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.

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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.
 
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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.

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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.

 

Maximum Adams points from North Cambs

Maximum points from their home match against North Cambs keeps Northants on track for a possible place in the final of the prestigious English Bowling Federation inter-county Adams Trophy championship.

Unbeaten after their first three games in the seven-county southern section, Northants face Suffolk on Saturday at Whittlesey Manor (2pm) knowing that victory will take them a step nearer a shoot out at Skegness against the winners of the northern section in August, with Hunts and Lincolnshire still to be faced.

Meanwhile, defending champions Suffolk lost to Norfolk 6-16, scoring a 6 and 5 on the last end to snatch four vital points by one shot. The 2013 winners,  Lincolnshire – whom Northants face at Boston in the last game of the season – took 20 points off North Essex, while Hunts sent an observer to Northants match against North Cambs, such is the importance of both county's final match.

At Whittlesey, in heavy rain for much of the match, Northants were never in danger against North Cambs racing into a comfortable first half lead and never relinquishing it thanks to comfortable wins by rinks skipped by Martin Welsford ( winner of the top rink with Roger Stevens and Paul Bailey for the second successive week with a 44-20 win), Pete Brown (33-21), Paul Buckley (31-21) and Lee Welsford (37-19).

It was left to the rinks of Martyn Dolby and Roger Martin to mop up the other vital points as the rest of the team looked on anxiously. Dolby hung on for a 25-23 win and when Roger Martin trailed the jack for a three count on the 29th end, he was able to concede two singles on the way to a 27-25 victory.

 
Northants' Newton Trophy team took 20 points from the visit of North Cambs to Parkway. It goes some way to replacing the disappointment of hearing that North Essex have withdrawn from the competition through a shortage of players.
 

The 18 points Northants took from that clash with them earlier in the season have been deducted from their campaign.

Only former Northants player Nigel Eagle, playing on his home green, denied the county from taking maximum points.

Result (Northants names only):

Adams Trophy: Northants 197 North Cambs 132. Sean Fenlon, Bob Warters, Roger Martin won 27-25; Stephen Harris, Jonathan Earl, Martyn Dolby won 25-23; Roger Stephens, Paul Bailey, Martin Welsford won 44-20; Steve Roden, Graham Agger, Pete Brown won 33-21; Martin Stokes, Neil Wright, Paul Buckley won 31-24; Adam Warrington, Fred Richardson, Lee Welsford won 37-19.

Newton Trophy: Northants 233(20), North Cambs 107 (2). H Shipp, M Bailey, P Jessop won 47-21; L Sharp, J Ruddy, M Squires lost 23-27; J Corney, J Hadley, M Linnell won 34-21; D Lord, J Holroyd, R Strong won 52-13; A Grief, P Holmes, F Addy won 52-7;
M Ramsden, M Greaves B Bassam won 25-18.

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Despite fielding only eight players, Northants' next generation of top bowlers took maximum points from the visit of the Suffolk second string to the Parkway green in Peterborough in their second match of the Reg Wright Under 25 Trophy.

 

 

 

England international Hannah Overton was forced to drop out through illness and non-playing captain Lee Welsford unsuccessfully scoured the local clubs for a replacement. It meant that the experienced Jack Corney and Tom Fielding had to take on three Suffolk youngsters in the two-bowl triples format using only two bowls. 

But they rose to the task and always had the upper hand, despite some excellent performances from the Suffolk trio who included the talented 12-year-old Ryan Hard  – certainly a name to watch for the future.

Suffolk also featured 11-year old Joe Sims who helped to keep the rink of Josh Clarke, Daniel Randall and Jay Travis-Jenner in check until Daniel switched to lead position, as the rules allow, and began the fightback which eventually ended with the top rink prize thanks to a ten shot victory.

 
In the final match – rinks were reduced from four to three this year to accommodate counties unable to field 12 players – Andy Cook skipped Blackstones' Louise Harris and Darren Middleton to a four shot win.
 
This week the team with a maximum 24 points, from two opening wins, will be strengthened by the return of Stephen Harris when they travel to Ipswich to face Suffolk first string.
 
Result ( Northants names only)
 
Reg Wright Under 25 Trophy: Northants 93 (12) Suffolk B 74 (0). Josh Clarke, Daniel Randall, Jay Travis-Jenner won 35-25; Louise Harris, Darren Middleton, Andy Cook won 30-24; Jack Corney & Tom Fielding won 28-25.

Pictured below are teams and action from the Under 25 match with Suffolk B. images courtesy Jane Pitcher.

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Last gasp win for Adams team in Norfolk

Showing tremendous fighting spirit, Northants Federation's national inter-county Adams Trophy team beat Norfolk by seven shots at Cawston to claim 18 valuable points in their campaign to reach the English Finals at Skegness in August.

With just a handful of ends remaining, Northants' hopes looked doomed despite an opening win at North Essex. But inspired by the vocal Whittlesey Manor skips Peter Brown, Martin Welsford and his son Lee and the quiet determination of Blackstones' Martyn Dolby, they turned around an eight shot deficit into a 175-168 winning margin, to snatch the points from under Norfolk's noses.

Said county president Bob Warters: "When we lost by 17, on our rink and Paul Buckley just missed out by a shot, it didn't look good for us. But I should have known better than to question the grit and fortitude shown by the players wearing the orange of our county with pride. They were magnificent.

" And with one of our chief rivals Lincolnshire losing against our local rivals Hunts, it leaves us with a great opportunity in our next two home games against North Cambs (June 13) and Suffolk (June 20). But we are taking nothing for granted and need to be at our very best to make the most of this chance."

At the halfway stage there was little to choose between the teams apart from Martin Welsford's rink taking a strong lead thanks chiefly to the efforts of his front end players Roger Stevens and Paul Bailey.

Then Norfolk took the initiative and ahead on four rinks looked to be coasting to a surprise win until Northants found second gear.

While his father extended his lead, Lee Welsford picked up a five and four count in quick succession, Brown took a close Norfolk bowl out for four and Dolby's rink took the lead crucially on the penultimate 30th end with another quartet of shots.

Commented captain Cliff Watson: "What a grandstand finish. The team showed real commitment and spirit to pull it out of the fire. I’m positive the Norfolk team will take points from the others to help us but now we must concentrate on next week's game."

On Saturday Northants entertain North Cambs at Whittlesey Manor, while the Newton are at Parkway.

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'If only' are two of the most over-used words in bowls but sadly, they told the story of Northants' Newton trophy defeat by Norfolk at the Norwich Carters green.

With one match remaining on the green, past president Malcolm Squires' rink held five shots on the penultimate end for an unassailable lead and a probable overall victory until the opposition skip hit the head and salvaged two unlikely shots. The rinks eventually tied enabling the home side to win the match by a slender five shot margin.

" Couldn't believe it," exclaimed captain Brian Bassam. "If only we had been able to hold on to those shots it would have been a totally different story."

If is a very dangerous word to use in your vocabulary as it can almost inevitably prefix a tale of woe and misfortune.

Elsewhere there were highlights, including the outstanding 38-20 win by Darren Lord, John Holroyd and Roger Strong, though they led 32-4 at one stage.

National indoor champion Simon Law was also drafted into the team at the last minute but with Howard Shipp and Martin Bailey was unable to prevent a 30-39 defeat, dropping eight shots in the last three ends, while Fred Addy's rink managed to salvage the only other point from a 26-26 draw.

Results (Northants names only)

Adams Trophy: Norfolk 165 (4 pts) Northants 172 (18) . S.Fenlon, B.Warters, R.Martin lost 20 – 37; A Warrington, F Richardson, L Welsford won 36 – 32; S Roden, G Agger, P Brown won 32 – 25; R Stevens, P Bailey, M Welsford won 35 – 21; M Stokes, P Dalliday, P Buckley lost 25 – 26;
S.Harris, J.Earl, M.Dolby won 27 – 26.

Newton Trophy: Norfolk 177 (18), Northants 172 (4). J Clipston, M Greaves, B Bassam lost 24-34; L Sharp, J Ruddy, M Squires drew 24-24; J Corney, J Hadley, M Linnell lost 30-34; H Shipp, M Bailey, S Law lost 30-39; A Grief, P Holmes, F Addy drew 26-26; D Lord, J Holroyd, R Strong won 38-20.

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Northants Reg Wright Trophy Under 25 team made an outstanding start to their EBF Southern Section season with a thumping 60-shot defeat of local rivals Hunts.

Granted, Hunts were without a handful of their regular Under 18 squad, committed to an event elsewhere but under the new three-rink, two-bowl triples format, Northants always looked in command and never looked like conceding the overall result.

Leading the charge were brother and sister combination from Blackstones, Louise and Stephen Harris, linked with Parkway's James Harford, who demolished their inexperienced opposition 53-8.

Darren Middleton (Blackstones) and Parkway pair Andy Cook and junior international Hannah Overton, overcame Mike Franklin's rink and it was left to England junior triallist Joe Randall to mop up the rest of the points with Joe Corney and Jay Travis-Jenner.

But it was no easy task with Matt Herbert (Sawtry) and his teenage rink keeping them at bay for long periods. Randall finally clinched a 31-30 win by taking out Herbert's shot bowl with the last delivery of the match for a valuable two-count.

The Federation are most grateful to non-playing captain Lee Welsford and his colleagues at Whittlesey Manor for providing great facilities and a buffet meal for the players.

On Sunday, the youngsters entertain Suffolk at Parkway (2pm).

Result (Northants names only)

Reg Wright Under 25 Trophy: Northants 120 (12 pts) Hunts 60 (0). A Cook, D Middleton, H Overton won 36-22; L Harris, S Harris, J Harford won 53-8; J Corney, J Travis-Jenner, J Randall won 31-30.

Pictured below (top to bottom) Jack Corney, Andy Cook and Jay Travis-Jenner in action for the Under 25s. 

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Opening wins for Northants Adams and Newton teams

Northants Bowling Federation made a flying start to its Adams Trophy inter-county campaign with a comprehensive defeat of North Essex at Radwinter claiming 20 of the 22 points available with five winning rinks.

Leading 36-21 after five ends, the re-shuffled team, with several new faces never looked in trouble and after 25 of the 31 ends match had built up a 52-shot lead and finally ran out comfortable winners by 209-123.

Biggest winners in the six rink, two bowl triples contest were Graham Aggers (Yaxley) and Whittlesey Manor’s Steve Roden and Pete Brown, triumphant by 41-11, while Blackstones trio Martin Stokes, Nick Wilkie and Paul Buckley mastered an end rink with a 41-19 victory.

Their Blackstones club mate Paul Bailey (Blackstones) with his bright yellow bowls, made a winning Adams debut alongside Roger Stevens and Martin Welsford (Whittlesey Manor) 31-19.

This Saturday, the team visit Cawston to play Norfolk with only one change, Paul Dalliday replacing the unavailable Wilkie.

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For the first time in three year, Northants’ Newton team beat their North Essex counterparts and it was particularly rewarding for newly elected Newton captain Brian Bassam, who led by example, skipping the best winning rink in a 68-shot victory at Haverhill.

Alongside Peterborough and District Club colleagues Jeff Clipston and Mick Greaves, Bassam’s triple raced to a 45-15 win, helping to secure 19 vital points from the 22 available.

There were also wins for rinks skipped by Malcolm Squires, Mick Linnell and Fred Addy, while the trio skipped by Rod Maplethorpe fought a rearguard action to force a point with a 23-23 draw.

Results (Northants names only)

Adams Cup (Southern section) Northants 209 (20 pts) North Essex 123(2) Northants 209 (20). Northants names only: A Warrington (Blackstones) F Richardson, Lee Welsford (both Whittlesey Manor) won 28-25; G Agger, (Yaxley) , S Roden, P Brown (both WM) won 41-11; R Stevens (WM), P Bailey (Blackstones), M Welsford (WM) won 31-19; S Harris, J Earl, M Dolby (all Blackstones) lost 28-30; S Fenlon (West Ward), B Warters (Ketton), R Martin (City of Peterborough) won 38-19; M Stokes, N Wilkie, P Buckley (all Blackstones) won 41-19.

Newton Trophy (Southern section): North Essex 130 (3) Northants 198 (19). J Clipston, M Greaves, B Bassam (all P & D) won 45 – 15; A Grief, P Holmes (both Crowland)’ F Addy (Parkway) won 41 – 20; L Sharp (Yaxley) J Ruddy (West Ward), M Squires (City of Peterborough) won 32 – 19; J Corney (P & D), J Hadley (Yaxley), M Linnell (West Ward) won 30 – 24; H Shipp (Parkway) M Bailey (Blackstones), R Maplethorpe ( West Ward) drew 23 – 23; J Holroyd (Stamford Town), D Lord (Whittlesey Manor) R Strong (C of P) lost 27 – 29.

Pictured below the Northants Adams team which won at North Essex. From the left: Cliff Watson (captain), Nick Wilkie, Roger Martin, Roger Stevens, Steve Roden, Martin Welsford, Graham Agger, Paul Bailey, Fred Richardson, Jonathan Earl, Pete Brown, Sean Fenlon, Martyn Dolby, Adam Warrington, Lee Welsford, Stephen Harris, Martin Stokes, Paul Buckley, Bob Warters (President).

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Northants Adams and Newton teams selected

Northants Bowling Federation begins its 2015 campaign to reach the finals of the Adams and Newton inter-county championships on Saturday (May 30) with respective matches against the North Essex Federation.

The Adams team, showing several changes from the squad which challenged unbeaten for a place in the finals at Skegness last year until they suffered narrowly at the hands of eventual winners Suffolk, travel to Radwinter, while the Newton team, under the new captaincy of Brian Bassam, play at Haverhill.

Joining the Adams squad are Nick Wilkie and Martin Stokes (pictured below), who link with fellow Blackstones player Paul Buckley, while Brian Swann (West Ward) returns at No.2 in the Whittlesey Manor rink with Roger Stevens and Martin Welsford. Blackstons has, for the first time, the highest representation with seven players.

Says captain Cliff Watson: “After careful thought I believe we now have the players in the right places to seriously challenge the Adams group.”

Among the newcomers to the Newton squad are John Holroyd (Stamford Town), who has played for the county’s indoor Derbyshire Trophy team, and Darren Lord (Whittlesey Manor).

The Adams team will play its home matches at Whittlesey Manor, the Newton at Parkway.

Adams: Sean Fenlon (West Ward), Bob Warters (Ketton), Roger Martin (City of Peterborough); Nick Wilkie, Martin Stokes, Paul Buckley (all Blackstones); Stephen Harris, Jonathan Earl, Martyn Dolby (all Blackstones);  Graham Agger (Yaxley BL), Steve Roden, Pete Brown (both Whittlesey Manor);  Roger Stevens (Whittlesey Manor), Brian Swann (West Ward), Martin Welsford (Whittlesey Manor);  Adam Warrington (Blackstones), Fred Richardson, Lee Welsford (both Whittlesey Manor). Reserve:  Paul Bailey (Blackstones).

Newton: Jeff Clipston  Mick Greaves  Brian Bassam (all Peterborough & District); Les Sharp (Yaxley BL)  Jim Ruddy (West Ward),  Malcolm Squires (City of Peterborogh); Jack Corney (Peterborough & District)  John Hadley (Yaxley BL)  Mick Linnell (West Ward); Andrew Grief,  Peter Holmes (both Crowland), Fred Addy (Parkway); Howard Shipp (Parkway),  Martin Bailey (Blackstones), Rod Mablethorpe (West Ward); John Holroyd (Stamford Tn)  Darren Lord (Whittlesey Manor), Roger Strong (City of Peterborough).  

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Northants pipped by Lincs in Eversley Trophy

Northants Federation came within a hair’s breadth of regaining the Eversley Trophy on the final day of the English Bowling Federation championships at Newark IBC.

After the round robin format in which two triples rinks of county executives from nine counties competed over four one hour matches, Northants were beaten on count back by Lincolnshire by just one shot.

Both counties secured 12 points from a possible 16 – each with six winning rinks – but when it came down to aggregate shots gained compared to those conceded, Lincs were plus 15 – just one better than Northants.

Northants began by sharing the points with Lincs after president Bob Warters, competition secretary Barrry Lawrence and match secretary Graham Agger triumphed in their rink 19-1, while past presidents Malcolm Squires and Cliff Watson and life member Richard Montgomery went down narrowly.

Both rinks took maximum points from Derbyshire and North Cambs but in the final showdown against Durham, they could only share the points with Agger’s rink remaining unbeaten. Meanwhile Lincs snatched the extra shots they needed to add the title to the Derbyshire Inter County Trophy they won against Durham the previous day.

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Wilkie and Thurston lose tense semi-final

In a gripping semi-final Northants pairing Nick Wilkie and Andrew Thurston just failed to secure a hat-trick of final places at this year’s English Bowling Federation indoor championships at Newark IBC, writes Bob Warters.

The county had already won the men’s rinks and lost in the mixed rinks but when Wilkie and Thurston, from the Peterborough Parkway club, raced into a 12-5 lead after 12 ends against Gary Shepperson and Mark Lee from Derbyshire, hopes were high among their supporters on sidelines that Northants might have another tilt at a title.

But end 13 was unluckily a game changer. Lee edged in for shot and it inspired the pair to up their game. Though Thurston provided some telling pressure bowls with counts of three and four against him, the Derbyshire pair won the next five ends to take a 14-12 lead.

As the Federation rules allow, the Northants pair switched positions in the closing stages and Wilkie levelled the scores with an accurate heavy bowl on the penultimate end. But when Lee drew shot on the last end, he was unable to regain the shot, leaving Derbyshire facing a final against with Durham or Suffolk surprise winners over Hunts’ Ed Elmore and Tom Swannell.

The championships again proved an unhappy hunting ground for Jenny Harvey from Peterborough, still waiting for her first win in the final stages despite qualifying in three events.

She put up a stubborn fight against Lincs in the Senior singles but finally went down 16-21.
Northants Eversley squad are in action on Sunday in a bid to wrest the title they won only a few years back when the event was played on a home and away basis.

For the second successive year of a new format the Northants rinks of executives – Bob Warters, Barry Lawrence and Graham Agger; Cliff Watson, Richard Montgomery and Malcolm Squires – will play a round robin 4×8 ends schedule in one day at Newark IBC.
On Monday, the NWBF team finished fourth of 13 teams in the Harry Carver Trophy for county executives.

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End of the line for Dolby’s singles hopes

Day Three

Martyn Dolby’s hopes of completing a quintuplet run of five singles titles in one season were dashed when he lost the semi-final of English Bowling Federation indoor Senior Singles at Newark IBC.

The Stamford IBC bowler had already won his club’s 4-bowl and Over 65 singles, the Lincs County Senior singles and the Northants Federation Senior title, for which he qualified for this event but the form of Norfolk’s Barnie Wymer proved just too much on the day and he lost 15-21 on the dreaded rink eight.

“Wondering how the rink would play and how it would suit my bowls or not kept me awake last night,” said Dolby “and my concerns were proved correct. But to be fair Barnie found the end rink and its trickiness better than me and he deserved to win.”

Wymer cruised into a 9-3 lead and extended it to 12-5 then 16-12 before Dolby hit back with a two on the 20th. Wymer finally rounded off the match by taking singles on the last three ends without reply.

Earlier Jenny Harvey lost her 4-bowl singles to North Cambs 9-21.
Nick Wilkie and Andrew Thurston stormed into the semi finals of the men’s pairs with a 27-9 demolition of S Ashton and George Draper from Lincolnshire. They play at 9.30 on Friday morning.dolbysemi

Northants win national men’s rinks title

For the second time in four years Northants Bowling Federation won a national rinks title, when Peterborough Parkway’s Neil Wright, Simon Law and Tris Morton landed the trophy at the English Federation finals in Newark.

They beat local rivals from Huntingdonshire 20-14, their opponents finally conceding after twice killing the 21st when needing multiple shots to keep their hopes alive.

On the way to the final, Northants accounted for Lincolnshire, Notts and Northumberland in the two-bowl triples event before coming up against Hunts trio Ian and Lyn Swannell and Lewis Baker, who had toppled Suffolk in a lively semi-final.

After struggling in previous rounds, Wright (42) suddenly found his line and length at lead and persistently set up heads which offered Law (33) and Morton (25) opportunities to take advantage with some precision drawing.

The turning point came on the 14th end when Northants extended their slender lead with a four count, then Morton took out Hunts’ nearest bowl with an accurate strike to claim three more shots for an 18-10 lead with just five ends to play.

Said Northants Federation president Bob Warters: “The boys were outstanding and with great skill kept a tight grip on the game. With our mixed triples also reaching a final it was a proud day for the Northants Federation.”

Martyn Dolby challenges today (Thursday) for a place in the Senior singles final.

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