Setback for Northants A at Huntingdon

Northants Federation ‘A’ team retained their position at the top of the Derbyshire Trophy inter-county championship, despite suffering a 90-64 defeat at the hands of near neighbours Hunts They conceded all but three of the 14 points on offer.

It was a disappointing performance against a home side, weakened by international calls on some of their best players but still able to take full advantage of a slower, newly-refurbished surface at Huntingdon IBC.

Northants had started well and held an overall three-shot lead after 10 of the 25 ends but saw it fritter away to a deficit of five just a handful of ends later, despite Jeff Newson’s rink leading 16-8.

As Federation rules allow, rinks skipped by Martyn Dolby and Simon Law, re-shuffled their positions in an effort to find a spark of form but neither were able to make an impression.

Brian and Roger Martin and Newson, however, went on to win by six, while Tristan Morton played some outstanding conversion shots to keep his rink in contention. They trailed 10-15 after 16 ends and were eventually rewarded with one shot on the final replayed end to salvage a point from a 17-17 draw.

Northants A complete their programme with home matches at Stamford IBC against Lincs and Norfolk.

Results ( Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy (at Huntingdon): Hunts 93 (11 pts) Northants A 64 (3). B Martin, R Martin, J Newson won 23-17; N Wilkie, T Scarr, M Dolby lost 15-23; P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law lost 11-33; B Warters, M Humphreys, T Morton drew 17-17.


Northants B suffered a 160-57 defeat against Lincolnshire in their latest Derbyshire Trophy match where internationals Billy Jackson and Jonathan West contributed to their misfortune.

But it was home specialist George Draper and his relentless rink who caused the most misery, scoring 30 shots without reply inside 11 ends on the slick Lincoln IBC carpet against Brian Bassam, Mick Greaves and Graham Agger before completing 25 ends 55-8 ahead.

It was a similar story for Jonathan Earl who conceded 13 shots in five ends midway before losing 14-40 to Trevor Bannister’s trio. President Dick Noble’s rink dropped a maximum six on the 20th end, contributing to their 15-40 defeat by West.

The experienced senior triple of Les Sharp, Ray Keating and Mick Linnell put up a gallant performance against Jackson, picking up four shots in the last two ends to only lose by just five.

Results: (Northants Names only):

Derbyshire Trophy: Lincs 160 (14 pts) Northants B 57 (0). B Basson, M Greaves, G Agger lost 8-55; M Squires, C Watson, D Noble lost 15-40; R Allam, J Holroyd, J Earl lost 14-40; L Sharp, R Keating, M Linnell lost 20-25.

North Cambs no match for rampant Northants A

Bowlers from Stamford and Peterborough League outdoor clubs featured in Northants Federation A’s timely victory over North Cambs at Wisbech on Sunday.

It took time for the visitors to settle to the slower pace of carpet to that which they are used, but by the time 10 of the 25 ends of two-bowl triples had been completed, Northants had edged into a comfortable lead overall in a bid to secure the extra six points for the winning aggregate.

With Stephen Harris leading and Tony Scarr backing him at No.2, skip Martyn Dolby steered his trip to a 27-11 victory, which included 13 shots in seven ends from the 17th.

Roger Martin’s rink – with Mick Humphreys and Trevor Collins – also took command midway with 11 shots in six ends to pull back a 6-9 deficit and eventually run out 25-17 victors.

Brian Martin, Bob Warters and Jeff Newson completed the points haul after recording 12 shots in six ends midway then four more in the closing stages.

Simon Law’s rink were unlucky in a see-saw match and after taking a 17-16 lead dropped a crucial three on the penultimate end.

Sadly this is one of the last fixtures at the Wisbech complex which is due to close by the local authority at the end of the year to be replaced by a more lucrative gymnasium.

Scores (Northants names only):

Derbyshire Trophy (at Wisbech) North Cambs 63 (2 pts) Northants A 98 (12). P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law lost 18-19; B Martin, B Warters, J Newson won 28-16; M Humphreys, T Collins, R Martin won 25-17; S Harris, T Scarr, M Dolby won 27-11.


Northants A play Huntingdonshire away on Sunday (10am) while the B team travel to Lincoln and District IBA to take on Lincs.

With the return of Tristan Morton, the A team will be re-shuffled to accommodate the England international.

He will be joined by Bob Warters at lead and Mick Humphreys with Roger Martin playing alongside his namessake Brian Martin in Jeff Newson’s rink. Nick Wilkie is back to replace Stephen Harris who is unavailable.

Says team captain James Harford: “I am happy with the continued support from my team and especially how Brian Martin stepped up to the standard we have set after a late start to his indoor season at Peterborough.”

Northants A v Huntingdon: P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law;N Wilkie, T Scarr, M Dolby;B Martin, R Martin, J Newson; B Warters, M Humphries, T Morton

With Peter Borwn having to withdraw, the B team is as follows:
Les Sharp, Ray Keating, Mick Linnell; Brian Bassam, Mick Greaves, Graham Agger;Richard Allam, John Holroyd, Jon Earl;
Malcolm Squires, Cliff Watson, Dick Noble.

Northants B beaten in Norfolk

The Northants Federation B team, competing in their second year in the inter-county Derbyshire Trophy, lost 73-102 at the Gallow Club in Norfolk, picking up just two of the 14 points available.

But it might have been so different. Northants had three rinks in with a good chance of winning until the last handful of the 25 ends. However only Malcolm Squires, Cliff Watson Peter Brown finished on top, winning 21 – 20. Brown secured victory with his last bowl drawing second shot after being two down.

Elsewhere, Jon Earl’s rink led 20-19 but dropped three five shots in the last three ends, Graham Agger conceded six in the last five ends but Mick Linnell’s quartet were given a lesson by Sam King, son of former world champion Mervyn.

Result (Northants names only) : Derbyshire Trophy – Norfolk 102 Northants B 73. R Allam, J Holroyd, J Earl lost 20-24; B Bassam, D Noble, G Agger lost 21-16; L Sharp, R Keating, M Linnell lost 11-32; M Squires, C Watson, P Brown won 21-20.

Northants B’s next game is away at Lincoln against Lincolnshire on December 2.

Northants A play North Cambs on Sunday ( November 25, 10 am) at Wisbech. Team: P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law; S Harris, T Scarr, M Dolby; B. Warters, J. Newson, T. Morton; M. Humphreys, T Collins, R. Martin.

Calendar support for Hannah Overton

After weeks of anticipation, Bowls International – the Stamford-based bowls magazine – has officially launched The Hotshots of Bowls calendar for 2019, raising money for Cancer Research UK and Bloodwise.

Organisers Sian Honnor – the magazine editor and an ?England Commonwealth Games representative – Natalie Chesney and Lorraine Kuhler have already far exceeded their initial target of £2,000 and to date more than £8,900 has been raised including Gift Aid.

Almost 60 English bowlers, men and women of a variety of ages have taken part in the nude calendar phot-shoots. The calendar offers a humorous take on the game of bowls while aiming to promote friendship in sport.

Inspiration behind the fund-raising if Peterborough Park bowler Hannah Overton (29) – a former England Under 25 bowler and Northants Federation champion, who was diagnosed with Leukaemia in July.

The calendar, which is sponsored by Bowls International, has received support from Taylor Bowls, Aero Bowls, Drakes Pride and Henselite.

Bowlswear Direct owners Chris and Pete Young have also pledged generous support to the cause and will be the official distributor.

Calendars cost £10 plus postage and are available through the Bowlswear Direct

If bowlers and friends would like to donate instead, go to

Re-shuffle by Harford for Derbyshire Trophy

Following their maximum points defeat of Northants B, the Northants A captain James Harford has still re-shuffled his team for the visit to Wisbech on November 25 (10am) to play North Cambs in the second series of Derbyshire Trophy matches.

Martyn Dolby has recovered from his fitness issues to retain his spot at skip with Stephen Harris and Tony Scarr, while Trevor Collins joins Roger Martin’s rink in place of the unavailable Adam Warrington.

Bob Warters replaces Nick Wilkie as lead on Tristan Morton’s rink.

Northants A: P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law; S Harris, T Scarr, M Dolby; B. Warters, J. Newson, T. Morton; M. Humphreys, T Collins, R. Martin.

Christine Ford the new NWBF President

Jessica Phillips hands over the chain of office to Christine Ford.

CHRISTINE FORD, from Ketton Bowls Club, has taken over as president of Northants Women’s Bowling Federation. She succeeds Jessica Phillips who has held the post for the past year.

Her inauguration took place at the NWBF annual general meeting this week when Terri Handley, of Langtoft Bowls Club, was voted in as secretary to replace Liz Barr who has retired after several years in the post.

Chris is also a prominent member of Stamford Indoor Bowls where she is captain of the county mixed team. Married to Dick, she lives at Uffington, & said she is looking forward to her new role.

Joan Robinson is set to continue as captain of the county’s Donald Steward team & Ann Cooper will carry on in a similar role with the Silver Vase team.

Squires and Keating step up for Northants B

Captain of the Northants Federation ‘B’ team Malcolm Squires, has included himself for the next match in the Derbyshire Trophy inter county series, following the recent whitewash by Northants A at Stamford.

Against Norfolk at the Gallows club on Sunday, November 18, he will lead in a rink of Cliff Watson and skip Peter Brown, with Ray Keating (Peterborough and District) stepping in to replace Rod Maplethorpe in Mick Linnell’s rink.

Team selected:
Les Sharp, Ray Keating, Mick Linnell; Brian Bassam, Dick Noble, Graham Agger; Richard Allam, John Holroyd, Jon Earl; Malcolm Squires, Cliff Watson, Peter Brown.

Players should make their own travel arrangements for the 11am start at Fakenham Sports Centre (NR21 7NY).Match Fee £13.50p Extra Meals £10 to be ordered by Sunday, Nov 11.

President Noble strikes a combative chord

Dick Noble receives the presidential chain of office from Tony Mace.

DICK NOBLE has been invested as the new president of the Northants Bowling Federation, determined to improve the county’s competitive record and fight for the status of smaller counties.

The current holder of the Northants senior pairs title and chairman of West Ward Bowls Club, struck a combative chord when he succeeded Tony Mace (Whittlesey Manor) in the presidential role for the next two years, after serving as his deputy.

Noble, formerly an uncompromising footballer, told the annual meeting that even though Northants was recognised widely as punching above its weight in national individual events, he wanted to target the major team competitions and challenge the successes of the bigger counties including Lincolnshire, Suffolk and Norfolk.

He said that while Northants perhaps didn’t have the resources, they certainly had the talent. He also wanted to fight on Northants behalf to keep smaller counties like North Cambs in the Federation.

Noble (70) added:”I’m sure over the next two years we are capable of bringing home more trophies than ever. We can prove we are better than the bigger counties starting with reaching the Derbyshire Trophy final (Inter-county indoor championship) in April.”

Retiring president Mace said he had been proud to serve the NBF and thanked all those who had helped over his period of office, reporting that the highlights had been retaining the Eversley Trophy and, in the outdoor season, the county winning the 2-bowl rinks and two-bowl singles national titles at Skegness.

He particularly paid tribute to competition secretary Barry Lawrence who is retiring after almost a decade in the job but will continue use to serve as competition results secretary. Melvyn Beck will take over the administrative role alongside his other duties as secretary and EBF delegate.

Other officers re-elected included Treasurer Les Sharp, who reported a profit for the year of £245, Adams and Newton captains (Jon Earl and Cliff Watson respectively) and Northants A (James Harford) and Northants B (Malcolm Squires) in the Derbyshire Trophy.

Among other matters reported to the annual meeting was the welcome return into the Northants Federation fold of Wittering Bowls Club which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. The club’s members will be eligible for both indoor and outdoor competitions forthwith.

Key future dates in 2019 include: March 17- NBF & NWBF indoor finals (at Stamford IBC); April 14 – Eversley final (Newark IBC); April 23-28 – EBF & EWBF indoor finals (Newark); July 14 – Fed finals (Blackstones); August 17-24 – EBF &EWBF outdoor finals (Skegness); September 22 – Presentation lunch (Orton Hall Hotel).

The EBF & EWBF outdoor finals at Skegness in 2020 will be a week earlier than usual from August 15-22. BW

‘A’ team claim early bragging rights

Northants A scored an early success over their rivals.

Ahead of the match, the Northants B side.

THEY WON almost half the total ends played but Northants B were unable to repeat the form that took them within a handful of shots of winning last year in this season’s keenly fought opening Derbyshire Trophy battle against Northants A.

As the competition rules dictate, the Forterra-sponsored teams played each other in the first fixture to maintain each team’s independence and integrity. Matches will follow for both against Hunts, North Cambs, Norfolk and Lincs.

While every player qualified was affiliated to outdoor clubs in the county federation all but six of the 24 taking part were winter members of the Stamford indoor club on whose surface the 25-end match of two bowl triples was played. It made for some precise, high quality bowls.

James Harford’s ‘A’ team quickly got into their stride to lead 63-30 at the 12-end stage with the rinks skipped by Roger Martin, Simon Law and Martyn Dolby proving a real handful for their opposite numbers – Rod Maplethorpe, Paul Bailey and John Holroyd. As a consequence, the final result overall never looked in doubt.

However, Northants B’s Cliff Watson, skip Peter Brown and the county’s first woman representative in the competition Helen Holroyd, were proving a difficult challenge for Tristan Morton’s rink and led 13-10 at 13 ends before conceding 11 shots in seven ends and eventually losing 20-24.

Commented ‘B’ team captain Malcolm Squires: “Although we won 47 of the 100 ends played, we were dropping too many threes, fours and fives. Congratulations to Helen, Cliff and Peter who lost by only four shots against what I considered their strongest rink and they will play again in our next away game to Norfolk on November 18.”

Result (Northants ‘A’ names first)

Derbyshire Trophy (at Stamford IBC). Northants ‘A’ 125 (14 pts) Northants ‘B’ 64 (0). Adam Warrington, Mick Humphreys, Roger Martin beat Les Sharp, Mick Linnell, Rod Maplethorpe 29-16; Stephen Harris, Tony Scarr, Martyn Dolby beat Mike Ramsden, Richard Allam, John Holroyd 39-9; Paul Dalliday, James Harford, Simon Law beat Brian Bassam, Dick Noble, Paul Bailey 33-19; Nick Wilkie, Jeff Newson, Tristan Morton beat Helen Holroyd, Cliff Watson, Peter Brown 24-20.

Men v Women match a money-raiser for cancer fund

Hannah Overton – twice a national Federation champion

THE NORTHANTS Bowling Federation’s annual Men v Women match, played at the newly refurbished Peterborough and District indoor green, has helped to boost funds for the charity set up to support Hannah Overton, the young Parkway bowler diagnosed with leukaemia.

Hannah (29) – a former captain of Northants Under 25s and EWBF Under 25 singles champion in 2006 & 2008 – is currently undergoing treatment at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The talented bowler also played for the England junior team and her former international colleagues are taking part in a calendar shoot, baring all in support of both the Cancer Research and Bloodwise charities. The scheme is also supported by Bowls International magazine and bowls manufacturers Drakes Pride and Thomas Taylor.

Commented one of Hannah’s former England colleagues: “No one is excited about getting their kit off but when you think what Hannah is going through, it’s nothing.

“As well as raising money for worthy charities we also aim to challenge the stereotype of bowls.”

Northants bowlers raised nearly £150 for the campaign with the men retaining the trophy, despite a spirited fight by the women who won on two rinks, one of which was that of NWBF president Jessica Phillips, who beat her men’s counterparts Tony Mace and deputy president Dick Noble 20-15

Elsewhere Mick Linnell’s rink beat his wife Margaret’s 43-9 to take the rink honours.

From the left Dick Noble, Liz Barr, Jessica Phillips and Tony Mace before the annual Men v Women clash.

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