Blackstones secure epic Durham Shield win in Suffolk

Blackstones, winners of last year’s Dan Duffy Trophy, faced a tough first round in the Federation Durham Centenary Shield at The Rookery BC, Stowmarket home of the Suffolk team champions, but came out on top by seven shots.

The home side included world-ranked singles player Mark Royal, whose rink led Paul Martlew, Martin Stokes and Martyn Dolby by more than a dozen shots at one stage before the Blackstones rink fought back to go down by just one.

The team trailed by at least 15 shots overall at one stage but determined Blackstones continued to claw their way back into the game. Darren Middleton, Sam Downs and Tom Fielding also lost by one but the rink of Wayne Morris, Mark Pye and Adam Warrington edged home by eight shots in a high quality tussle.

The turning point came when Jonathan Earl, paired with Rita Downs and Paul Bailey, drew shot when five down on the penultimate 24th end to eventually win by one shot and secure an overall seven-shot advantage.

Said Warrington: “It was a super game with lots of great performances. There was a great atmosphere and spirit among all the players and Stowmarket were gracious in defeat. The green was good and let us play all the shots. The home side were complimentary on our performance and wished us well for the next round at home to the Hunts champions, White Hart BC at Warboys.

FOOTNOTE: Martin Stokes (Blackstones) is the only change in the Northants Newton Trophy team which entertains Hunts at City of Peterborough on Saturday (2pm). He replaces clubmate Darren Middleton, who is unavailable, on Peter Jessop’s rink. A win will earn Northants qualification for the national finals at Skegness in August.

The Northants Adams team host Hunts at Whittlesey Manor, simultaneously when national president Paul Bennett is also expected to attend.

Women’s season at the crossroads

The fate of the Northants Federation women’s season reaches a crossroads on Wednesday when its Donald Steward and Silver Jubilee Vase teams face Norfolk in simultaneous home matches at Whittlesey Manor and City of Peterborough greens(1pm).

For the senior side, after successive wins against North Cambs and North Essex it’s a must win game against the 2014 champions after an opening defeat at Hunts.

The team has been re-shuffled with Shirley Suffling returning to complete the Ketton trio which won two county titles last season.

The Vase team is looking to complete a third successive win after defeats of Hunts and North Essex as they bid to reached the finals for the first time since 2012.

Northants Donald Steward team: C Warters, S Suffling, C Ford (all Ketton); F Richardson (CoP), E Wallace (K), J Masters (Parkway); L Hext, T Tinklin, S Craig (Cons); K Browning, G King (Yaxley), N Squires (CoP); M Linnell (West Ward), R Mace (Whittlesey Manor), S Moir (Langtoft); Res M Andrews, V Hatch, J Duffy.

Northants Silver Vase: V Slater (Crowland), D Flowers (Y), L Barr (WW); P Collicott (Deeping), J Needham , H Bass (both Y); C Grief (C), L Toms (Cons), J Padley (Y); J Kendall, J Phillips, W Humphreys (all CoP); T Handley (D), M Osbourne (Y), M Landsburgh (CoP). Res P O’Brien, V Hempsall, V Du’Kett, M Holden.

County finals switch to Parkway on July 23

Pictured above: The Northants Silver Jubilee Vase team which beat North Essex.Left to right (back row): Pearl O’Brien, Hazel Bass, Joan Padley, Joyce Needham, Doris Flowers, Linda Darani, Marlene Osborne, Gill Day, Carol Grief, Jean Kendall, Veina Slater, Myra Landsburgh. (Front row) Pat Collicott, Liz Barr, Teri Handley, Ann Cooper, Jessica Phillips, Wendy Humphreys , Maggie Holden, Linda Toms

NORTHANTS Bowling Federations Presidents Tony and Rita Mace have agreed to switch this year’s county finals on July 23 from their home club Whittlesey Manor to Parkway in Peterborough.

Despite their year in office coinciding with their 50th wedding anniversary, they feel their home playing surface will not be in a condition they would prefer to stage the finals. So in conjunction with the club and county officials, they have decided that in the best interests of bowlers and the reputation of the Federation, the county finals should be moved.

After consultation with relevant parties, Parkway, who were scheduled to stage the finals in 2018, have agreed to bring their participation forward 12 months.

Said county secretary Melvyn Back: “It is extremely disappointing that Tony and Rita have had to forego hosting the finals at their own club, especially as it coincides with their golden wedding year but they deserve enormous credit for putting the needs of the county‚Äôs bowlers first.

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Meanwhile, the Northants women’s county Donald Steward team were able to come to terms with the Whittlesey Manor surface on Wednesday with a comprehensive 138-85 defeat of North Essex, claiming 16 of the 18 points available with four out of five winning rinks.

Fiona Richardson, Wendy Harrold and Julie Masters picked up the top rink prizes with a 35-10 win.

Results (Northants names only):

Donald Steward Trophy (at Whittlesey Manor): Northants 138 (16 pts) North Essex 85 (2). C Warters, J Duffy, C Ford won 29-17; F Richardson, W Harrold, J Masters won 35-10; L Hext, T Tinklin, S Craig won 34-17; K Browning, G King, N Squires won 21-16; S Moir, M Linnell, R Mace lost 19-25.

The Northants Silver Jubilee Vase team maintained their 100 per-cent record with a 168-57 defeat of North Essex to maintain their challenge for the southern area title with a maximum 18 points.

Carol Grief, Linda Toms and Joan Padley took the rink honours with a 43-7 win at the City of Peterborough green.

Silver Jubilee Vase (at City of Peterborough): Northants 168 (18) North Essex 57 (0).
Maggie Holden, Doris Flowers, Liz Barr won 41 – 11; Pat Collicott, Joyce Needham, Hazel Bass won 20 – 17; Carol Grief, Linda Toms, Joan Padley won 43 – 7; Jean Kendall, Jessica Phillips, Wendy Humphreys won 25 – 13; Terri Handley, Marlene Osbourne, Gill Day won 39 – 9.

Northants on the cusp of Newton Trophy history

Northants Newton Trophy team before their victory over Lincs. From the left:Peter Jessop, Roger Martin, Jim Ruddy, Mick Duell, Malcolm Squires, Cliff Watson, Bob Warters, Peter Cox, Fred Addy, Mick Greaves, Les Sharp, Darren Middleton, Jeff Clipston, Tony Kemp, Mick Humphreys, Barry Lawrence,Paul Buckley, Brian Bassam.

NORTHANTS Federation’s Newton Trophy bowlers are on the threshold of reaching the national finals for the first time in 26 years after completing a hat-trick of wins in the 2017 competition – a 38-shot defeat of Lincolnshire at Spalding.

The 18 points they picked up from four winning rinks as well as the overall spoils puts them well clear of their nearest rivals but still mathematically needing a win at home to Hunts on July 1 to be doubly sure of a place at Skegness in August.

Hunts, who beat Suffolk 16-6 at the weekend, need at least 40 points from their two remaining games against Norfolk and Northants to qualify. Indeed Northants’ Newton players could be home and dry for a first Skegness appearance since 1991, with a game to spare.

Says captain Cliff Watson: “Our mindset should be, four wins out of four, no comprises; let’s win it properly!”

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Northants at Spalding as some Northants rinks took time to adapt to the 30-degree conditions on a fickle green which demanded full concentration.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing as some Northants rinks took time to adapt to the 30-degree conditions on a fickle green which demanded full concentration.

The scores were level at 85-apiece after 15 ends before Northants, used the Federation rules to switch players positions to their advantage and forged ahead. They finally ran out winners by 193-155.

The rink of Jeff Clipston, captain Cliff Watson and Paul Buckley led the way after dropping four shots on the first end then hitting back with 17 without reply. Maurice Elding’s rink could muster little response and eventually conceded 18-52.

Equally dominant were the so far unbeaten trio of Fred Addy, Tony Kemp and skip Tony Lawrence who marshalled his men both energetically and vocally recording 14 shots without reply from the 18th end to eventually run out 37-20 victors.

Jim Ruddy, Mick Greaves and Brian Bassam always held the upper hand extending a 25-12 lead after 22 ends to 36-21 on completion of the 31 ends.

The final points went to Darren Middleton, Bob Warters and Peter Jessop who switched positions after trailing 9-19 to eventually find a winning combination which took them to a 29-26 victory.

Spare a thought for the two losing rinks skipped by Mick Duell and Roger Martin who manfully stuck to their task to keep the overall score under control.

There was, however, little to cheer for the county’s Adams team in their bid to regain the Inter county title they won in 2015 – beaten by a mere nine shots but conceding 18 points on a slippery Burton House BC surface at Boston.

After five ends Lincolnshire were just two shots ahead but by the tenth, Northants had opened up a 13-shot lead. By 20 ends Lincolnshire had raised their game to be 14 shots up, increasing this to 19 at 25 ends. By the close, six ends later, Northants had reduced the deficit to just nine shots.

However, there were seeds of future success with the combination of Adam Warrington, Dick Noble and Martyn Dolby running out 39-19 winners, while veterans Roger Stevens, Tony Mace and Rod Maplethorpe edged home by one shot.

No match for either Adams or Newton this weekend with both playing at home on July 1 against Hunts and the Adams team completing their fixtures against North Essex on July 8.

Results (Northants names only):

Adams Trophy (at Boston): Lincs 172 (18 pts) Northants 163 (4). W Morris, P Bailey, J Earl lost 22-36; J Holroyd, T Belson, G Agger lost 25-28; J Corney, S Roden, P Brown lost 26-33; A Warrington, D Noble, M Dolby won 39-19; P Dalliday, S Lander, M Welsford lost 23-29; R Stevens, T Mace, R Maplethorpe won 28-27.

Newton Trophy (at Spalding): Lincs 155 (4pts) Northants 193 (18). P Cox, M Humphreys, R Martin lost 20-31; J Ruddy, M Greaves, B Bassam won 36-21; D Middleton, B Warters, P Jessop won 29-26; L Sharp, M Squires, M Duell lost 19-39; J Clipston, C Watson, P Buckley won 52-18; F Addy, T Kemp, B Lawrence won 37-20.

FOOTNOTE: The last time Northants reached the Newton Trophy final was in 1991 when they were beaten by Nottinghamshire.

Current captain Cliff Watson is the only survivor of that team joining Barrie Plowman and skip Joe Martin to earn a draw on their rink.

The team was: Colin Nicholls, Tony Mace, John Smith; Dave Masters, Bob Crow, Eric Kew; Graham Jackson, Alf Lutton, Bill Wright; Fred Richardson, John Phillips, Peter Edwards; Barrie Plowman, Cliff Watson, Joe Martin; Colin Brown, Roger Strong, Ivan Keen. Reserve Colin Beeken.

Current team members Brian Bassam, Fred Addy and Malcolm Squires also played in the 1986 Newton Trophy defeat by Durham.

The 1986 Newton team (above). Back l to r: Dudley Holmes, Brian Bassam, Derek Westwood, Reg Burnham, Harry Thompson, Jack Wilson, Andrew Wallace, Peter Bavister, Terry English, Brian Lumbers, Malcolm Squires, Alan Peasnell.
Front l to r: Barry Leonard, Fred Addy, Phil Berridge, Mick Laker (President), Tom Lenton (Captain), Mick Popple, ‘Brownie’ Brown,John Thake.

Success for Donald Steward team

Northants Women’s Bowling Federation’s Donald Steward Trophy team were given a boost with a 136-102 defeat of North Cambs at Whittlesey Manor.

The fast, dry surface in 25 degree temperatures, caused problems for both teams but it was Northants who coped better, winning on four out of five rinks and securing 16 of the 18 available points.

Fiona Richardson, Elizabeth Wallace and Julie Masters took the rink honours in the 25-end match with a 30-14 success, though the rink of Sue Moir, Margaret Linnell and president Rita Mace ran them close.

The same team has been selected for the visit of North Essex at Whittlesey on June 21.

Result (Northants names only):

W Harrold, T Tinklin, S Craig won 23-19; F Richardson, E Wallace, J Masters won 30-14; C Warters, J Duffy, C Ford lost 24-25; K Browning, G King, N Squires won 26-23; S Moir, M Linnell, R Mace won 33-21.

The Silver Vase team to entertain North Essex at City of Peterborough next week is: M Holden, D Flowers, L Barr; P Collicott, J Needham, H Bass; C Grief, L Toms, J Padley; J Kendall, J Phillips, W Humphreys; T Handley, M Osbourne, G Day. Res: V Slater, M Landsburgh, P O’Brien.

Joy for Northants Newton but Adams team eclipsed

Northants Adams team pictured before their defeat by Suffolk at the weekend: from the left (back row) Jonathan Earl, Jack Corney, Lee Welsford, Rod Maplethorpe, Martyn Dolby, Peter Brown, Steve Lander, Paul Bailey, Martin Welsford. (Front row) Wayne Morris, John Holroyd, Tony Belson, County president Tony Mace, Adam Warrington, Steve Roden, Roger Stevens, County deputy president Dick Noble, Graham Agger. (Click on image to enlarge).

NORTHANTS BOWLING Federation’s Newton Trophy team are still on course to reach the national finals at Skegness in August after a comprehensive 177-153 defeat of Suffolk at City of Peterborough BC, claiming 19 vital points.

But for the Adams Trophy team, a setback – conceding 20 points against their East Anglian rivals at Whittlesey Manor in a 186-153 mauling.

Both teams will be looking for success at Lincs next week to keep their hopes alive.

After taking command in the early stages, with just five ends to play on a slick but smooth surface, the Newton team held only a slender ten shot lead overall before their determination kicked in and they ran out winners by 22 shots.

The experienced combination of Fred Addy, Tony Kemp and Barry Lawrence led the surge with a 34-24 win to claim the rink honours.

Paul Buckley’s rink, which included captain Cliff Watson ( replacing the injured Graham Jackson) and clubmate Jeff Clipston, added ten shots to win by seven and Roger Martin’s rink added nine shots in the closing ends.

Mick Duell’s rink looked set to to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat but the Suffolk skip, with his last bowl rolled in for second shot to forced a draw.

The result means that Northants head the table by seven points with a game in hand from Norfolk who beat key rivals Lincs at Norwich 16-6 in a 156-162 scoreline. Victory at Spalding will put qualification beyond doubt.

At Whittlesey there was little to cheer for the home supporters, indeed four rinks lost by at least ten shots. Only the rink of John Holroyd, Tony Belson and Graham Agger salvaged any pride in a 37-18 win.

Northants got off to a poor start overall and were always chasing the game and with the 31 ends closing in they left themselves too much to do.

And with Lincs winning 174-157 at Norfolk (16-6) it means that Northants must win at the slippery Boston green on Saturday to stand any chance of making it to the finals at Skegness.

However, they have done it before and can do it again!

Results (Northants names only):

Adams Trophy: Northants 153 (2pts) Suffolk 186 (20). R Stevens, T Mace (both Whittlesey Manor), R Maplethorpe (West Ward) lost 19-29; A Warrington, M Dolby, J Earl (all Blackstones) lost 26-30; W Morris, P Bailey (both Blackstones), L Welsford (WM) lost 22-35; J Holroyd (Stamford Town), T Belson, G Agger (both Yaxley) won 37-18; J Corney (WM), D Noble (WW), M Welsford (WM) lost 24-37; S Lander, S Roden, P Brown ( all WM) lost 25-35.

Newton Trophy: Northants 177 (19pts) Suffolk 153 (3). J Clipston, C Watson (both Peterborough & District), P Buckley (Blackstones) won 30-23; J Ruddy ( WW), M Greaves, B Bassam (both P & D) lost 22-31; P Cox (Langtoft), M Humphreys, R Martin (both CoP) won 24-26; FAddy (P), T Kemp (C), BLawrence (WM) won 34-24; L Sharp (Y), M Squires (CoP), M Duell (WW) drew 26-26; D Middleton (B), B Warters (Ketton) and P Jessop (W) won 29-23. BW.

President Rita plays her trump cards!

Northants Women’s Bowling Federation took over the green & clubhouse at Whittlesey Manor on Sunday afternoon to attend Rita Mace’s President’s Day.

Rita celebrates her golden wedding anniversary with husband, Tony, the Northants men’s president, this year.

More than 50 women enjoyed a bowls drive, a sing-song and a game of ‘Play Your Cards Right’ hosted by Martin Welsford before afternoon tea & a raffle.

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Northants women, after last week’s defeat by Hunts, will keep the same team for the home match with North Cambs at Whittlesey Manor on Wednesday, June 14 (1pm). There is no game in the Silver Vase,after North Cambs withdrew from the competition.

Donald Steward v North Cambs (at Whittlesey Manor):Carol Warters (Ketton), Janet Duffy (Whittlesey Manor), Christine Ford (Ketton); Fiona Richardson (City of Peterborough), Elizabeth Wallace (Ketton), Julie Masters (Parkway); Wendy Harrold (Whittlesey Manor), Tina Tinklin, Sheila Craig (both Conservative); Kath Browning, Gill King (both Broadway, Yaxley), Norma Squires (Co P); Sue Moir (Langtoft), Shirley Suffling (Ketton), Rita Mace (WM). Captain Joan Robinson (BY).Res: Margaret Andrews (Barnack), Margaret Linnell (West Ward), Judy Ford (Y).

Twenty points keeps Adams team in touch

With a comprehensive 193-136 defeat of North Cambs at Whittlesey Manor, Northants Bowling Federation men’s team kept hot on the heels of their Lincs rivals in the race to qualify for the Adams Trophy finals at Skegness in August.

With 39 points from two matches, Northants are just one behind Lincs who crushed North Essex 243-114 at Boston picking up their second successive 20-point haul following last week’s victory away to Hunts.

Northants might have collected a maximum but the rink of Wayne Morris, Paul Bailey and Lee Welsford lost by the narrowest of margins.

The rink honours went to Jack Corney, Dick Noble and Martin Welsford who won at a canter 42-18, with Adam Warrington and Martyn Dolby re-joining their Blackstones colleague Jonathan Earl to chalk up a 12-shot win. There were also wins for rinks skipped by Graham Agger, Pete Brown and Rod Maplethorpe.

Northants’ Adams team are at home again this week – to Suffolk – with the same line-up, while the Newton Trophy team, who were without a game on Saturday after North Cambs’ withdrawal, entertain Suffolk at City of Peterborough BC.


Adams Trophy: Northants 193 (20 pts) North Cambs 136 (2). R Stevens, T Mace (both Whittlesey Manor), R Maplethorpe (West Ward) won 29-19; A Warrington, M Dolby, J Earl (all Blackstones) won 34-22; W Morris, P Bailey (both Blackstones), L Welsford (WM) lost 28-29; J Holroyd (Stamford Town), T Belson, G Agger (both Yaxley) won 30-24; J Corney (WM), D Noble (WW), M Welsford (WM) won 42-18; S Lander, S Roden, P Brown ( all WM) won 30-24.

Mixed fortunes for Northants women v Hunts

Northants Women’s Bowling Federation’s hopes of reaching the Silver Jubilee Vase finals at Skegness for the first time in six years received a boost when they took 14 points from Hunts with a 115-91 victory at St Ives.

Sadly the county’s senior Donald Steward side (pictured above) found their Hunts rivals in no mood to concede ground at Hemingford picking up just two of the 18 points available with a solitary rink victory in a 15 shot defeat (104-119).

Leading the charge at St Ives were newcomer Maggie Holden (Market Deeping) paired with the experienced Doris Flowers and Liz Barr in a 31-13 win which took the rink honours.

The City of Peterborough trio of Jean Kendall, Jessica Phillips and Wendy Humphreys won by 10 shots as did Hazel Bass’s rink.

At Hemingford only Wendy Harrold and Conservative duo Tina Tinklin and Sheila Craig emerged victorious.


Donald Steward Trophy : Hunts 119 (16 pts) Northants 104 (2). Carol Warters (Ketton) Janet Duffy (Whittlesey Manor). Christine Ford (K) lost 16-25; Kath Browning, Gill King (both Yaxley), Norma Squires (City of Peterborough) lost 19-27; Fiona Richardson (C of P), Elizabeth Wallace (K), Julie Masters (Parkway) lost 20-22; Sue Moir (Langtoft), Shirley Suffling (K), Rita Mace (WM) lost 21-24; Wendy Harrold (WM), Tina Tinklin, Sheila Craig (Conservative) won 28-21.

Silver Jubilee Vase (at St Ives) Hunts 91 (4) Northants 115 (14). Maggie Holden (Mkt Deeping), Doris Flowers (Y), Liz Barr (West Ward) won 31-13; Jean Kendall, Jessica Phillips, Wendy Humphreys (all CoP) won 26-16; Pat Collicott (Deeping BA), Joyce Needham, Hazel Bass (both Y) won 25-15; Valerie Du’Kett (K), Pearl O’Brien (D), Viv Hempsall (Y) lost 13-24; Carol Grief (Crowland), Linda Toms (C), Joan Padley (Y).

Double wins for Northants in Norfolk

Northants Federation Adams and Newton teams both get off to great starts in their campaigns to make the finals at Skegness in August, despite horrendous problems coping with Bank Holiday traffic heading to their respective Norfolk destinations at Holt and Norwich.

They beat their opponents 184-127 and 160-153 to pick up 19 and 16 points from the respective 22 available at each venue.

Drivers felt they had allowed more than enough time for their journeys but hadn’t figured on bottlenecks caused by cars and caravans taking advantage of 80 degree holiday temperatures, many bowlers arriving with just minutes to spare before the scheduled 2pm starts after nearly four hours in queues and sat-nav-inspired diversions.

However, credit to Northants bowlers for quickly getting on with the job in hand and settling to their tasks.

In the Adams match, Northants President Tony Mace, a former national senior pairs winner, stepped up to the plate with his championship-winning partner Roger Stevens and West Ward’s experienced Rod Maplethorpe to set the tone with a runaway 39-12 win. Lee Welsford also took full advantage of having two quality leads at his disposal, in Paul Dalliday and Stephen Harris, to tot up a 42-15 victory.

With newcomer Wayne Morris, Paul Bailey and Jonathan Earl all square at 30 ends, Morris drew a perfect shot to secure the win while Martin Welsford with debutant Jack Corney and Deputy President Dick Noble, snatched a draw with two shots on the 31st end.

Peter Brown, played a captain’s innings alongside Whittlesey Manor clubmates Steve Lander and Steve Roden to win by 12 and there was no disgrace in John Holroyd, Tony Belson and Graham Agger losing by 10 shots on a tricky outside rink.

At the Carter Bowls Club on the city outskirts of Norwich, the Northants Newton team quickly settled despite the vagaries of the journey and raced into a 60-46 lead after ten ends. But as the strong wind took effect and the pace of the green quickened, Norfolk pegged them back and with only a handful of ends to play the lead was down to 11.

However, Paul Buckley’s rink of Jim Ruddy and recalled Jeff Clipston finished first with a 10 shots win and despite defeats for rinks skipped by Peter Jessop, Barry Lawrence and Brian Bassam, wins for Mick Duell and Roger Martin were enough to sway the result in Northants’ favour.

And it was fitting that Martin’s rink of Peter Cox and Mick Humphreys, picking up his badge for sixth county appearance, should take individual honours with a comfortable 30-19 victory.

Adams Trophy: Norfolk 127 (3pts) Northants 184 (19): Roger Stevens, Tony Mace ( both Whittlesey Manor), Rod Maplethorpe (West Ward) won 39-12; Jack Corney (WM), Dick Noble (WW), Martin Welsford (WM) drew 29-29; J Holroyd (Stamford Town), Tony Belson (Yaxley), Graham Agger (WM) lost 17-27; P Dalliday (Parkway) Stephen Harris (Blackstones), Lee Welsford (WM) won 42-15; Wayne Morris, Paul Bailey, Jonathan Earl (all Blackstones) won 24-23; Steve Lander, Steve Roden, Pete Brown (all WM) won 32-20.

Newton Trophy: Norfolk 153 (6) Northants 160 (16). Jeff Clipston (Peterborough and District), Jim Ruddy (West Ward), Paul Buckley (Blackstones) won 31-21; Graham Jackson (CoP), Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam Peterborough & District) lost 26-29; Peter Cox (Langtoft), Mike Humphreys, Roger Martin (CoP) won 34-19; Fred Addy (P), Tony Kemp (C), Barry Lawrence (WM) lost 21-29; Les Sharp (Y), Malc Squires (CoP), Mick Duell (WW) won 29-25; Darren Middleton (B), Bob Warters (Ketton) and Peter Jessop (W) lost 19-30.

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