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Northants A win Derbyshire Trophy in their 90th year

Derbyshire winners, from the left (front row) Adam Warrington, Tristan Morton, Mick Humphreys, Dick Noble (president), James Harford, Trevor Collins, Martyn Dolby (back row) Bob Warters, Roger Martin, Simon Law, Paul Dalliday, Nick Wilkie, Jeff Newson.

President and captain immediately after the presentation.

Action from the final

Jeff Newson takes a closer look

Tristan Morton and Martyn Dolby

Northants president Dick Noble with national president Mick Rayson

FOR ONLY the third time in its history and in its 90th anniversary year, Northants Bowling Federation won the coveted Derbyshire Trophy – the English Bowling Federation’s inter-county title.

In the final at Newark IBC on Sunday (April 28), Northants A beat Nottinghamshire 97-80 on their home surface over 25 enthralling ends, winning on three out of four rinks played in a match of two-bowl triples format.

Northants had emerged full of confidence from a tough southern area qualifying group featuring Lincs, Hunts, North Cambs and Norfolk while Notts – who have also indicated they plan to introduce a B team next season – completed an unbeaten campaign against Northumberland, Durham and Humberside.

Led by captain James Harford, Northants quickly got into their stride, despite unfamiliar conditions of a slower carpet to that which all but one of the team are used to experiencing at Stamford IBC – and under overhead lighting that had most players peering through the comparative gloom.

Overall they led by just six shots after five ends and only 35-30 after ten ends before stretching it to 59-45 with ten ends still to play by each rink.

Against the experienced Dave Adams, Simon Law was in outstanding form inspiring his rink of Paul Dalliday and Harford to 15 shots in 11 ends and an eventual 24-19 victory.

Meanwhile, the wily Jeff Newson – a Derbyshire Trophy winner with Northants back in 1996 – showed that he had lost none of his old skills in the 23 intervening years. With Nick Wilkie and Trevor Collins, the trio ran out triumphant 25-16.

Elsewhere, Roger Martin’s rink was finding it difficult coming to terms with the conditions so as Federation rules allow the skip switched with lead Adam Warrington after 13 ends and it immediately paid dividends cutting the scoreline to 17-19 by the 17th end. But a five count against them on the 20th end put them on the back foot. However, they held gamely to keep the overall deficit manageable.

In the end, the rink honours went to Bob Warters, Martyn Dolby, the two most senior members of the squad and Tristan Morton – a young title winner in 2006. With the front pair in control for the most part – they led 10-2 and 14-7 before a dip in the middle, brought two devastatingly accurate killed ends by Morton and two superbly drawn saving shots to keep the rink’s noses in front.

Normal service was resumed, however, from the 18th end and the rink’s 12 shots in seven ends put the result and the match beyond doubt.

A delighted Northants president Dick Noble – a winning team member in 2006 – joined in the celebrations and said what a proud moment it was for him to be president on this momentous occasion.

Results (Northants names first):

Derbyshire Trophy final (at Newark): A Warrington, M Humphreys, R Martin lost to S Ayling, D Rouse, N Osbourne 21-31; N Wilkie, T Collins, J Newson beat D Colley,M Lenton,P Dayus 25-16; B Warters,M Dolby, T Morton beat M Walker, A Brownley, R Pearce 27-14; P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law beat A Rana, D Gascoyne, D Adams 24-19.

(Images courtesy of Malcolm Squires)

FOOTNOTE: During the individual championships earlier in the week, Helen Holroyd was the only county bowler to reach a final – the women’s four-bowl singles. It was due to be played on Sunday morning against Anne Lennie (Northumberland). However, a previous commitment meant Ms Holroyd failed to appear.

Bob Warters

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