Northants’ outstanding defeat of Derbyshire Trophy holders

Northants Bowling Federation put themselves right back in contention to qualify for the Derbyshire Trophy national inter-county final by defeating Lincolnshire, the current holders of the title, by four shots in a thrilling encounter at Stamford IBC.

Northants had narrowly lost their opening match in the four-match southern section series of four two-bowls triples at Huntingdon and needed vital points against the defending champions to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for Newark in April under the 25-end format.

With little to separate the sides at halfway, Northants stretched to a 13-shot lead with each rink still with five ends to play. The rinks skipped by Martyn Dolby (partnered by Nick Wilkie and Roger Martin) and James Harford (John Holroyd & Bob Warters) rarely looked in trouble and were able to counteract the occasional inconsistency of the rink skipped by Simon Law against some excellent conversions by Boston’s Jonathan West.

But trailing by just nine shots, a last end four count against Harford and one against Dolby suddenly gave Lincs a glimmer of hope and it needed the experience of Jeff Newson to steady the ship, salvage a vital point with a tied match against Spalding-based former Peterborough football referee Maurice Elding and earn Northants an 88-84 shots win to secure 15 points.

Northants travel to Wisbech on January 25 for another key game against North Cambs before entertaining a Norfolk team, rumoured to include former world indoor singles champion Mervyn King, at Stamford on February 15.

Result (Northants names only)

Derbyshire Trophy: Northants Federation 88 (15 pts) Lincolnshire Federation 84 (5). J Holroyd, B Warters (both Stamford), J Harford (Peterborough) won 25-19, B Martin, J Randall, J Newson (all Peterborough) drew 20-20, N Wilkie (Peterborough), R Martin, M Dolby (both Stamford) won 27-16, H Shipp, A Thurston, S Law (all Peterborough) lost 15-28.


Captain names changes in Derbyshire Trophy side to face Lincolnshire

Indoor captain Howard Shipp has named the team that will represent Northants Bowling Federation when it entertains Lincolnshire Bowling Federation in the second series of 4-rink matches for the Derbyshire Trophy on Sunday at Stamford IBC (10am).

It shows a couple of changes from the team narrowly beaten by Hunts in the opening match.

John Holroyd, who recently put up a gallanat performance before losing to World No.1 Nicky Brett in the Spalding Open and Bob Warters will be joined by James Harford (Peterborough) in the two-bowl triples format. Martyn Dolby and Roger Martin will team up with Nick Wilkie, replacing Stephen Harris who is unavailable.

In the all-Peterborough rinks, Andrew Thurston, unavailable last time, joins Howard Shipp and Simon Law. Joe Randall replaces Wilkie to fit into the rink of Brian Martin and Jeff Newson.

Northants visit Wisbech to play North Cambs on January 25 and entertain a Norfolk side that could include former World indoor champion Mervyn King and his son Sam on February 15 at Stamford.

Narrow Derbyshire Trophy defeat at Hunts

In a thrilling start to the new-look Derbyshire Trophy season, Northants Bowling Federation lost a nail-biting match against Hunts by just seven shots – the closing ends proving crucial in an 80-87 defeat.

Playing to the new four-rink two-bowl triples format, against a Hunts team returning to the event after a break of several years, Northants picked up only four of the 18 points available from two winning rinks.

But it might have been very different had a run of good form, not broken against them in the closing stages. For example, Jeff Newson's rink was coasting and holding five shots on the penultimate end when the Hunts skip smashed into the head with his last bowl and captured a solitary shot.

Elsewhere Simon Law's rink played steadily to hold sway at 18-15 with five of the 25 ends to play only for Hunts to rally and take the game 25-19. 

Martyn Dolby's rink were never comfortable on an end rink and never recovered from dropping ten shots in three ends just after halfway, while John Holroyd's accurate leading was the keystone of Joe Randall's rink making a comeback from 13-16 at half way to claim a 27-21 triumph.

Sadly for Northants it wasn't quite enough to carry the day and Northants look to making a better impression when they entertain Lincolnshire at Stamford on January 11.

Result (Northants names only)

S Harris, R Martin, M Dolby lost 13-26; B Martin, N Wilkie, J Newson won 21-15; J Holroyd, B Warters, J Randall won 27-21; H Shipp, N Wright, S Law lost 19-25.

New-look Derbyshire Trophy: Captain’s pick

Northants Federation's Derbyshire Trophy captain Howard Shipp, has picked his first team of the season to contest the new style event.

Under the new rules for this English Bowling Federation indoor inter county team title, Northants kick-off their programme with an away match at Huntingdon IBC against the Hunts Federation on Sunday (December 7th, 10am).

Instead of three two-bowl triples rinks at home and three simultaneously away as in the past, Northants will only play four rinks away on this occasion but will host Lincs and Norfolk at Stamford IBC on January 11 and February 15, squeezing in a visit to Wisbech to play North Cambs on January 25.

Winners of the southern section will compete at Newark in April against the winner of the northern section featuring Notts, Derby, Durham and possibly Northumberland, still to make a decision about their inclusion.

Seven Peterborough IBC and five Stamford IBC bowlers will contest the first match with Stephen Harris, Roger Martin and Martyn Dolby representing Stamford while clubmates John Holroyd and Northants president Bob Warters join skip Joe Randall from Peterborugh IBC.

Completing the line-up are all-Peterborough rinks: Brian Martin, Nick Wilkie and Jeff Newson; Howard Shipp, Neil Wright and Simon Law.

Extra teams bolster Derbyshire and Reg Wright trophy events

Plans to involve more counties in the Reg Wright Under 25 outdoor team competition and the indoor Derbyshire Trophy have been agreed at the annual meeting of the English Bowling Federation in Grantham.

Meeting earlier in the season at the Federation national championships in Skegness, delegates, including those from Northants, agreed that the current competitions were unsustainable in their present form but that proposals should be submitted that would receive the support of the appropriate majority of the 13 counties affiliated to the Federation.

This was achieved when it was decided on Saturday to reduce the Under 25 competition from four two-bowl triples rinks, to three rinks, therefore encouraging Lincolnshire to re-join Notts and Derbyshire in the northern section.

Norfolk, Northants and Hunts would continue in the southern group.

It was also agreed that players would be eligible for the Reg Wright competition as long as they were still 25 when the championships were completed.

As for the Derbyshire Trophy, Nottinghamshire, Humberside and Derbyshire will now challenge the previously unopposed Durham for a place in the final from the northern section. Cleveland have until the end of November to commit to the event in 2014-15.

Hunts, Norfolk, Lincs, North Cambs and Northants will battle it out in a round-robin competition in the south.

Matches will be played as four two-bowl triples rinks at one venue at home or away in alternate seasons, similar to current outdoor Adams-and Newton inter-county outdoor competitions.

Northants start their campaign away to Hunts on December 7 followed by Lincs at Stamford on January 11, North Cambs away on January 25 and Norfolk at Stamford on February 15.

Other highlights from the annual meeting included the decision to amalgamate the EBF and EWBF annual meetings. In future counties would be represented by two delegates from the women’s federation and two from the men.

A motion from Northants that Durham Centenary Trophy section finals be played on a neutral green – Parkway lost in 2014 at Cleethorpes – failed to receive a seconder.

Robert Robson (Durham) succeeds Bernie Millard (Suffolk) as national president while Ken Barnes (Northumberland) becomes deputy and Paul Bennett (North Cambs) Junior Deputy President.

Eric Clarke (North Cambs) and Alex Manson (Norfolk) were appointed life members.

New president elected for two-year term

Ketton bowler Bob Warters will serve for two years as President of the Northants Bowling Federation, to which his club is affiliated.

He took up the duties this week after a year as deputy to City of Peterborough BC's Malcolm Squires.

Bob follows in the footsteps of his late parents who were both Federation administrators for many years. Percy and Betty Warters served as national presidents of the English Bowling Federation in 1977 and 1979 respectively. Betty was also President of both the Northants Women's Bowling Federation and the Hunts Women's Bowling Association. 

Accepting the position at the annual meeting of the NBF Bob (66) said: " It is a great honour and privilege to take on the duties of President. I know both my parents would be proud and hopefully we have further generations of the family coming through as bowlers. Indeed both our two grandchildren are showing promise, aged 11 and nine."

A former winner of the NBF triples, he is currently holder of the Lincolnshire Indoor Bowling Association Senior singles through his affiliation with Stamford IBC, where he serves on the management committee.

At the meeting in Peterborough, the Federation agreed not to pursue a motion to introduce tailored shorts for play in county competitions but supported a plan to reduce the Derbyshire Trophy inter county indoor competition to four rinks at one venue home or away in alternate years, instead of three rinks at home and three away simultaneously.

It was also agreed, in a further bid to attract more counties into the competition, to support a motion to reduce the number of rinks in the under 25 outdoor inter-county competition from four to three and to allow players to compete as long as they are under 25 on the last day of the national championships.

Richard Montgomery was awarded life membership of the Federation, having served as competition secretary for more than a decade. He will be succeeded by Barry Lawrence. 

Officers re-elected included: Mike Ramsden (secretary), Les Sharp (treasurer), Alan Croxford (EBF delegate), Graham Agger (match secretary) Cliff Watson (Adams  captain), Howard Shipp (Derbyshire captain).

New captain of the Newton team is Brian Bassam, while Malcolm Squires(City of Peterborough) and Paul Bailey (Blackstones) were elected to the committee.

President, Bob Warters & Imm Past President Malcolm Squires

Ticket applications for Northants Luncheon now closed

Applications for tickets for the Northants Bowling Federation annual luncheon and awards presentations on Sunday September 21 (noon for 12.30) are now closed, having reached the 100 threshold..

If members have not applied or notified the organisers and want to be included, they will have to join a waiting list in case ticket-holders subseqently withdraw.

Ticket application form were circulated initially in March, through affiliated club secretaries and then immediately after the county outdoor finals in July with a deadline of August 29. Spaces at the event to be held at the Bull Hotel in Westgate, Peterborough are strictly limited.

Hosted by county presidents Malcolm Squires and Valerie Du'Kett, the luncheon will be honoured by the attendance of English Federation National presidents Bernie Millard and Margaret Thorpe and their respective partners, with entertainment provided by magicians Learoyd and Le Clue.

Said county deputy president, Bob Warters: " We have been delighted by the response for tickets. We are sorry if some members miss out on the occasion but the event has been widely publicised in handbooks, on club noticeboards, on emails, on websites and in the press and we feel more than enough time has been given to apply.

"We are hopeful the event will provide a suitable climax to the indoor and outdoor seasons with appropriate trophy presentations and be a fitting tribute to the outstanding efforts of our respective presidents, who complete their duties in October."

Double delight for Northants at National finals in Skegness





As dark clouds drifted over the Skegness bowling greens on Friday (August 22), the mood in the Northants Federation camp at the English finals was getting gloomier as the county lost five successive semi-finals then the men's four-bowl singles final.

But suddenly the county's women's triples finalists in the two and three-bowl disciplines injected double rays of sunshine by claiming two national titles within the space of 30 minutes to send the Northants contingent into raptures.

After Northants match secretary Graham Agger – hero of the previous night when he came back from 2-16 down against Derbyshire's Tony Barke to win 21-17 – lost his final against Norfolk's Wayne Burrage by an identical margin, it needed the county's women to turn a black Friday into a sparkling orange sunset – reflecting the county's distinctive colours.

And they did it in style – showing tremendous fighting spirit to hold off first Northumberland in the two-bowl rinks final, before overhauling the scarlet-jacketed Cleveland in the three-bowl rinks.

City of Peterborough trio Norma Squires, Fiona Richardson and Linda Darani played three dramatic matches on the way to the final of the two-bowl event, edging out Durham 20-15, dispatching local rivals Hunts 19-18 on an extra end after claiming five shots to tie on the 21st, then nailing Suffolk 18-16 in a tense semi-final.

Against Northumberland, they maintained a slender lead throughout until on the 20th end, leading 18-16, they snatched a vital five shots screaming with delight and dancing on the green with their supporters, who included a thrilled Malcolm Squires, husband of lead Norma and who completes his two-year stint as county President in October.

But their celebrations had to be curtailed as their three-bowl colleagues, Helen Crow, Sarah Newson and Pat Reynolds from the Parkway club in Peterborough, playing on the next rink, were reaching a crucial stage in their final.

Against Cleveland, Northants were always on the backfoot until Reynolds – who won this title five years ago – showed her vast experience by converting a three-count on the 16th end and clinched it with five more on the 17th, eventually winning 23-17.

Commented Darani: "These titles today are so special. I have won here before but to win it with the girls is marvellous."

Earlier Northants bowlers had started the day with no hint of the successes to come as one after another, they could not quite reach the levels of performance they had shown in previous rounds as the challenges got stiffer.

Darani, indeed, had lost her two bowl singles semi-final against her Derbyshire opponent 21-15 after Mike Ramsden (Empingham) had gone down 21-9 in the Secretaries singles (earlier he had beaten Lincs' Richard White).  Andy Grief and Peter Holmes (Crowland) had also lost 21-12 against the eventual winners from Nottingham in the Senior pairs.

Despite a couple of excellent performances to reach the semi-finals of the mixed pairs with defeats of Notts (25-16) and North Cambs (20-19) the Blackstones duo of Rita Downes and Jonathan Earl found Steve Botten and Margaret Thompson (N. Essex) too tough a combination, losing 11-21. And when the Notts skip switched to lead in the Senior Mixed pairs, the hopes of Liz Barr and Mick Duell (West Ward) were shattered with an 18-14 defeat despite earlier wins over Suffolk (16-15) and Durham (23-13).

However, that was before girl-power took over!

The Northants bowlers can be rightly proud of their efforts in emulating last year's winning national double (in the men's two-bowl triples and mixed triples)  and punching well above their weight of membership numbers in the Suncastle Greens gladiatorial arena.

Other results (Northants names first):

Men's: Two-bowl singles: A Thurston lost to A Folker (Norfolk) 18-21. Under 25 singles: S Harris lost to L Stevens (Suffolk) 21-11. Senior singles: M Duell bt C Waling (N.Cambs) 21-18; lost to M Grimwood (N. Essex) 17-22. Champion of champions S Roden bt M Hubbard (Northumberland) 21-14; lost to J Summons (Suffolk) 13-21. Pairs: H Shipp/N Wright lost  to D Colley/P Dayus (Notts) 10-22. Under 25 Open pairs: T Fielding/J Hall bt Durham 16-15; lost to to Lincs 10-23. Two-bowl rinks:N Wright, T Scarr/S Law lost to Lincs 7-28. Three-bowl rinks: S Roden, R Stephens, P Brown lost 14-19 to N Essex. Mixed rinks: K Martin/B Martin/J Hurford bt Notts 18-15; lost to Hunts 12-21.

Women's: Two-bowl singles: L Darani bt M Thompson (N.Essex) 21-11; lost to J Tyers (Derbyshire) 15-21; 4-bowl singles: L Darani lost to A Lennie (Northumberland) 6-21; Under 25 singes: K Bailey lost R Moorbey (Hunts) 6-21; Senior singles: H Crow lost to M Dennis (Humberside) 16-21. Secretaries singles: V Hatch lost to J Croxall (Notts) 13-21. Champion of champions: P O'Brien lost to D Freeman (N. Essex) 19-21; Pairs: L Hext/S Craig bt P Dickinson/ J Robson (Northumberland)20-15; lost to  T Philpott/ S Wade   (Lincs) 16-17. Seniors pairs: A White, A Cullingworth lost to D Grasy/ A Lennie (Northumberland 14-17.  

x  x  x

In the pre-tournament Reg Jackson Triples event, Richard Montgomery, Doris Flowers and Graham Agger from Northants won the last of their four 12-end matches 25-0  – just enough to put them in third place with 148 points – one behind eventual joint winners from Suffolk and Derbyshire.

Peterborough and District rinks claim Adams Cup

Peterborough and District Bowls Club recovered in style from the mauling they received last week from rivals Parkway in the final of the Dan Duffy Trophy, to record a runaway success in the Adams Cup against West Ward A.

District quickly got into their stride on the Ketton BC surface. Skips Wilf Redhead and Brian Bassam steered their rinks to an early advantage and never took their foot off the pedal.

Only the vastly experienced Peter Jessup, distinctive in his colour-co-ordinated knitted beanie hat, stemmed the tide again Mick Greaves' trio.

By halfway District led overall by 24 shots in the two-bowl triples format and final ran out comfortable winners 72-47.

Said District captain, Jeff Clipston: "We were disappointed by our Dan Duffy performance last week but we came back strongly this time. We are delighted to win this Federation title."


Northants Bowling Federation Adams Cup (at Ketton): West Ward A 47, Peterborough & District 72. (West Ward names first): K Irwin, D Hilton, B Swann 16, J Corney, J Martin, W Redhead 30; E Eagle, S Johnson, P Jessup 21 J Clipston, A Emery, M Greaves 10; R Wyld, P Afford, D Noble 10, S Green, C Watson, B Bassam 32.

At a glance: National finals schedule for our bowlers at Skegness

Northants Federation bowlers will be out to at least emulate last year's winning double when they compete in the English Bowling Federation championships at Skegness from August 19-23.

Last year Adam Warrington, Jonathan Earl and Martyn Dolby (Blackstones) won the 2-bowl triples title, following up the success of Whittlesey Manor trio, Paul Dalliday, Linda Toms and Barry Lawrence in the mixed rinks.

This time new names will be chasing the honours, with Linda Darani, looking to follow up her near miss last year by competing for three titles – the two and four bowl singles and two-bowl triples.

Here's an at-a-glance look at when our Northants bowlers are competing (from Tuesday Aug 19 to Friday Aug 23). Hopefully as many members as possible will make the triup to the seaside to support them.


Two-bowl singles: Thurs 10.45: Andrew Thurston v Norfolk

Under 25 singles: Fri 9.15: Stephen Harris v  Suffolk

Veterans singles : Wed 10.45: Mick Duell v North Cambs

Secretaries singles: Thurs 3.15: Mike Ramsden v Lincs or Hunts

Champion of champions: Tues 10.45: Steve Roden v Norfolk  

Four-bowl singles: Wed 4.45: Graham Agger v Cleveland or N. Cambs

Pairs: Tues 3.15: Howard Shipp, Neil Wright v Notts

Senior pairs: Wed 1.45: Andy Grief, Peter Holmes v Norfol

Mixed pairs: Tues 9.15: Rita Downes, Jonathan Earl v Notts

Men's 2-bowl rinks: Wed 9.15: Neil Wright, Tony Scarr, Simon Law v Derbyshire or Lincs

Men's 3-bowl rinks: Tues 2.15: Steve Roden, Roger Stevens, Pete Brown v North Essex.

Mixed 2-bowl rinks: Wed 11.45: Karen Martin, Brian Martin, James Harford v Notts or Cleveland

Under 25 pairs: Tues 3.15pm: Johnny Hall, Tom Fielding v Durham

Senior Mixed pairs: Wed 2.15: Liz Barr, Mick Duell v Suffolk


Two-bowl singles: TBA: Linda Darani v Northumberland or N. Essex

4-bowl singles: Wed 4.45: Linda Darani v Northumberland

Under 25 singles: Thurs 1.45 : Katie Bailey v Hunts

Senior singles: Tues 11.45: Helen Crow v Humberside

Secretaries singles: Wed 12.15: Vi Hatch v Notts

Champion of champions: Wed 3.15: Pearl O'Brien v N.Essex

Pairs: Wed 10.45: Liz Hext, Sheila Craig v Northumberland

Senior Pairs: Tues 1.15: Ann Cullingworth, Anne White v Northumberland

Two-bowl rinks: Tues 9.15: Norma Squires, Linda Darani, Fiona Richardson v Durham.

Three-bowl rinks: Tues: 2.15: Helen Crow, Pat Reynolds, Sarah Newson v Derbyshire   


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