Northants Men scored an excellent 122-90 win over Worcestershire in their latest Midland Counties match at Wellingborough BC on Saturday.
The County fielded a much-changed team due to non-availability of a number of players, and had four winning rinks and two losing, but they were only by a total of eight shots between them.
The highest scoring for the County were the rinks skipped by Andrew Manton and Jonathan Brown, which both posted 16 shots victories.
The first few ends were pretty close overall, with the scores after five ends showing the visitors to be one shot in front, but the next five ends went better for the County, and at 10 ends they had a lead of 11 shots.
The five ends that followed were pretty even, with Worcester stemming the advance, but from then on the County put the foot on the pedal and the last five ends of play brought a substantial gain in shots overall.
With three wins from three matches played, the County is in the driving seat to secure the Midland Counties Championship, but there are still some tough matches to come.
Rink details, Worcester skips only, as follows:
Rink 1: Adam Brown, Connor Rollings, Michael Moulton & Roger Tansley 15 – Rob Stanley 17
Rink 2: Dave Love, Phil Reeve, Simon Coles & Vernon Gearey 15 – Andrew Walters 13
Rink 3: Chris Gray, Colin Barnes, Andrew Burrows & Jim McKee 21 – Steve Poyner 15
Rink 4: Adam Pitfield, John Freeman, Peter Ward & Andrew Manton 28 – Grant Burgess 12
Rink 5: Tony O’Leary, Kieran Rollings, Martin Gearey & Mark Tompkins 16 – Dave Summers 22
Rink 6: Curtis Johnson, Peter Hoad, Paul Green & Jonathan Brown 27 – Keith Weaver 11
No joy for Northants as they lose in Trophy
NORTHANTS Ladies suffered a 127-108 Johns Trophy defeat at the hands of Leicestershire at Fleckney BC.
The County had been hoping to build on their opening victory over Bedfordshire, but although rink wins were shared, Leicestershire claimed the win.
The County did still pick up some useful points, with the highest scoring of the County’s rinks being that skipped by Rebecca Wigfield which secured a very good 13 shots victory.
The match actually started very well for the County for a lead of 16 shots had been achieved after five ends, and five ends later the lead was at 18 shots.
But then the wheels fell off and Leicestershire took control, piling on the shots to go from being 18 down to 21 up in eight ends.
This defeat has probably ruined the County’s chances of proceeding further in this competition, for they would not only need to win very well against Suffolk in the last Group stage match, but would also need to rely on Bedfordshire beating Leicestershire.
Rink details, Leicestershire skips only, as follows:
Rink 1: Margaret Watts, Jeannie Flippance, Ann-Marie Waters & Rebecca Wigfield 28 – C Dixon 15
Rink 2: Janet Ashby, Brenda Bishop, Alison Dring & Yvonne McKee 14 – K Kyle 27
Rink 3: Linda Warren, Audrey Height, Katie Smith & Tina Broderick 12 – S Sharpe 28
Rink 4: Celia Morris, Maggie Edwards, Di Brumwell & Hilary Sharpe 16 – C Massie 15
Rink 5: Pat Bodily, Pat Starsmore, Jill Welch & Barbara Haseldine 23 – J Winch 18
Rink 6: Julie Spreadbury, Chris Cooper, Emma Gray & Sharon Hall 15 – L Green 24
County cruise to win in Norfolk friendly
NORTHANTS Men travelled to Cawston BC to take on Norfolk in a friendly and returned with a thumping 147-79 victory.
The County only lost on one rink, and of the County’s winning rinks, that skipped by George Willmott had the highest win with an 18 shots victory, but just one shot less was that skipped by Terry James, and one shot less than his was that skipped by George Warren.
Rink scores, Norfolk skips only, as follows:
Rink 1: Paul Cooke, John Cooper, Peter Kitchener & Richard Somerton 27 – R Anderson-Dungar 12
Rink 2: Stuart Lake, Eddie Chapman, Brian Diver & Terry James 31 – G Vernon 14
Rink 3: Laurie Harrison, David Francis, Brian Jones & Norman Gibb 10 – J Gamblin 21
Rink 4: Harvey Fruish, Dave Lovell, Roger Summers & George Willmott 31 – J Whitfield 13
Rink 5: Peter Hoad, Jim Brumwell, Colin Barnes & Bob Tingle 23 – J Blackburn 10
Rink 6: Will Clelland, Tony Warren, Robin Frost & George Warren 25 – B Windsor 9
Abington so happy as they claim the cup
ABINGTON are celebrating after winning the Northamptonshire Vice Presidents Bowling Association Harris Cup at Irchester BC.
A total of 24 rinks descended on three greens, with Higham Ferrers Town, Thrapston and Irchester all staging group games, and Irchester staging the final.
The ‘round robin’ group stages were played in the morning and early afternoon, with the qualifying rinks from that stage meeting at Irchester, for the seven ends semi-final and final in late afternoon.
The four rinks qualifying for the finals stage were Higham Ferrers Town, Corby Grampian, Northampton BBOB and Abington BC.
In the semi-finals, Abington beat BBOB 7-2 and Corby Grampian beat Higham Ferrers 6-5.
In the final, the Corby team of Trevor Anderson, David Smith, Ian Totton and George Mitchell scored a single on the first end against Tony O’Leary, Terry Brown, Phil Reeve and John Freeman, but they were not going to score again until the last of the seven ends.
In the meantime, the middle five ends were all good for Abington, as they scored seven shots, despite some excellent bowling from the Corby men.
With the team having three current County bowlers, Abington had enough power to keep taking the ends, albeit only by one or two shots, for the ultimate 7-2 victory.
Ladies are edged out by Hertfordshire
NORTHANTS Ladies were beaten 40-34 by Hertfordshire in the first round of the Inter County Walker Cup double rink competition at Wellingborough.
After the first end in which each county picked up three shots, the Hertfordshire ladies took the lead and maintained it throughout the match.
At one point the visitors looked as though they might run away with it as they were playing very well and had a 12 shots lead after 13 ends, but the County ladies are competitive, and as the match was coming to its last two or three ends, they reduced the deficit down to just four shots momentarily.
And when each rink had one end left to score they needed six shots to force an extra end.
Unfortunately for the County, despite initially setting up the possibility of such an occurrence, the Hertfordshire back end players destroyed their hopes with several very good bowls.
Rink details as follows, Herts skips only:
Rink 1: Linda Warren, Pat Bodily, Katie Smith & Rebecca Wigfield beat S Bard-Bodex 22-19
Rink 2: Julie Spreadbury, Brenda Bishop, Alison Dring & Yvonne McKee lost to A Hall 12-21
Manfield Cup to be staged on Saturday
THE prestigious Manfield Cup is staged this Saturday (July 1).
This competition is steeped in history, being the event which instituted the Northamptonshire Bowling Association in 1906, when Manfield brothers James and Harry put up the trophy which is still played for today.
It has been competed for every year since 1906, with the exception of the first and second World War years.
A total of 35 county clubs have entered a team, which consists of four rinks of men, and they are drawn to play all over the county, on greens other than their own.
Last year’s winners were Thrapston BC, and they are hoping to become the first club to win the trophy three times in succession, but their opponents from Roade, Irchester, Northants Retired Police BA and Harpole, will be doing their best to deny them.
The full draw may be viewed by visiting the Bowls Northamptonshire website: www.bowlsnorthamptonshire.co.uk/
Northants name side for Middlesex clash
THE following players have been selected to represent Northants Men in a friendly against Middlesex BA at Bugbrooke BC next Tuesday (July 4, 2pm).
Rink 1: Colin Barnes, Abington BC/John Cooper, Burton Latimer Town BC/Geoff Hunt, Wellingborough BC/Richard Somerton, Brackley & District BC
Rink 2: Peter Hoad, Northampton Express BC/Bob Sullivan, Desborough Town BC/Geoff Harris, Higham Ferrers Town BC/Terry James, Thrapston BC
Rink 3: Harvey Fruish, Abington BC/Geoff Allen, Heyford BC/Tim Robinson, Retired Police BA/George Warren, Desborough Town BC
Rink 4: Laurie Harrison, Earls Barton BC/Peter Gilkes, Bugbrooke BC/Brian Diver, Corby Seagrave House BC/Norman Gibb, Corby Seagrave House BC
Rink 5: Will Clelland, Corby Seagrave House BC/Neville Bodily, Northampton Whyte Melville BC/Geoff Hayter, Bugbrooke BC/George Willmott, Irchester BC
Rink 6: Peter Kitchener, Irchester BC/Trevor Tilley, Irchester BC/Robin Frost, Bugbrooke BC/Mark Courtney, Northampton Whyte Melville BC
Reserves: Dave Francis, Bugbrooke BC/Dave Lovell, Irchester BC/Paul Cooke, Carlsberg BC/John Elphee, Kislingbury BC