Stamford club’s fight for survival

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Stamford Indoor Bowls Club’s mixed team is desperately fighting for its survival in the top division of the Lincolnshire county league following it’s first promotion in 20 years.

After eight matches, the team sits just 19 points above the two relegation spots with rivals Long Sutton and Louth A having games in hand.

The 15 points Stamford picked up against Louth in a 104-78 shot victory were vital and thanks chiefly to the 28-10 defeat by the Barnes-Warters family combination of the previously unbeaten Colin and Carol Smith.

In the Lincs County Men’s Third Division, Stamford Men’s B team promotion hopes took a jolt when they lost by just one shot to rivals Grantham. With one match to play they are tied on 63 points.

Results (Stamford names only)

Lincs Mixed League Division One: Stamford 104 (15pts), Louth A 78 (3). W Kettle, J Gamble, J Harris, R Harvey lost 20-24; C Barnes, C Warters, A Barnes, R Warters won 28-10; M Andrews, K Bailey, D Miller, M Bailey won 201-16; S Bailey, B Beeton, A Horton, P Bailey won 19-11; D Hudson, J Brennan, M Bloxham, J Little drew 17-17.

Lincs Men’s League Division Three: Grantham 84 (12 pts), Stamford 83 (6). K Rawlins, B Gretton, M wallis, A horton lost 14-22; T Barwell, C Ballard, P Pheasant, M Owens won 17-12; C Jones, D Bruce, W Kettle, M Hewitt lost 13-20; D Ingham, I Young, D Miller, J Earl won 201-5; H Fidom, T Mackie, A Barnes, P Banks won 19-15.

With Stamford’s holders of the English Bowling Federation Triples title already out of the competition - beaten at the Northants EBF county quarter-final stage by John Holroyd and Keith and John Burrows - it was left to 15-year-old Stephen Harris, Doug Want and Bob Warters to attempt to at least reach the final.

But in a thrilling tussle they were edged out by Cliff Watson’s rink at Peterborough.

Stamford held the upper hand for much of the 21-end two-bowl triples match but were constantly pegged back by immaculate Watson conversions.

Stamford were finally crushed when, holding four shots and a potential match-winning position on the penultimate end - Watson drew the shot yet again and the Peterborough trio went on to win 16-12.

Stamford’s Holroyd and Peterborough’s John Burrows also lost in the pairs semi-final 17-15 to Brian Martin and Simon Law.

Martyn Dolby has reached the singles final with a comprehensive defeat of Joe Randall at Peterborough and will meet either Doug Want or Trevor Collins who were due to play yesterday (Thursday).

In the Federation women’s triples Glenys Edwards teamed up with Joyce Foster and Connie Cox to out-fox Margaret Andrews, Jan Want and Christine Ford 21-16 and reach the finals on March 17.

The trio, along with Peggy Birch, also qualified for the Lincs County rinks quarter-finals with a five shot victory over Sylvia Wade’s Spalding quartet at Sleaford.

Stamford’s junior bowlers came up against the cream of Lincolnshire’s U25s at Boston and acquitted themselves well playing to a sets format against several players who had represented the Lincs in winning the English Under 25 county championships the previous day.

Though Nathan Rigby came up against International Matthew Orrey in his first match, Jay Travis beat Jake Meakins before losing to Jonathan West from the home club.

Jon Bailey accounted for David Bristow (Sleaford) but went out to Ruby Hill (Spalding) who had earlier defeated Stephen Harris in a tie break. Katie Bailey lost to Spalding’s Jordan Philpott in the quarter finals, having beaten Chris Pope (Sutton St James).

Tomorrow (Saturday) Stamford Men’s A team complete their Division One fixtures with a visit to Skegness needing a win to secure their status, while club President Charlie Underwood hosts a match against Lincolnshire Vice Presidents on Sunday (2.10).