Tense competition for place in national finals

Stamford Indoor Bowls Club Juniors. Back row, from left, Jon Bailey and Stephen Harris, front, Katie Bailey and James Travis
Stamford Indoor Bowls Club Juniors. Back row, from left, Jon Bailey and Stephen Harris, front, Katie Bailey and James Travis

IN what promises to be a tense contest, four Stamford indoor bowlers battle it out tonight (Friday, 6.30pm) on their own green for the right to represent their club in the English IBA national Over 60s pairs finals at Melton Mowbray next month.

Mike Ramsden and partner Derek King take on Bob Warters and Martyn Dolby over 21 ends after both pairs had beaten Boston opposition in the area semi-finals.

Bob Warters said: “We’re looking forward to an exciting match. We all know each others’ games well so it will be a case of who can perform on the night.

“There’s bound to be a bit of banter but we’re proud that at least the club will be represented in the national finals for the first time in many years.”

Dolby was hoping to reach the final stages in the National Over 60s singles but lost out to Boston’s John Maury at the Spalding play-off on Sunday.

“I just couldn’t get to grips with the rink at Spalding,” said Dolby.

“I took an early lead but John settled better on a good line and length and ground out a 14-7 lead. I fought back to trail 12-14 but John ran out a 21-12 winner.”

There was also disappointment for Dolby, Ramsden, Doug Want and Peter Edwards, playing for Lincolnshire Over 60s in the area play-off against Northamptonshire Over 60s for a place in the National semi-finals against Kent.

Northants came with a late surge to take the tie 118-109, with the Stamford rink claiming the only away point with a 17-17 draw. Warters joined a Skegness rink but lost 13-21.

There was better news for Stamford’s A team which scored an emphatic 140-63 defeat over Long Sutton, securing 16 vital points in the Second Division of the Lincs League.

However, the Stamford Over 60s went down 133-44 at Sleaford, claiming only two points from a winning rink skipped by Albert Horton.

Results (Stamford names only): Lincs League division Two: Stamford A 140 (16pts), Long Sutton 63 (2): M Cullingworth, Mal Smith, A Horton, R Warters won 39-9; R Allam, A Romaine, W Morris, D King lost 14-18; D Hudson, T Harris, J Geary, P Bailey won 32-12; R Harniess, S Travis, J Mumford, D Want won 25-9; M Ramsden, W Jenner, M Bailey, P Edwards won 30-15.

Lincs Over 60s League, Divison Two: D. Ingham, J. Shellard, D. Hudson, N. Kettle lost 19 - 26; W. Kettle, G. Corby, R. Harvey, T. Freeman lost 11 - 32; T. Mackie, H. Foster, A. Romaine, J. Geary lost 16 - 26; T. Wells, R. Graham, P. Banks, A. Horton won 25 -10; K. Germany, D. Jackson, D. Veasey, M. Hulse lost 6 -39.

Yetton (women’s )Plate: Stamford 66, Horncastle 91. Home - J Foster, M Andrews, C Cox, P Birch lost 15-30; C Barnes, J Dupree, M Montgomery, G Edwards won 23-15; away - B Beeton, J Brennan, A Edwards, C Ford lost 15-18; R March, C Warters, P Collicott, P O’Brien lost 13-28.

* BUOYED by the news that they are due to receive further support from the club for coaching and attracting new blood to their ranks, Stamford Indoor Bowls Club juniors are starting to make an impression on the Lincolnshire U18 scene.

Competing in a tournament at Sleaford, Jon and Kate Bailey, aged 13 and 12, Stephen Harris (14) and James Travis (12) acquitted themselves well with Stephen narrowly missing a chance to reach the final stages. Katie, too was impressive and lost only 11-8, 8-8 to James Staples, the leading player in the county in the Under 18 age group.

Jon and Stephen have also been selected to for the county’s school of excellence at Grantham on January 30.