JAMIE WALKER says he is still shocked after earning his first England senior call-up.
Abington-based Walker will win his first international senior cap in the British Isles Indoor Bowls Council International Series in March.
Walker will feature at No.2 in a rink skipped by one of the best-known international bowlers in the country in Andy Thomson. Walker will also be joined at lead by England regulars Jason Parkinson and Sam Tolchard.
“I’m still shocked I’ve been selected,” said Walker, who plays for Wellingborough IBC.
“It’s always been the biggest goal to represent England at the highest level. My performances against the best players in the game have been good over the last couple of seasons.
“Playing in a good quality area like Northants helps, playing against players like Neil McKee (England regular), so I thought I’d stand a good chance of getting in.
“But to get in after my first trial is awesome and I can’t wait until the series in March.”
Kingsthorpe IBC’s Neil McKee has also retained his place. McKee will also play at No.2 in a rink skipped by Jamie Chestney.
Northants lose out
Northants IBA men faced their biggest game of the season when they hosted Cambridgeshire in the Inter County Liberty Trophy at Northampton & District IBC.
The first couple of ends saw the spoils shared 11 shots each across the six rinks, but over the next three ends Cambridgeshire picked up eight shots more than the County to be leading 32-24 at the quarter stage.
The next quarter, however, saw the County make good inroads into their opponent’s lead and at one point they were only one shot adrift.
Unfortunately, this scoring did not last for over the next five ends Cambridge increased their lead to 10 shots.
And during the last quarter, despite their best efforts, the County could not pull the visitors back and the final score saw a comfortable advantage of 22 shots to Cambridgeshire and the Liberty campaign was at an end for Northants for another year. The final score was Northamptonshire 103 Cambridgeshire 125.
RINK SCORES (Cambridgeshire skips only) Rink one: Rob White/Chris Bland/Ben Sharpe/Mick Sharpe 17 W Bailey 23. Rink two: Jason Bryan/Ray Castle/Andy Smith/Jim McKee 15 A Walton 30. Rink three: Matt Pownall/Darren Lyman/Neil McKee/Paul Broderick 17 J Brown 15. Rink four: Callum Height/Connor Cinato/Andrew Manton/Jamie Walker 28 G Harlow 14. Rink five: Mark Corbyn/Peter Ward/Phil Exley/Neil Corbyn 14 A Ware 18. Rink six: Bob Fuller/Dave Flippance/John Haines/Vernon Gearey 12 A Easy 25.
VPs take the trophy
The men of Northamptonshire Indoor Bowling Association visited Daventry IBC for the annual fixture against Northamptonshire Vice Presidents Bowling Association and at stake was the Arthur Wright Trophy.
The final score was Northamptonshire Indoor BA 98 Northamptonshire VPs 113.
Rink scores – (County names first) Rink one: Keith Howlett/Ernie Earp/Bob Sullivan/Norman Gibb 15 Jim Headington/Roly Smith/Trevor Wright/Tracy Nunn 19. Rink two: John Whiting/Don Scott/Harvey Fruish/Brian Jones 21 Fred Bosworth/Dave Thurley/Dave Williamson/Graham Stibbards 12. Rink three: Dougie Cooper/Mike Robins/Dave Thurlow/Ted Guiver 27 Len Marshall/Peter Byworth/Dick Howell/Keith Forbes 13. Rink four: Roger Miller/Bob Brown/Andy Hogg/Tony Warren 15 Graham Cashmore/Brian Bailey/Graham Dunscombe/Roy Cave 13. Rink five: Jim Diver/Andy Purcell/Dave Garland/Richard Somerton 12 Peter Oliver/Tom Kavanagh/Ken Legan/Jack Brown 34. Rink six: John Churchman/Bill Craig/Trevor Tilley/Brian Diver 8 Ollie Pearson/John Watson/Tony Buckmaster/Bob Tingle 22.
Duo go head-to-head
The area final of the Champion of Champions tournament will be played between two of the county’s international representatives.
Neil McKee (Kingsthorpe), a seasoned England senior and former junior international, will face 16-year-old Connor Cinato (Desborough IBC) an England Under 18 International for the past three seasons who recently won the gold medal in the British Isles Series for both Pairs and Fours. The match will be played at Desborough IBC.
It’s County v Herts
Northants’ under-25 double rink team will take on Hertfordshire in the quarter-finals of the Inter County competition .
The County, having defeated Cambridgeshire 43-33 in the previous round, will play the last eight tie on Sunday, December 2.