Stamford Indoor Bowls Club will be well represented at the finals of the Northants Bowling Federation Championships staged at Peterborough IBC on Sunday, March 16, when 17-year-old New College Stamford student Stephen Harris could be featuring in three events.
Already through in the Under 25 singles where he will meet clubmate Jon Bailey, Harris linked with veteran Peter Edwards to reach the two-bowl pairs with an 18-16 defeat of City duo Graham Agger and Pete Brown.
Leading 15-6 they took their foot off the gas and let their opponents back into the match at 17-16 but secured the one shot they needed on the final end. They will now meet the winners of the much-anticipated clash between Bailey and his father Paul against fellow Stamford players - and former winners - Adam Warrington and Martyn Dolby.
Harris was due to play Andrew Thurston this week for a place in the 4-bowl singles final, while Edwards - paired with Bob Warters and Cliff Watson reached the 2-bowl triples final with a comprehensive defeat of Brian Bassam’s rink at Peterborough.
Edwards’ wife Glenys is through to the 2-bowl women’s triples final after skipping Joyce Foster and Margaret Andrews to an 18-10 defeat of Doris Flowers, Joan Padley and Carol Hunter.
It was a disappointing Friday for Bob Warters chasing two more final spots - out-bowled comprehensively by Joe Martin 21-7 in the Over 65 singles and missing a chance to play clubmate Derek King in the final. He then joined his wife Carol in the Mixed pairs semi-final against Fiona Richardson and Neil Wright, only to lose with the final bowl 17-20.
They held a 16-11 lead after 15 ends but despite some accurate firing by Carol to extend the match, could not quite shake off their determined opponents.
l Stamford bowlers John Holroyd and Jon Bailey acquitted themselves well in the final qualifying stages of the Lincolnshire singles but failed to get past the last 16 stage at Lincoln IBC.
Best performance came from the ever-improving Holroyd who beat former local bowler and ex-Commonwealth Games gold medal marathon runner Brian Kilby (21-8) and then held a comfortable lead in a bid to reach the quarter finals against Long Sutton’s Paul Mills. But, in his own words ‘got stuck on 19’ with the finishing line in sight and finally lost 21-19.
For Bailey the reward for a 21-12 win over Sleaford’s P Roberts was a match up with former world indoor singles champion Billy Jackson, who had earlier toppled Stamford’s Peter Banks 21-6. Bailey managed eight shots but Jackson, on his slick home carpet, was in no mood to be charitable to the talented youngster.
Richard Allam, Alan Romaine and Stephen Harris reached an identical number in their respective defeats by Mick Tomlin (Boston), Jonathan West (Boston) and Paul Johnson (Scunthorpe) though Harris had earlier beaten Grantham’s Nick Orrey 21-12. West and Tomlin went on to reach the semi-finals alongside Paul Bark (Horncastle) and Matt Orrey (Grantham) to be played at Grantham on March 30.
l Six Stamford women bowlers will contest the Lincs IBA Triples at Lincoln tomorrow (Saturday). June Brennan and Anita Edwards will be skipped by Christine Foird, with Anna Martin, and Margaret Bloxham skipped by Pearl O’Brien.
The O’Brien rink will be joined by Sue Moir for the fours at Grantham on March 15, when Stamford will also be represented by Rowena Weston, T Handley, Pauline Dixon and Flick Rogers.
l With still one match to play, the Men’s A team at Stamford IBC will finish as highly creditable runners-up to Spalding in the Lincolnshire First Division but were disappointed to drop valuable points at Louth on Saturday where they went down 117-73 losing on four rinks and picking up on two of the 18 points.
Only Paul Bailey’s rink of Alan Romaine, Trevor Harris and John Mumford came to terms with the inconsistencies of Louth surface, securing a 17-14 win, while Martin Bailey’s quartet dropped three on the last end to go down 16-15.
With a comprehensive home win over already relegated Scunthorpe on April 5, Stamford can salvage some pride and leave champions-elect Spalding with at least a target to reach at Lincoln the following day to retain the title.
Result (Stamford names only): Lincs League Men’s Division One: Louth A 117 (16pts) Stamford 73 (2). A Romaine, T Harris, J Mumford, P Bailey won 17-14; K Rawlins, M Ramsden, R Allam, A Warrington lost 8-29; W Morris, N Rigby, J Earl, M Bailey lost 15-16; B Plowman, J Travis-Jenner, B Warters, P Edwards lost 13-22; S Harris, W Kettle, J Holroyd, C Watson lost 20-33.
lKetton Bowls Club, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has received a grant of £2,089 from the local Whitebread Trust towards improvements to its green within the Ketton Sports Association complex in Pit Lane.
The club, which is keen to upgrade its facilities to attract new bowlers from the local community to play in its seven league and friendly teams will spend the funds to refurbish its ditches and surrounds to bring them up to the exacting standards needed to stage major fixtures this season and beyond.
As well as its own Open tournaments, Ketton will host three Northants Women’s Bowling Federation Donald Steward Trophy fixtures against Norfolk, Suffolk and Hunts and an NWBF Presidents Day for one of its members, Valerie Du’Kett.
It is also provisionally earmarked to stage the Northants Federation finals in July 2015.
Chairman Charlie Underwood said : “We are most grateful to the Whitebread Trust for their generous grant to help with costs towards the improvements.
“It is our aim to make the Ketton complex a centre of excellence for several sports as well as stage major events and we hope that these new improvements will help us achieve that.”