IT'S crunch time for Northants A in their bid to retain the Derbyshire Trophy, the English Bowling Federation indoor county championship.

They visit main southern section title rivals Lincs next Sunday (February 16), then complete their programme away to third-placed Norfolk the following weekend.

Northants A and Lincs are locked together at the top with 38 points from three matches, with Lincs just 11 shots better off, while Norfolk, who also have to play Lincs at home, are a further four points adrift.

Victory at Lincoln would make Northants strong favourites to reach the national final for the second consecutive year, and while a defeat would not be the end of the world, it would take matters out of their own hands.

There are three changes to the team that defeated Hunts in their last game, with Tristan Morton, Tony Scarr and Nick Wilkie replacing the unavailable trio of Brian Martin, Bob Warters and Martyn Dolby.

Meanwhile, Northants B will be hoping to end the season on a high note away to Hunts on the same day (February 16), having managed only four points from their four matches, ironically all of them achieved against their own A team in the opening fixture.

Just one change for Malcolm Squires' team with Melvyn Beck replacing the unavailable Cliff Watson.

Northants A: Richard Allam, Adam Warrington, Roger Martin; Nick Wilkie, Trevor Collins, Tristan Morton; Paul Dalliday, Michael Humphreys, Simon Law; Wayne Aspinall, Tony Scarr, James Harford.

Northants B: Melvyn Beck, John Holroyd, Graham Agger; Mike Ramsden, Ray Keating, Mick Greaves; Les Sharp, Mick Linnell, Fred Richardson; Jeff Clipston, Brian Bassam, Dick Noble.