Northants men have reached the final of the Liberty Trophy for the first time after a brilliant semi-final win over Dorset.
The County will now take on Lincolnshire in the Liberty final next month.
The semi-final of the most prestigious of all inter-county competitions was played at a neutral venue in Newbury in Berkshire on Saturday.
The first end went the way of Dorset as they immediately posted a four-shot lead at 9-5, but that deficit was soon remedied by the County on the next end which went 8-2 shots in its favour to take a lead which was never seriously challenged for the remainder of the match.
By halfway Northants were 82-41 ahead after 11 ends. With the quality of players at Dorset’s disposal that sort of lead was never likely to be sustained, and so it proved as Dorset had an equal share of the scoring over the next four ends and kept the County’s lead to 39 shots after 15 ends.
The 16th end was not a good one for the County, and as the Dorset men picked up a total of 18 shots without reply on that one end, the County supporters became just a little anxious for the lead was cut to just 21 shots.
They need not have worried over much, however, for the last ends of play were pretty even, and when five of the rinks had finished, the two ends left to be played by Paul Broderick’s rink were not necessary as the win had been secured by 20 shots.
The highest scoring rinks for the County were those skipped by Neil Corbyn and Jamie Walker, each having an advantage of eight shots, and the final score was Northamptonshire 127 Dorset 107.
Rink details, Dorset skips only, as follows:
Rink 1: Dave Love, Tony Dicks, Jim McKee & Vernon Gearey 22 – B Patterson 17
Rink 2: Andy Smith, David Walker, Callum Height & Andrew Manton 16 – D Nutman 20
Rink three: Mark Corbyn, Bob Fuller, Phil Exley & Neil Corbyn 24 – M Puckett 16
Rink 4: Richard Lemon, Chris Bland, Darren Childs & Jamie Walker 26 – B Paulley 18
Rink 5: Dave Flippance, Dominic Graham, Connor Cinato & Paul Broderick 19 – P Ward 20 (19 ends played)
Rink 6: Matt Pownall, Ben Sharpe, John Haines & Mick Sharpe 20 – C Daniels 16
Prior to the match, County president Trevor Tilley was pleased to present a Liberty Cup flash to Tony Dicks of Daventry IBC, on playing his first Liberty match for the County.
Northants will now play Lincolnshire in the final at Melton & District IBC, at 1.30pm on Sunday, April 12.
County men claim Warwickshire Trophy success
Northants men are also celebrating after they claimed the Warwickshire Trophy at Welford-on-Avon on Sunday.
It was the deciding match in the Midland Counties Warwickshire Trophy, and they took on Warwickshire.
Northants and Warks were the leading counties in the league, and on the day Northants took the honours with a 12-shot win.
The County won on four rinks, and lost on two, and the highest scoring County rink was that skipped by George Warren with a 14-shot advantage.
The final score was 112 (18 points) Warwickshire 100 (4 points).
Rink details, Warwicks skips only, as follows:
Rink 1: Will Clelland, Peter Mellor, Norman Gibb & George Warren 27 – B Blackmore 13
Rink 2: Alan Baulch, Martin Cinato, Dave Flippance & Connor Cinato 18 – B Lees 10
Rink 3: Jim Diver, Matt Cattell, Matt Pownall & John Haines 19 – Matt Wordingham 17
Rink four: Adam Pitfield, Kyle Buckley, Malc Mattinson & Martin Keech 13 – S Taylor 21
Rink 5: Roger Summers, Ashley Linnell, Tony Weston & Jason Bryan 18 – A Smith 17
Rink 6: Pete Maloy, John Greaves, Walt Winsor & Chris Bland 17 – B Ward 22
Walker and McKee in action for England
Northampton bowlers Jamie Walker and Neil McKee will represent England in this week’s British Isles International Series in County Durham.
Stanley IBC is the setting for the competition between the home countries of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.
The series is played from Thursday (March 12) to Saturday (March 14) with two six-rink matches on each of the three days.
Walker, of Wellingborough IBC, and McKee, of Kingsthorpe, are both in the England team and will both have hopefully got used to the green as they are playing in the British Isles Championships which precedes this Series, with Walker in the Men’s Singles and McKee in the Men’s Pairs.
Walker is playing at No.3 on the rink skipped by Sam Tolchard of Torquay United IBC, Devon, and they will be joined at lead by Brett Arkley of Stanley IBC and at No. 2 by regular International David Bolt, also of Stanley IBC.
McKee will be playing at No.2 in the rink skipped by Graham Shadwell of Clarrie Dunbar IBC, Frome, Somerset, and they will be joined by Steven Mitchinson of Tye Green IBC, Harlow, Essex, at lead and at No.3 by Stephen Farish of Cumbria IBC.
First up for England will be Ireland at 4pm on Thursday, and on Friday England face Wales at 10am. The third and final match in the Series will see England play Scotland on March 14 at 3pm.
Meanwhile, four Northants bowlers are this week in action in the British Isles Indoor Championships at Stanley IBC in County Durham.
Chloe Wordingham of Wellingborough IBC plays in the Junior Women’s Singles (Under 25 years).
Walker of Wellingborough IBC represents England in the Men’s Singles, while Andrew Manton and Neil McKee from Kingsthorpe IBC represent England in the pairs.
County ladies prepare for Hertfordshire
THE following players have been selected to represent Northamptonshire Women’s Indoor Bowling Association in a friendly against Hertfordshire on Thursday.
The match will be played at Watford IBC at 2pm.
The coach will pick up at Kettering Leisure Village at 11.45am and Northampton & District IBC at 12.15pm.
Rink 1: Julie Spreadbury, Daventry/Elsie Hatton, Brackley & District/Chris Cooper, Wellingborough/Brenda Bishop, Daventry
Rink 2: Velda Cooper, Rushden Town/Elaine Urquhart, Brackley & District/Lorna Hart, Kingsthorpe/Joan Watts, Daventry
Rink 3: Pat Starsmore, Kettering Lodge/Audrey Gardener, Kingsthorpe/Barbara Oliver, Daventry/Audrey Height, Kettering Lodge
Rink 4: Linda Warren, Northampton & District/Joan Sidebottom, Northampton & District/Heather Lack, Kettering Lodge/Joyce Porter, Northampton & District
Rink 5: Elaine Munton, Kingsthorpe/Denise Carlin, Desborough/Pam Sallaway, Rushden Town/Donna Williamson
Rink 6: Lynn Upton, Brackley & District/Joan Bryan, Kettering Lodge/Barbara Haseldine, Rushden Town/Valerie Blackwell, Rushden Town
Travelling Reserves: Val Scott, Brackley & District/Joy Griffin, Desborough. Non-travelling Reserves: Pam Page, Desborough/Margaret Tyler, Wellingborough
County edged out by Middlesex
Northants IBA lost 121-115 to Middlesex in a friendly at Daventry IBC on Wednesday.
The highest winning rink for the County was that skipped by Richard Somerton which had an advantage of 12 shots.
Rink scores, Middlesex skips only, as follows:
Rink 1: Don Scott, Ray Ward, Geoff Harris & Michael Moulton 18 – A Knott 22
Rink 2: Will Clelland, Dave Garland, Dave Stewart & Norman Gibb 24 – A Docker 19
Rink 3: Stuart Lowe, Trevor Tilley, Alan Watts & Bernard Spreadbury 17 – L Stone 14
Rink 4: Keith Howlett, Trevor Goodchild, Geoff Allen & Ted Guiver 20 – R Kirk 22
Rink 5: Rick Hayes, Mike Robins, Tony Warren & Malc Mattinson 10 shots – S Gibson 30 shots
Rink 6: Roger Miller, Brian Langton, Geoff Hunt & Richard Somerton 26 – E Prior 14
Daventry too strong for Northampton & District
Daventry IBC beat Northampton & District 68-54 in the County Triples League.
Daventry claimed five points from the match, with Northampton taking four.
Only names provided were the Daventry players, as follows:
At Daventry: Triple 1 Arthur Stowe, Stuart Lowe & Adge Smith 21 – Northampton & District 6
Triple 2: Brian Scott, Richard Holland & Alan Davies 23 – Northampton & District 14
At Northampton: Triple 3: Ray Rumble, Ray Caira & Mark Courtney 12 – Northampton & District 17
Triple 4: Peter Ashbrook, Malcolm Foster & Terry Fuller 12 – Northampton & District 17
The match between Kingsthorpe IBC and Brackley & District IBC was postponed.
The seventh and final round of Triples League matches take place this weekend.
Fixtures: Brackley & District v Rushden Town; Daventry IBC v Wellingborough IBC; Desborough IBC v Kingsthorpe IBC; Kettering Lodge IBC v Northampton & District IBC