Mixed team must await their fate after finishing season on a high
With an unprecedented four Stamford teams reaching the national finals of English Indoor Bowls Association finals at Nottingham over the next few days, it could be one of the most momentous week's in the club's 28-year history.
All won their area finals and are excited at the prospect of matching their talents - albeit in mature age categories - against the country's best.
Stepping up first is the Over 60s fours combination of Malcolm Cullingworth, Tony Scarr, Trevor Collins and Jeff Newson, who will face a quartet from Adur (Brighton) skipped by former England legend David Cornwell at 9.30am tomorrow (Saturday).
Jan Want, Sue Moir and Christine Ford make an early start on Monday in the Over 50 Triples when they will meet Karen Weites' Newcastle trio at 9.30am.
At 2pm - same day, same venue - in the men's equivalent age group triples, Bob Warters, Cliff Watson and Keith Rippin take on Andrew Moore's triple from North Wilts (Chippenham) for a place in the quarter-finals.
Completing the Stamford appearances on Wednesday will be Malcolm Smith and Martyn Dolby in the Over 60 Pairs, playing two from the preliminary round, from either York or Westlecot (Swindon).
Bowlers who play their national (EIBA) competitions out of the Stamford Indoor Bowls Club have until Sunday, April 14, to submit their entries for the 2019-20 season.
For the coming season a new form has been designed by the EIBA to be used by all entrants (men and women) to the Individual competitions - singles, pairs, triples and rinks - in which they should tick the appropriate box to signify which gender competition they are entering.
The reverse of the form must also be completed to include the entrant's signature to permit the display of their personal information as per present GDPR legislation.
For entrants under 18 their parent's or guardian's signature must be included, however, it is only necessary for the named entrant to give their "GDPR" consent, not all team members.
Copies of the application form are available from reception at Stamford IBC or can be downloaded from www.stamfordindoorbowls.co.uk. Payment must be made at the club or by cheque made payable to Stamford & District Indoor Bowls Association. LTe entries will not be accepted.
With a 35-shot victory at Louth B, Stamford's mixed team finished their topsy turvy season on a high note, picking up all but two of the 18 points at stake with four winning rinks.
Sadly, while the 108-73 win puts them temporarily at the top of the Second Division table with 104 points from 10 matches, it may not be quite enough to secure promotion back to the first division of the Lincolnshire Mixed League.
Their nearest rivals both have two games in hand with Scunthorpe needing just five points and Dunholme 16 to overtake them.
The rink honours went to John Suffling, Tony and Denise Mackie and skip Sue Moir who extended a narrow lead with seven shots in the last four ends while Mick Smith, stand-in captain Shirley Suffling and Margaret and Derek King won by a similar margin with a late surge of scoring but with a slightly smaller total.
Results (Stamford names only): Lincs Mixed League Division Two: Louth B 73 (2pts) Stamford 108 (16). J Lonslow, R Roberts, T Barwell, C Jones won 23-16; J Suffling, T Mackie, D Mackie, S Moir won 25-14; R March, J Brennan, A Lonslow, A March won 24-17; J Dye, I Reading, J Hayre, M Dye lost 15-16; M King, Mick Smith, S Suffling, D King won 21-10.
Stamford's women bowlers completed their Lincolnshire (Trudy Bates) League A fixtures with a narrow defeat at Spalding, who overtook them to finish second in the table with 83 points - 24 behind Boston.
It was a chance for Stamford to blood two newcomers - Judy Barwell and Ann Sampy - both of whom showed promise at lead for next season's campaign.
Stamford had two winning rinks in an overall 111-105 scoreline in which they earned four of the 16 points at stake.
Results (Stamford names only): Lincs A League: Spalding 111 (12 pts) Stamford 105 (4). J Lonslow, M Holden, E Wallace, H Holroyd lost 17-26; J Barwell, I Reading, S Moir, G Edwards lost 21-22; R Roberts, J Dye, S Henshaw, P Birch won 26-20; M King, J Brennan, S Suffling, C Ford won 26-16; A Sampy, M Holroyd, R March, D Mackie lost 16-26.
On Saturday, Christine Ford lost in the semi-final of the Open Over 60 singles to Trevor Bannister (Sleaford). She held an early lead but a four-count halted her momentum and Bannister went on to win 18-11.
Ten-year-old Stamford Owen Aspinall has been invited to take part in the EIBA youth development Midland Region competitions at Melton on Sunday.
As well as matchplay against children in their age group, players compete in various skills, including bowling jacks to a specific length, driving and drawing to displaced jacks.
The following week, Owen competes in the national inter-county Under 18 finals as one of Lincolnshire's two triples rinks. Opposition is provided by Leicestershire, Kent and Somerset.
Following a proposal put forward by the Stamford club, the Lincolnshire Indoor Bowling Association has agreed to include women in the sets singles discipline for the 2019-20 season.
At least half a dozen women at Stamford have expressed interest in competing against the men in a shortened version of the 21-up singles, which demands the best of two seven-end sets provides a winner. If the sets are tied a best of three end tie-breaker will decide the winner.
The sets singles will initially be played internally and depending how many entries each club generates, up to six qualifying places will be awarded to go forward to play-offs at a pre-determined venue.
In line with its ambitions to continue to provide a facility for encouraging new bowlers, the Stamford Indoor Bowls Club will host the qualifying rounds of the Lincolnshire IBA Open Under 25 singles in February.
The county is already renowned for producing young talent in the game - and thanks to the efforts of its junior academy the Stamford club has itself produced several players who have gone on to make their mark both nationally and internationally.
The event will take place on February 25, 2020 (from noon) with players expected to compete from not only Stamford but Spalding, Scunthorpe, Louth, Lincoln, Horncastle, Sleaford, Skegness, Dunholme, Sutton St James, Boston and Grantham.
Entry forms are available to download from the website or from the display slots opposite reception.
By demolishing Boston B 143-69 and picking up a maximum 18 points, Stamford's team competing in the second division of the Lincolnshire Over 60s League have confirmed promotion and all but clinched the championship.
With only one match to play - at home to struggling Lincoln C on Wednesday - they are 18 points clear of rivals Lincoln B, who must win on all five rinks against Dunholme the following day and even that may not be enough. Stamford already have a superior shots difference.
Captain David Heffernan, who took over the team in September and drafted in some new blood following relegation from Division One, said: "I am really proud of the way we have come back from some early setbacks.
“We have proved we are a match for anyone at home and away and I am looking forward to challenging the Lincoln A side who have apparently won the Division One title for the last 22 years."
The result against Boston B was never I doubt as Stamford went on the rampage across the board.
Leading the charge and taking the rink honours was the untried combination of Tony Barwell, Dusty Miller, Peter Burt and Bob Warters who combined expertly to run out 37-10 winners, including a five, two four-counts and four threes.
Mick Owens' rink recorded two fives in the last five ends, with Trevor Christie claiming two five counts and Cliff Watson one, respectively. A late flurry of scoring kept Richard Martin's rink on top.
Results (Stamford names only): Lincolnshire Over 60s League Division Two: Stamford 143 (18 pts) Boston B 65 (0). R Graham, J Bourne, R Montgomery, T Christie won 24-20; D Howarth, T Weaver, D King, Richard Martin won 27-8; T Barwell, D Miller, P Burt, B Warters won 37-10; A Romaine, S Travis, D Bruce, C Watson won 26-7; D Hudson, D Henshaw, D Heffernan, M Owens won 29-19.
Stamford IBC President's Arthur Lonslow and Shirley Suffling host their much anticipated triples tournament on Sunday with more than 70 bowlers taking part.
The event will be run in consecutive one-hour sessions over matches per team, with points awarded for matches and ends won. The winning team will take home £90.
9.30am: J Little v P Linnell, J Travis-Jenner v H Holroyd, G Knights v P Frampton, D King v B Warters, H Neath, v N Wright, R Graham v P Sharman.
10.30am: I Hall v N Lees, K Vinter v S Suffling, A Lonslow v A Oliver, D Hudson v V Shackleton, M Humphreys v E Wallace, A McNaughton v D Henshaw.
Ketton Bowls Club is hosting a dance on Friday, April 12 to help raise fund towards its planned new clubhouse. Entertainment is provided by Sixties vocalist legend Graham James with tickets costing £8 from Shirley Suffling.
Stamford and District Outdoor Bowls League stages is annual captains meeting at Stamford IBC on Wednesday (7pm) when clubs traditionally register their players, pay their dues and collect their handbooks and scorecards.
Blackstones Bowls Club will be holding its signing-on night at the Social Club in Lincoln Road on Monday from 7.30pm onwards. All members are asked to attend.
The club will always make new members welcome and special introductory rates are available to new or experienced bowlers wishing to join.