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Humphrey's rink have to settle for second despite being unbeaten

The Blackstones quartet of Martyn Dolby, Mark Pye, Dusty Miller and Jonathan Earl secured the top prize at the Stamford IBC Christmas tournament after claiming a crucial eight points from their final match.

With two points for the win and a further point for each of the six ends won against David Howarth's rink, the 10-1 shots score was enough to take them to a total of 29 points from four seven-end games.

It firmly placed Mick Humphrey's rink (with Paul Bailey and John and Moira Holroyd) in second spot overall with 26 points.

This was despite having also won all their games and finishing with an 8-6 victory over Derek King's fellow contenders.

Inspecting bowls (6268050)
Inspecting bowls (6268050)

In third place on 25 points, among the 22 teams taking part, were defending champions and pre-tournament favourites Nick Wilkie, Joe Randall and Howard Shipp (with Jeff Newson stepping in for former world number one Nick Brett who was competing in the Spalding Open singles).

After a promising start they were beaten by a ditched jack from the Humphreys rink and left themselves too much ground to make up from 7-2 and 17-3 wins.

Though never in contention, one of two rinks of young bowlers - Emilie Robertson (10), Blake Robertson (8), Nicholas Lees (12) and skip Noah Tarrabad (14) - gained valuable experience in their first competitive tournament.

The prizes were presented by ladies president Shirley Suffling who thanked tournament organiser Carol Warters and administrators Peter Edwards and Nina Rawlins as well as all those who had contributed to the tournament's success, especially the catering and bar staff.

Results: 29 points - D Miller, 26 - M Humphreys, 25 - H Shipp; 23 - D King, D Middleton; 22 - D Aspinall, S Suffling, 20 - J Bailey, M Wallace, 17 - D Cave, K Gentry, D Hudson, 16 - D Howarth, K Vinter, 15 - I Hall, B Warters, A Lonslow, 14- T Christie, L Marshall, 13- M Holden, 12 - A McNaughton, 7 - N Tarrabad.

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