Stamford bowlers made an encouraging start to their season in the First Division of the Lincolnshire Indoor League with a 20-shot victory at Sleaford for the A team.
New captain Adam Warrington sprinkled three juniors throughout the team - Stephen Harris, Nathan Rigby and Jay Travis-Jenner - drastically reducing the average age but not their ability to play some high quality bowls in securing 14 vital points out of a possible 18 and a 99-79 winning margin.
Pick of the rinks was that skipped by club newcomer Roger Martin, who has brought a wealth of experience to the team as a former national champion. His rink never relaxed their grip after racing into a 9-0 lead after five ends and 10 shots from the last five ends earned them an impressive 26-11 win.
There were also wins for rinks skipped by Martyn Dolby over his old adversary Trevor Bannister and for left-hander Cliff Watson.
However, tomorrow (Saturday 2.10pm) Stamford are under no illusions when entertaining champions Spalding, who will be looking for revenge after a narrow defeat in the same fixture last year. Even with a depleted team Spalding took all 18 points at Sleaford in their opening game.
l Seventeen-year-old Stamford college student Stephen Harris makes his Lincolnshire Under 25 debut when he plays in the National inter-county double-rink clash against Northumberland at York on Sunday.
Lincs won the title in 2012 and having lost a handful of players who are now over age, are looking to re-build their squad, with Stephen playing a key role at No.2 in the rink skipped by Jonathan West (Boston).
Team: David Bristow (Sleaford), Stephen Harris (Stamford), Ryan Huskisson (Spalding), Jonathan West (Boston); Jordan Philpott, Rhys Hill, Ben Wilson, Ashley Caress (all Spalding).
l Stamford’s women players got off to a great start in their Trudy Bates Lincs County League campaign with a six-shot victory at Scunthorpe, securing 12 of the 16 points available.
Despite one rink dropping a nervy seven shots on the last end, Stamford held on to win 91- 85 with Rosemary Roberts, Margaret Andrews, Denise Mackie and Pam Plowman taking the rink honours with a 18
l A 105-83 home defeat of Skegness A, kick-started Stamford Over 60s season in the second division of the Lincolnshire League, claiming 16 points.
There were wins for rinks skipped by John Geary, Albert Horton, Richard Martin and Dennis Henshaw.
The team were looking forward to the chance to top the table this week with a home fixture against Long Sutton but the Fenland club called off on Monday claiming they had insufficient players available.
l There have been little good fortune but plenty of valuable experience for local players competing in English national indoor competitions, with Bruce Acock, Alan Romaine, Peter Banks and Chris Ballard all losing in the first round of the men’s singles.
Ballard and Wayne Aspinall were also unlucky to be drawn against two of the tournament favourites, England Internationals Matt Wyers (Spalding), who won Stamford’s recent Planet Bowls tournament and Martin Spencer, finally conceding at 27-7. Mike Ramsden lost his first round match to Brian Hawkins (Clarrie Dunbar) in the Willows Lincoln IBC Open at the weekend. The event was won by former World No.1 Greg Harlow who beat fellow England international Les Gillett in the final.
l Stamford Indoor Bowls Club is due to stage its annual presentation evening tonight (Friday) when new presidents Denis and Stella Henshaw from Ryhall will take over from Brian and Anita Edwards.
Repairs to the club’s leaking roof are expected start on Monday, reducing access to the club’s car park. The work, which includes fitting a waterproof skin, is expected to take about three to four weeks.
Results (Stamford names only):
Lincs Men’s League Division One: Sleaford 79 (4 pts) - Stamford A 99 (14) D Hudson, S Travis, R Allam, K Rippin lost 18-22; A Romaine, R Montgomery, B Warters, Roger Martin won 26-11; J Travis-Jenner, R Keating, J Holroyd, C Watson won 22-15; N Rigby, M Bailey, A Warrington, P Banks lost 13-16;S Harris, B Plowman, D King, M Dolby won 20-15.
Lincs Women’s Trudy Bates League: Scunthorpe 85 (4), Stamford 91 (12).J Gamble, S Henshaw, R March, S Moir lost 19-20; J Brennan, V Du’Kett, M Bloxham, C Warters lost 19-21; M MacKellar, M Broadbelt, S Suffling, C Ford won 16-15; J Robinson, B Sims, P Birch, G Edwards won 19-17; R Roberts, M Andrews, D Mackie, P Plowman won 18-12.