Northants ‘A’ qualify for Derbyshire Trophy final

The Northants A side which earlier in the season won its opening match against Northants B

FOR THE first time more than a decade Northants Bowling Federation has qualified for the indoor final of the inter-county Derbyshire Trophy to be played at Newark IBC in April.

The 12-2 victory by James Harford’s Northants ‘A’ side over Norfolk last week at Stamford IBC proved good enough to clinch their qualification from the Southern Section after Norfolk just failed at Lincoln IBC to gain enough points to overtake them.

Norfolk needed a full house of 14 points against a Lincs side weakened by absentees from the host club competing in the Egham Trophy semi-final victory over Tye Green (Harlow) at Peterborough but could only manage an 11-3 win – albeit by more than 40 shots overall.

Boston skip Jonathan West assisted by Paul Flatters and Rod West steered his rink to an outstanding two points after trailing 10-17 with only a handful of the 25 ends remaining. They won 25-23, while Lincoln’s Chris Gill snatched a further vital point in a draw.

Lincs had needed just ten points themselves to qualify but late changes had further hampered selection.

Northants A, who beat Durham in the 2006 final, finished with 52 points from their five matches followed by Norfolk (49), Lincs (45), Hunts (40), North Cambs (14) and Northants B (10).

In the final they will play Nottinghamshire, who beat Northumberland 12-2 on their home surface at Newark.

Said Northants A captain James Harford: ” We are thrilled to have qualified for the first time since 2006. A massive thanks to the squad who have stuck by me over the last few years. Being captain can be a thankless job unless the end product of qualification is reached.

“To beat both Lincs and Norfolk shows as a county we are more than good enough to compete against bigger ones. The main job now is to finish the process and playing Nottinghamshire on their own patch will not be easy.

“However I am confident that with the players we have available we are giving ourselves a great chance to achieve a major trophy in the county’s 90th anniversary year.” BW