Northants Adams and Newton teams selected

Northants Bowling Federation begins its 2015 campaign to reach the finals of the Adams and Newton inter-county championships on Saturday (May 30) with respective matches against the North Essex Federation.

The Adams team, showing several changes from the squad which challenged unbeaten for a place in the finals at Skegness last year until they suffered narrowly at the hands of eventual winners Suffolk, travel to Radwinter, while the Newton team, under the new captaincy of Brian Bassam, play at Haverhill.

Joining the Adams squad are Nick Wilkie and Martin Stokes (pictured below), who link with fellow Blackstones player Paul Buckley, while Brian Swann (West Ward) returns at No.2 in the Whittlesey Manor rink with Roger Stevens and Martin Welsford. Blackstons has, for the first time, the highest representation with seven players.

Says captain Cliff Watson: “After careful thought I believe we now have the players in the right places to seriously challenge the Adams group.”

Among the newcomers to the Newton squad are John Holroyd (Stamford Town), who has played for the county’s indoor Derbyshire Trophy team, and Darren Lord (Whittlesey Manor).

The Adams team will play its home matches at Whittlesey Manor, the Newton at Parkway.

Adams: Sean Fenlon (West Ward), Bob Warters (Ketton), Roger Martin (City of Peterborough); Nick Wilkie, Martin Stokes, Paul Buckley (all Blackstones); Stephen Harris, Jonathan Earl, Martyn Dolby (all Blackstones);  Graham Agger (Yaxley BL), Steve Roden, Pete Brown (both Whittlesey Manor);  Roger Stevens (Whittlesey Manor), Brian Swann (West Ward), Martin Welsford (Whittlesey Manor);  Adam Warrington (Blackstones), Fred Richardson, Lee Welsford (both Whittlesey Manor). Reserve:  Paul Bailey (Blackstones).

Newton: Jeff Clipston  Mick Greaves  Brian Bassam (all Peterborough & District); Les Sharp (Yaxley BL)  Jim Ruddy (West Ward),  Malcolm Squires (City of Peterborogh); Jack Corney (Peterborough & District)  John Hadley (Yaxley BL)  Mick Linnell (West Ward); Andrew Grief,  Peter Holmes (both Crowland), Fred Addy (Parkway); Howard Shipp (Parkway),  Martin Bailey (Blackstones), Rod Mablethorpe (West Ward); John Holroyd (Stamford Tn)  Darren Lord (Whittlesey Manor), Roger Strong (City of Peterborough).  


Northants pipped by Lincs in Eversley Trophy

Northants Federation came within a hair’s breadth of regaining the Eversley Trophy on the final day of the English Bowling Federation championships at Newark IBC.

After the round robin format in which two triples rinks of county executives from nine counties competed over four one hour matches, Northants were beaten on count back by Lincolnshire by just one shot.

Both counties secured 12 points from a possible 16 – each with six winning rinks – but when it came down to aggregate shots gained compared to those conceded, Lincs were plus 15 – just one better than Northants.

Northants began by sharing the points with Lincs after president Bob Warters, competition secretary Barrry Lawrence and match secretary Graham Agger triumphed in their rink 19-1, while past presidents Malcolm Squires and Cliff Watson and life member Richard Montgomery went down narrowly.

Both rinks took maximum points from Derbyshire and North Cambs but in the final showdown against Durham, they could only share the points with Agger’s rink remaining unbeaten. Meanwhile Lincs snatched the extra shots they needed to add the title to the Derbyshire Inter County Trophy they won against Durham the previous day.


Wilkie and Thurston lose tense semi-final

In a gripping semi-final Northants pairing Nick Wilkie and Andrew Thurston just failed to secure a hat-trick of final places at this year’s English Bowling Federation indoor championships at Newark IBC, writes Bob Warters.

The county had already won the men’s rinks and lost in the mixed rinks but when Wilkie and Thurston, from the Peterborough Parkway club, raced into a 12-5 lead after 12 ends against Gary Shepperson and Mark Lee from Derbyshire, hopes were high among their supporters on sidelines that Northants might have another tilt at a title.

But end 13 was unluckily a game changer. Lee edged in for shot and it inspired the pair to up their game. Though Thurston provided some telling pressure bowls with counts of three and four against him, the Derbyshire pair won the next five ends to take a 14-12 lead.

As the Federation rules allow, the Northants pair switched positions in the closing stages and Wilkie levelled the scores with an accurate heavy bowl on the penultimate end. But when Lee drew shot on the last end, he was unable to regain the shot, leaving Derbyshire facing a final against with Durham or Suffolk surprise winners over Hunts’ Ed Elmore and Tom Swannell.

The championships again proved an unhappy hunting ground for Jenny Harvey from Peterborough, still waiting for her first win in the final stages despite qualifying in three events.

She put up a stubborn fight against Lincs in the Senior singles but finally went down 16-21.
Northants Eversley squad are in action on Sunday in a bid to wrest the title they won only a few years back when the event was played on a home and away basis.

For the second successive year of a new format the Northants rinks of executives – Bob Warters, Barry Lawrence and Graham Agger; Cliff Watson, Richard Montgomery and Malcolm Squires – will play a round robin 4×8 ends schedule in one day at Newark IBC.
On Monday, the NWBF team finished fourth of 13 teams in the Harry Carver Trophy for county executives.


End of the line for Dolby’s singles hopes

Day Three

Martyn Dolby’s hopes of completing a quintuplet run of five singles titles in one season were dashed when he lost the semi-final of English Bowling Federation indoor Senior Singles at Newark IBC.

The Stamford IBC bowler had already won his club’s 4-bowl and Over 65 singles, the Lincs County Senior singles and the Northants Federation Senior title, for which he qualified for this event but the form of Norfolk’s Barnie Wymer proved just too much on the day and he lost 15-21 on the dreaded rink eight.

“Wondering how the rink would play and how it would suit my bowls or not kept me awake last night,” said Dolby “and my concerns were proved correct. But to be fair Barnie found the end rink and its trickiness better than me and he deserved to win.”

Wymer cruised into a 9-3 lead and extended it to 12-5 then 16-12 before Dolby hit back with a two on the 20th. Wymer finally rounded off the match by taking singles on the last three ends without reply.

Earlier Jenny Harvey lost her 4-bowl singles to North Cambs 9-21.
Nick Wilkie and Andrew Thurston stormed into the semi finals of the men’s pairs with a 27-9 demolition of S Ashton and George Draper from Lincolnshire. They play at 9.30 on Friday morning.dolbysemi

Northants win national men’s rinks title

For the second time in four years Northants Bowling Federation won a national rinks title, when Peterborough Parkway’s Neil Wright, Simon Law and Tris Morton landed the trophy at the English Federation finals in Newark.

They beat local rivals from Huntingdonshire 20-14, their opponents finally conceding after twice killing the 21st when needing multiple shots to keep their hopes alive.

On the way to the final, Northants accounted for Lincolnshire, Notts and Northumberland in the two-bowl triples event before coming up against Hunts trio Ian and Lyn Swannell and Lewis Baker, who had toppled Suffolk in a lively semi-final.

After struggling in previous rounds, Wright (42) suddenly found his line and length at lead and persistently set up heads which offered Law (33) and Morton (25) opportunities to take advantage with some precision drawing.

The turning point came on the 14th end when Northants extended their slender lead with a four count, then Morton took out Hunts’ nearest bowl with an accurate strike to claim three more shots for an 18-10 lead with just five ends to play.

Said Northants Federation president Bob Warters: “The boys were outstanding and with great skill kept a tight grip on the game. With our mixed triples also reaching a final it was a proud day for the Northants Federation.”

Martyn Dolby challenges today (Thursday) for a place in the Senior singles final.


Northants in two finals at Fed Championships

Day two extra

Jan Want, Nick Wilkie and Stephen Harris put up a brave fight but proved no match for the 2013 winners of the English Federation mixed triples from Nottingham.

Jane Croxall, Simon Barker and Calvin Rawson showed their combined class to run out comfortable winners after racing to 15-4 by claiming five successive ends from the 10th. Wilkie and Want switched positions as the Federation rules allow but they couldn’t shake the Notts trio off their line and length on another tricky Newark rink. The final score was 8-20.

Martyn Dolby reached the semi-final of the English Federation Senior Singles and is on target to complete five singles titles this year – two club one at Stamford, the Northants Over 65s and Lincs County Seniors. In a one sided match against Lincoln’s Brian Day he romped,home 21-8.

In a high quality match Simon Law lost His four bowl singles to Gary Shepperson from Nottinghamshire 14-21 and Jenny Harvey and Carol Hunter went down 12-17 to Hunts in the women’s pairs.

Day Two

Northants bowlers Nick Wilkie, Jan Want and Stephen Harris reached the final of the mixed triples at the English Bowling Federation championships with a thrilling defeat of three players from Derbyshire.

Thanks to some accurate leading by Wilkie, good support from Want and some saving bowls from 17-year-old Harris when needed, they built up a 16-6 lead after 16 ends. The Derbyshire trio hit back with a three on the 18th end to trail 9-17 but it was Harris who secured a final place against Nottinghamshire when he drew shot on the 20th end.

Following their narrow defeat of Notts , Northants’ Men’s rink also reached their final with a 21-17 defeat of a plucky Northumberland.

Neil Wright was a little out of sorts at lead but stuck to his task and played some telling strategic bowls towards the end when their opponents were chasing the game. Simon Law and Tris Morton also struggled at times but just had enough drawing skills in the finish to hold off their rivals. They are due to play local rivals Hunts in the final this evening, who beat a lively Suffolk trio 21-7.

Martyn Dolby raced into an 11-0 lead in the Senior singles against Notts’ Geoff Allen quickly finding the pace and line of the rink, though his opponent fought back bravely to 10-18, but Dolby finally claimed three shots he needed.

Sadly for Ann Holmes and Richard Allam, their championship hopes ended at the first hurdle in the mixed pairs against North Cambs’ L Quibell and ‘Frankie’ Howard.

They held on gamely on the end rink at 7-7 after eight ends but finally long jacks got the better of them and conceding four shots on the 12th end proved a turning point. They went down 11-19

Dat One

Northants bowlers got off to a flying start when the English Federation finals got under way at Newark IBC on Tuesday morning with a run of three successive victories, but only after a delay following controversy over Simon Law’s set of multi-coloured Aero TriFecta bowls.

The bowls, which have been passed as legal by the World Bowls Council, can allegedly affect players and spectators suffering from epilepsy and a player on an adjoining rink to Law complained ahead of her mixed triples match that the strobe light effect the bowls can produce, may have damaging consequences.

The organisers were forced to delay that match but after a short break Law and his partners in the men’s rinks – Neil Wright and Tristan Morton, substituting for James Harford – quickly established an advantage over Lincolnshire’s representatives from Grantham.

With all three combining well they built up a 17-6 lead and finally ran out 19-10 winners to earn a second round clash with Notts who beat Humberside.

It set up a second round battle with Notts where they rode some good fortune to run out 17-15 winners earning a tilt at Northumberland in the semi-finals.

Elsewhere Jan Want from Empingham, joined Stephen Harris and Nick Wilkie in the mixed rinks as substitute for Mary Malton and played her part in a 23-10 defeat of North Essex.

And in a thrilling quarter final against Hunts they held a slender lead going into the last end but when skip Harris played his last bowl he was facing a three shot deficit. But showing the temperament of someone beyond his 17 years he calmly drew the shot to win the game 17-14.

The women’s rink from Peterborough – Sheila Craig, Pat Bussey and Liz Hext -had earlier set the wheels of success in motion with an 18-12 defeat of local rivals Hunts.However, they later lost to Durham 21-9


National Finals: Who’s playing when for Northants…

Northants Women's Bowling Federation's Jenny Harvey (Peterborough IBC, pictured below) faces a busy time at the EBF and EWBF national finals to be staged at Newark IBC from Tuesday, April 21 – 26, having won three county titles at the recent finals in Stamford.

She begins her programme on the Wednesday (3.30pm) of the championships in the pairs with Carol Hunter against Hunts' J White and P Porter then must play at least twice on Thursday (at 9.30am and 7.30pm) – in the 4-bowl singles and Senior singles respectively.

Simon Law faces the experienced Gary Shepperson (Derbyshire) in the 4-bowl singles on the Wednesday afternoon having hopefully got a feel for the pace of the Newark surface the previous day in the triples with James Harford and Neil Wright. Harford plays L Creaser (Humberside) in the Under 25 singles on Friday morning.

Two of Stamford's county champions will be playing simultaneously at 9.30am on the Wednesday – Martyn Dolby in the Senior singles and Ann Holmes and Richard Allam in the Mixed pairs.

Men's and mixed competitions

Tues, April 21 (12.30 pm) – Mixed rinks: J Want/N Wilkie/S Harris v North Essex. Winners play Hunts or Suffolk on Tues, April 21 at 6.30pm.

Tues, April 21 (12.30pm) – Men's 2-bowl rinks: N Wright, J Harford, S Law v Lincs. Winners play Norfolk on Tues April 21 at 3.30pm.

Wed, April 22 (9.30am) – Mixed pairs: A Holmes/R Allam v N.Cambs. Winners play N Essex or Cleveland on Wed April 22 at 3.30pm.

Wed, April 22 (9.30 am) – Senior singles: M Dolby v G Allen (Notts). winner plays Brian Day (Lincs) at Wed April 22 at 3.30pm.

Wed April 22 (3.30pm) – 4-bowl singles: S Law or G Shepperson (Derbyshire). Winner plays P Cox (Humberside) or J Finbow (Suffolk) Friday April 24 (2.30pm).

Thurs April 23 (5pm) – Men's 2-bowl pairs: A Thurston/ N Wilkie v S Ashton/G Draper (Lincs). Winners plays 9.30am Fri April 24.

April 24 (9.30pm) – Under 25 singles: J Harford v L Creaser (Humberside). Winner plays Suffolk or Lincs on Fri April 24 at 2.30pm.

Sunday, April 26 (10am) – Eversley Trophy: Northants will be represented as a pair of two-bowl rinks by B Warters (President), C Watson, G Agger, B Lawrence, R Montgomery and M Squires

Women's events

Mon, April 20 (from 10m). Harry Carver Trophy women's executive round-robin matches. Northants team is Joan Padley, Valerie Du'Kett, Doris Flowers, Joan Robinson, Judy Ford and Carol Hunter.

Tues, April 21 (9.30am) – Two bowl rinks: P Bussey/L Hext/S Craig v Hunts. winners plays Durham on Tues , April 21 at 6.30pm.

Wed, April 22 (7.30pm) : Two-bowl pairs: J Harvey/C Hunter v Hunts. Winners plays Derbyshire or N. Essex on Fri, April 24 at 9.30am.

Thurs, April 23 (9.30am) – Women's 4-bowl singles: J Harvey v (N.Cambs). winner plays Suffolk or Derbyshire on Thurs April 23 at 2.30pm.

Thurs, April 23 (7.30pm): Senior singles: J Harvey v Lincs or Notts . Winner plays Fri, April 24 at 12 noon.

For further information visit


NWBF Coffee Morning

The Northants Women's Bowling Federation is holding a coffee morning at 10:00 on the 7th May, Peterborough & District Bowls Club, Burton Street.

As well as the chance to catch up with fellow bowlers, officials and spectatres there will be a Bring & Buy Sale and a raffle.

Please see attached poster for more details, and to distribute within your clubs.

Coffee Morning 2015 Poster

Jenny Harvey claims three county indoor titles

Jenny Harvey (Parkway and Peterborough IBC) claimed three county titles when the Northants Federation Championships were staged at Stamford IBC.
She followed up her early win in the 4-bowl singles against Julie Masters by joining Carol Hunter to beat Stamford's Shirley Suffling and Margaret Andrews 21-9 then out bowled Sheila Craig 21-13 in the Senior singles
Clubmates Simon Law and James Harford also claimed two titles, the Under 25 and 4-bowl singles respectively and the two bowl rinks with Neil Wright. Nick Wilkie also won twice.
Stamford bowlers meanwhile, will feature in three national finals when the English Federation championships are staged at Newark next month.
Martyn Dolby competes in the veterans singles, Stephen Harris in the mixed triples and Richard Allam and Ann Holmes in the mixed pairs after a thrilling win against last year's national runners up and current county champions Joan Robinson and Nick Wilkie.

And it was the pairs that proved the biggest upset with Holmes and Allam dropping a maximum four shots on the first end and trailing 6-13 after nine of the allotted 21 ends before switching positions as Federation rules allow.

Allam (57) opted for shorter jack lengths and then proceeded to help them win eight of the subsequent nine ends ratcheting up 14 shots to finally run out winners 20-15.

Said Allam, punching the air in delight: " We managed to turn it round by bowling shorter jacks and when I didn't get close enough, Ann managed to find some winning shots. I am delighted for her, I have won the pairs before with Derek King but for her this is a new experience."

" I can't believe it," she said " I can't stop shaking."

Harris (17) was outstanding in his trio's triples win over seasoned campaigners Sarah and Jeff Newson and Andrew Thurston. He switched places with Mary Malton to skip after nine ends and with Nick Wilkie producing some telling bowls, over turned several heads to help his team to a comfortable 22-11 victory.


For Dolby the result was never in doubt. After an early slip he recovered his composure to race to a comfortable 21-5 win over John Burrows in just 13 ends.



Craig, however, had earlier earned the right to represent the county in the national finals at Newark in April by joining Pat Bussey and Liz Hext to take the women's triples in a nail-biter with Sue Moir, Andrews and Glenys Edwards. the Peterborough rink led 13-5 at halfway but only held on 21-20 after completing the 21 ends.




Mixed Triples – S Harris (Stamford IBC), N Wilkie, M Malton bt S Newson, A Thurston, J Newson 22-11; Women's triples – P Bussey, E Hext, S Craig bt S Moir, M Andrews, G Edwards 21-20; Women's singles – J Harvey bt J Masters 21-4.


Women's pairs – J Harvey, C Hunter bt S Suffling, M Andrews 21-9; Men's singles – S Law bt A Thurston 21-15 ; Under 25 singles – J Randall lost J Harford 21-16.


 Men's Veteran singles – J Burrows lost to M Dolby 21-5;  Men's triples – N Wright, J Harford, S Law v H Shipp, J Randall, J Newson;  Women's Senior singles – J Harvey bt S Craig 21-13; Mixed Pairs – N Wilkie, J Robinson lost Holmes, R Allam 20-15. Men's pairs Wilkie and Thurston bt Shipp and Wright 18-15.

Images by Alan Romaine











Schedule for Northants Federation indoor finals

Such has been the form of Andrew Thurston. Nick Wilkie and Jenny Harvey this season, that it has thrown a virtual spanner in the works of the Northants Bowling Federation indoor finals at Stamford IBC on Sunday (March 15).

By each qualifying in three disciplines it means that when the competitions start at noon they could be facing at least six hours of bowls with only limited recovery time between sessions.

Thurston completed his remarkable run of success when he ousted Stamford’s John Holroyd 21-18 in the four bowl singles semi-final to earn the right to play clubmate Simon Law.

He has also qualified for the men’s two bowl pairs with Wilkie and the mixed triples with Jeff Newson and his daughter Sarah. Wilkie meanwhile is scheduled to meet his pairs partner in the mixed triples with Stephen Harris and Mary Malton and then team up with Joan Robinson to defend their mixed pairs title against Stamford’s Ann Holmes and Richard Allam.

The men’s veteran singles is an intriguing clash between in-form City bowler John Burrows who fought back from 2-10 down to beat Peter Edwards 21-15. In the other semi-final, Martyn Dolby knocked out county president Bob Warters in a hard fought tussle, by the same score.

In the women’s events Jenny Harvey has reached both the four-bowl and senior singles finals with runaway defeats over Sheila Craig and Shirley Suffling and meets Julie Masters and Craig respectively in a bid to repeat last year’s double.

Margaret Andrews has reached two finals, joining Joyce Foster and Glenys Edwards on her home carpet in the triples and with Suffling in the pairs after beating last year’s finalists Joan Padley and Doris Flowers 20-8. In the final they will meet Harvey and Carol Hunter who beat Carol Warters and Valerie Du’Kett.

Schedule (Peterborough IBC unless stated):

12 noon: Mixed Triples – S Harris (Stamford IBC), N Wilkie, M Malton v S Newson, A Thurston, J Newson. Women’s triples – P Bussey, E Hext, S Craig v S Moir, M Andrews, G Edwards (all Stamford); Women’s singles – J Harvey v J Masters.

2pm: Women’s pairs – J Harvey, C Hunter v S Suffling, M Andrews (both Stamford); Men’s singles – S Law v A Thurston; Under 25 singles – J Randall v J Harford.

4pm – Men’s Veteran singles – J Burrows v M Dolby (Stamford); Men’s triples – N Wright, J Harford, S Law v H Shipp, J Randall, J Newson; Women’s Senior singles – J Harvey v S Craig; Mixed Pairs – N Wilkie , J Robinson (Stamford) v A Holmes, R Allam.

6pm – Men’s pairs – H Shipp, N Wright v N Wilkie, A Thurston.

Umpire: A Croxford

*Bar and refreshments available all day, raffle prizes most welcome.

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