The cream of Lincolnshire bowling talent will be on show at Stamford Indoor Bowls Club on Sunday, when it hosts the under-25 county championship qualifiers and includes internationals, English champions and the best of our local juniors.
As well as Spalding’s England under-25 international Chelsea Tomlin and club-mate from Carlby Lucy Cooke other likely contenders include highly-rated Ashley Caress and Jordan Philpott.
Leading the local challenge are Jay Travis-Jenner and Jon Bailey who play each other in the first round of matches played in a 7-end sets format (starting at 9am), Stephen Harris and Nathan Rigby.
l Continuing the junior theme, Stamford’s under-18s, watched by proud family members, scored a resounding win over Sutton St James at the weekend by 37-10 - their first victory of the season after a narrow defeat at Lincoln and a 14-14 home draw against Boston.
Fourteen-year-old James Hebden made an impressive debut alongside 15-year-old Jonathan Chambers at lead, while Queen Eleanor School pupils Louise Harris and skip Jay Travis-Jenner steered the rink to victory with excellent conversions and draw shots.
l Seventeen-year-old Stamford college student Stephen Harris, dropped four shots in the last end of his final qualifying match to miss out on a place in the senior semi-finals of the Lincs under-18s at Skegness. He won 15-4 but lost out on countback to Stephen Carr from Scunthorpe.
l Consolation came for Harris with a 21-11 defeat of James Harford to reach the semi-finals of the Northants Federation county singles, then he reached the final of the under-25 singles by ousting Peterborough’s J Clark by a similar score.
l Bob Warters and Cliff Watson lost their Federation pairs 23-6 against Graham Agger and Pete Brown but Warters reached the semi-final of the Veterans singles with a 21-5 defeat of Albert Pattemore at Peterborough and now faces Joe Martin for a place in the final against fellow Stamford bowlers Mike Ramsden or Derek King.
l After a dramatic extra end, Bob and Carol Warters reached the semi-finals of the county mixed pairs, beating Sharon Bailey and Martyn Dolby 16-15. Christine Ford lost to Hazel Bass in the ladies 4-bowl singles semi-final.
l Stamford’s mixed team continue to dominate the Second Division of the Lincs League - their latest win earning a maximum 18 points at home to Lincoln B.
But it was not as straight forward as the overall 110-66 score might suggest with the visitors leading by a handful of shots at the halfway stage.
However, Stamford’s bowlers turned up the heat in the closing stages across all rinks to secure revenge for their only defeat of the campaign so far on Lincoln’s fast-running surface, with June Brennan, Jean Dupree, Dick Ford and John Little taking the individual honours with a 23-11 win.
l Northants’ Derbyshire Trophy team has given the county an outside chance of reaching the National Championships in April with an outstanding defeat of Norfolk on Sunday.
Playing three 2-bowl triples rinks at Stamford and three away at Acle in Great Yarmouth, Northants, represented by four Stamford IBC players, emerged with 19 of the 22 points available thanks to an overall 158-106 victory.
Northants now need Norfolk to do them a favour by beating Lincolnshire to stand a chance of making it to the Newark climax.
The home club’s John Holroyd, again led superbly to set up scoring opportunities for City colleagues Joe Randall and James Harford, who had Norfolk firing in frustration to cut down the 34-10 battering they were given over the 25-end match.
England international Tris Morton inspired Nick Wilkie and Dick Noble to a 23-21 win, while Stamford’s Stephen Harris, Bob Warters and Martyn Dolby, snatched a vital point in a 19-19 draw against a rink skipped by Sam King, 19-year-old son of 2014 world singles finalist Mervyn King.
While Harris relentlessly peppered the jack, Dolby, at times rode some good fortune but produced a wonder bowl on the penultimate end, drawing within an inch inside a cluster of Norfolk bowls to keep the game alive. The trio were more than happy to grab a single on the last end to salvage a point.
At Acle, the re-shuffled combination of Peterborough’s Howard Shipp, Neil Wright and Simon Law took the honours with a 42-13 demolition of Jamie Howlett’s rink.
l The Stamford and District (Outdoor) Bowls League has launched a new website (www.stamfordbowlsleague.co.uk). Featuring club and player profiles, news and former honours, it is being edited by Maggie Holden and press officer Denis Stapleton, both members of Barnack BC and will be updated on a daily basis with news, results and league tables when the new outdoor league season starts in April.
Derbyshire Trophy: Northants 158 (19 pts), Norfolk 106 (3).(Northants names first): Home - J Holroyd, J Randall, J Harford bt P Winter, L Stevenson and S Winter 34-10, S Harris, B Warters, M Dolby drew with L Hills, M Riches and S King 19-19, N Wilkie, D Noble, T Morton bt A Sayer, R Bunton and M Rowbotham 23-21. Away - G Agger, B Lawrence, P Brown lost to M Elliott, G Punchard and J Dyball 15-24; B Martin, A Thurston, J Newson bt D Cole, S Elliott and G Tubby 25-19; H Shipp, N Wright, S Law bt A Dunton, D Seabourne and J Howlett 42-13.
Lincs Mixed League, Division Two: Stamford 110 (18pts), Lincoln B 66 (0). (Stamford names only): C Barnes, W Kettle, M Bloxham, M Dolby won 21-14; M Ramsden, M Andrews, C Ford, K Rippin won 23-14; M Holroyd, C Warters, A Barnes, B Warters won 20-14; J Brennan, J Dupree, D Ford, J Little won 23-11; D Hudson, S Moir, P O’Brien, J Holroyd won 21-13.
Friendly: Whittlesey IBC 87, Stamford IBC 82 (Stamford names only). H Fidom, T Stokes, D Thorpe won 21-13; D Lunn, D Miller, J Frith lost 15-18; N Kettle, D Lowe, S Bailey won 17-16; M Holden, P Almond, D Stapleton lost 12-27; R Roberts, M Grainger, C Lunn won 17-13.