Seniors surge through to last 16 of national competition
With a 25-shot victory against Sleaford, in their first home match of the season, Stamford Men's A team regained the leadership of the Lincolnshire First Division, overtaking Lincoln who had earlier taken maximum points against Grantham.
But it wasn't as convincing as the 120-95 score and 16 points might suggest. Sleaford proved stubborn opposition and might have picked up more than the two points they salvaged, had more good fortune turned their way.
They held the overall lead in the early stages before the Stamford players established a 20-shot advantage which they held on to until the end.
In a epic battle with old rival Trevor Bannister, Martyn Dolby's rink squeezed home 24-23, while captain Paul Bailey had to kill the last end against Paul Roberts by trailing the jack off the rink to snap up a vital shot on the re-spot.
He included 10-year-old Owen Aspinall in his rink which won 25-23.
Elsewhere Jeff Newson's quartet picked up four shots on the penultimate end to put their result beyond doubt, while Jonathan Earl snagged the rink honours alongside Richard Allam, Mick Linnell and Mike Humphreys thanks to 17 shots in eight ends, including a six-count on the 18th end.
Stamford A have 74 points from five matches with Lincoln on 70, from four out of five home matches.
Results (Stamford names only): Lincolnshire Men's League First Division. Alan Romaine, Owen Aspinall, Adam Warrington, PaulBailey won 25-23; Wayne Aspinall, Chris Ballard, Bob Warters, Roger Martin lost 17-22; Dave Hudson, Mal Smith, Cliff Watson, Martyn Dolby won 24-23; Mike Ramsden, Jay Travis-Jenner, Neil Wright, Jeff Newson won 26-14; Richard Allam, Mick Linnell, Mike Humphreys, Jon Earl won 28-13.
Eight senior bowlers from Stamford have reached the last 16 of the national Over 60s Double rink - beating former champions Lincoln 35-25 on aggregate - playing one rink at home and one away.
Having already beaten teams from Grantham, Spalding and Sleaford indoor clubs, they expected the experienced Lincoln outfit to prove their toughest task so far. And so it proved with Lincoln away skip Mick Thompson playing positive bowls to grab two four-counts at Stamford in the latter stages and win 18-14 against Dave Hudson, Mick Owens, Peter Edwards and Martyn Dolby.
But playing simultaneously at Lincoln, Bob Warters and Tony Scarr - at lead and number two respectively - kept a tight grip on heads from the start on the slick Lincoln surface.
And having seen his rink take a slender 8-7 lead at the 11th end, skip Jeff Newson, ably supported by Roger Martin at No.3, turned Lincoln's nearest bowl out of the head for a crucial four count to give Stamford the overall advantage which they never surrendered.
With George Draper's Lincoln home side now chasing the game, Newson's quartet kept up the pressure and added 10 shots without reply to win 22-7.
In the next round on February 5, Stamford will play Church Gresley from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, who had a shock 40-26 win over Nottingham, winners of the competition for the last two years.
Result (Stamford names first): EIBA Over 60s Double Rink: Stamford A 35 Lincoln 25. Home - Dave Hudson, Mick Owens, Peter Edwards, Martyn Dolby 14 Neil East, Dave Hipworth, John Withers Mick Thompson 18; away - Bob Warters, Tony Scarr, Roger Martin, Jeff Newson 22 Steve Derby, Paul Morris, Mike Smith, George Draper 7. Aggregate end-by-end: 7-6 (5 ends), 16-13 (10), 28-21 (15), 35-25 (18).
Martyn Dolby lost 21-20 to Jeff Pitt in the national Over 60 Singles.
Helen Holroyd has reached the next round of the Northants Federation four-bowl singles beating Hazel Bass at the tricky Whittlesey indoor centre 21-16, Bass having earlier beaten Shirley Suffling 21-11 in senior singles.
Denise Mackie also lost 21-17 to Sheila Craig but defending champion Elizabeth Wallace knocked out Fiona Richardson 21-15.
Jenny Harvey beat Suffling 21-11 in the four-bowl discipline at Peterborough.
Despite winning on three out of four rinks, Northants Federation B team suffered a devastating 85-91 defeat at the hands of fellow Derbyshire Trophy strugglers North Cambs at Peterborough.
In this 25-end match, the closing stages proved crucial as Northants fought to close the overall 69-73 deficit with just a handful of ends to complete.
But the visitors proved resilient and late shots took them over the line to claim eight of the 14 points at stake.
Playing on an unfamiliar surface Richard Allam, John Holroyd and Jon Earl never came to terms with the pace and lines of the Peterborough carpet losing a valuable 19 shots in a seven-end spell.
It left the other rinks, glancing worryingly at the overall scoreboard, to pull their fortunes around while encouraging their team-mates.
Mick Linnell's rink romped to a 29-13 victory with Graham Agger snatching seven shots in the last five ends to win 23-22.
For Helen Holroyd, Cliff Watson and Peter Brown a seven shot lead at 22 ends, finally dwindled to a 23-20 win.
Northants B complete their fixtures at Peterborough on February 17 (10am) against Hunts while simultaneously Northants A entertain Lincs at Stamford in a bid to set up a chance of reaching the finals at Newark in April.
Results (Northants names only): Derbyshire Inter-County Trophy (at Peterborough IBC): Northants B 85 (6pts) North Cambs 91 (8). B Basson, D Noble, G Agger won 23-22; R Keating, M Greaves, M Linnell won 29-13; H Holroyd, C Watson, P Brown won 23-20; R Allam, J Holroyd, J Earl lost 10-36.
Having qualified through the Spalding club, former Stamford bowler Stephen Harris begins his defence of the Lincolnshire County indoor singles against Stamford's Chris Ballard at Lincoln IBC on February 9.
Other Stamford qualifiers are Alan Romaine who plays Kevin Ekins from Spalding, John Holroyd (George Draper, Lincoln), Mike Ramsden (Simon Reeson, Louth), Derek King (Sam Ashton, Lincoln) and Gary Oliver (Paul Oke, Sleaford).
The men's sets singles takes place at Sleaford on February 16 where Stamford have five qualifiers.
King plays Trevor Bannister from Sleaford while the other Stamford qualifiers are: Holroyd (Alan Watts, Lincoln), Adam Warrington (Nick Orrey, Grantham), Ramsden (Graham Smith, Spalding) and Keith Gentry (A Cave, Louth).
Christine Ford is Stamford's only woman competitor through to the knock-out rounds of the Over 60 singles at Boston on February 17.
She plays G Smith from Grantham, the winner playing either her clubmate Bob Warters or J Molson (Skegness).
Twice former winner Martyn Dolby faces John Maury (Sleaford), while Richard Allam takes on Trevor Bannister (Sleaford).
Other county disciplines are played on a home or away basis (by February 10) including the men's pairs and mixed pairs where Stamford bowlers have each been drawn at home.
Mixed pairs: H Holroyd & C Ballard v C Spencer & J West (Boston); M & D King v M Davies & D Bristow (Sleaford), J & M Holroyd v Davis & Meakins (Grantham).
Men's pairs: A Romaine and T Barwell v M Humphreys & J Holroyd; A Warrington & N Wright v A Reeson & R Vinter (Boston).
Men's triples: M & J Hebden, T Christie v M Tomlin Jr. (Boston), T Berridge (Grantham) v C Watson, P Edwards & Roger Martin.
Fours: Spalding (M Orrey) v M Humphreys, M Linnell, A Warrington, J Earl; Boston (J West) v O Aspinall, G Knights, C Ballard, W Aspinall.
Tony Scarr has reached the next round of the Over 60 singles with a 21-9 defeat of Spalding's John Needham.
However, alongside Trevor Collins and Jeff Newson, he's was beaten in the Over 50 Triples by Nick Orrey's rink at Grantham 19-5.
Orrey must now travel to Stamford to face Bob Warters, Cliff Watson and Keith Rippin who beat Grantham's Vince Wendon, Martin Pulling and Terry Berridge 20-10.
In the same competition, Mick Humphreys, John Holroyd and Roger Martin lost 21-6 to John Needham's rink at Spalding.
Three Stamford IBC bowlers - James Harford, Simon Law and Tristan Morton - have been retained for Lincolnshire's Liberty Trophy match against Durham at the New Earswick (York) neutral venue on Saturday (2pm).
Stamford-based Stephen Harris, now playing for his county out of the Spalding club, is also included.
Team: Matt Whyers, Calvin Leuty (both Spalding), Martin Pulling (Grantham), Matt Orrey (Spalding); Kevin Rands, Alan Watts, Danny Brown, Billy Jackson (all Lincoln); Ian Clark, Rod West (both Boston), Andy Dunham (Spalding), Jonathan West (Boston); Adrian Field (Boston), Simon Law ( Stamford), Martin Spencer (Spalding), Tristan Morton ( Stamford); Stephen Harris (Spalding), James Harford (Stamford), Kevin Ekins, Graham Smith (both Spalding); James Staples (Lincoln), Nick Orrey (Grantham), Ben Wilson (Lincoln), Jordan Philpott (Spalding).
Stamford Mixed visit Lincoln on Saturday for a county division two fixtures and on Sunday, following their triumph over Sleaford, Stamford Men's A travel to Grantham, looking to emulate title rivals Lincoln's recent victory.
Stamford Mixed v Lincoln away on Saturday, Jan 15, (1.30 pm start): M King, T Mackie, S Suffling, D King; E Wallace, M Andrews, A Lonslow, M Wallace; J Brennan, C Warters, M Dye, B Warters; Mick Smith, J Lonslow, S Moir, J Little; T Barwell, J Hare, D Mackie, C Ford.
Stamford Men's A v Grantham away on Sunday, Jan 16 (2pm start): A Romaine, J Holroyd, A Warrington, P Bailey; M Ramsden, J Travis-Jenner, N Wright, J Newson; D Hudson, Mal Smith, P Edwards, M Dolby; R Allam, M Linnell, M Humphreys, J Earl; W Aspinall, C Ballard, B Warters, Roger Martin.