Northants Ladies fell at the first hurdle in the Atherley Trophy as they lost out by 12 shots to Hertfordshire.
With both teams having had success in the Inter County National competition in the past, both were eager to progress in the first-round clash at Wellingborough IBC.
But it was the visitors who were successful on this occasion as they played that bit better to seal a 123-111 victory.
Five of the Hertfordshire rinks won with a combined shots advantage of 23, which is an indication of how relatively close the County’s losing rinks were.
And, but for several ‘big bowls’ by a couple of the visiting skips, especially Michelle Barlow, a regular and current England Indoor International since 1998, when the County was sitting with several shots to the good, the outcome may have been different.
RINK SCORES (Hertfordshire skips only) Rink one: Marilyn Oram/Pat Starsmore/Hilary Sharpe/Sharon Tansley 19 Hazel Ottley 22. Rink two: Chris Cooper/Jean Pownall-Davies/Rebecca Wigfield/Jeannie Flippance 19 Shirley Page 24. Rink three: Vicki Rushall/Wilma Walker/Yvonne McKee/Brenda Bishop 18 Daphne Pratt 26. Rink four: Celia Morris/Joyce George/Dena Bryan/Tina Broderick 14 Michelle Barlow 19. Rink five: Linda Warren/Kay Green/Di Brumwell/Joyce Porter 27 Jenny Ralph 16. Rink six: Jan Hunt/Julie Spreadbury/Pam Lewis/Audrey Height 14 Hazel Ottley 16.
Weston shines for Northants men
The County men enjoyed a fine 138-99 friendly win over Cambridgeshire at Rushden Town IBC.
Four winning rinks and two losing, albeit by a total of only 10 shots, led to the victory and none were more deserved than that skipped by Tony Weston which picked up 14 shots in the last five ends of their tussle.
This included a ‘Hotshots’ full house score of eight shots on the very last end to secure a victory for the rink.
RINK SCORES (Cambridgeshire skips only) Rink one: Jim Headington/Bill Craig/Geoff Harris/Bob Tingle 16 A Vincent 23. Rink two: Roger Summers/Frank Fair/Brian Diver/Terry James 24 G Bridges 15. Rink three: Keith Howlett/Bob Brown/Brian Sherwood/Richard Somerton 17 J Charlton 20. Rink four: Will Clelland/Brian Langton/Tony Warren/Reg Jones 28 R Jackson 12. Rink five: Pete Woodhams/Rick Hayes/Ted Guiver/Tony Weston 23 J Whitfield 17. Rink six: Dougie Cooper/Don Scott/Bob Sullivan/Norman Gibb 30 P Dodds 12.
County bounce back with fine victory
In their second match in the Inter County Over-60 League, Northamptonshire men were hopeful of turning around their fortunes when they faced Hertfordshire after a disappointing loss to Norfolk in their previous match.
Three rinks visited Watford IBC with the other three playing at home at Northampton & District IBC.
And, after a terrific performance at both venues with five winnings rinks and just one losing, the County came out on top by a very impressive 42 shots.
Team manager John Haines (Desborough) was forced into a number of changes from his original selection.
But it didn’t matter as the County secured a fine victory.
Next up is a match against Essex on Wednesday with three rinks playing at Kingsthorpe and three at Colchester.
RINK SCORES. At Northampton: Rink one: Pete Maloy/Bernard Spreadbury/Norman Gibb/Malcolm Mattinson 23 I Howard 21. Rink two: Alan Baulch/Bob Care/Colin Manton/Tony Weston 29 M O’Flanagan 14. Rink three: Roger Summerss/John Baggat/Colin Jones/Jim McKee 27 A Rodgers 15. At Watford: Rink four: Will Clelland/Brian Rees/Walt Winsor/Carl Haines 14 R Briden 22. Rink five: Tony Dicks/Mick Richardson/Martin Keech/Mick Worhington 23 T Clift 13. Rink six: Jim Diver/Mick Corbyn/George Warren/John Haines 27 L Harland 16.
Kingsthorpe beat Boro to progress
Kingsthorpe progressed in the Denny Cup as they comfortably saw off Wellingborough 88-60.
Despite the best efforts of the Boro team, they were outplayed for most of the match.
After five ends completed by all rinks, the score was 26-15 shots in favour of Kingsthorpe, and, by the halfway stage, the advantage had grown to 47-31.
This lead was maintained by Kingsthorpe until the end.
RINK SCORES (Kingsthorpe names first) At Kingsthorpe. Rink one: David Walker/Phil Reeve/Ben Sharpe/Mick Sharpe 22 Dave Love/Martin Walker/Callum height/Jamie Walker 15. Rink two: Neil Rolfe/Peter Morris/Darren Lewis/Andrew Manton 25 Curtis Johnson/Graham Maddams/Mark Corbyn/Walt Winsor 10. At Wellingborough. Rink three: Paul O’Beirne/Martin Gearey/Chris Maden/Vernon Gearey 24 Bob Fuller/Steve Norman/Darren Lyman/Paul Broderick 20 (after 20 ends). Rink four: Pete Maloy/Colin Jones/Jason Bryan/Jim McKee 17 Scott Johnson/Tony Asher/Brian Rees/Neil Corbyn 15.
Four teams set for Yetton Trophy ties
Four county clubs still remain involved in the Yetton Trophy, the most prestigious National Inter Club competition for ladies.
The matches see two rinks play at home with two away.
Wellingborough take on Northampton & District at 10am next Thursday while Kingsthorpe face Desborough on the same day and at the same time.
The Yetton Plate is the competition for first-round losers in the Trophy and one match is also scheduled to take place in this next Thursday.
Kettering Lodge are up against Rushden Town with the winners then facing Daventry, who have received a bye into the second round.