BOWLS: Unstoppable Walker takes national crown


Jamie Walker produced some stunning bowls to win the Champion of Champions Singles title at the National Championships in Leamington Spa.

The Northampton West End BC ace eased past Matthew Marchant, of Hampshire, 21-9 in the final.

In the last 16, Walker beat Essex’s Steve Mitchinson 21-12 before seeing off Darlington Railway Athletic BC’s Andrew Kirtland 21-17 in the quarter-finals.

Walker’s toughest test came in the semi-finals, but he edged past Perry Martin of Kent 21-19 before going on to beat Marchant and claim glory.

The win adds Walker to a list of distinguished county bowlers who have won this competition over the years, which includes - Terry James (1996), Mick Sharpe (2002) and Paul Broderick (2005).

In the men’s National Fours, Northampton West End BC’s John Baggat, Martin Walker, Alan Ashby and Jamie Walker lost to Cornwall’s Norman Coad, Kevin Butler, Peter Brooks and Steve Lawer 21-18.

Northants fared better in the Triples event.

Kingsthorpe BC’s Andrew Manton, Neil McKee and Vernon Gearey reached the second round before going down 20-17 to Dorset.

The otherCounty team of Ashley Linnell, Ian Bland and Dominic Graham (Express) enjoyed an excellent run before narrowly missing out on a quarter-final place.

The trio beat Gloucestershire 19-13 in round one before following it up with a nail-biting 15-14 victory over Lincolnshire.

Linnell, Bland and Graham went out at the last 16 stage 15-14 to Somerset despite some outstanding bowling, particularly from Graham.

The Mixed Pairs saw Kingsthorpe BC’s Hilary Sharpe and Vernon Gearey go out at the last 16 stage, losing 20-4 to Essex duo Elaine Score and Ed Morris.

The men’s Senior Singles saw Kingsthorpe BC’s Mick Sharpe suffer a 21-11 first-round defeat to Devon’s Kevin Phillips.

Charity gala raises £500 for Macmillan

Kingsthorpe BC’s Martin Salem and Graham Alsop organised an open triples competition last month in memory of three of the club’s celebrated bowlers – Ernie Tredwell, Andrew Hunter and Andrew’s father Mel Hunter.

More than 70 bowlers from all over the county took part in what was a very successful day, raising funds for the club, and at the same time enabling Kingsthorpe Bowling Club to donate £500 to Macmillan Cancer Relief.

All three of the named bowlers were cared for by nurses by Macmillan.

Diana Arrowsmith, of the charity, received the cheque from Salem and Alsop at a special presentation on August 8.

Irchester set to host crunch county finals

The finals of the remaining County competitions will be held at Irchester BC on Sunday.

The Secretary’s Cup Singles will be between Roger Summers (Northampton West End BC) and Mark Turner (Kettering Midland Band BC) while the Mason Cup – the County Champion of Champions Singles – will see Paul Broderick of Burton Latimer Town BC take on an as yet unknown opponent.

After that the County Mixed Pairs will pit Burton duo Emily Carr and Broderick against club-mates and Emma Gray and Phil Exley.

There is a chance this final will not take place if the BN Women’s Amy Rose challenge at Leamington is successful as Gray is a part of that side.

The final of the Executive Triples is yet to be arranged. 

Abington and Roade lose quarter-final ties

The Women’s County Top Club quarter-finals were played at the weekend with both Abington and Roade suffering defeats.


Higham Ferrers Town BC beat Abington BC 3-2 (71-70 shots)

Higham names first:

Singles: Maureen Plimmer beat Deborah Bradshaw 21=6 shots.

Pairs: Clair Snelling & Viv Gaudyn lost to Diane Brown & Debbie Cadd 14-19 shots.

Triples: Yvonne Pullen, Helena Norman & Val Betts beat D McLaughlin, Gloria White & Pam Wills 15-13 shots.

Fours: Lesley Watts, Christine Freeman, Norma Richardson & Kay Hickman lost to Judy Jones, Jean Purchase, Margaret Sidebottom & Anita Petrucci 21-32 shots.

Kettering Lodge BC beat Roade BC 3-1 (79-62 shots)

Skips names only, Kettering Lodge first:

Singles: Pat Starsmore beat Janet Ashby 21-20 shots.

Pairs: Audrey Height beat Ann-Marie Waters 21-11 shots.

Triples: Margaret Silsby beat Joan Sidebottom 24-12 shots.

Fours: Margaret Haig lost to Sally Gearey 13-19 shots.

County team to face Buckinghamshire

THE following have been selected to represent Northants in their friendly match against Buckinghamshire at Thrapston BC next Tuesday.

Rink one: Peter Kitchener, Irchester/David Lovell, Irchester/George Willmott, Irchester/Terry James, Thrapston

Rink two: Len Smith, Burton Latimer Town/Walt Winsor, Wellingborough/Peter Mercer, Brackley/Richard Somerton, Brackley

Rink three: Patrick Callan, Wellingborough/Peter Byworth, Wellingborough/Neville Bodily, Northampton Whyte Melville/Geoff Hunt, Wellingborough

Rink four: Bob Brogdon, Northampton Express/Michael Munns, Northampton Express/Robin Frost, Bugbrooke/Michael Moulton, Heyford

Rink five: Andrew Burrows, Oundle/Bill Leask, Swanspool/Brian Jones, Heyford/John Cooper, Burton Latimer Town

Rink six: Ian Watts, West Haddon/Mike Atkins, Burton Latimer Town/Brian Fairbairn, Swanspool/Malcolm Mattinson, Thrapston

Reserves: John Chester, Kettering Lodge/Colin Barnes, Roade/Trevor Tilley, Irchester/Roger Summers, Northampton West End