Women win first Donald Steward fixture

Northants women won their opening Donald Steward county match against North Cambs at March on Saturday 119-92, claiming 16 of the 18 points available.

Top rink was Shirley Suffling, Doris Flowers and Julie Masters who won by 11 shots in the 25-ends match which this year demands only five rinks.

Result (Northants names only):

Donald Steward Trophy (Southern section) North Cambs 92 (2pts) Northants 119 (16). F Richardson, N Squires, L Darani lost 17-18; E Barr, C Ford, H Bass won 21-15; S Suffling, D Flowers, J Masters won 28-17; A Cullingworth, J Phillips, J Padley won 25-17; S Moir, V Hatch, S Craig won 28-25.

Next Wednesday (June 1) Northants Donald Steward team entertain Suffolk at Peterborough and District, while the Silver Vase team play at Parkway in their opening fixture. 2pm start.

Donald Steward team: A White, F Richardson, N Squires; S Suffling, D Flowers, J Masters; S Moir, V Hatch, S Craig; A Cullingworth, J Phillips, J Padley; L Barr, C Ford, H Bass. Reserves K Browning, L Hext, P Bussey.

Silver Vase: V Du’Kett, M Lansburgh, P O’Brien; M Linnell, G Day, W Harrold; G King, F Thomas, J Ford; E Wallace, J Duffy, G Edwards; J Harvey, Joyce Needham, S Dale. Reserves V Hempsall, J Cooper, C Warters, T Handley.

Captains name their Adams and Newton squads

New Adams Trophy team captain Fred Richardson (Whittlesey Manor) is determined to give Northants Federation every chance of retaining the EBF national title they won in such dramatic fashion last year for the first time in the county’s history.

Not since the trophy was first presented in 1927 had Northants looked like winning the biggest prize in Federation bowls until they came up against Northumberland in the final and romped away in a one sided match at Skegness.

Now Richardson, a member of the winning team, making his 200th appearance, is taking over the reigns as captain to try to inspire his team to a successful defence, opening with the visit of Norfolk to his home green on May 28 (2pm).

He says: ” I am confident I have picked a team good enough to defend the title, which is always a tough task, but they will have to perform. We still have the team spirit and we know what it takes to win, we just have to go out there and do it again.”

Barry Lawrence returns to the team as No.2 in Roger Martin’s rink after injury ruled him out of much of last season, replacing president Bob Warters who has chosen to step down to join the Newton team’s bid to reach the Skegness play-offs.

Richardson is delighted to report that Lee Welsford, the only unbeaten skip last season, has decided to delay his early retirement from the game to contend another season.

Brian Bassam’s Newton Trophy squad for the match played simultaneously against Norfolk at Parkway (2pm) shows a handful of changes with the inclusion of Mick Duell and Dick Noble (West Ward) and Mike Humphreys (City of Peterborough).

Both matches will be attended by national president Ken Barnes (Northumberland).

Adams team (v Norfolk): S Fenlon, B Lawrence, RF Martin; N Wilkie, M Stokes, P Buckley; A Warrington, S Harris, J Earl; R Stevens, P Bailey, M Welsford; S Roden, G Agger, P Brown; N Wright, T Belson, L Welsford.

Newton squad ( v Norfolk): A Grief, P Holmes, F Addy, B Warters, C Watson, P Jessop, L Sharp, M Linnell, B Swann, J Ruddy, P Afford, D Noble, J Corney, M Humphreys, M Duell, J Holroyd, M Greaves, B Bassam, H Shipp, M Squires, D Lord, R Strong.

X. X. X

For their opening Donald Steward county match against North Cambs at March on Saturday May 21, Northants women have called up Ketton’s Christine Ford and Ann Cullingworth ( Langtoft) in a re-shuffled side, which this year demands only five rinks.

Team: F Richardson, N Squires, L Darani; L Barr, C Ford, H Bass; S Suffling, D Flowers, J Masters; A Cullingworth, J Phillips, J Padley; S Moir, E Hext, S Craig.

X. X. X

In the first upset of the season, Roger Stevens and Tony Mace (Whittlesey Manor) stumbled at the first hurdle in their defence of the county and national Senior two-bowl pairs – beaten 22-7 at Ketton by Bob Warters and Albert Horton.

Trailing 1-9 after seven ends, they conceded eight more shots in four successive ends upto the 13th and finally conceded at the 18th.

In the Mixed Triples at Blackstones, Peter and Angela Cox and Andrew Windsor (Langtfot Pearl) beat defending county champions, Nick Wilkie, Shirley Suffling and Paul Buckley 16-14 in a tight tussle in which at one stage only single shots were exchanged in 14 ends.

Paul Buckley (Blackstones) quickly ended President Bob Warters’ defence of the national and county Senior Singles titles with a comprehensive 21-13 win.

Warters pulled up from an 11-3 deficit to trailed only 13-17 but two poor ends dashed his hopes. Elsewhere Roger Martin and his partner (City of Peterborugh) ko’d county pairs winners and national runners-up Robert Heath and Tony Belson (Yaxley).

Federation finals: Day by day

FRIDAY

Hopes of Northants players featuring in the finals of the English Women’s Bowling Federation finals were dashed in a gloomy ten minutes at Newark IBC.

After an exciting first round win, Fiona Richardson and Julie Masters were aiming to keep county hopes alive in the pairs. But the draw was cruel to them and after dispatching Durham, came up against Derbyshire’s Karen Chapman and Pauline Marples in devastating form.

They trailed 2-19 at 12 ends and finally conceded at 2-25 three ends later.

Meanwhile on the tricky rink four Joan Robinson had her hands full against Melanie Haylett from Norfolk but was hanging on at 13-14 until her opponent grabbed five shots in three ends and finally ended it with a killer bowl drawn within inches of the jack.

In the Under 25 two bowl singles, Stephen Harris lost a thrilling encounter with his good friend Jonathan West from Boston 21-20.

Both bowled superbly and Harris led 16-14, 18-17 and 20-19 but when holding a single shot advantage going into the 27th end, he he failed to nail the jack and let his Lincs rival in for two vital shots.

His consolation was winning the Lincs IBA county Under 18 (Senior) title at Boston the previous night – 21-5 against Ruby Hill from Spalding.
THURSDAY

A late surge of form by Nottingham’s Dave Adams robbed Martyn Dolby of a place in the final of the Veteran singles this morning, drawing three bowls within inches on the 22nd end to win 21-17, writes Bob Warters.

Earlier the Stamford bowler, seeking his fourth singles title of the indoor season, having already won the Northants Federation, Lincs EIBA and club titles had led 8-2 and 16-11 using unfamiliar Tiger Pro bowls which reacted better on the end rink.
But when holding shot for a 17-11 lead, he saw Adams fire his bowl out of the head for a three count and never looked back.

In a thrilling finish to their women’s pairs, Fiona Richardson and Julie Masters picked up three shots on the last end when trailing 11-13 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Durham.

They had led Jean Chapman and her young Thai-born lead Nina Riches throughout until dropping three shots in two ends, they went behind by two shots going into the last.

Riches dropped her first bowl on the jack but Masters removed it aggressively and drew a wide counter to claim three on a measure.

Sadly no such fortune for Northants’ other pairs.

Nick Wilkie and Joe Randall were also up against it against Lindsay Swannell and world indoor singles champion Nicky Brett who quickly raced into 20-8 lead after 16 ends with superb drawing skills. Though bowling tidily, the Peterborough pair had only limited responses to their Hunts opponents, eventually needing a maximum eight off the last two ends when Brett fired their nearest bowls off the rink.

For Martyn Dolby and Christine Ford, they were unlucky to come up against a Derbyshire pair of Pauline Marples and Russell Robinson in excellent form. The Stamford pair were never in front and despite switching positions on 11 ends with the score at 8-13 they were only able to pick up scraps before eventually losing 12-21.

County president Joan Robinson lifted some of the gloom with a decisive 21-6 defeat of North Cambs J Warren in the senior singles late in the day. Her next opponent has had to withdraw from the quarter finals so Joan gets a bye direct into the semi-final.

WEDNESDAY

With Northants bowlers failing to shine in the early rounds of the triples events it was up to the veterans to show their talents as Martyn Dolby and women’s president Joan Robinson took to the carpet in their respective singles.

For Dolby, chasing his fourth singles title in as many weeks, it was an end rink challenge against Derbyshire’s Brian Shepperson. He took command early on with an 8-1 lead, only to drop a maximum four count. But he immediately hit back with four of his own and added steady counts before nailing the jack twice to settled it 21-5.

Knowing he would face Nottingham legend Dave Adams on Rink 8 in the morning, he was keen to see how Robinson was coping on one of the trickiest rinks with her tight-running bowls against another Notts play Jenny Humphries.

She held a 10-7 lead at one stage but at 15 apiece, Humphries began to find her line and length to stretch to a 19-15 lead and eventually ran out a deserving 21-17 winner.

Robinson has a second chance to shine in the Senior singles at 5pm on Thursday when the highlight of the day will be the men’s pairs clash at high noon between Northants’ Nick Wilkie and Joe Randall against Lindsay Swannell and world singles No.1 Nicky Brett, representing Hunts.

At the same time Dolby will link up with Stamford clubmate Christine Ford in the iced pairs Derbyshire’s Russell Robinson and P Marples.

TUESDAY

An amazing comeback by the Northants’s women’s triple of Jan Want, Shirley Suffling and Christine Ford saw them storm into the second round at the national Federation championships at Newark IBC, writes Bob Warters.

Trailing Humberside 2-12 at the 10-end mark, Ford and Suffling switched positions, as the Federation rules allow, and it transformed the game. Still behind by two at 15 ends they scored three successive five counts to lead 27-14 and earn a second round tie with Derbyshire who beat Cleveland 27-11.

Sadly, no such fortune for fellow Stamford bowlers Stephen Harris, Cliff Watson and Peter Edwards who came up against one of the pre-tournament triples favourites from Derbyshire – Gary Shepperson, England international Ashley Clipston and skip Russell Robinson, all of whom drew superbly to win 29-6.
Stamford’s mixed triple – Adam Warrington, Chris Ford and Martyn Dolby – never came to grips with the sluggish rink against Northumberland couple Bill and Annie Lennie and Herbie Blacklock and tumbled out 13-19.

They held a slender 12-10 lead after 15 ends but when Mrs Lennie moved to skip it was finally put beyond reach with counts on five successive ends.

There was more disappointing news when Northants’s women’s triple failed to reproduce the form that had earn them a second round spot. In energy-sapping conditions, they were soundly beaten by Derbyshire 5-28 when they conceded with still six ends to play.

To end a less than satisfactory day for Northants, Stamford’s Derek King was matched against one of the region’s most talented performers – Jonathan West from Boston, representing Lincs in the four-bowl singles.

Both players found the early ends a struggle before West found his line and length and stretched a narrow 6-5 lead to an eventual 21-7 runaway victory.

One of the surprises of the day was the defeat of last year’s men’s rinks runners-up from Hunts by a young Durham trio.

Further reports on www.stamfordindoorbowls.co.uk

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Parking warning for City bowlers and visitors

Local bowlers competing at City of Peterborough Bowls Club this summer, which is about to start its second season adjacent to the Peterborough City Hospital in Bretton, could face £100 penalties if they fail to recognise new parking restrictions.

Club general secretary Malcolm Squires has issued a blanket warning to all those considering visiting the bowls club, including its members, to be aware that the operators of the car park, independent of the local sports club, are demanding that potential visitors need to enter their car registration details on a special console at the adjoining Peterborough Town social club, within minutes of their arrival.

Failure to do so between Monday morning and midnight on Friday, will result in a £100 fine imposed by the operators.

The bowls club says that the Automated Number Plate Recognition System (ANPR) has been introduced to counteract non-members and non-bowlers using the car park free of charge.

However, a 20-minute pick-up and drop-off period will be allowed free of charge.

FOOTNOTE: City of Peterborough Bowls Club is due to stage the finals of the Northants Bowling Federation in July.

Draws for Federation national finalists

Northants Federation bowlers – especially multi-county champions Martyn Dolby, Christine Ford, Joan Robinson and Stephen Harris – are in for a busy schedule of matches when the individual EBF national finals take place at Newark IBC from Tuesday, April 19.

Both Dolby and Ford are committed to challenging in three disciplines while Harris and NWBF President Robinson are in two apiece.

Harris and Ford are involved on the opening morning at 9.30 in their respective two-bowl triples – the former as lead with Cliff Watson and Peter Edwards against the highly rated Derbyshire rink of Russell Robinson, Gary Shepperson and England international Ashley Clipston. Ford skips Jan Want and Shirley Suffling against Humberside.

Ford will be in action again at 12.30 on Tuesday with Dolby and Adam Warrington in the mixed rinks against Northumberland, before fellow Stamford IBC player Derek King faces Boston’s Jonathan West at 6.30 in the 4-bowl singles.

Schedule involving Northants players’ initial appearances:

Tuesday, April 19 (9.30 am) Northants v Derbyshire (Men’s rinks), Northants v Humberside (women’s rinks); (12.30) Northants v Northumberland ( mixed rinks); (6.30) Northants v Lincs (Men’s singles)

Wednesday, April 20 (6.30) Northants v Derbyshire ( Men’s Senior singles ), Northants v Notts (women’s singles).

Thursday, April 21 (12 noon) Northants v Hunts (Men’s pairs), Northants v Derbyshire (mixed pairs), Northants v Durham (women’s pairs) ; (5.00) Northants v North Cambs ( women’s senior singles).

Friday, April 22 (2.30) Northants v Lincs or Suffolk ( Men’s Under 25 singles).

For the full draws visit www.fedbowls.co.uk

Dolby and Ford claim three indoor titles in finals

After a marathon 11 hours of play, Stamford IBC bowlers emerged from the Northants Bowling Federation indoor finals by claiming all but two of the 11 titles at stake.

Qualifying as members of outdoor clubs affiliated to the Federation, Martyn Dolby (Blackstones) and Christine Ford (Ketton) won three titles apiece. They combined to win the mixed pairs and mixed triples ( with Adam Warrington) while Dolby also retained the Senior singles and Ford skipped Jan Want (Empingham) and Shirley Suffling (Ketton) to the women’s triples championship.

County president Joan Robinson (Broadway, Yaxley) won both women’s singles events – the 4-bowl 21-18 against Ford and the senior version 21-8 over Shirley Suffling.

Stephen Harris (Blackstones) also won two titles- the under 25 singles with an 18-10 defeat of Parkway’s Josh Clark and the two-bowl triples with Cliff Watson (Peterborough &District) and Peter Edwards (Ketton), toppling Warrington, Dolby and Jonathan Earl 22-14.

One of the most exciting finals was the men’s 4-bowl singles between two good friends and former county senior singles winners Doug Want and Derek King. Both struggled to come to terms with the unfamiliar rink two at the Peterborough IBC venue with first King racing into a 12-5 lead before Want stretch the jack length to take a 16-12 advantage.

At 17-apiece, and with two bowls ditched, King faced a possible game lie against him before drawing shot within inches. He finally snatched the title 21-17 with two successive singles.

The City indoor club’s only successes came in the men’s two bowl pairs where Nick Wilkie (Blackstones) and Joe Randall (Parkway) came up with an end rink strategy to beat Dolby and Warrington 19-7 while Fiona Richardson and Julie Masters beat the holders Jenny Harvey and Carol Hunter by five shots in the women’s pairs.

For Dolby playing from 10am to 9pm with hardly a break between the five finals he contested, he admitted it was a gruelling and shattering experience and was soon looking for a place to rest his weary body.

“I’m pretty tired and wished now I had booked a day off work tomorrow,” said the part-time funeral manager who was running on adrenalin near the end of the day.

“But I am very pleased to win three out of five and looking forward to representing Northants in the national finals at Newark next month,” he added.

As for Ford (69) she proved that her energy and competitive experience as a former county netball player served her well, trailing the jack with her last bowl to clinch a triples win for her Stamford clubmates.

Results

Women: 4-bowl singles: C Ford lost to J Robinson 18-21; pairs F Richardson/ J Masters but J Harvey/C Hunter 21-16; Senior singles: S Suffling lost to J Robinson 8-21; triples: J Robinson/M Bloxham/ J Robinson lost to J Want/S Suffling/ C Ford 21-24.

Men: Senior singles: P Edwards lost to M Dolby 15-21; N Wilkie/ J Randall beat A Warrington/ M Dolby 19-7; Under 25 2-bowl singles: S Harris beat J Clark 21-10; 4-bowl singles: D King beat D Want 21-17; triples: A Warrington/J Earl/ M Dolby lost to S Harris/C Watson/ P Edwards 14-22.

Mixed: pairs : M Holroyd/J Holroyd lost to C Ford/M Dolby 6-18; triples: C Ford/A Warrington/M Dolby beat F Richardson, N Wright/ S Law 19-9.
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Tough schedule for county finalists

A handful of bowlers face several gruelling hours on the green on Sunday when the Northants Bowling Federation hosts its annual indoor championships at Peterborough.

Stamford’s Martyn Dolby is scheduled to contest five finals, clubmates Christine Ford four and Adam Warrington and women’s county president Joan Robinson, three apiece.

The former policeman, who has been in great form on the indoor circuit, had contemplated dropping out of one of his finals but felt, having entered, it wasn’t fair on his team-mates to sacrifice a competition to avoid fatigue.

Said Dolby: “I am delighted to have reached so many finals – not just for myself but for the Stamford indoor club, which has so many other representations on the day. It just shows that we are a club on the up.

“I never imagined I would do this well in qualifying; when you enter you just hope you can reach at least one final. I hope my body stands up to the commitment. It’s a lot to play in one day.”

He will begin his defence of the Veterans singles against club-mate Peter Edwards at 10am then contest the mixed pairs with Ford and the men’s pairs with Warrington consecutively at approximately noon and 2pm, before joining them both in the mixed triples at 4pm.

Having been on his feet all day, he will round off the events in the men’s triples around 6pm with Warrington and Jonathan Earl. Ford, meanwhile – a former county netball player – contests her fourth event – the women’s triples against a trio skipped by Robinson – an earlier finalist in the 4-bowl and Senior singles against Ford and Shirley Suffling respectively.

Proposed schedule

10am: C Ford v J Robinson (Ladies 4-bowl singles, rink 2); P Edwards v M Dolby (Men’s Veteran singles, 5). 12 noon: M Holroyd/J Holroyd v C Ford/M Dolby (Mixed 2-bowl pairs, 3); F Richardson/J Masters v J Harvey/C Hunter (Women’s 2-bowl pairs, 5). 2pm: N Wilkie/ J Randall v A Warrington/M Dolby (Men’s 2-bowl pairs); S Harris v J Clark (Under 25 singles, 3), S Suffling v J Robinson (Women’s senior singles, 6). 4pm: D King v D Want (Men’s 4-bowl singles, 2); C Ford/ A Warrington/ M Dolby v F Richardson/ N Wright/ S Law (Mixed 2-bowl triples). 6pm: A Warrington, J Earl, M Dolby v S Harris/C Watson/P Edwards (Men’s 2-bowl triples, 2); M Holroyd/ M Bloxham/J Robinson v J Want/ S Suffling/C Ford 5).

Hot food and refreshments will be available throughout the day; visitors are requested to bring a prize for the raffle.

Northants end ‘Derbyshire’ campaign in style

By snatching four shots on the last end, Northants Bowling Federation scored an outstanding 98-95 win over Norfolk at Acle to complete their Derbyshire Trophy campaign in style.

Unfortunately, despite picking up 10 points, it was not enough for them to qualify for the finals at Newark though it means Norfolk will now have to take 12 points off Lincs and win by more than 13 shots this week to prevent them from winning the southern group.

Tris Morton took a chunk out of a jack with a particular violent drive on the way to a 20-shot win against a rink that included England Under 25 international Daniel Seaborne, while captain James Harford’s rink held on to a four-shot advantage over Sam King son of the former World No.1 Mervyn.

Results (Northants names only): H Shipp, P Dalliday, J Harford won 31-27; B Martin, B Warters, T Morton won 31-11; S Harris, N Wright, J Earl lost 20-25; J Holroyd, N Wilkie, J Randall lost 16-28.

Dolby set to contest five county finals

CURRENTLY enjoying a rich vein of form, Martyn Dolby has set a new record by reaching the indoor final of five Northants Bowling Federation competitions.

A former police officer, Dolby (67) will be almost literally handcuffed to the county finals at Peterborough on Sunday, March 13 for nearly seven hours as he is due to competes in all five sessions from 10am, several of which feature many other Stamford bowlers in competitions previously dominated by the host club.

After winning the semi-final of the 2-bowl triples with Adam Warrington and Jonathan Earl (beating Howard Shipp, Nick Wilkie and Joe Randall 20-19 after an extra end), he joined Warrington and Christine Ford in a 28-13 mixed triples defeat of clubmates Shirley Suffling, Derek King and Richard Allam.

A 24-7 mixed pairs win with Ford against Suffling and King followed, before wrapping up a Veterans Singles win against City’s Mick Linnell 21-15 (he was 0-11 behind at one stage) to earn a final against Peter Edwards who beat Doug Want 21-16 after being 8-14 adrift.

Dolby, a four-time Federation national championship winner, finally joined Warrington in the pairs to beat Neil Wright and Howard Shipp and set up a final against Wilkie and Randall.

Said Dolby: “I am delighted to have reached so many finals – not just for myself but for the Stamford indoor club, which has so many other representations on the day. It just shows that we are a club on the up.

“I never imagined I would reach so many finals; when you enter you just hope you can reach at least one. I hope my body stands up to the commitment. It’s a lot to play in one day.”

Apart from Dolby, two more of his senior age group club mates will contest the blue riband four-bowl singles.

Following the 21-19 defeat of the holder Simon Law by Derek King, former veteran singles champion Doug Want, out-foxed Law’s national outdoor EBA triples-winning partner James Harford 21-12.

In the mixed pairs John and Moira Holroyd reached the final with a 20-17 defeat of former winners Nick Wilkie and Joan Robinson at Peterborough. A maximum four count on the fifth end gave them a 7-2 lead, then they added nine in four ends to lead 20-10 before Wilkie and Robinson rallied with 12 shots in six ends.

Of the four women’s events, two will be all-Stamford affairs – the two-bowl triples and the Senior Singles, where Suffling meets county president Joan Robinson.

FOOTNOTE: Refreshments, including cooked food, will be available at Peterborough IBC during the finals.

Veterans to meet in Men’s singles final

Two of Stamford IBC’s senior bowlers will contest the Northants Bowling Federation’s blue riband indoor four-bowl singles final at Peterborough IBC on Sunday, March 13.

Following the defeat of the holder Simon Law by Derek King, Doug Want, a former veteran singles winner, out-foxed Law’s national outdoor EBA triples-winning partner James Harford.

Against Law, King established his early domination and after trailing 6-7 racked up threes on the 9th, 11th and 15th ends to lead 17-10. The City bowler fought back to take five successive ends and lead 19-17 before the retired farmer claimed successive twos to win 21-19.

Against 25-year-old Harford, Want rarely looked in trouble and ran out a comfortable 21-12 winner in his bid to add to the Over 65 county singles title he has won in the recent past.

Martyn Dolby, already in two finals, beat Mick Linnell at Peterborough 21-15 to secure a place the veteran singles final where he will play either Want or Peter Edwards.

In the mixed pairs John and Moira Holroyd reached the final against Christine Ford and Martyn Dolby with a 20-17 defeat of former winners Nick Wilkie and Joan Robinson at Peterborough.

A maximum four count in the fifth end gave them 7-2 lead, then they added nine in four ends to lead 20-10 before Wilkie and Robinson rallied with 12 shots in six ends.

Tony Scarr and Trevor Collins lost 19-12 in the two-bowl pairs semi-final against Wilkie and Randall – the last two ends crucial when they dropped five shots.Their opponents are yet to be decided.

In the space of 24 hours, Martyn Dolby reached two finals. First he joined Adam Warrington and Jonathan Earl to beat Howard Shipp, Nick Wilkie and Joe Randall in the semi-final of the two bowl triples 20-19 after an extra end. Then with Christine Ford, comfortably out-scored clubmates Shirley Suffling and Derek King 24-7 in the mixed pairs.

Warrington, Ford and Dolby reached the mixed triples final with a 28-13 defeat of Suffling, King and Richard Allam. They will mewet Neil Wright, Fiona Richardson and Simon Law who beat Ann and Malcolm Cullingworth and Richard Montgomery 25-11.

Shirley Suffling and Joan Robinson will contest the Senior women’s singles after identical respective 21-14 wins against Julie Masters and Chris Ford, while the pairs will be an all-Peterborough affair between Richardson and Masters against the holders Jenny Harvey and Carol Hunter.

STOP PRESS: Martyn Dolby reached his fifth final, when with Adam Warrington (himself already in two finals) beat Howard Shipp and Neil Wright 15-11 in the two-bowl pairs.

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