HERTS BLUE are celebrating capturing the Watford Observer Veterans Bowls League Division One crown by a clear six points.

Oxhey Red were runners-up for the second year in succession, but they only clinched their place by beating Owls Blue in their last game, which had the simultaneous effect of pushing their opponents into the second relegation spot, next to Watford Red at the bottom.

This was a disastrous reversal of fortune for Owls, as they had won the division by a clear margin last season.

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The Owls club may gain some consolation from the fact their other team, Owls Red, came second in Division Two, and are promoted to replace their colleagues.

This promotion spot was itself only achieved by drawing with Hemel Hempstead Red in the last game, which enabled Owls to finish one point above Abbots Langley Blue.

The latter must be bitterly disappointed as they had looked hot favourites to finish second for much of the season, and only lost out on promotion by losing the last game to Herts Red, a team seemingly heading for relegation until this last desperate win by a remarkable 24 shot margin.

However, the outstanding achievement in Division Two was its domination by the newly promoted Rickmansworth, with the highest points total and biggest shots advantage in the whole league. They have now gone through two divisions in consecutive years, and look set to mount a real assault in Division One next season.

Watford Blue and Abbots Langley Red finished neck and neck at the top of Division Three, and will both be competing against their clubs' other teams in Division Two next year.

Pavilion Red finished a long way adrift at the bottom of the division, and are the first team to fall victim to a new rule introduced this year. This states where a club has two teams in the league and ont of them finishes bottom of Division Three, that team shall drop out of the league and be replaced by a team from the waiting list. The beneficiary will be Potten End.