relegation coming into effect Since this time the League has been reduced from seven divisions down to five divisions, partly due to the fact that (a) The cost of travel has increased (b) lifestyles have changed and (c) not enough youngsters are coming into the game, which leaves teams struggling for players and eventually forces them to disband and drop out of the League.