No joy for Parkway in Durham Centenary clash with White Hart

Peterborough Parkway bowlers lost their chance to contest the English Federation final of the Durham Centenary Trophy at Skegness later this month when they were beaten in the southern area final by Hunts rivals White Hart BC from Warboys 93-85 on home turf on Friday (July 31).

Still reeling from a defeat by Whittlesey Manor, the previous night in the Dan Duffy Trophy 4-rink qualifier for this event next year, Parkway fielded an equally strong side which included internationals Catherine Popple and Hannah Overton alongside current Bowls England player Tris Morton in the two-bowl triples format.

But the trio emerged as the only winning rink with a 25-24 defeat of Morton’s fellow Hunts Middleton Cup squad Barry Stevens, Tom Swannell and Ed Elmore.

Elsewhere the Hunts players came with a late rush in the gathering gloom after trailing on all but one rink for much of the game, with former world indoor singles champion Nicky Brett, his daughter Chloe and Ely schoolteacher Ian McWhinney grabbing a vital four count on the last end against Parkway captain Trevor Collins.

In a tight struggle with Mike Robertson, Simon Leader pinched a 24-22 win while Lewis Baker’s rink edged out Neil Wright, Tony Scarr and Stuart Popple by three shots in 24 ends, negating the needed to play the last, with the match out of reach.

Results (Parkway names first)

Durham Memorial Trophy: Parkway 85, White Hart (Warboys) 93. Brian Martin, Val Newson, Mike Robertson 22, Derek Rose, Richard Stevens, Simon Leader 24; Neil Wright, Tony Scarr, Stuart Popple 18 Rob Greenwood, Rob Elmore, Lewis Baker 21; Hannah Overton, Catherine Popple, Tris Morton 25, Barry Stevens, Tom Swannell, Ed Elmore 24; Fred Addy, Joe Randall, Trevor collins, 20, Chloe Brett, Ian McWhinney, Nicky Brett 24.

Dan Duffy Trophy settled with extra ends

In a pulsating final at Blackstones which demanded extra ends on all four rinks, Whittlesey Manor took revenge over Parkway for last year’s single shot defeat to claim Northants Federation Dan Duffy Trophy inter-club title.

When Parkway captain Trevor Collins’ rink picked up four shots on the final 21st end of real time, his team of four two-bowl triples, drew one shot ahead in the match for the first time and it needed a single by Martin Welsford’s Manor rink to tie the scores at 75-75.

As players gathered round to start the one end shoot-out, Whittlesey captain Lee Welsford won the toss and gave the jack away to his opponents to enable his skips to have the last bowl should a last gasp key shot be needed. But it proved unnecessary.

Manor skip Pete Brown claimed the first two vital two shots of the play-off against Tris Morton, which Lee and his father on adjoining rinks added to with three and two counts respectively to clinched the extra ends 7-1.

It secured a place in next year’s Durham Centenary Trophy against the club champions from counties in the southern region of the English Bowling Federation.

Tonight at 6.30 pm, Parkway, the 2014 Northants county winners meet Hunts champions White Hart, Warboys in the re-arranged southern area final for a place in the national championships at Skegness on August 22.

Result (Whittlesey names first)

Dan Duffy Trophy final Whittlesey Manor 75 Parkway 75 ( Whittlesey won 7-1 after extra ends). S Roden, S Lander P Brown 19, N Wright, T Scarr, T Morton 17; P Dalliday, S Woodcock, L Welsford 15, B Martin, V Newson, S Law 23; R Stevens, T Mace, M Welsford 23 H Shipp, R Keating, M Robertson 12; G Jinks, F Richardson, B Lawrence 18, F Addy, J Randall, T Collins 23.

Team groups and action below:

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Controversial Aero Trifecta bowls cleared by EIBA

Controversial multi-coloured bowls, which have caused concern at several clubs, including Stamford and Peterborough IBCs, because ‘the flicker effect caused by their dark and light colours could induce a seizure in photosensitive people playing or watching’, have been cleared by the English Indoor Bowling Association Ltd, the governing body of the indoor sport .

Following several enquiries and some complaints from affiliated clubs, bowlers and officials, regarding the Aero Trifecta range and the potential health risks, the EIBA engaged two leading experts in the field of photosensitivity – Graham Harding professor of clinical neurophysiology and Dr Mark Hodgetts, principle scientist at Cambridge Research Systems Ltd – to investigate the effects from two physical tests and review TV footage.

Tests, in conjunction with Aero representatives, indicated that there is ‘little risk’ Trifecta bowls, which come in a range of colours including red/orange/pink, half blue/half yellow, red/lightblue/yellow and black/white/mint, could induce a seizure in photosensitive persons, although the flicker effect could lead to spectators or bowlers on or adjacent to the rink, experiencing visual discomfort.

Commented Peter Thompson, chief executive of the EIBA: “Based on the findings, the EIBA are content that Aero Trifecta Bowls can be used in indoor bowls clubs. In addition Aero Bowls, based on these independent reports, have tailored the Trifecta range available within the UK.”

Pictured below: One of the Aero Trifecta models (centre) cleared by the EIBA

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Re-scheduled: New date set for Parkway Durham Trophy showdown

After rain postponed the original match, bowlers from the Parkway Club in Peterborough, willbid to reach the English Bowling Federation championships next Friday, July 31 (6.30pm), when they host local Hunts rivals from the White Hart BC at Warboys in the Southern Area final of the Durham Centenary Trophy.

The city players slipped at the final hurdle last year but are determined to ensure they make it this time to the finals to represent the Northants Bowling Federation against a team, many of whom play alongside them for Hunts under a different code.

Having received a bye in the first round, Parkway beat Sudbury from North Essex 106-66 in the four-rink, three-bowl triples format, while Warboys accounted for the holders Cleethorpes, then Wrentham (Suffolk) by just two shots.

The Hunts team is likely to include World Indoor Singles No.1 Nicky Brett, former international Simon Leader and talented brothers Ed and Rob Elmore, while Parkway will feature current England international Tristan Morton.

Parkway team: Fred Addy, Joe Randall, Trevor Collins (skip); Brian Martin, James Harford, Mike Robertson; Stuart Reynolds, Pat Reynolds, Tris Morton; Neil Wright, Tony Scarr, Ean Morton.

FOOTNOTE: Parkway play Whittlesey Manor in the final of this year’s Dan Duffy competition tomorow (July 30) at Blackstones (6.30pm).

The Whittlesey team is expected to be:

S. Roden, S. Lander, P. Brown
P. Dalliday, S. Woodcock, L. Welsford
R. Stevens, T. Mace, M. Welsford
G. Jinks, F. Richardson, B. Lawrence

The Parkway team is:
F Addy, J Randall, T Collins
H Shipp,R Keating, M Robertson
N Wright, T Scarr, T Morton
B Martin, V Newson, S Law

Four titles for Sarah in magnificent county finals day at Ketton

Over 250 bowlers turned out at Ketton to support the Northants Federation championships staged at the Rutland club for the first time in its 41-year history.

Packed around the perimeters, they were treated to a feast of good bowling on a surface that had been more than a year in the preparation and many competitors praised for its quality, speed and smoothness.

The slick green and warm sunshine suited the players who were able to show all their skills to win one of 22 county titles up for grabs on the day and a place in the national championships at Skegness next month.

Thirty-eight year old Sarah Newson (Parkway), a civilian team leader with the police service in Peterborough, proved the most successful player, winning four out of the five finals she contested.

Twice against the luckless Peterborough Conservatives rink of Liz Hext, Pat Bussey and Sheila Craig, she claimed the two and three bowl triples, with Helen Crow and Pat Reynolds – they are already defending national champions in the three bowl discipline – the two-bowl singles and the ladies pairs with her mother Valerie.

Her only defeat came in the ladies four bowl singles where a determined Sue Moir, representing Langtoft Pearl, won a fiercely contested battle 21-18.

Sue was one of three Langtoft winners to qualify for the finals after husband and wife duo Malcolm and Ann Cullingworth accounted for Blackstones’ Jane Needham and Martyn Dolby 24-9, drawing with unerring accuracy on an end rink in the Mixed Senior pairs.

The club’s Anne White also went through in the Ladies champion of champions singles after the experienced Linda Darani (City of Peterborough) had to withdraw from two events because of ill health. Liz Ritchie (Empingham) also qualified at her expense in the Secretaries Cup.

Blackstones’ Stephen Harris featured in three finals but qualified in only one. He beat Jack Corney (Peterborough and District) 21-13 to retain the Under 25 singles then gave away more that 60 years in age to the wily 79 year old Joe Martin (P& D) in the four bowl singles. Joe won 21-16 in one of the day’s real surprises. Stephen’s other defeat came while partnering Darren Middleton in the Under 25 Open pairs at the hands of Corney and James Harford (Parkway).

Harford also won the two-bowl triples with Stuart Reynolds and Joe Randall, substituting for Mike Robertson, against a Yaxley rink, one of whom – Tony Belson – had earlier won the pairs with Robert Heath.

Adam Warrington (Blackstones) – a former double national champion in the two bowl singles and triples disciplines, won both his finals. He never allowed Graham Agger the opportunity to stamp his authority in the champion of champions singles, which he has won three times in the past at county level. Adam then linked up with Martyn Dolby and Jonathan Earl to win the three-bowl triples against Roger Martin’s City of Peterborough trio.

The Stamford three who won the national two bowl triples two years ago, will take some beating when they compete at Skegness if they can repeat this form.

The host club Ketton will have two representatives in the national finals, just reward for their efforts in staging the county finals.

Shirley Suffling joined Blackstones players Nick Wilkie and Paul Buckley to take the mixed triples 22-18 with a gallant fightback against Simon Law’s rink and Bob Warters lifted the trophy his late parents presented in 1974, beating clubmate Peter Edwards 21-13 in the Over 65 singles.

Bob who is also serving a two year term as President of the Northants Bowling Federation commented: ” The green was immaculate for which we thank Mark Hammond for his endeavours on the club’s behalf and the members of Ketton Bowls Club for their support and help in staging the event. Thanks also to Barry Lawrence and Janet Duffy as respective competition secretaries for the work they do in the background, the umpires and markers and to all those who helped to put on a magnificent finals day.

“We are confident the winners will represent Northants proudly in the Skegness championships and perform to their best to bring back national titles.”

Results

Ladies 2-bowl singles: Sarah Newson (Parkway) bt Sheila Craig (Conservative) 21-10; Ladies Senior Singles: Fiona Richardson (City of Peterborough) bt Joan Robinson (Yaxley) 21-14; Men’s Secretary’s singles: Melvyn Beck (WM) bt Andrew Grief (Crowland) 21-15 Ladies Champion of Champions: Linda Darani (City of Peterborough) conceded to Anne White (Langtoft Pearl); Men’s U-25 Singles: Stephen Harris (Blackstones) bt Jack Corney (Peterborough & District) 21-13; Gavin Jinks (WM) bt Lee Welsford (WM) 21-18.

Men’s Pairs: Jeff Clipston/ MickGreaves (P & D) lost to Robert Heath/ Tony Belson (Yaxley) 13-15; Men’s 4-bowl singles: Harris (Blackstones) lost to Joe Martin (P&D) 16-21; Mixed pairs: Chris Morton/ Simon Law (Parkway) bt Malcolm & Ann Cullingworth (Langtoft Pearl) 18-16; Ladies 2-bowl pairs: Sarah & Val Newson (Parkway) bt Liz Hext & Sheila Craig (Conservative) 20-13; Men’s Senior Pairs: Roger Stevens/ Tony Mace (WM) bt Nolan Catterwell/Martin Fletcher (Langtoft Pearl) 18-14; Men’s Veteran Singles : Bob Warters (Ketton) bt Peter Edwards (Ketton) 21-13.

Ladies Secretary’s singles: Liz Ritchie (Emnpingham) bt L Darani (C of P) w/o; Ladies 4-bowl singles: Sarah Newson (Parkway) lost to Sue Moir (Langtoft Pearl) 18-21; Open U25 Pairs: Stephen Harris/Darren Middleton (Blackstones) lost to Corney (P&D)/ James Harford (Parkway) 17-19; Men’s Champion of champions: Adam Warrington (Blackstones) bt Graham Agger (Yaxley) 21-11; Ladies Senior pairs: Viv Hempsell/ Kath Browning (Yaxley) bt Dee Brinkman/ Joan Robinson (Yaxley) 16-14.

Senior mixed pairs: Jane Needham/Martyn Dolby (Blackstones) lost to Malcolm & Ann Cullingworth (Langtoft Pearl); Ladies 2-bowl triples: Liz Hext/Pat Bussey/ Sheila Craig (Conservative) lost to Helen Crow/ Sarah Newson/ Pat Reynolds (Parkway) 10-28; Men’s 2-bowl triples: Stuart Reynolds/ Joe Randall/James Harford/ Parkway) bt Peter Marchant/ Tony Belson/ Chris Wheeler (Yaxley) 25-5; Mixed 2-bowl triples: Howard Shipp/Chris Morton/Simon Law (Parkway) lost to Shirley Suffling (Ketton)/N Wilkie/ P Buckley (both Blackstones) 18-22.

Men’s 3-bowl triples: Graham Jackson/Mike Humphreys/ Roger Martin (C of P) lost to Adam. Warrington/ Martyn Dolby/ Jonathan Earl (Blackstones) 10-21; Ladies 3-bowl triples: Liz Hext/Pat Bussey/ Sheila Craig (Conservative) lost to H Crow/ S Newson/ P Reynolds (Parkway) 16-17.

Pictures to follow.
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Yet more pictures to follow…

Timetable for Northants finals at Ketton on Sunday (July 19)

Such are the penalties of success, Peterborough Parkway’s Sarah Newson faces a gruelling 10-hour bowling shift at Ketton on Sunday having reached five finals in the Northants Men’s and Women’s Federation championships.

She kicks off at 10am with a two-bowl singles against Sheila Craig, follows it in the pairs with mum Val, then takes on Langtoft’s Sue Moir in the 4-bowl singles. At 4pm and 6pm she is back on the rink with Helen Crow and Pat Reynolds in the two and three-bowl triples respectively against Peterborough Conservatives’ Craig, Liz Hext and Pat Bussey. In the latter the Parkway trio are the defending national champions.

Eighteen-year-old Stephen Harris (Blackstones) will also have another busy day having qualified in the three events. He is in the Under 25 singles against Jack Corney (Peterborough & Diostrict), the 4-bowl singles finals against City veteran Joe Martin (conceding no shots but at least 50 years!) and the Open Under 25 pairs with Blackstones clubmate Darren Middleton.

Several players will be making two appearances including Langtoft Pearl’s husband and wife combination Malcolm and Ann Cullingworth playing in both the mixed pairs events and Adam Warrington featuring in the three-bowl triples (with Jonathan Earl and Martyn Dolby) and the champion of champions (against Yaxley’s Graham Agger). Dolby also partners Jane Needham in the Senior Mixed pairs.

Dress for players is whites (with club shirts & stickers). Refreshments and bar available all day and raffle prizes will be greatly appreciated.
Umpires are Alan Croxford and Les Sharp.

SCHEDULE

10am: Ladies 2-bowl singles: S Newson (Parkway) v S Craig (Conservative), Ladies Senior Singles: F Richardson (Whittlesey Manor) v J Robinson (Yaxley); Men’s Secretary’s singles: M Beck (WM) v A Grief (Crowland), Ladies Champion of Champions: L Darani (City of Peterborough) v A White (Langtoft Pearl); Men’s U-25 Singles: S Harris (Blackstones) v J Corney (Peterborough & District).

12 noon: Men’s Pairs: J Clipston/ M Greaves v R Heath, T Belson (Yaxley); Men’s 4-bowl singles: S Harris (Blackstones) v J Martin (P&D); Mixed pairs: C Morton/ S Law (Parkway) v A & M Cullingworth (Langtoft Pearl); Ladies pairs: S & V Newson (Parkway) v L Hext & S Craig (Conservative); Men’s Senior Pairs: R Stevens/ T Mace (WM)v N Catterwell/M Fletcher (Langtoft Pearl); Men’s Veteran Singles : B Warters (Ketton) v P Edwards (Ketton).

2pm: Ladies Secretary’s singles: L Ritchie (Emnpingham) v L Darani (C of P); Men’s 2-bowl singles : L Welsford (WM) v G Jinks (WM); Ladies 4-bowl singles: S Newson (Parkway) v S Moir (Langtoft Pearl); Open U25 Pairs: S Harris/D Middleton (Blackstones) v J Corney (P&D)/ J Harford (Parkway); Men’s Champion of champions: A Warrington (Blackstones) v G Agger (Yaxley); Ladies Senior pairs: V Hempsall/ K Browning (Yaxley) v D Brinkman/ J Robinson (Yaxley).

4pm: Senior mixed pairs: J Needham/M Dolby (Blackstones) v A and M Cullingworth (Langtoft Pearl); Ladies 2-bowl triples: L Hext/P Bussey/ S Craig (Conservative) v H Crow/ S Newson/ P Reynolds (Parkway); Men’s 2-bowl triples: S Reynolds/ J Harford/ M Robertson (Parkway) v P Marchant/ T Belson/ C Wheeler (Yaxley); Mixed 2-bowl triples: H Shipp/C Morton/ S Law (Parkway) v S Suffling (Ketton)/N Wilkie/ P Buckley (Blackstones).
6pm: Men’s 3-bowl triples: G Jackson/M Humphreys/ R Martin (C of P) v A Warrington/ M Dolby/ J Earl (Blackstones); Ladies 3-bowl triples: L Hext/P Bussey/ S Craig (Conservative) v H Crow/ S Newson/ P Reynolds (Parkway).

Pictured below: Sarah Newson (right) with Helen Crow (left) and Pat Reynolds celebrating their national three-bowl triples win at Skegness last year.

NF3Wcelebrate

Finalists at last! Northants through to Skegness

Northants Bowling Federation bowlers have reached the premier Adams Trophy final of the National inter-county championship for the first time in more than half a century.

They won their final southern group match against local rivals Huntingdonshire by 51 shots to claim 20 points, more than enough to overtake Norfolk and win a place in the final against probably Northumberland at Skegness on August 23 (2pm).

Not since 1959 have Northants reached the final and before that 1929 – and they have never won the coveted title.

But judging by their performances in winning five of their six matches, the county is confident of bringing the handsome trophy home next month.

Such is their strength in depth, Northants captain Cliff Watson was able to draft in a handful of squad players to take on Hunts as replacements for those unavailable for the final clash at Whittlesey Manor including three Blackstones players who chose to compete in alternative county finals in Lincolnshire under a different code.

But teenager Stephen Harris was so determined to take part in the final Federation showdown, his parents dashed him the 60 miles from Long Bennington in little over an hour, to ensure he was able to compete alongside Fred Richardson and Lee Welsford where they claimed the top rink prize with a 37-17 win.

Northants were never in trouble against Hunts, building a 70-45 lead after ten ends and 125-86 after 20 ends as the local Whittlesey players, in particularly, egged on by a supportive crowd, kept up the pressure with some lively attacking shots.

Welsford’s father Martin led his rink to a 28-23 win, greenkeeper Barry Lawrence returned in style with a 38-19 victory, Simon Law stepped in to inspire a 30-25 win and Roger Martin’s trio held a narrow initiative for long periods before running out winners by seven shots.

Commented Hunts president Steve Williams: “We are delighted that our neighbours from Northants have got through at last and be assured we will be there at Skegness to cheer you on to pick up the trophy for the first time.”

Added Northants President Bob Warters: “I am delighted particularly for our captain Cliff Watson who has been tasked with pulling together a squad for just such a day as this when we finally qualify. Also I want to pay tribute to all those who have contributed to our success. It is not about individuals, it has been a real team effort with everyone playing their part.”

Cliff Watson, the Northants captain said: “I was delighted by the sheer will of the team to succeed after two previous seasons when we were close to qualifying. It was almost if they at last believed in themselves which has a major bearing on succeeding at anything.

“We have now done half the job and very soon I will announce the team which I believe can do the other half. Sadly only 18 people can play on the day but I would like to think the others will support us loudly to create history for the county by winning the Adams Trophy for the first time since the competition started in 1927.”

Results (Northants names only):

Adams Trophy (at Whittlesey Manor) Northants 183 (20 pts), Hunts 132 (2).Sean Fenlon (West Ward), Bob Warters (Ketton), Roger Martin (City of Peterborough) won 31-26;
Martin Stokes, Nick Wilkie, Paul Buckley (all Blackstones) lost 19-22; Paul Dalliday, Neil Wright, Simon Law ( all Parkway) won 30-25; Roger Stevens (Whittlesey Manor) , Paul Bailey (Blackstones), Martin Welsford ( WM) won 28-23; Steve Roden (WM), Graham Agger (Yaxley), Barry Lawrence (WM) won 38-19; Stephen Harris (Blackstones), Fred Richardson, Lee Welsford (both WM) won 37-17.
x x x

Northants Newton team, after a disappointing start when their points at North Essex were scrubbed after the home side withdrew from the tournament, finished on a high with an impressive 18 points against local rivals Hunts at Parkway (190-148).

Howard Shipp, Martin Bailey and Peter Jessop led the way with a 39-24 score to take the covetted rink prizes while there were other wins for rinks skipped by Malcolm Squires, Fred Addy, Rod Maplethorpe and captain Brian Bassam, to earn them a creditable third place in the final southern section table.

Results (Northants names only):

Newton Trophy (at Parkway): Northants 190 (18 pts), Hunts 148 (4). Jeff Clipston, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam (all Peterborough and District) won 35-21; Les Sharp (Yaxley), Jim Ruddy (West Ward), Malcolm Squires (City of Peterborough) won 29-19; Mike Ramsden (Empingham), Mick Linnell, Rod Maplethorpe (both West Ward) lost 26-29; Howard Shipp (Parkway), Martin Bailey (Blackstones), Peter Jessop (Parkway) won 39-24; Andy Grief, Peter Holmes (both Crowland), Fred Addy (Parkway) won 30-22; John Holroyd (Stamford Tn), John Hadley (Yaxley), Roger Strong (C of P) lost 31-33.

The winning Northants Adams Trophy team against Hunts is pictured below in celebratory mood at Whittlesey Manor.

adamsfinalists

Only a win will do to make Adams Trophy history

Only victory against rivals Huntingdonshire on Saturday (2pm) will ensure Northants Bowling Federation's Adams Trophy team qualifies for the national inter-county finals for the first time since 1959.
 
With nearest challengers Norfolk taking 20 points from a home win against bottom of the table North Essex, they head the table with 94 points having completed their six fixtures but a win for Northants at Whittlesey Manor will end a 46-year barren spell of failing to reach the season's climax at the Skegness Suncastle greens.
 
This week's showdown has not come without its problems for non-playing captain Cliff Watson who has been trying for several years to blend together a team capable of winning the southern section of the competition only to regularly stumble at the last hurdle.
 
The introduction of eight players from the Blackstones club has made a difference but because this week's match clashes with the Lincs EBA finals, it has ruled out Adam Warrington, Jonathan Earl and Martyn Dolby – all involved in the triples and fours events.
 
Teenager Stephen Harris, meanwhile aims to return from competing in the Lincs Fours in time to take his place in the line-up alongside the experienced Fred Richardson and Lee Welsford. Gavin Jinks, finalist in next week's two bowl singles is standing by.
 
Elsewhere Paul Bailey (Blackstones) returns to partner Roger Stevens and Martin Welsford, Barry Lawrence returns after injury in place of the unavailable Pete Brown and Simon Law steps in alongside Paul Dalliday and Neil Wright.
 
Says Watson: 'Sadly I was disappointed with the neccessity to change a successful team but a big thanks must go to people prepared stand in to wear the orange shirt in this important fixture.
 
'All we need now is the mindset to win 22-0 and win on every rink, which will be more than enough to put us through. Hopefully it will leave me with an interesting selection job.'
 
Northants Adams (v Hunts) : S.Roden, G.Agger, B,Lawrence;  S.Fenlon, B.Warters, R.Martin; R.Stevens, P.Bailey. M.Welsford;  M.Stokes, N.Wilkie, P.Buckley; P.Dalliday, N.Wright, S.Law; S.Harris (or G Jinks), F.Richardson, L.Welsford.
Northants' Newton Trophy team entertain Hunts at Parkway.

Setback to Northants’ Adams final hopes

Northants hopes of claiming a spot in the English Bowling Federation Adam Trophy finals at Skegness in August suffered a setback when they were beaten on four rinks out of six by local rivals Lincolnshire at Boston.

The overall shots score – 184-174 – reflected the closeness of the game which could have gone either way in the closing stages of this 31-end encounter of two bowl triples across six rinks. But it was Lincs who held on to stick a spanner in Northants hopes of winning five successive matches in the southern section of this inter-county championship.

But Northants still have a chance of reaching the finals at Skegness next month if they can beat Hunts at Whittlesey Manor on July 11 thanks to superior shots tally over Norfolk.

It was the unusual pace and runs of the Burton House green that caught Northants napping – laborious in one direction and slick in the other as bowls race away on a gentle slope towards the clubhouse.

Said Northants president Bob Warters:"Despite having already lost two matches, Lincs were never going to lie down for us and we didn't expect it either. But the green was so difficult to read and had more tricks in it than Paul Daniels. In the end we were grateful to end-rink skips Jonathan Earl and Lee Welsford to snatch vital points which keep us in the hunt with one match to play.

Welsford, with Adam Warrington and Fred Richardson giving good support, decided an aggressive approach was best and it paid dividends with several volatile take outs while Earl had draw specialists Stephen Harris and Paul Dalliday to keep the pressure on.

Elsewhere matches were close with Northants using the Federation facility of switching positions in an attempt to gain the upper hand. And it was only in the last three or four ends that Lincs stretched their lead to take the vital overall points.

x x x 

A late burst of scoring by Lincolnshire on their home green at The Castle BC, Spalding, cost Northants the chance to contest the Newton Trophy final at Skegness in August.

Already hampered by having had valuable points expunged from their campaign when North Essex withdrew, Northants desperately needed a win to force nearest rivals Norfolk into claiming maximum points from their last two matches.

And with a 15-shot lead at the half way stage, Northants had a chance to pull off a remarkable win. But the home side pegged their visitors back with a late rally of shots and turned the match around to win by 13 overall and claim 16 of the 22 points available.

 
Fred Addy, paired with Crowland duo Andy Grief and Peter Holmes, took the rink award with a 33-24 triumph, though they led 29-6 after 20 of the 31 ends, while there were narrow wins for rinks skipped by Roger Strong and Peter Jessop.
 
x x x
 
Northants' Under 25s were unable to fulfil their Reg Wright Trophy fixture at Norfolk because of late withdrawals leaving them an incomplete side.

Results (Northants names only)
Adams Trophy (at Boston). Lincolnshire 184 (18pts) Northants 174 (4). S Harris, P Dalliday, J Earl won 31-29; S Roden, G Agger, P Brown lost 26-38; M Stokes, N Wilkie, P Buckley lost 28-29; R Stevens, N Wright, J Harford lost 28-34; S Fenlon, B Warters, R Martin lost 22-32; A Warrington, F Richardson, L Welsford won 38-22.

Newton Trophy (at Castle, Spalding). Lincolnshire 171 (16) Northants 158 (6). J Corney, M Linnell, R Mapletoft lost 30-31; L Sharp, J Ruddy, M Squires lost 17-29; A Grief,  P Holmes, F Addy won 33-24; J Clipston, M Greaves, B Bassam lost 18-31; M Ramsden, J Holroyd, R Strong won 30-28.

Adams Trophy holders eclipsed by Northants

Not since 1959 has the Northants Bowling Federation reached the final of the prestigious inter-county Adams Trophy.

It was the year Buddy Holly cut his final record before his untimely death in a plane crash, Alaska joined Hawaii as the last U.S. states, the Cod War with Iceland was at its height and the iconic Morris Mini Minor was launched.

That year, too, Northants were beaten by Durham but 56 years on they are in with a chance of putting all those years of hurt behind them after a convincing 36-shot defeat of the 2014 holders Suffolk at Whittlesey Manor to lead the southern group with two matches to play.

Next week they will play old rivals Lincolnshire at Boston, where a fifth successive win in the current campaign will leave them needing to beat Hunts at home to secure a place in the final at Skegness in August.

Against Suffolk, Northants were able to draft in England international Tris Morton (Peterborough Parkway) to partner Adam Warrington and Lee Welsford  – and he certainly didn't disappoint. While his team-mates set up the heads with accurate drawing, Morton was able to convert opportunities with expertise, as his rink ran out 30-14 winners.

But even that couldn't eclipse Lee's Dad Martin, whom, with Roger Stevens claimed the top,rink prize for the third successive week (34-17) this time joined by Whittlesey Manor team-mate Fred Richardson.

Leading by only 11 shots at the halfway mark of the 31-end two bowl triples format over six rinks, Northants finally shrugged off the rain and stepped up the pace win at a canter.168-132, claiming 18 of the 22 points available.

Also successful were home-based Steve Roden and Pete Brown combining with Yaxley's Graham Agger and completing the quartet of winning rinks were Sean Fenlon (West Ward), Bob Warters (Ketton) and Roger Martin (City of Peterborough).

Result (Northants names only):

Adams Trophy: Northants 168 (18pts), Suffolk 132 (4). S Fenlon (West Ward), B Warters (Ketton), R Martin (City of Peterborough) won 30-21; R Stevens, F Richardson, M Welsford (all Whittlesey Manor) won 34-17; A Warrington (Blackstones), L Welsford (Whittlesey Manor), T Morton (Parkway) won 30-14; S Harris, J Earl, M Dolby (all Blackstones) lost 20-30;  P Dalliday, P Buckley (all Blackstones) lost 24-28; G Agger (Yaxley), S Roden, P Brown ( both Whittlesey Manor) won 30-22.

x x x 

A surprise defeat of Norfolk in the Newton Trophy has put Northants right back in the mix to reach the Newton Trophy final. They beat Suffolk comprehensively at Parkway in Peterborough, claiming 18 valuable points to add to their campaign.

Leading the 190-153 rout were Whittlesey Manor's Darren Lord, John Holroyd (Stamford Town) and veteran Roger Strong (City of Peterborough) who waltzed to a 47-11 end rink win.

There were also wins for rinks skipped by Peter Jessop, Fred Addy and Brian Bassam as Northants chase the points after having 18 deducted when North Essex withdrew.

Newton Trophy: Northants 190 (18) Suffolk 153 (4). D Lord (Whittlesey Manor), J Holroyd (Stamford Town), R Strong (City of Peterborough) won 47-11; A Grief, P Holmes ( Crowland), F Addy (Parkway) won 28-16; J Corney Peteroborugh & district),  J Hadley (Yaxley), M Linnell (West Ward) lost 21-40; H Shipp (Parkway) , M Bailey (Blackstones), P Jessup (Parkway) won 29-26; L Sharp (Yaxley), J Ruddy (West Ward), M Squires (c of P) lost 33-35; M Ramsden (Empingham), M Greaves, B Bassam (Peterborough & District) won 32-25.

 

 

Northants hopes of reaching the final of the Reg Wright Under 25 finals at Skegness in August were dashed by a young and highly talented Suffolk Whites team at Ipswich. But they can take  credit from their performance.
 
The home team – five of whom were educated at the same primary school at Thurlton where bowls at the neighbouring green was part of the curriculum – emerged from a 40-strong trial of potential players to form two teams of three two-bowl triples rinks to compete in the championship.
 
And the strength in depth proved decisive as Northants worked hard to curb the exceptional drawing skills of their opposition. To their credit the heads were tight on all rinks but Suffolk always had the edge overall.
 
With players of such calibre, Suffolk's long term success is assured, while Northants – who will lose at least Hannah Overton, James Harford and Joe Randall as over age next season – continue to scour the local clubs for emerging junior talent. 
 
If you know of any youngsters willing to compete for a place in 2016, please contact the county secretary.
 
Reg Wright Under 25 Trophy (at Ipswich): Suffolk White 109 (12) Northants 60. (0). Louise Harris, Darren Middleton, Hannah Overton lost 18-28; Josh Clarke, Jay Travis-Jenner, Andy Cook lost 21-47; Jack Corney, Daniel Randall, Stephen Harris lost 21-34.

 

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