Dolby cops four titles at Fed finals

Martyn Dolby was in celebratory mood five times over at the weekend after winning four Northants Federation titles just hours after celebrating his 70th birthday on St Patrick’s Day .

The former policeman was a law unto himself on the Peterborough IBC surface and was determined that no one was going to nick any of the quartet of titles -including both singles – for which he had qualified.

In the four-bowl singles he successfully defended his championship against Blackstones clubmate Adam Warrington 21-7 and in the veteran singles regained the trophy he lost last year, with a 21-15 defeat of evergreen Joe Martin.

Dolby also joined up with Christine Ford (Ketton) and Warrington to win the mixed triples against Jenny Harvey, Carol Hunter and Mick Linnell 19-17 and with Ford to claim the mixed pairs 22-6 against Josh Clark and Julie Masters.

Mick Humphreys and Roger Martin (City of Peterborough) who will be joining Blackstones next season accounted for Stephen Harris (Blackstones) and Peter Edwards (Ketton) in the pairs 20-14, with Humphreys also teaming up with Chris Ballard and John Holroyd to take the triples in an 18-16 thriller over Paul Dalliday, James Harford and Simon Law (Parkway).

Harris completed a clean sweep of Stamford-based indoor bowlers with a 21-3 defeat of Clark.

‘Queen’ Elizabeth Wallace, one of the most improved players on the local circuit, crowned a great day for Ketton bowlers, landing both women’s singles – over Joan Robinson (22-20) in the seniors and Helen Holroyd (Stamford Town) 21-16.

Wallace’s clubmate Glenys Edwards combined with Stamford Town’s Holroyd to claim the pairs beating home favourite Harvey and Margaret Linnell 19-15.

It took a dramatic measure to decide the women’s triples in favour of Katie Bailey, Louise Harris and Helen Holroyd over Jan Want, Shirley Suffling and Christine Ford. BW

Stamford players dominate Fed finals

Federation bowlers who play in the Stamford and District outdoor league have a chance to make a clean-sweep at the Northants Federation Finals which take place at Peterborough IBC at Burton Street on Sunday (March 18).
They compete in all 11 men’s, women’s and mixed finals, with Martyn Dolby, due to celebrate his 70th birthday the day before, facing the major workload appearing in four finals – one fewer than two years ago when he competed in five.
He will be defending the two-bowl mixed triples with Adam Warrington and Christine Ford and the men’s four-bowl singles against Warrington. He plays Joe Martin in the senior singles and teams up with Ford in the mixed pairs against Josh Clark and Julie Masters.
Ford also plays three times as does Stamford IBC club colleague Helen Holroyd.
Sunday’s schedule is:
10am: Mixed pairs: J Clark & J Masters v C Ford & M Dolby
Ladies’ pairs: G Edwards & M Holroyd v M Linnell & J Harvey
Ladies’ senior singles: J Robinson v E Wallace.

Noon: Men’s pairs: M Humphreys & Roger Martin v
S Harris & P Edwards
Men’s veterans’ singles: M Dolby v J Martin

2pm: U-25 singles: J Clark v S Harris
Ladies’ four-bowl singles: E Wallace v H Holroyd.
Men’s triples: P Dalliday, J Harford & S Law v
M Humphreys, K Vinter & J Holroyd.

Mixed triples: J Harvey, C Hunter & M Linnell v A Warrington, C Ford, M Dolby.

4.30pm: Ladies’ triples: C Ford, S Suffling & J Want v
K Bailey, L Harris, H Holroyd
Men’s four-bowl singles: M Dolby v A Warrington.

Malcolm Squires’ tribute to B team players

Northants B Derbyshire Trophy captain Malcolm Squires has expressed his thanks to all those who competed in the fixtures over the winter season.

He says: “Although we only won one game, we came close in two others, using the squad system of only 14 players plus myself as emergency reserve. It gave me chance to look at various rink options for next season.

“Thanks also to those who took turns standing out of games to give everyone the opportunity to play. The voucher given to Norma and myself, organised by Les Sharp, was greatly appreciated.”

Malcolm also paid tribute to his wife Norma, County President Tony Mace for his support and to Melvyn Beck and Bob Warters for their press reports. In addition, Martin Bunning (Peterborough IBC Newsletter).

Peterborough Indoor Bowls Club, where the team will again play it’s home games next season, Sam Hunter and Tony Barclay were thanked.

“Good luck to all those in county finals and we hope to see you at Newark for the national finals. Have a great outdoor season. I will select next year’s squad next September/October time after consultation with A team captain James Harford,” he added.

Northants hopes of Derbyshire glory dashed

Dwindling hopes that the Northants A team could lock down a place in the Derbyshire Trophy Federation inter-county Championship finals were dashed on Sunday by Norfolk at Gallow IBC in Fakenham.

The home side were relentless on two of the four rinks, quickly putting any hopes Northants had beyond reach as they went on to win 129-64 claiming 12 of the 14 points at stake.

Only the rink of Brian Martin, Richard Allam (making a county re-call) and Roger Martin salvaged some pride with a 25-21 win in the two-bowl triples format after trailing 6-13 and then 20-21 with two ends to go.

James Harford, partnered by Neil Wright and the evergreen Jeff Newson led 19-17 at 19 ends but conceded seven in five ends.

Conceding 23 shots in 10 ends put paid to Simon Law’s hopes while despite switching to lead to good effect at the midway point Martyn Dolby’s trio were unable to prevent a rampant Sam King trio scoring a 32-shot victory.

Norfolk entertain league leaders Lincolnshire on Sunday needing maximum points to qualify for the finals at Newark.

Results (Stamford names only):

Derbyshire Trophy : Norfolk 129 (12 pts) Northants A (2). B Martin, R Allam, R Martin won 25-21; P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law lost 10-41; N Wright, J Newson, J Harford lost 20-25; H Shipp, B Warters, M Dolby lost 9-41. BW

Double trophy defeat for Northants teams

Lincolnshire have opened up an 11 point gap at the top of the Derbyshire Trophy Southern section after defeating Northants A 99-74, claiming 12 of the 14 points at stake at Lincoln IBC.

There was similar disappointment for Northants’ B team away to Huntingdon, where they landed only one winning rink in a 63-91 defeat, completing their first season of fixtures in the event.

For Northants A, who drafted in Trevor Collins and Tris Morton to join Brian Martin, it was always going to be the crucial fixture and for long periods this rink looked like being pivotal, especially when they picked up five shots to lead 18-13 with eight ends to go, then three more to lead 21-18 with three to play.

But conceding six on the last three ends without reply left them pointless.

Elsewhere, after dropping six on the first two ends then a string of 12 without reply, it was always a struggle for Roger Martin’s rink and it was a similar story for Simon Law who went 6-14 behind and finally lost 24-16.

The only bright spot was the rink of Bob Warters, captain James Harford and skip Martyn Dolby who inflicted a rare defeat on George Draper overcoming an early 4-10 deficit to run out 22-15 victors.

At Huntingdon, Northants B were in touch for long periods but as in previous matches they lacked the staying power and momentum to force the issue in the closing stages, illustrated most dramatically with the rink of Les Sharp, Mick Greaves and Pete Brown failing to score on the last 13 ends from just 7-11 behind.

Elsewhere Mick Linnell’s trio lost by nine and despite picking up six shots late on, Rod Maplethorpe’s rink went down 19-22.

A late surge by Mick Ramsden, Mick Humphreys and Jonathan Earl earned a 19-14 win.

Results (Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy (at Lincoln): Lincolnshire 99 (12 pts) Northants A 74 (2). B Martin, T Collins, T Morton lost 21-24; B Warters, J Harford, M Dolby won 22-15; H Shipp, N Wright, R Martin lost 15-36; P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law lost 16-24.

Derbyshire Trophy (at Huntingdon): Hunts 91 (12 pts), Northants B 63 (2). B Bassam, G Agger, M Linnell lost 16-25; L Sharp, M Greaves, P Brown lost 9-30; S Roden, D Noble, R Maplethorpe lost 19-22; M Ramsden, M Humphreys, J Earl won 19-14.

FOOTNOTE: Northants A complete their fixtures with a visit to Gallow IBC on Sunday (10am start) to play Norfolk, ideally needing maximum points to overtake Lincs who travel to Fakenham the following week.

With Trevor Collins unavailable and Stephen Harris and Adam Warrington committed elsewhere, captain James Harford has drafted in veteran Jeff Newson to make his 2018 debut.

Northants A from: J Harford, S Law M Dolby, Roger Martin, T Morton, B Warters, J Newson, N Wright, P Dalliday,H Shipp,P Afford,Brian Martin.

Northants teams & Race Night

Both Northants Federation inter-county Derbyshire Trophy teams will be in action on Sunday, February 18 as their respective indoor seasons draw to a close.

James Harford’s title-chasing Northants A side visit Lincoln IBC to play Lincolnshire Federation in a fixture which could decide who represents the southern section at Newark in April, while Northants B, captained by Malcolm Squires, visit Hunts at Huntingdon IBC.

Both 25-end matches start at 10 am.

Harford, is still finalising his side but will himself be playing, while those unavailable, following the 14-point defeat of North Cambs at Stamford include Tony Scarr and Mike Robertson, who will be preparing to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.

Squires, however has named his side as: M. Ramsden, M. Humphreys, J. Earl; L. Sharp, M. Greaves, P. Brown; B. Bassam, G. Agger, M. Linnell; S. Roden, D. Noble, R. Maplethorpe. Reserves: M Squires, C Watson. Advise captain of any extra meals by Feb 11.

Northants A complete their fixtures at Fakenham (Gallow IBC) against Norfolk on February 25.


Whittlesey Manor Bowls Club will be hosting a fund-raising Race Night on behalf of the Northants Men’s and Women’s Bowling Federations on Friday, April 13 (first race 7.30pm).

Tickets for the event, held in conjunction with the host club, cost £8 and includes a fish and chip supper (chicken can be ordered as an alternative). Tickets can be obtained through NBF management committee members or by applying via email to

Alan Croxford has died (aged 82); funeral February 19

Sad to report that former president of the Northants Bowling Federation, Alan Croxford, has died, aged 82.

He died at Papworth Hospital following emergency double by pass heart surgery.

Alan was a dedicated member of the Federation for many years and had recently retired from his role as county delegate to the EBF. He was also a highly respected umpire.

The funeral will be held at St John’s Church,Stanground on Monday,February 19 at 1pm.

FOOTNOTE: The Federation also reports the recent passing of former North Cambs Federation stalwart Mick Hartop after a short illness.

Northants A team extend Derbyshire Trophy lead

Northants Federation A team stretched their lead at the top of the southern section of the Derbyshire Trophy indoor inter-county championship with a comprehensive defeat of North Cambs at Stamford IBC.

They took a maximum 14 points – winning all four 2-bowl triples rinks – for an overall 137-56 scoreline on a surface far more familiar to the home side, all but three of whom play their winter bowls at the Stamford club.

Top scorers were the rink of Brian Martin, Bob Warters and Tony Scarr who included a maximum six count in their 43-10 win. Law also recorded a game-changing six-count in a good comeback win with Paul Dalliday and Phil Afford.

Northants A complete their fixtures with visits to Lincs and Norfolk on February 18 and 25 respectively.

Result (Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy: Northants A 137 (14 pts) North Cambs 56 (0). S Harris, J Harford, M Dolby won 29-15; H Shipp, N Wright, Roger Martin won 30-11; Brian Martin, B Warters, T Scarr won 43-10; P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law won 35-20.

‘A’ team look to strength Derbyshire Trophy lead

Northants Bowling Federation’s indoor A team will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the Derbyshire (inter county) Trophy Southern Section when they host North Cambs at Stamford on Sunday January 21 (10am).

Captain James Harford has included himself to replace unavailable Adam Warrington in a slightly re-shuffled team to that which took all 12 points from Hunts in the previous round and secured a strong position in the top of the league chase with Norfolk and Lincs to reach the national finals in April.

He will link Stephen Harris and Martyn Dolby, while Bob Warters switches to join Brian Martin and Tony Scarr.

Team: P Dalliday, P Afford S Law; H Shipp, N Wright, R Martin; B Martin, B Warters, T Scarr; S Harris, J Harford, M Dolby.

Northants B earn first county win

Northants’ second string, in their Derbyshire Trophy debut season, cruised into second place in the Southern section with 128-69 defeat of North Cambs at Wisbech IBC.

It was their first win in the competition after three defeats but not unexpected against a North Cambs side whose access to players is limited, while Northants B can dip into multi talents at Peterborough and Stamford.

And it was a combination of these two clubs – Les Sharp and Mick Greaves (Peterborough) and skip Jonathan Earl (Stamford) who carried off the individual honours with a 46-9 in unfamiliar conditions.

Northants B now just have to play Hunts (Huntingdon, Feb 18) to complete their fixtures while unbeaten Northants A are still due to face North Cambs (January 21at Stamford), Lincoln (Feb 18 at Lincoln) and Norfolk (February 25 at Gallow, Fakenham) in their bid to reach the national finals.

Result (Northants names only)

Derbyshire Trophy (at Wisbech): North Cambs 69 (2pts) Northants B (12). M Ramsden, M Humphreys, J Holroyd won 31-13; L Sharp, M Greaves, J Earl won 46-9; S Roden, G Agger, M Linnelll won 34-19; C Watson, D Noble, P Brown lost 17-28.

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