Inaugural Dickenson Trophy match at Whittlesey

A John Dickenson Trophy match in memory of the former Northants and English Federation president will be staged on Sunday (March 6) at Whittlesey Manor BC between the home club and county representatives.

The silverware has been donated by Trevor Collins (Shotbowl) following the death in March of Mr Dickenson, one of the game’s great local administrators, who played for Whittlesey Manor, Peterborough and District and South Ward as well as elected EBF chairman for 16 years.

NBF team at Whittlesey (2pm start): (from) Tony Mace, Dick Noble, Alan Croxford, Les Sharp, Malc Squires, Neil Wright, Fred Addy, Tony Kemp, Paul Buckley, Darren Middleton, Bob Warters, Peter Jessop, Graham Jackson, Mike Humphreys, Mick Duell, Cliff Watson, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam, Trevor Collins.

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Northants has selected its Adams and Newton teams for the forthcoming inter-county fixtures against Norfolk at Holt and RG Carters respectively on May 27.

Both teams include new faces as well as those returning to the fold, including a strong Stamford influence in the Adams team which is hoping to regain the trophy the county won in 2015.

Wayne Morris is one of five Blackstones bowlers in the team, while Jeff Newson returns as does deputy president, Dick Noble who is joined by West Ward colleagues Phil Afford and Rod Maplethorpe.

The Newton side, captained by Cliff Watson, features several players who acquitted themselves well at Skegness last August and deserve the chance to bolster the squad.

Included are Darren Middleton, who won the national Under 25 Open pairs title, Peter Cox (Langtoft), Tony Kemp (Conservative) and Graham Jackson and Roger Martin (City of Peterborough). National Over 60s singles winner Mick Duell will also skip a rink. After a year out of action Lee Welsford (Whittlesey Manor) has committed himself to the Newton cause.

Adams team: Roger Stevens (Whittlesey Manor), Phil Afford and Rod Maplethorpe (both West Ward); Jack Corney (WM), Jeff Newson (Parkway), Martin Welsford (WM); Neil Wright (P), Tony Belson (Broadway, Yaxley), Graham Agger (WM); Adam Warrington (Blackstones), John Holroyd (Stamford Town), Martyn Dolby (B); Wayne Morris, Paul Bailey, Jonathan Earl (all Blackstones); Steve Roden (WM), Dick Noble (WW), Pete Brown (WM)

Newton Trophy (from): Jim Ruddy, Howard Shipp, Paul Buckley, Lee Welsford, Graham Jackson, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam, Peter Cox, Mike Humphreys, Roger Martin, Fred Addy, Tony Kemp, Barry Lawrence, Les Sharp, Malc Squires, Mick Duell, Darren Middleton, Bob Warters and Peter Jessop.

Gallant challenge by Northants women

Above: From the left, the Northants Harry Carver squad: Janet Duffy, Doris Flowers, Liz Barr, Rita Mace, Jessics Phillips, Christine Ford and Joan Robinson.

DESPITE having four women players in the team that do not currently bowl indoors, Northants came a creditable third in the Harry Carver inter-county trophy for executives at Newark on Tuesday.

It was their highest placing for several years.

Doris Flowers, President Rita Mace and Christine Ford won all their triples matches against North Essex, Lincs , Suffolk and Derbyshire and only an early defeat for the rink of Joan Robinson, deputy President Jessica Phillips and Liz Barr prevented a shock overall win for Northants

Norfolk took the title on shots difference from Lincs.


On the first day of the national championships on Wednesday, the Northants women’s rink skipped by Julie Masters lost to Notts and the men’s rink of Chris Ballard, Mick Humphreys and Kevin Vinter lost to the holders from Derbyshire.

But not without a gallant fight.

They held the champions at 11-apiece but the closing ends proved crucial as Derbyshire, featuring England international Ashley Clipston, rode their good fortune to run out 19-15 winners.

In the mixed triples the combination of Adam Warrington, Christine Ford and Martyn Dolby proved just too strong for Suffolk, winning by five shots. They then went on to reach Thursday’s semi-finals with a 29-8 crushing of Norfolk.


Hopes of a place in the final of the Federation mixed triples for Northants bowlers Adam Warrington, Christine Ford and Martyn Dolby at Newark IBC were dashed this morning.

Against a Derbyshire rink skipped by the irrepressible Russell Robinson, they quickly fell behind 10-20.

But staging a fightback they reduced the deficit to 19-20 only to lose a four count on the 20th end. They finally went down 19-25.

Elsewhere inevitable the men’s pairs Nick Wilkie and Joe Randall came up against other Derbyshire opponents Ashley Clipston and Gary Shepperson. Again they put up a brave fight but finally lost 17-19.

In the women’s senior singles Joan Robinson won 21-17 against Christie Wadlow (North Cambs) and then went on to beat Hunts’ Jane Baldwin 21-18 to reach the semi-final.

Jan Want and Denise Mackie failed to progress past a first round pairs encounter with Lincs. They lost 24-8.


Northants will face Northumberland in two semi-finals at the national federation championships on Saturday for the chance of glory in both women’s singles competitions.

Christine Ford produced two excellent displays against E Parker (North Essex) and Paula Gooch (Suffolk) to reach the last four of the four-bowl singles and will meet former champion Ann Lennie for a place in the final at 2.30pm.

It took 30 ends for her to put Parker away 21-19 but against Gooch (Sole Bay) it was more convincing, the Ketton bowler conceding only six shots.

This followed Joan Robinson’s defeat of Huntingdon’s Jane Baldwin 21-18 to set up a tussle with Karen Weites (Northumberland) in the senior singles at 9.30 am on Saturday.

As for the men, they suffered two first round exits. Martyn Dolby fought hard in the four-bowl singles but dropped a crucial count as the match against L Rowland (North Essex) reached its climax, going out 21-15. Rowland later beat his Durham opponent 21-5.

In the Senior singles, Bob Warters held Newcastle’s Herbie Blacklock to 10-apiece thanks to a couple of three-shot conversions with weighted bowls but finally his good fortune ran out and he lost 21-12.

In the mixed pairs Joe Martin and Carol Hunter, despite a plucky performance, fell second best to the Norfolk pair of Kirby and Mills.


Sadly Joan Robinson’s hopes of reaching the final were dashed by Northumberland’s former national president Karen Weites 21-19, who was subsequently beaten in the final.

Chris Ford’s campaign also came to an end, beaten by Ann Lennie 21-11 in the 4-bowl singles. Lennie went on to win the title again.

Stephen Harris lost 21-9 to his Humberside opponent (L Creaser) in the Under 25 2-bowl singles.

Joan Robinson -senior singles semi-finalist

Presidents with Fiona Richardson, Margaret Linnell and Julie Masters.

Pairs qualifiers Nick Wilkie and Joe Randall.

Singles semi-finalist Chris Ford

Bob Warters with Vets singles opponent Herbie Blacklock.

Men’s triples qualifiers Chris Ballard, Kevin Vinter and Mick Humphreys.

Mixed triples qualifiers with the presidents Martyn Do
By, Adam Warrington and Christine Ford

Joe Martin and Carol Hunter qualified for the mixed pairs


Northants win Eversley Trophy

Northants Bowling Federation has won the coveted Eversley Trophy for the first time under its new one-day format, having lost on a countback to Lincs in 2015.

First introduced in 1974 exclusively for executives of county federations – when Northants were the first winners – it changed its format in 2015 to two rinks of triples, played on a round robin basis at Newark IBC.

This year Les Sharp, Graham Agger and Cliff Watson comprised one rink with Malcolm Squires, Richard Montgomery and Dick Noble, the other.

In the opening game against Suffolk, Northants settled to the sluggish green quickly and took the maximum six points. Durham proved to be a tougher match when both rinks got off to a good start but Durham pulled back on Noble’s rink to level the score going into the last end. Northants were held game shot but the Durham skip drew shot with his last wood to reduce Northants to four points with an overall win.

Against Humberside again both rinks took an early lead with Noble’s rink having a comfortable win, while Watson needed to draw a perfect shot with his last bowl for the overall win and maximum points.

In the final game against Hunts, Noble’s trio, on an outside rink, drew some excellent shots to win but with Watson’s rink two down it needed the skip to again produce a quality shot to claim second bowl and the four points needed to clinch the title with 20 points, three better than runners-up Humberside.

County President Tony Mace said “It is an excellent win and over the course of the match all players did extremely well and showed a good team spirit supporting each other. I am very proud of them all and I would also like to thank all those who travelled to support the team.”

The trophy was presented to the Northants President by national President Paul Bennett.

Pictured above with the Northants President are (from the left) Malcolm Squires, Cliff Watson, Dick Noble, Graham Agger, Richard Montgomery and Les Sharp.

Northants bowlers’ Newark schedule

Northants Federation bowlers will begin their challenge for nationals titles at 12.30 on Wednesday, April 19, when the county’s representatives play simultaneously in the mixed rinks, and men’s and women’s rinks.

Provisional timetable

Wednesday, April 19: 12.30 – Michael Humphreys, John Holroyd (or Sub), Kevin Vinter v Derbyshire; Adam Warrington, Christine Ford, Martyn Dolby v Suffolk; Fiona Richardson, Margaret Linnell, Julie Masters v Notts.

Thursday, April 20 (9.30am) – Nick Wilkie & Joe Randall v Derbyshire; (12.30) Joan Robinson v N Cambs; (3.30) Jan Want & Denise Mackie v Lincs.

Friday, April 21 (9.30) – Martyn Dolby v N Essex; Carol Hunter & Joe Martin v Norfolk; Chris Ford v N Essex; (2.30) – Bob Warters v Humberside or Northumberland.

Saturday, April 22 (12.00) – Stephen Harris v Humberside.

Tough opener for Duell in defence of Senior titles

The newly released draws for Northants Bowling Federation outdoor competitions have produced some intriguing ties – none more so than defending county and national senior singles champion Mick Duell (West Ward) facing a first round visit to Blackstones to play Martyn Dolby.

Duell won the EBF title at Skegness last August and might have been hoping for a less daunting match to kick off his defence. But he won’t get it as Dolby is a singles specialist and current Lincs IBA seniors champion.

Elsewhere, current county 4-bowl singles champion Neil Wright faces a tricky opener against Pete Brown (Whittlesey Manor) while Under 25 singles winner Stephen Harris, who won the national Under 25 Pairs with Darren Middleton – must play Joe Randall at Parkway.

The finals will be played at Whittlesey Manor – home club of current men’s and women’s Presidents Tony and Rita Mace – on July 23.

The full men’s draws for all competitions are elsewhere on the website. The NWBF competitions have yet to be posted.

Federation finals provide top entertainment

There were a few shocks when the Northants Federation held its annual finals at Stamford Indoor Bowls Club on Sunday, but when the dust had settled there were also a few familiar faces who will be representing the county at the English Federation finals at Newark next month.

Both Martyn Dolby (Blackstones) and Christine Ford (Ketton) qualified in two events – the mixed triples which they won with Adam Warrington – and their respective four-bowl singles against Warrington and Shirley Suffling.

Dolby started off in style in the first of four finals in which he featured – against his long-time pairs partner Warrington in the four-bowl singles – snatching a three count on the 24th end to win 21-20.

However, in the Veterans singles, against former national outdoor senior singles champion Bob Warters (Ketton), he struggled to catch a consistent weight on the adjoining rink and was soon facing a 20-9 deficit.

But Dolby is a fighter and with nine shots in three successive ends pulled up to with two shots before Warters nailed the jack to win 21-18.

The pair also met in the mixed triples but this time Dolby (with Ford and Warrington) took revenge – against Carol Warters and Roger Martin (City of Peterborough) winning 19-11.

In the men’s pairs Dolby and Warrington came up against a rampant Nick Wilkie (Blackstones) and Joe Randall (Parkway) who took 10 shots from the last seven ends to win 20-12. Randall earlier lost to Stephen Harris in the under 25 singles.

The City’s only other winners were the veterans Joe Martin and Carol Hunter (Peterborough & District) who Won seven of the last eight ends to beat Suffling and Derek King ( Ryhall) 15-8.

One of the other surprises was the defeat of the defending men’s two-bowl triples champions – Harris, Cliff Watson and Peter Edwards by Mick Humphreys, John Holroyd and Kevin Vinter.

Six shots down after four ends they won six of the next seven and finally ran out comfortable winners 20-11.

On a final emotional note, Denise Mackie was in tears after she and Jan Want beat Helen Holroyd (21) and 18-year-old Louise Harris 26-5 in the women’s pairs final. It had always been an ambition to reach the Newark championships.


Women’s 4-bowl singles – S Suffling 13 C Ford 21; men’s 4-bowl singles – A Warrington 20 M Dolby 21.

Under 25 2-bowl singles – J Randall 9 S Harris 19; men’s Senior 4-bowl singles – B Warters 21 M Dolby 18; 12.30pm : J Robinson 21 S Suffling 5.

Men’s 2-bowl pairs – N Wilkie & J Randall 20 A Warrington & M Dolby 12; men’s triples – M Humphreys, J Holroyd & K Vinter 20 S Harris, C Watson & P Edwards 11.

Women’s 2-bowl pairs – J Want & D Mackie 26 H Holroyd & L Harris 5; mixed 2-bowl pairs – S Suffling & D King 8 J Martin & C Hunter 15.

Mixed triples – C Warters, B Warters & RF Martin 11 A Warrington, C Ford & M Dolby 19.

Dolby chases four titles in Fed finals at Stamford

Martyn Dolby will contest four titles at the Northants Federation finals which take place on his home green at Stamford on Sunday from 10am.

Having already reached the pairs final with Adam Warrington he will play against his partner in the four-bowl singles following a 21-10 defeat of 19-year-old Stephen Harris. He also beat Mick Linnell 21-8 to reach the Veterans Singles against clubmate Bob Warters and last night, with Warrington and Christine Ford earned a place in the mixed triples climax, accounting for Jeff Pitt’s trio.

They will play Bob and Carol Warters and Roger Martin.

Along with Warrington (singles, pairs and mixed triples), Shirley Suffling has also made three finals – two singles and the mixed pairs with Derek King against Peterborough’s Joe Martin and Carol Hunter.

Players and spectators are invited to bring a raffle prize towards Federation funds.

10am: Women’s 4-bowl singles – S Suffling v C Ford (rink 2); men’s 4-bowl singles – A Warrington v M Dolby (4).

12 noon: under 25 2-bowl singles – J Randall v S Harris (2); men’s Senior 4-bowl singles – B Warters v M Dolby (5); 12.30pm : J Robinson v S Suffling (6).

2.30pm: men’s 2-bowl pairs – N Wilkie & J Randall v A Warrington & M Dolby (3); men’s triples – M Humphreys, J Holroyd & K Vinter v S Harris, C Watson & P Edwards (4).

3.30pm: Women’s 2-bowl pairs – J Want & D Mackie v H Holroyd & L Harris (1); mixed 2-bowl pairs – S Suffling & D King v J Martin & C Hunter (5).

4.30pm: mixed triples – C Warters, B Warters & RF Martin v A Warrington, C Ford & M Dolby (2).

Northants triumphant in Potters’ EBF Week

Northants Federation carried off the Top Team Trophy at the EBF Potters Week at the Hopton on Sea holiday destination. Team organiser Dick Ford (Ketton) received the trophy from Greg Harlow and EBF President Paul Bennett accompanied by a couple of Potters characters.

Rinks skipped by Graham Agger and Dick Noble were the only ones to reach the quarter-finals with Noble and his wife and Mick and Margaret Linnell, losing out on a semi-final spot on a measure. Richard Monrgomery’s rink reached the last 16.

x x x

Adam Warrington and Martyn Dolby will contest the final of the Federation two-bowl pairs after defeating clubmates Bob Warters and Roger Martin.

With a string of two-counts they raced into a 13-3 lead and although their opponents recovered to 11-17 and held three shots to force a 21st end, Dolby found yet another key bowl to put the result beyond doubt at 17-12.

Warrington is already in the 4-bowl singles final after defeating Howard Shipp 21-16.

In the two-bowl triples Mick Humphreys. John Holroyd and Kevin Vinter overcame the City trio of Joe Martin, Terry Corney and Jeff Pitt with an 18-11 win to reach the finals which are to be played at Stamford on Sunday, March 19 (10am).

They will play defending champions Harris, Cliff Watson and Edwards, who beat Shipp, Wilkie and Randall 16-12.

Also through in the mixed pairs are Shirley Suffling and Derek King who beat former winners Joan Robinson and Nick Wilkie 19-17, claiming a handy three-count on the 18th end to put the result almost beyond reach. They will play Joe Martin and Carol Hunter (Peterborough) who beat Stephen and Louise Harris 16-10.

It was not all gloom for Robinson, however, who beat Christine Ford to reach her second successive Senior singles final. Later in the day Stephen Harris beat City youngster Josh Clarke 21-12 in his bid to retain the Under 25 singles. He will meet Joe Randall.

The final of the Federation women’s pairs will be an all-Stamford affair after Carol Hunter and Jenny Harvey (Peterborough) conceded their semi-final to Jan Want and Denise Mackie.

The Morton-based neighbours, will play Helen Holroyd and Louise Harris, who beat Moira Holroyd and Glenys Edwards in the other semi-final.

X. X. X


Obituary: John Dickenson

Very sad to report John Dickenson died on Friday, March 3, 2017 after a long battle against cancer.

Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with Mary and his son Gareth and family.

John gave great service over many years to bowls. As well as English Bowling Federation National President 1997, he was National Chairman from 1997 to 2013, he was Northants County President 1988 – 89. John also held several other county offices, the last being Treasurer.

John was secretary of South Ward Bowls Club for many years until it folded 2012 on its centenary anniversary.

A fine player He won the E.B.F. National Pairs in 1978 partnering David Broadhurst, winning several singles titles, too.

He had his first federation county games with North Cambs then played for Northants Federation’s Adams team which he also captained as well as the Newton team.

At club level he began with Whittlesey Manor before joining Peterborough & District having success with them in Northamptonshire EBA. He joined South Ward securing considerable success in various national, county and league competitions.


Mary can be contacted at 85, Finchfield, Parnwell, Peterborough, PE1 4YQ

Malcolm Squires

Derbyshire Trophy hopes dashed by Norfolk

Northants’ hopes of reaching the final of the inter-county Derbyshire Trophy final at Newark in April were dashed when they were beaten by a youthful Norfolk Federation at Stamford.

Needing to win at least three of the four two-bowl triples rinks by an overall margin of 26 shots to prevent Hunts from taking the southern qualifying section, Northants lost the match 87-80 picking up only four points from two winning rinks.

Norfolk had a chance to qualify themselves if they could take maximum points but rinks skipped by Roger Martin and Tris Morton put paid to that!

Northants held a tidy lead overall in the early stages as Norfolk got used to the pace of the Stamford surface but by 20 ends, with only five to play, it was clear Northants – trailing by 11-23 alone on Simon Law’s rink – were not going to be able to salvage the points or shots they needed.

As expected there were fireworks in the match between Morton and Sam King – son of former world champion Mervyn. Both sent shudders through the foundations with heavy artillery to kill heads against them but in the end it was the accuracy of the respective drawing and converting of Howard Shipp and Joe Randall which carried the day in a 25-20 win for Morton.

Elsewhere Bob Warters, Neil Wright and Roger Martin always had the edge on their rink after leading 9-0 after six ends and eventually romped home 26-17. Sandwiched between Adam Warrington and Martyn Dolby, and with one eye on events going against them, Northants captain James Harford had to concede a 17-18 defeat.

Result (Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy. Northants 80 (4) Norfolk 87 (10). B Warters, N Wright, R Martin won 26-17; H Shipp, J Randall, T Morton won 25-20; P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law lost 12-32; A Warrington, J Harford, M Dolby lost 17-18

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