Northants A top Derbyshire Trophy table

Northants B players and officials ahead of their match against Lincs at Peterborough IBC.

CLAIMING 25 points from a possible 28 from their first two matches, Northants A have taken an early lead at the top of the southern section of the English Bowling Federation’s inter-county Derbyshire Trophy.

Having already beaten their county rivals Northants B by three shots, picking up 11 points, James Harford’s team added the scalp of neighbours Hunts at Stamford, taking all 14 points – winning on all four two-bowl triples rinks and claiming the overall points by 30 shots.

But it was no easy ride as Hunts quickly adapted to the unfamiliar carpet and led by six shots after 10 ends and by two after 15 ends before Northants began to assert their authority.

While the rink of Brian Martin, Neil Wright and Roger Martin (drafted in at the 11th hour) took command over Lindsey Swannell’s trio after dropping a maximum six shots on the second end, a run of 11 shots in four ends put Tony Scarr’s rink 19-15 ahead from which they never relented.

Elsewhere Stephen Harris, Bob Warters and Martyn Dolby were getting little change out of Richard Stevens trio in which Neil Swannell was outstanding in spearheading a 14-5 lead. Then, as the Federation Rules allow, Northants shuffled their positions at halfway to allow Dolby and Harris up front, to conjure an advantage and eventually they added a run of 15 shots in the last six ends.

It was left to Paul Dalliday, Phil Afford and Simon Law to mop up the maximum points against Tom Swannell’s trio. With the scores level after 24 see-saw ends and the match lie against him, Law fashioned a slightly fortuitous deflection to pinch the shot from which Swannell was unable to respond.

Results ( Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy: Northants Federation A 105 (14 pts) Hunts 85 (0). P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law won 25-24; S Harris, B Warters, M Dolby won 29-21; H Shipp, A Warrington, T Scarr won 25-23; B Martin, N Wright, R Martin won 26-17.


Playing simultaneously at Peterborough IBC, the Northants B side came up against a Lincolnshire squad that included former world singles champion Billy Jackson.

They battled hard but the slick carpet also suited the visitors, most of whom are equally familiar with similar conditions at Lincoln & District IBC.

Mick Humphreys, Jonathan Earl and John Holroyd put up the most stubborn resistance in a 22-25 defeat, claiming seven shots in the last three ends.

The new combination of Steve Roden, Graham Agger and Mick Linnell led 16-15 at 19 ends but finally lost by five to Trevor Bannister’s rink who picked up eight shots late on.

Peter Brown’s trio lost 11-34 to Jackson who gave a masterclass in draw and conversion shots while Rod Maplethorpe’s rink lost early momentum and went down by 13 shots in a closing barrage.

Results (Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy: Northants B 75 (0) Lincs 119 (14). S Roden, G Agger, M Linnell lost 18-23; B Bassam, M Greaves, R Maplethorpe lost 24-27; M Humphreys, J Earl, J Holroyd lost 22-25; C Watson, D Noble, P Brown lost 11-34. BW

Harford names team for Northants A v Hunts

Northants A Derbyshire Trophy captain James Harford is still awaiting a fitness report on Parkway’s Tristan Morton ahead of Sunday’s fixture against Hunts at Stamford (10am).

England international Morton – ironically a Huntingdon IBC member – was hurt during a charity football match recently, injuring knee ligaments but is determined to take the opportunity to face his clubmates in a match which is vital for both counties.

Says Harford: “It’s good to have a good, solid squad which are all challenging for spots. If we are going to win the Derbyshire Trophy you need at least 14 good team players and I feel we have that this year.

“Mike Robertson would have played but was has been called up to the disabled Commonwealth Games squad who have a practice day this Sunday.

The team against Hunts will be: P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law; H Shipp, A Warrington, T Scarr; B Martin, N Wright, T Morton; S Harris, B Warters, M Dolby.

Northants B, narrowly defeated by Norfolk at the weekend, are due to face Lincolnshire at Peterborough on Sunday, December 3 (10am).

Captain Malcolm Squires has re-shuffled his side as follows:
B. Bassam, M. Greaves, R. Maplethorpe; S. Roden, G. Agger, M. Linnell; C. Watson, D. Noble, P. Brown; M. Humphreys, J. Earl, J. Holroyd. Reserves M. Squires, L. Sharp, M. Ramsden.

Plucky Northants B undone by late Norfolk rally

Northants Federation fully justified its decision to include a second team in the Derbyshire Trophy by taking four points from a maximum 14 against Norfolk at Peterborough.

Despite a frustrating 10-shot defeat (85-95), Northants B proved the county has more than sufficient ability at its disposal to play a key role in which among the six teams contesting the southern section will progress to the national finals at Newark in April.

Northants B had narrowly lost their opening fixture against Northants A but the rink of Mike Ramsden, Mick Humphreys and John Holroyd retained their unbeaten record with a 21-20 win – a four count on the 16th of the 25 ends proving the turning point.

Cliff Watson, Dick Noble and Peter Brown were held to a draw in their previous match but we’re in determined mood against Norfolk surging into a 13-4 lead then adding seven more shots in three ends to run out 27-14 winners.

Unfortunately, despite Northants holding a one shot lead overall with five ends to play, they were unable to halt a late Norfolk rally.

Steve Roden, Jon Earl and Graham Agger conceded eight shots in the last six ends in an 18-28 defeat with Les Sharp, Mick Linnell and Rod Maplethorpe dropping nine in the last four ends.

On Sunday,December 3, Northants B entertain Lincolnshire at Peterborough while Northants A host Hunts at Stamford. Both matches start at 10am.

Results (Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy (at Peterborough). Northants B 85 (4pts) Norfolk 95 (10). M Ramsden, M Humphreys, J Holroyd won 21-20; S Roden, J Earl, G Agger lost 19-23; L Sharp, M Linnell, R Maplethorpe lost 18-28; C Watson, D Noble, P Brown won 27-14.
Scoreline: 17-21 (5 ends), 36-37 (10), 51-59 (15), 74-73 (20), 85-95 (25).

Jessica Phillips is new county president

Rita Mace hands over the chain of office to Jessica Phillips

Jessica Phillips is the new president of the Northants Women’s Bowling Federation. The City of Peterborough bowler was elected at the annual meeting and succeeds Rita Mace from Whittlesey Manor.

A retired Northborough resident with two children and five grandchildren, Jessica has a busy lifestyle in which she also helps run the village community centre where she is treasurer and is a volunteer with the Glinton Friendship Club which provides meals for local pensioners once a week.

Born in London, she moved to the Peterborough area in 1974 with her late husband Tony who worked for Molins, where she was also an accounts clerk.

Jessica is looking forward to her year of office, which will include representing the county at the EWBF indoor championship at Newark (April 23-29) and outdoor finals at Skegness (August 18-25). Annual presentations will be at Orton Hall in September 23.

Another appointment was that of Valerie Du’Kett (Ketton) as competition secretary, succeeding Janet Duffy who has held the post for 25 years. Another Ketton bowler – Shirley Suffling was elected to the committee.

NWBF secretary Liz Barr advised the meeting it would also be her final year in the post but hopefully someone would come forward to take over the duties in the future.

A proposal by City of Peterborough BC that only the captains of the Donald Stewart and Silver Vase should select the teams was defeated in favour of the status quo when a selection committee of seven would continue to share responsibility selecting each squad with captains picking respective teams.

Officers elected: President Jessica Phillips; secretary Liz Barr; treasurer Christine Ford; competition secretary Valerie Du’Kett; match secretary Norma Squires; captains Joan Robinson (Donald Steward), Ann Cooper (Silver Vase); committee Doris Flowers, Shirley Suffling.

2018 county fixtures: May 30 ( home to Hunts), June 19 (away to North Essex), June 25 (away to Norfolk), July 4 ( away to North Cambs – Donald Steward only), July 11 (home to Suffolk).

Northants B side announced to host Norfolk

Northants B has selected its side to play Norfolk at Peterborough Indoor Bowls Club on Sunday, November 19 at 10am having only just lost to Northants A by a handful of shots in their last fixture.

The team is: Cliff Watson, Dick Noble, PeterBrown; Steve Roden, Jon Earl, Graham Agger; Mike Ramsden, Mick Humphreys, John Holroyd; Les Sharp, Mick Linnell, Rod Maplethorpe. Reserves: Malcolm Squires, Brian Bassam, Mick Greaves.

Northants A are to play Hunts at Stamford on December 2, while Northants B entertain Lincs at Peterborough.

Derbyshire Trophy: Northants A beat B by two shots

Northants A and B players pictured before the game at Peterborough

WHEN THE dust settled after Northants Federation’s first ever Derbyshire Trophy match between its A and B teams, it was James Harford’s A side which won by just two shots, claiming 11 of the 14 points available.

Having met each other in the opening fixture at Peterborough, as the competition rules dictate, they now each go forward to take on North Cambs, Norfolk, Hunts and Lincs in a bid to reach the national finals in April.

And it was Harford’s rink, with Stephen Harris at lead and Martyn Dolby at skip in the two-bowl triples format, that proved decisive.

They picked up six vital shots in the last three ends to secure a 32-19 win over Brian Bassam, Mick Greaves and Rod Maplethorpe and help the A team to an overall winning score of 100-98, winning two and drawing one of the four competing rinks.

Elsewhere Simon Law won 24-18 against Graham Agger and Tony Scarr’s trio conceded seven shots in the last four ends to draw with Peter Brown.

Mike Ramsden stepped in for an unavailable Jon Earl and helped Mick Humphreys and John Holroyd to collect valuable points for the B team, claiming 12 shots in the last six ends.


Derbyshire Trophy. Northants A 100 (11pts) Northants B 98 (3). ( Northants A names first). S Harris, J Harford, M Dolby beat B Bassam, M Greaves, R Maplethorpe 32-19; P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law beat L Sharp, M Linnell, G Agger 24-18; H Shipp, N Wright, R Martin lost to M Ramsden, M Humphreys, J Holroyd 17-34; B Martin, M Robertson, T Scarr drew with C Watson, D Noble, P Brown 27-27.

Northants A above.

Northants B team

Cliff Watson nominated NBF life member

Above: Cliff Watson flanked by county president Tony Mace (right) and deputy president Dick Noble.

IN RECOGNITION of his dedicated 20-year service to the county, Cliff Watson has been made a life member of the Northants Bowling Federation, writes press officer Bob Warters.

The 63-year-old who led Northants to the 2015 inter-county Adams Trophy title for the first time in its history as manager, then captained the Newton Trophy team to its first national final in half a century earlier this year, received his recognition at the annual meeting this week.

A former county singles champion, Watson first joined the committee in 1996, taking on the manager’s role of the Under 25 side in which his daughter Karen played. He played at the Phorpres and South Ward clubs before joining Whittlesey Manor in his home town and eventually Peterborough & District.

Nominated by umpire and former county president Alan Croxford, who is relinquishing his role as national delegate after many years, Watson said: “This is a surprise and a great honour. It is very much appreciated.”

Among the newly elected officials is Jonathan Earl (Blackstones) as Adams captain, succeeding Peter Brown (Whittlesey Manor). Earl’s club is hoping it can also host the Adams home matches this season for the first time – a decision on which will be made at the next executive committee.

In his report, county president Tony Mace thanked all those who had worked hard toward maintaining the county’s status administratively and competitively. Northants had not picked up any individual titles but reached a national outdoor final (mixed pairs) and won the prestigious Eversley Trophy for county executives at Newark IBC in April.

The meeting agreed to adopt tailored grey shorts (not football or cargo shorts or cropped trousers) as appropriate alternative dress for outdoor competitions from 2018 in line with other organisations. Tailored white shorts may be worn at county outdoor finals.

The county also supported North Cambs’ proposal to allow smaller counties to field only one outdoor team to participate in the Newton Trophy. National rules currently dictate one-team counties must play in the Adams event. The motion will be discussed at the EBF agm in Grantham later in the year.

Thanks chiefly to a sponsorship agreement from Forterra, the Whittlesey concrete and brick suppliers, the county reported a profit of £1,116.

Officers: President Tony Mace, deputy president Dick Noble; secretary Melvyn Back; treasurer Les Sharp; fixture secretary Graham Agger; competition and result secretary Barry Lawrence; minutes secretary Linda Toms; press officer Bob Warters; child & vulnerable adult protection representative Neil Wright; Adams captain Jon Earl; Newton captain Cliff Watson; Derbyshire Trophy A captain James Harford (Derbyshire Trophy B captain, Malcolm Squires);reporting accountant Mike Robertson; management committee (re-elected en bloc) Brian Bassam, Peter Brown, Paul Dalliday, Mick Greaves, Steve Roden , Martin Welsford, Neil Wright. Tony Kemp (Conservative Club) was elected on to the committee.

Whites’ 50th anniversary bonus

LANGTOFT PEARL bowlers Peter and Anne White finally received their Northants Federation Senior Mixed Pairs Trophy this week – after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Peter (76), a former national Veteran singles champion, and Anne (73) had landed the title in July, when they beat Shirley Suffling and Paul Buckley at Parkway in the county finals but were unable to attend the presentations.

“We met originally when we were both on holiday in the Isle of Wight, when I was a post office engineer and Anne was a lab technician living in Manchester,” Peter recalled, receiving the trophy from Northants’immediate past president Bob Warters at the annual presentations at Stamford IBC, where they are both members.

” We thought we would make a sentimental journey back there during our anniversary year but unfortunately it clashed with the county presentations. We were delighted to finally receive the trophy this week to highlight a very special year.”

Northants captains name indoor A and B squads

For the first time in the competition’s history, Northants Bowling Federation will field two teams in the national inter-county Derbyshire Trophy indoor competition.

They will meet each other, as the competition rules determine, in the opening fixture at Peterborough IBC on Sunday, October 22 (10am).

The ‘A’ team, which finished narrowly behind Lincs in the southern area group last season, is again captained by James Harford, while Malcolm Squires will look after the ‘B’ team.

Played as a two-bowl triples format, each team will field four rinks with points awarded for each winning rink and a further six points for the overall winners.

Harford is playing his cards close to his chest by initially only naming a squad of players from which his final 12 will be selected but Squires has named his team plus reserves.

Says Harford: “I have picked my players from around the county (all have to be affiliated to outdoor clubs to qualify) based on form and compatibility and I am confident we have the ability to once again challenge for a place in the national finals at Newark in April.

“The first fixture against Malcolm’s team could be our toughest test. They know the surface as well as we do so we don’t expect anything less than a really hard game but no doubt with plenty of banter.”

His squad includes Tris and Ean Morton and Mike Robertson, who won the EBA national outdoor triples for Parkway at Leamington in the summer.

But the ‘B’ team also has serious experience, chosen chiefly from those with previous knowledge of the slick Peterborough surface where they will play all their home games.

Northants A squad: James Harford (captain), Tris Morton, Simon Law, Roger Martin, Martyn Dolby, Paul Dalliday, Phil Afford, Neil Wright, Howard Shipp, Brian Martin, Tony Scarr, Bob Warters, Ean Morton, Stephen Harris, Mike Robertson, Adam Warrington.

Northants B team: Michael Humphreys, John Holroyd, John Earl;
Les Sharp, Mick Linnell, Graham Agger; Brian Bassam, Mick Greaves, Rod Maplethorpe, Cliff Watson, Dick Noble, Peter Brown. Reserves: Mike Ramsden, Steve Roden , Malcolm Squires.

Praise for county and luncheon from EBF Presidents

ENGLISH Bowling Federation president Paul Bennett and women’s president Joan Mousley were full of praise for the Northants county when he attended its annual presentation lunch at Orton Hall Hotel in Peterborough on Sunday (September 24).

“The hospitality and location are fantastic,” Bennett told the 100 guests, many of whom compete in the Peterborough and Stamford Leagues ” the next five county functions I am attending will have a lot to live up to. Any county would have been proud of the excellent show you have put on.”

County presidents Tony and Rita Mace – who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary – were equally proud of the performances of their respective men and women bowlers though for only the second time since 2012, no individuals had managed to capture a national title.

However, a team of men’s committee executives, had claimed the coveted Eversley Trophy in April and Northants, led by Dick Ford, carried off the team prize during the Federation Potters Week.

Other notable achievements included the Newton Trophy side losing narrowly in the final at Skegness and Simon Law and Chris Morton (Parkway) beaten only with the last bowl of their outdoor EBF mixed pairs final.

Blackstones bowlers from Stamford dominated the trophy haul with the club’s Adam Warrington picking up three outdoor titles – the two-bowl and champion of champions singles and the two-bowl triples with Jon Earl and Martyn Dolby – as well as the indoor mixed triples with Dolby and Ketton’s Christine Ford.

Dolby also won singles trophies on both surfaces, as did Stephen Harris in the Under 25s, with the Blackstones women claiming both the outdoor under 25 singles and two-bowl triples.

Yaxley’s Kath Browning won three outdoor trophies – two with Viv Hempsall – in the senior pairs and three-bowl triples, while Julie Masters won both two-bowl and senior singles.

Whittlesey Manor stalwart, the evergreen Martin Welsford was voted player of the year for his Adams Trophy campaign, with Cliff Watson getting the Newton Trophy award for his efforts as captain in steering the team to the final.

Retiring women’s competition secretary Janet Duffy received a gift and a bouquet for her efforts in the role over 25 years.

Said President Rita Mace: ” We owe janet a real debt of gratitude for the part she has played in the Federation over so many years. She will be such a hard act to follow.”

Older posts «