BOWLS: Double delight for impressive Walker

West End won the County Fours title
West End won the County Fours title

Jamie Walker of Northampton West End BC celebrated a double of men’s county titles as he won the Two-Wood Singles and Under-25 Singles crowns at Irchester, the home club of Northamptonshire president George Willmott.

In the Two-Wood competition, he faced Wellingborough’s Neil Corbyn and eventually triumphed 15-13 after a high-quality contest.

Corbyn, who was appearing in his fourth successive final in the discipline, scored first but the match was level at 3-3 after four ends but Walker moved into a 9-6 lead after 11.

Corbyn battled back with some excellent bowls over the next four ends to move 11-9 up but the game swung back in Walker’s favour as he collected three shots to make it 12-11 with three to play.

The match went to the wire with Walker picking up a single shot to make it 13-13 after 20 ends to take it into a last-end shoot-out.

Walker bowled two terrific bowls and that proved enough for him to take the title for the first time. He will now represent the county at the National Championships in Leamington when he will face the Lancashire B qualifier on Tuesday, August 25.

Corbyn will also be on hand for the Nationals and will play the Suffolk B qualifier on the same day.

After a short break, Jamie Walker was back in action for the Under-25 Singles as he took on reigning champion David Walker.

Jamie held a two-shot advantage after nine ends and then had a good run of picking up seven to just one conceded over the next three to move eight in front.

David battled back and reduced the deficit to four but Jamie picked up the shot he needed to secure a 21-16 success.

Both players will represent the county in the discipline in Leamington.

Jamie will play the Dorset A qualifier on Saturday, August 15 and David will take on the Cornwall B qualifier on the same day.

The Kingsthorpe rink of Andrew Manton, Neil McKee and Vernon Gearey secured the Triples title in emphatic style as they beat the Northampton Express trio of Ashley Linnell, Ian Bland and Dominic Graham 21-6.

The Express team were always playing catch up after conceding seven shots on the first end, and they conceded the match after 11.

Both triples will represent the county at Leamington with Gearey’s line-up facing the Berkshire A qualifier and Graham’s rink up against the Gloucestershire ‘A’ qualifier.

Both matches will be played on Thursday, August 20.

The Fours final was an all-Northampton West End affair and it proved to be a terrific match with the rink of Roger Summers, Ian Stewart, David Walker and Iain Walker beating club-mates John Baggat, Martin Walker, Alan Ashby and Jamie Walker 21-20 after an extra end.

After an excellent encounter, which saw the lead change hands numerous times, the two rinks were locked at 20-20, meaning an extra end was needed.

Jamie Walker’s rink held the vital shot, delivered by Baggat close to the jack with his first bowl, then Stewart drew an inch or so closer, until Martin Walker sent a firm bowl to cannon the Baggat bowl onto Stewart’s which was sent out of the head, leaving the Baggat bowl once again shot.

David Walker fired it out to hold shot for his rink and Ashby drew to within inches of being shot, as did Jamie Walker.

But when Iain Walker put another in close, Jamie Walker changed his hand but his bowl just missed the object and the victory was with his club colleagues.

Both rinks will be at the National Championships with Iain Walker’s rink playing the Cornwall A team in the first round on Monday, August 12 while Jamie Walker’s team will be in preliminary round action 24 hours earlier against the Oxfordshire B qualifier.

Smith and Wigfield set for a busy weekend

THE Northants County Womens finals will be held at Wellingborough this weekend.

It promises to be a busy weekend for Desborough Town duo Katie Smith and Rebecca Wigfield, who will appear in five finals.

Desborough’s Margaret Watts is also in at least three finals, as is Northampton Whyte Melville’s Pat Bodily.

Smith goes into the weekend on the back of a successful showing for England as she helped them win the British Isles Junior Women’s International Series at Ardgowan BC in Scotland.

Weekend finals

Two-Wood Singles: Tina Broderick (Burton Latimer Town) v Katie Smith (Desborough 

Four-Wood Singles: Rebecca Wigfield (Desborough Town) v Jill Welch (Heyford).

Under-25 Singles: Louise Haladij (Kislingbury) v Katie Smith (Desborough Town).

Pairs: Yvonne McKee, Brenda Bishop (Kingsthorpe) v Rebecca Wigfield, Katie Smith (Desborough Town).

Triples: Margaret Watts, Katie Smith, Rebecca Wigfield (Desborough Town) v Abby Woodward, Dawn Owen, Sharon Hall (Desborough Town).

Fours: Jackie Dale, Pauline Letts, Elaine Cox, Sue Graham-Hole (St Crispin) v Margaret Watts, Jeannie Flippance, Katie Smith, Rebecca Wigfield (Desborough Town).

Benevolent Triples: Pat Bodily’s triple (Northampton Whyte Melville) BC v Janet Swift’s triple (Abbey Park).

Secretary/Treasurer: Pat Bodily (Northampton Whyte Melville) v Elaine Urquhart (Brackley).

County Champion of Champions: Rebecca Wigfield (Desborough Town) v Sue Graham-Hole (St Crispin).

Over-55 Singles: Margaret Watts (Desborough Town) v Pat Bodily (Northampton Whyte 

Over-55 Pairs: Margaret McGillivray & partner (Desborough Town) v Sharon Tansley & partner (Kingsthorpe).

Northants win Trophy after terrific triumph

NORTHANTS Under-25s have secured the Midland Counties Ron Barston Trophy.

The county hold an unbeaten record so far this season and have just one game left to play.

They secured the trophy thanks to a convincing 89-54 victory over Warwickshire at Abington.

The big win was helped by an overwhelming success for Connor Cinato’s rink as they triumphed by a huge 27 shots.

The overall win earned Northants 20 points while the visitors took just two.

Rink scores

(Warwickshire skips only)

Rink one: Jack Botterill, Nick Manton, Adam Hawkins, David Walker 21 Kirsty Richards 16.

Rink two: Connor Rollings, Tay O’Neill, Matt Cattell, Connor Cinato 34 J Merrett 7.

Rink three: Abby Woodward, Alice Moore, Dan Waterfield, Danny Walker 14 L Horne 21.

Rink four: Kyle Buckley, Kieran Rollings, Adam Pitfield, Nathan Betts 20 D Ward