Northants’ national finalists face tough competition at Newark

Northants bowlers face stiff competition if they are to emulate the success of Stamford trio Adam Warrington, Paul Bailey and Martyn Dolby in winning an English Bowling Federation national title at Newark IBC in 2012.

County singles champion Simon Law is up again multi-winner Ian Wones from Norfolk on Thursday for the chance to meet G Sheperson (Derbyshire) in the quarter-final while Derek King meets John Heppell (Derbyshire) on the same day for the right to play Notts' Dave Adams in the quarter final of the Senior Singles
Stamford's 17-year-old Stephen Harris must wait until Saturday to take on the winner of the Northumberland/Durham tie and in the pairs Warrington and Dolby face Durham's Lawton and Humphries on Friday morning.

The rink of Howard Shipp, Jeff Newson and Tris Morton will be hoping to progress against North Essex on Wednesday (9.30am) for a chance to play the winner of the Northumberland/Nottinghamshire tie at 3.30pm.

Joan Robinson and Nick Wilkie won't know whom they play in the Mixed pairs at 5pm on Friday until Notts and Durham have settled their tie while in the mixed rinks John and Keith Burrows and Jenny Harvey play Durham on Wednesday (12.30pm).

In the women's events there's a Wednesday afternoon tie for Harvey against Northumberland in the singles and a Friday evening match for Robinson against North Essex in the Veterans singles.

In the pairs, the Peterborough duo of Bussey and Hunter meet Derbyshire at high noon on Friday with the rink of Fiona Richardson, Margaret Linnell and Liz Barr matched against the winner of the Durham/Cleveland tie, set for 3.30pm on Wednesday.

On tuesday, Northants women's executive team will be hoping to do better than their male counterparts did in the Eversley and improve on their second place finish in last year's Harry Carver round-robin tournament.

Harvey and Robinson claim two indoor county titles apiece

Northants Bowling Federation will be represented in 11 disciplines at the English Bowling Federation and EWBF finals to be staged at Newark in April with Jenny Harvey and Joan Robinson both featuring in two events.

Jenny beat Whittlesey's Hazel Bass 21-19 in a close-fought singles then helped father and son John and Keith Burrows take the 2-bowl trips against Carol Hunter, Les Sharp and Brian Martin.

Stamford IBC bowler Robinson also won in two finals – beating the luckless Bass 21-19 in the Ladies Veteran singles having helped Nick Wilkie claim the 2-bowl mixed pairs in the 20-12 defeat of Fiona Richardson and Neil Wright.

As a replacement for regular partner Martyn Dolby, Adam Warrington called in Peterborough Parkway's Trevor Collins to deputise against fellow Stamford duo Stephen Harris and Peter Edwards in the two-bowl men's pairs. The final score was 19-14.

The ever-improving Harris, however, still earned a place in the nationals thanks to his 21-14 defeat of defending champion and fellow teenager Jon Bailey in the Under 25 two-bowl singles.

For retired farmer Derek King it was his second Over 65 county singles title in three years. But he had to do it the hard way against home favourite Joe Martin – coming from behind in a two-hour epic bowling full length jacks, to tie the match 16-16, then finally grabbing the two shots he needed for a 21-19 victory.

Stamford's two other finalists, despite creditable performances on an unfamiliar surface, narrowly failed to achieve their goals.

In the two-bowl triples, Bob Warters, Peter Edwards and Cliff Watson came up against City's Howard Shipp, Jeff Newson and current England International Tris Morton. And it was the irrepressible Morton who finally proved the key difference, often drawing on a wide line with great precision to keep his side in front.

A four count on the 19th end to lead 18-12 finally proved a crucial factor. Although the Stamford trio picked up a two on the 20th end and held four on the final end to threaten a tie-break, Morton drew second shot with his last bowl to put the result beyond doubt at 18-15.

In the women's triples Joyce Foster, Margaret Andrews and Glenys Edwards lost 24-16 to Peterborough's Fiona Richardson, Margaret Linnell and Liz Barr.

In an enthralling men's singles final, Simon Law came from behind to beat Andrew Thurston, who led 8-2, 13-3 and 15-10. With the match delicately poised at 19-18 in favour of Thurston, Law picked up a match-winning triple to claim a trip up the A1 next month.

Results (Peterborough IBC unless stated):

Women's 2-bowl pairs: P Bussey/C Hunter bt D Flowers/J Padley 19-13.; Women's 4-bowl Singles: J Harvey by H Bass (Whittlesey) 21-19; Under 25 2-bowl Singles: S Harris (Stamford) bt J Bailey (Stamford) 21-14; Men's 4-bowl Singles: S Law bt A Thurston 21-19; Men's 2-bowl pairs: A Warrington (Stamford)/T Collins bt S Harris/ P Edwards (Stamford) 19-14; Men's Over 65 4-bowl Singles: D King (Stamford) bt J Martin 21-19; Mixed-2-bowl -pairs: J Robinson (Stamford)/ N Wilkie bt F Richardson /N Wright 20-12; Women's Over 60 4-bowl Singles: J Robinson (Stamford) bt H Bass (Whittlesey) 21-19; Women's 2-bowl Triples: F Richardson/M Linnell/L Barr bt J Foster/M Andrews/ G Edwards 24-16; Men's 2-bowl Triples: H Shipp/ J Newson/ T Morton bt B Warters/ P Edwards/ C Watson; Mixed 2-bowl Triples: J Harvey/ J Burrows/ K Burrows bt C Hunter/ L Sharp/ B Martin 19-9.

*Indoor and Outdoor presentations will be made on Sunday, September 21 at a luncheon at The Bull Hotel, Westgate, Peterborough (12 noon for 12.30 pm). The function in the Broadway Suite with private bar will include a two-course Sunday lunch with tea/coffee together with table magic followed by a cabaret. Tickets will be available shortly at £18 per head.


Eleven finals featured in county indoor championships

The Northants Bowling Federation stages its finals this weekend (March 16) – back at Peterborough and District indoor bowls club after two years successfully hosted by Stamford IBC.

The winners in the 11 events – including two-bowl mixed pairs and mixed triples – will represent the county in the English Men's and Women's 13-county Federation Championships at Newark in April.

Stamford IBC is guaranteed to have participants in at least two disciplines in the national finals – and it could be more if results go their way when the county finals start at 12 noon.

Stephen Harris and defending champion John Bailey face each other in the final of the Under 25 singles while Harris – paired with Peter Edwards – takes on Adam Warrington and Peterborough Parkway player Trevor Collins in the two-bowl pairs final. Warrington's regular partner Martyn Dolby will be on holiday having beaten the Stamford father and son combination of Paul and Jon Bailey 18-4 in the semi-final.

Elsewhere Joan Robinson competes in two finals – the senior singles against Whittlesey's Hazel Bass and with Peterborough's Nick Wilkie in the two-bowl mixed pairs against Fiona Richardson and Neil Wright.

Chasing a second Veterans singles in three years is Derek King up against home favourite Joe Martin while Stamford has an interest in both the men's and women's two-bowl triples. Bob Warters, Cliff Watson and Peter Edwards face Howard Shipp, Jeff Newson and Tris Morton and in the women's event Joyce Foster, Margaret Andrews and Glenys Edwards take on Fiona Richardson, Margaret Linnell and Liz Barr.

Download a copy of the full Indoor 2014 finals draw here.

Full draw:

12 noon: Women's pairs – P Bussey/D Flowers v C Hunter/J Padley; women's singles – H Bass v J Harvey; U 25 singles – S Harris v J Bailey; Men's singles – A Thurston v S Law; 2pm: Men's pairs – A Warrington/T Collins v S Harris/ P Edwards; Men's Veterans singles – J Martin v D King; Mixed pairs – F Richardson, N Wright v N Wilkie, J Robinson; 4 pm: Women's Senior singles – J Robinson v H Bass; Women's triples – F Richardson/M Linnell/L Barr v J Foster/M Andrews/G Edwards; Men's triples – H Shipp/J Newson/T Morton v B Warters/C Watson/P Edwards; Mixed triples – B Martin/ L Sharpe, C Hunter v K Burrows/J Burrows/J Harvey.

Outstanding Derbyshire Trophy win over Norfolk

Northants’ Derbyshire Trophy team has given the county an outside chance of reaching the National Championships in April with an outstanding defeat of Norfolk on Sunday (Feb 16).

Playing three 2-bowl triples rinks at Stamford and three away at Acle (Great Yarmouth), Northants, represented by 14 Peterborough IBC and four Stamford IBC players, emerged with 19 of the 22 points available thanks to an overall 158-106 victory.

Northants now need Norfolk to do them a favour by beating Lincolnshire to stand a chance to making it to the Newark climax.

At Stamford, the home club’s John Holroyd, again led superbly to set up scoring opportunities for City colleagues Joe Randall and James Harford, who had Norfolk firing in frustration to cut down the 34-10 battering they were given over the 25-end match.

England international Tris Morton inspired Nick Wilkie and Dick Noble to a 23-21 win, while Stamford’s 17-yearold Stephen Harris, Bob Warters and Martyn Dolby, snatched a vital point in a 19-19 draw against a rink skipped by Sam King, 19-year-old son of 2014 World Indoor Singles finalist Mervyn King.

While Harris relentlessly peppered the jack, Dolby, at times rode some good fortune but produced a wonder bowl on the penultimate end, drawing within an inch inside a cluster of Norfolk bowls to keep the game alive. The trio were more than happy to grab a single on the last end to salvage a point.

At Acle, the re-shuffled combination of Peterborogh’s Howard Shipp, Neil Wright and Simon Law took the honours with a 42-13 demolition of Jamie Howlett’s rink.

Pete Brown’s rink lost by nine but Jeff Newson claimed a count on the last end to run out winners by a six shot margin.


Derbyshire Trophy: Northants 158 (19 pts), Norfolk 106 (3).(Northants names first): Home – J Holroyd, J Randall, J Harford bt P Winter, L Stevenson and S Winter 34-10; S Harris, B Warters, M Dolby drew with L Hills, M Riches and S King 19-19, N Wilkie, D Noble, T Morton bt A Sayer, R Bunton and M Rowbotham 23-21. Away – G Agger, B Lawrence, P Brown lost to M Elliott, G Punchard and J Dyball 15-24; B Martin, A Thurston, J Newson bt D Cole, S Elliott and G Tubby 25-19; H Shipp, N Wright, S Law bt A Dunton, D Seabourne and J Howlett 42-13.

A 12-shot Derbyshire Trophy win over North Cambs

Northants Bowling Federation’s chances of securing a place in the finals of the Derbyshire Trophy finals were enhanced with a 130-118 defeat of North Cambs from matches played at Stamford and Wisbech on Sunday (Jan 26).

They emerged with four winning rinks in the two-bowl triples format – two at home and two away – but still face a stern test against Norfolk on February 16, when 2014 World Indoor singles finalist Mervyn King and his son Sam are rumoured to be included in the East Anglian visitors’ away team at Stamford IBC.

Another solid performance at lead from Stamford’s John Holroyd was the highlight of Northants’ home leg, peppering the jack consistently as his rink held on to win against a late surge from N.Cambs 26-20.

However, former Northants bowler Nigel Eagle made it uncomfortable for Neil Wright, Paul Bailey and Martyn Dolby, who inter-changed, as Federation rules allow, in a bid to overcome their opposition’s positive tactics but went down 14-28.

On Wisbech’s slower surface, the all-Peterborough combinations adapted well and emerged with an overall 67-61 success, despite a late stumble from the rink skipped by England international Tris Morton.

Results (Northants names only)

Derbyshire Trophy: Northants 130 North Cambs 118. At Stamford – J Holroyd, B Warters, J Harford won 26-20; N Wright, P Bailey, M Dolby lost 14-28; N Wilkie, D Noble, S Law won 21-19. At Wisbech – H Shipp. J Randall, T Morton lost 21-23; B Martin, A Thurston, J Newson won 23-12; G Agger, B Lawrence, P Brown won 25-16.

Northants’ Derbyshire Trophy team suffer early setback

Northants Bowling Federation's hopes of reaching the national finals of the inter-county Derbyshire Trophy finals in April took a nasty jolt when they were comprehensively beaten by local rivals Lincolnshire on Sunday (Jan 12) in their opening match of the 2014 campaign.

With three two-bowl triples rinks at Stamford and three at Lincoln IBC, Northants were beaten 158-111 with Lincs picking up 20 of the 22 points available, winning five matches out of six – two of them at Stamford.

Northants only consolation came with a win for the previously untried combination of John Holroyd, making an impressive county debut, Bob Warters (both Stamford IBC) and Peterborough's rising star James Harford, who held off the threat of the Boston IBC trio of Jonathan West, Iain Clark and county president Geoff Parker. Four shots on the concluding end earned a 24-15 reward for a generally tidy performance.

While the Lincs home rinks on their own slick surface, proved a near-impregnable fortress against Northants' travelling Peterborough-based skips Peter Brown, Jeff Newson and Tristan Morton, the other home Northants rinks couldn't keep pace with the visitors, many of them well used to Stamford's more even-paced conditions.

As the unique Federation rules allow, Northants home rinks inter-changed positions in a bid to stem the bleeding but were unable to prevent Lincs taking control early on and maintaining the pressure.

Northants remaining matches will be against North Cambs (Stamford and Wisbech) on January 26 and Norfolk (Stamford and Acle) on February 16.

Results (Northants names first):

Derbyshire Inter-Federation Trophy: Northants 111 (2pts) Lincs 158 (20). Home – N Wilkie, D Noble, S Law 13, A Field, M Asplen, T Bannister 26; R Allam, P Bailey, M Dolby 20 T Powell, C Gill, P Flatters 29; J Holroyd, B Warters, J Harford 24 J West, I Clark, G Parker 15. Away – H Shipp, J Randall, T Morton 18, R Ashton, C Barks, G Draper 24; G Agger, B Lawrence, P Brown 22, K Richardson, D Johnson, M Smith 35; B Martin, A Thurston, J Newson 14, R Horne, D Stevenson, T Gilroy 29.

Captain Shipp names Derbyshire Trophy team to play Lincs

Northants County Bowling Federation Derbyshire Trophy captain Howard Shipp has named his team to play Lincolnshire in the opening match of the three-game 2014 series – ultimately challenging for a place in the English National Federation finals at Newark in April.

It shows a handful of changes from the team that just missed out in the 2013 campaign, when Northants lost their last match overall to Norfolk after comprehensive defeats of Lincs and North Cambs.

Three two-bowl triples rinks will play at Lincoln IBC on Sunday, January 12 and, simultaneously three at Stamford IBC, matches starting at 10am.

It means a county debut for Stamford's John Holroyd and the return of Peterborough's England outdoor international Tristan Morton.

At Lincoln (all Peterborough IBC): Howard Shipp, Joe Randall, Tristan Morton; Graham Agger, Barry Lawrence, Pete Brown; Brian Martin, Andrew Thurston, Jeff Newson. At Stamford: Nick Wilkie, Dick Noble, Simon Law (all P'bro), Richard Allam, Paul Bailey, Martyn Dolby (all Stamford); John Holroyd, Bob Warters (both Stamford), James Harford (P'bro).

Indoor Competitions 2013 / 2014

Draws for the men's indoor competitios for the season 2013 / 2014 have now been added to the website.

There has been technical difficulty with the Ladies competition draws which we hope will be rectified soon.

We would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! 
from all at the NBF & NWBF.

Connie Cox: Double national champion

Northants Federation bowlers are mourning the sudden death on December 7 of Mrs Connie Cox (77) one of the county's most successful competitors.

Widow of Tony Cox, one of the Stamford Indoor bowls club's first coaches and mother of five boys, Connie was highly competitive on whatever surface she bowled and won two English Federation titles. In 1994 with Joyce Foster and the late Celia Walpole she won the English 3-bowl triples at Skegness and in 2002 the English Indoor mixed pairs with Martyn Dolby.

Outdoors she played for Wittering, Ketton, Hunts WBA and Northants Federation while on indoor carpets she represented Stamford at club level and Northants county in national finals.

Connie was a diminutive and feisty competitor with many club and county championships to her name. Always a great supporter of fellow club players at major events, she was thrilled to represent Northants at national finals in Newark and Skegness earlier this year, after winning the indoor county triples with Glenys Edwards and Joyce Foster and then the outdoor county veterans (again with Joyce Foster).

A minute's silence was observed before recent Stamford Indoor Bowls Club's matches. The funeral takes place at Marholm Crematorium on Monday, December 23 (2pm) followed by a gathering of family and friends at Stamford IBC (from 3pm -5pm)