BOWLS in Montgomeryshire has been badly affected by Covid-19, it has been warned.

County president and Severn Valley Indoor Bowling Club president Mike Beloe warned the 17 months of lockdown restrictions had meant several clubs had gone close to the wall.

A charity match was held at Kerry Bowling Club last month, the first competitive action in more than a year, as clubs bid to regain some of the momentum lost by almost two years of restrictions.

Mr Beloe said: “Bowls in Montgomeryshire has been badly affected by the Covid outbreak and the restrictions.

“I have been president of the county for all that time and throughout the lockdown I have been unable to complete any of the duties normally expected of a president.

“We have had no inter county matches either at senior or open level due to the restrictions and an unwillingness to risk playing.

“The clubs have been struggling with no income from membership and only the various grants that were available have saved some clubs from folding.

“This season we have been able to arrange a play a restructured league and a ‘super 12 ‘ league cup.”

The final of the league cup is on Saturday, August 21 at Kerry Bowling Club at 2pm and will be contested in a format.

Mr Beloe said: “It is a new and exciting way to play a bowls match and the way forward into the future.”

Meanwhile Machynlleth Bowling Club hosts the county finals on Saturday at 10am with the final at 2pm.

Mr Beloe added: “I am acutely aware of the fragile state of bowls in this county.

“At the end of September, Severn Valley IBC will be opening a web site to try and promote bowls and communicate more effectively with members and the outdoor clubs are in need of new players or people willing to have a go.”

The local bowls scene remains as committed to supporting the community as ever and last month the Mid Wales Ladies side played a President’s Select comprising of players from the Montgomeryshire League at Kerry.

The event helped raise £290 for Wales Air Ambulance.

Mr Beloe said: “We wanted to have a special game to celebrate the fact that we were at last breaking out of the clutches of Covid, it was the first competitive game they had played in nearly two years.

“A great deal of fun and laughter accompanied a game which was still strongly competed for by both teams of players on a memorable day.”