NATIONAL INDOOR FINALS DRAWS

THE draws for the English Bowling Federation national indoor finals at Lincoln between April 22 and April 28 have been released.

Chris Ford and Stephen Harris will both be chasing title hat-tricks when the individual portion of the championships get under way on the Tuesday (April 23).

These are sandwiched between the women’s Harry Carver team event on the opening day and the men’s Eversley Trophy the following Sunday which Northants will be defending.

Northants’ Eversley team: Martyn Dolby, Simon Law, Graham Agger, Peter Brown, Bob Warters, Ally McNaughton.

The day before Northants will be seeking to win the Derbyshire Trophy inter-county title for the fourth time when they face Notts, the team they defeated when they last lifted the crown in 2019.

Team captain Simon Law has already announced his team for the final:

Brian Martin, Tom Newman, John Earl; Stuart Agger, Graham Agger, Peter Brown; Michael Humphreys, Wayne Morris, Adam Warrington; Paul Dalliday, Stephen Harris, Simon Law.

Reserves: Michael & Ollie Jeapes, Martyn Dolby.

NATIONAL FINALS DRAWS

MEN

Singles; Paul Dalliday v Hunts (Wednesday, 9.30am); Senior singles: Martyn Dolby v Humberside (Wednesday, 3.30pm); Under 25 singles: Ollie Jeapes v Hunts (Thursday, 5.00pm); Pairs: Ollie Jeapes & Simon Law v Lincs or Northumberland (Thursday, 7.30pm); Triples: Michael Humphreys, Tom Newman, Stephen Harris v North Cambs (Tuesday, 12.30pm).

MIXED

Pairs: Louise & Stephen Harris v North Cambs or Northumberland (Thursday, 5.00pm); Triples: Adam Warrington, Chris Ford, Stephen Harris v North Cambs or Hunts (Tuesday, 3.30pm).

WOMEN

Singles: Chris Ford v Humberside (Thursday, 12.00pm); Senior singles: Yvonne Monagham v Hunts or Suffolk (Thursday, 12.00pm); Pairs: Shirley Suffling & Lynn Tuck v Suffolk (Thursday, 9.30am); Triples: Elizabeth Wallace, Sue Moir, Chris Ford v Suffolk (Tuesday, 9.30am)

CLEAN SWEEP FOR GENTS

THE NBF completed a clean sweep against the NWBF by winning on all six rinks in the annual Ladies v Gents indoor challenge match for the Ean Eagle Trophy which was hosted by the Stamford club.

The teams were led by the respective county presidents, Martyn Dolby and Liz Hext, with the final result being 179-83 in favour of the men.

RESULT

GENTS 179, LADIES 83 (Gents rinks first):

John Suffling, Andy Cox, Paul Buckley 36, Fiona Richardson, Carrie Barclay, Judith Bates 9; Dave Corney, John Holroyd, Kevin Vinter 34, Karen Porter, Elizabeth Wallace, Chris Ford 14; Jeff Clipston, Michael Humphreys, John Earl 26, Jean Scallon, Pam Seymour, Sue Moir 15; Les Sharp, Mick Porter, Graham Agger 33, Jenny Harvey, Val Du’Kett, Shirley Suffling 12; Mike Ramsden, Joe Martin, Martyn Dolby 24, Michelle Smith, Jackie Brown, Liz Hext 20; Peter Linnell, Melvyn Beck, Ally McNaughton 26, Joan Baker, Hazel Brewin, Yvonne Monagham 13.

County presidents Martyn Dolby and Liz Hext with the trophy.

OBITUARY: CLIFF WATSON

THE local bowls world and beyond are mourning the sad passing of Northants Bowling Federation life member and former president Cliff Watson after a lengthy illness.

A larger-than-life character, he was a well known and much respected figure both locally and within the Federation movement.

He served the NBF executive with distinction for almost thirty years and was county president between 2012 and 2014.

A loyal and staunch supporter of the Federation family, he made no fewer than 287 appearances for the county, and was part of the team that won the Newton Trophy in 1991, as well as figuring in several Eversley Trophy successes.

He also helped create history for the county when as team captain in 2015 he led Northants to a first-ever Adams Trophy success.

He spent many years as a key member of the Peterborough & District club after spells with South Ward and Whittlesey Manor.

Those characteristic white braces will live long in the memory, as will the considerable loyalty he showed at both club and county level and the major contribution he made to the local bowls scene in general.

He will be sorely missed by the many colleagues and friends he made during a long and distinguished bowls career, and our thoughts at this sad time go to wife Sue and daughter Karen.

The funeral service will take place at Peterborough Crematorium on Wednesday, April 3rd at 11.00am and then afterwards at the Peterborough & District Bowls Centre.

IT’S NOW BLACK OR WHITE!

WITH coloured bottoms now permissible in EBF county team championships and national finals, the NBF have decided to register black trousers/shorts has their preferred choice applicable from the start of the outdoor season.

Therefore, the Adams and Newton teams will wear black bottoms with their orange county shirts, and individuals can also wear black as an option to white in the national finals at Skegness, and the following year’s indoor finals at Lincoln, but in team events, such as pairs and triples, all players must wear the same, either black or white.

In mixed events, the male players can wear black if they so wish, even if the female player continues to wear white.

With regard to shorts, players can now purchase them from any approved bowlswear manufacturer, with or without an EBF logo, but they must not contain a Bowls England motif.

Players will continue to wear grey bottoms in the county competitions up to the final, where white will be worn, unless their individual club has registered with the county an alternative colour to grey or white, and then that colour can be worn through all rounds of the county competitions, including the final, but once again players must all wear the same in pairs and triples.

A couple of other notable changes to the rules coming into force this year, include the veterans age for men being reduced from 65 to 60 from the start of the next indoor season to fall in line with the ladies, and teams can now field an all-female rink in the Dan Duffy county team competition which leads to qualification for the following year’s Durham Centenary Trophy.

NBF APPEAL FOR NEW BLOOD

THE NBF are looking for new blood to join the administrative set-up and help to safeguard the long-term future of the county.

At present the county have up to four vacancies on the management committee as well as seeking a deputy president to take over the reins when current president Martyn Dolby stands down.

Lack of support last year almost resulted in the Adams Trophy team going under and the county wants to avoid a situation whereby the executive/management committee faces a continual uphill struggle through lack of numbers.

Only last month two meetings had to be cancelled because not enough committee members were available to form a quorum.

Joining the administrative set-up as a committee member is not an onerous task as there are only about ten meetings across a 12-month period, and these last on average about one hour.

Players enjoy the cut and thrust of county team events and the county competitions, but without those officials prepared to sacrifice their own time these would not exist.

If you are interested in putting something back to the county from which you derive such enjoyment, then contact the county secretary .

NWBF FUND-RAISER

THE NWBF are holding a fund-raising quiz night at Peterborough & District on Friday, April 12th starting at 7.00pm.

Tickets are £5 per person, including light refreshments, and no more than six in a team.

Register your team before April 5th with Viv Hempsell on 01733 234089.

NORTHANTS SUCCESS AT POTTERS

NORTHANTS bowlers came away from the English Bowling Federation bowls week at Potters Resort with the coveted title.

The Stamford rink of Rosemary Roberts, who was runner-up last year in another rink, Elizabeth and Martin Wallace and Chris Ford swept to the mixed fours crown with a string of impressive performance none more so than in the final where they defeated a strong Nottingham rink who were former winners of the title.

They led 6-1 in the eight-end final before dropping a four on the penultimate end, but kept their composure to take a single on a dramatic last end to win 7-5.

It was a similar story in the semi-final, where they also dropped a four count on the seventh end against North Cambs to trail 5-6 going into the final end, but again they came up trumps with a double to win 7-5.

They were the only one of six Northants rinks that made it through to the last 16 from the group stages, winning all four matches.

The Northants winners at Potters are pictured with national presidents Trevor Flatt and Irene Ballam. (Left to right) – Rosemary Roberts, Chris Ford, Elizabeth Wallace and Martin Wallace.

OBITUARY: ANN COOPER

IT is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of Yaxley club stalwart Ann Cooper.

She was a staunch supporter of the Federation movement for many years and loyally served the Northants Women’s Bowling Federation with distinction for more than two decades, including holding the position of president in 2005 and as captain of the of Silver Jubilee Vase team guided them to the national final in 2012, a feat yet to be duplicated.

At club level she held many administrative positions, including the role of president, and was a well respected figure around the local leagues.

She encouraged and advised many new squad members through her quiet understanding of bowls and was always on hand to help her ladies achieve their best potential.

The funeral service will be held at St Peter’s Church, Yaxley on Wednesday, March 20th at 11.00am, followed by a private burial.

The family are asking for mourners to dress in casual attire rather an dark clothing to celebrate Ann’s life rather than mourn her passing.

All are welcome to celebrate Ann’s life with refreshments and wake at the Royal British Legion Club.

Flowers or a donation to the Royal British Legion Social Club would be welcomed by the family.

TWO COUNTY FINAL HAT-TRICKS

CHRIS Ford and Stephen Harris both claimed a hat-trick of titles at the Northants Bowling Federation indoor finals hosted by the Stamford club.

Ford took the blue riband singles crown at the expense of Shirley Suffling, 21-10; led Elizabeth Wallace and Sue Moir to the triples title and then teamed up with Adam Warrington and Harris to win the mixed triples.

She missed out on a fourth title when Suffling gained revenge for her singles defeat by defeating her and Wallace 20-15 in the pairs with new partner Lyn Tuck

England international Stephen Harris was in imperious form as he skipped Michael Humphreys and Tom Newman to the triples title, and after winning the mixed triples joined forces with sister Louise to claim the mixed pairs.

Paul Dalliday is the new men’s singles champion after a comfortable 21-9 defeat of Warrington, who also missed out in the triples with John Earl and Martyn Dolby, although the latter retained the veterans singles after a two and a quarter hour marathon with Jeff Pitt, the final scoreline 21-18.

Wallace also had hopes of a three-timer, but like Warrington had to be content with one success, the triples, as she lost out in both the pairs and mixed pairs.

Finals newcomer Yvonne Monagham won the women’s senior singles title against Viv Hempsell, but narrowly missed out in the triples with Hazel Brewin and Pam Seymour.

Simon Law and Stuart Popple, a substitute for young Ollie Jeapes who was away on Lincs duty, crushed the hopes of Peter Linnell and Ally McNaughton in the pairs with a 28-4 romp.

In a delayed under 25 open singles final due to both players involved in a county event in Nottingham, holder Ollie Jeapes defeated Owen Aspinall 21-13.

The winners will represent the county in the national finals being held at Lincoln at the end of April.

RESULTS

MEN

Singles: Paul Dalliday bt Adam Warrington 21-9; Veterans singles: Martyn Dolby bt Jeff Pitt 21-18; Under 25 open singles: Ollie Jeapes bt Owen Aspinall 21-13; Pairs: Stuart Popple (sub) & Simon Law bt Peter Linnell & Ally McNaughton 28-4; Triples: Michael Humphreys, Tom Newman, Stephen Harris bt Martyn Dolby, John Earl, Adam Warrington 23-15.

WOMEN

Singles: Chris Ford bt Shirley Suffling 21-10; Senior singles: Yvonne Monagham bt Viv Hempsell 21-11; Pairs: Lyn Tuck & Shirley Suffling bt Elizabeth Wallace & Chris Ford 20-15; Triples: Elizabeth Wallace, Sue Moir, Chris Ford bt Hazel Brewin, Pam Seymour, Yvonne Monagham 21-17.

MIXED

Pairs: Louise & Stephen Harris bt Elizabeth Wallace & Chris Ballard 18-13; Triples: Adam Warrington, Chris Ford, Stephen Harris bt Jeff Clipston, Liz Hext, Ray Keating (sub) 21-10.

Women’s triples finalists with county president Liz Hext (from left) Pam Seymour, Yvonne Monagham, Hazel Brewin, Sue Moir, Chris Ford, Elizabeth Wallace.
Men’s triples finalists (from left) John Earl, Martyn Dolby, Adam Warrington, Michael Humphreys, Tom Newman, Steohen Harris.

COUNTY INDOOR FINALS SCHEDULE

WITH no fewer than four players having qualified for three or more finals at this Sunday’s NWBF/NBF county indoor championships at Stamford (10.00 am start). programme scheduling has proved more difficult than usual.

With so many duplications, a fifth session has had to be added, and there is only one match in each of the last two sessions. On top of that, the under 25 open singles final between holder Ollie Jeapes and Owen Aspinall has had to be moved to Monday night (6.30pm) as both players are in action for Lincs juniors at Nottingham on Sunday.

Chris Ford faces a hectic day having qualified in four events – ladies singles, pairs, triples and the mixed triples – while Elizabeth Wallace, Stephen Harris and Adam Warrington are all chasing title hat-tricks.

County men’s president Martyn Dolby is defending the veterans singles title, while Chris Ford and Shirley Suffling, who meet in the ladies singles, both bid to retain the ladies pairs but with different partners this year.

TIMETABLE

10.00am

Ladies singles: Chris Ford v Shirley Suffling; Men’s veterans singles: Martyn Dolby v Jeff Pitt; Ladies senior singles: Yvonne Monagham v Vivien Hempsell; Men’s singles: Paul Dalliday v Adam Warrington.

12.00 noon

Ladies pairs: Elizabeth Wallace & Chris Ford v yn Tuck & Shirley Suffling; Men’s pairs: Peter Linnell & Ally McNaughton v Stuart Popple (sub) & Simon Law.

2.00pm

Men’s triples: Tom Newman, Michael Humphreys, Stephen Harris v Martyn Dolby, Adam Warrington, John Earl; Ladies triples: Hazel Brewin, Yvonne Monagham, Pam Seymour v Elizabeth Wallace, Sue Moir, Chris Ford.

4.00pm

Mixed triples: Chris Ford, Stephen Harris, Adam Warrington v Jeff Clipston, Liz Hext, Ray Keating (sub).

6.00pm

Mixed pairs: Louise & Stephen Harris v Elizabeth Wallace & Chris Ballard.