Hopes are hit after successive defeats
Hopes of reaching the heights they have enjoyed in recent seasons - winning the Adams Trophy in 2015 and finalists in the Newton Trophy in 2017 - look like eluding Northants this season after successive defeats in their respective competitions.
Following losses in Suffolk last weekend, Northants were hoping that home advantage might give them hope of turning their fortunes around, but local rivals Lincolnshire put paid to that at the Blackstones and City of Peterborough greens.
The Adams team lost by 26 shots - claiming just three of the 22 points at stake - while the Newton team picked up just six points from three winning rinks in a 24-shot defeat.
Only the rink of Wayne Morris, Stephen Harris and Paul Buckley held their own at the Stamford venue in a 28-23 win over Mick Thompson, while the Whittlesey Manor trio of Steve Lander, Graham Agger and Martin Welsford were held to a 29-29 draw by Richard White to salvage another point.
Elsewhere Trevor Smith, Martyn Dolby and captain Jon Earl were overhauled by England indoor international Jonathan West alongside defeats for rinks skipped by John Holroyd, Mick Duell and Roger Martin.
Meanwhile in Peterborough it was no coincidence that Northants' three winning rinks enjoyed kinder, more playable conditions while the three losing rinks were unable to come to terms with firmer, fast-running conditions on which it was more difficult to control drawing speed.
Full marks therefore to Martin Stokes, Richard Allam and home green member Malcolm Squires in taking the rink honours with a 37-25 victory with rinks skipped by Dick Noble and Fred Richardson also picking up points.
Both Adams and Newton teams will be in action again on June 23 against Hunts at Sawtry and Needingworth respectively.
Results ( Northants names only): Adams Trophy (at Blackstones): Northants 157 (3pts) Lincs 183 (19). S Roden, P Bailey, J Holroyd lost 25-32; T Smith, M Dolby, J Earl lost 22-32; J Corney, M Humphreys, R Martin lost 21-29; W Morris, S Harris, P Buckley win 28-23; H Shipp, N Wright, M Duell lost 32-38; S Lander, G Agger, M Welsford drew 29-29.
Newton Trophy (at City of Peterborough BC). Northants 165 (6pts) Lincs 189 (16). F Addy, T Kemp, B Lawrence lost 27-31; P Cox, B Warters, P Jessop lost 15-36; S Fenlon, J Ruddy, M Greaves lost 20-46; L Sharp, Z Brown, D Noble won 34-26; R Stevens, J Clipston, F Richardson won 32-25; M Stokes, R Allam, M Squires won 37-25.
Among the stand-out performances in the latest round of the Northants Bowling Federation competitions was the defeat on their own green of Brian Bassam's Peterborough and District BC mixed triple by scratch Ketton trio Bob and Pat Kelman and Paul Pheasant.
Against a combined unit of Bassam and Mick Greaves and Conservative BC's Sheila Craig, the village club's trio, from 0-10 behind, gradually mastered the unfamiliar conditions to run out 20-13 winners. They will entertain Lee Welsford's Parkway trio in the quarter-finals.
Also through to the last eight in the men's three-bowl triples are Mike Ramsden, Ken White and Jonathan Corby (Vanguard), two of whom followed up last week's two-bowl discipline by travelling to Parkway and beating Trevor Collins, Neil Wright and Tony Scarr on their favoured rink, hanging on to an early 14-7 lead to win 22-21.
In the quarter finals they will play the Blackstones trio of Wayne Morris, Mark Pye and Thomas Fielding, who beat Dave Corney's P&D rink 17-12.
Richard Allam (Stamford Town) is in good current form and joined Ann Holmes in the mixed pairs, beating Vi and Mick Hatch 18-11 and will meet Yaxley's Julie and Andrew Cooper for a place in the semi-finals.
Allam also beat Bob Warters (Ketton) 21-13 in the champion of champions in which Jim Ruddy beat current holder Adam Warrington 21-6.
In addition, Allam joins John Holroyd in the pairs, facing Les Sharp and John Hadley (Yaxley) who knocked out Warters and Dick Ford (Ketton) 18-7.
Elsewhere in the event, Malcolm Cullingworth and Richard Montgomery accounted for Warrington and Martyn Dolby 16-14.
Dolby and Roger Martin, however, are among the first through in the vets pairs with a 24-14 win over Steve Stone's Deeping duo.
In the senior mixed pairs, Denis Starbuck stepped in for Kevin Vinter (Stamford Town) to help Ann Holmes into the quarter-finals.
Among the women's results was a 19-13 win at Yaxley for Ketton's three-bowl triple Carol Warters, Shirley Suffling and Christine Ford - the 2016 champions - over Joan Robinson, Julie Cooper and Gill King. They will meet again in thetwo-bowl discipline.
Among the casualties were the holders from Blackstones - Katie and Sharon Bailey and Rita Downs - beaten by nine shots by Sheila Craig's rink.
Sharon Bailey, however, beat Sue Moir (Langtoft) in the four-bowl singles, which included a 21-14 win by Pat Jones (Vanguard) over Wendy Stevens (P&D).
Northants Women bowlers hope to build on the victory over Hunts in the Donald Steward Trophy with a visit to North Essex on Tuesday (June 19), playing at Cornard Bowls Club in Sudbury.
The team shows a couple of changes with Norma Squires switching rinks to lead for Liz Hext and Sheila Craig (in place of Carol Grief) while Wendy Harrold is drafted in to lead for Fiona Richardson and Linda Darani.
Pat Jones (Vanguard) makes her 2018 debut for the Silver Vase team against North Essex at Sudbury BC as number two in President Jess Phillips' triple.
Transport for both teams leaves Peterborough & District Bowls Club at 9am.
Donald Steward: W Harrold, F Richardson, L Darani; S Moir, VHatch, J Masters; N Squires, E Hext, S Craig; E Wallace, S Suffling, C Ford; M Osbourne, K Browning, G King; Res C Grief, T Tinklin.
Silver Vase: P Collicott, L Toms, H Bass; H Holroyd, J Kendall, E Barr; V Slater, P Jones, J Phillips; M Holden, C Warters, W Humphreys; T Handley, V Du'Kett, J Padley. Reserves P O'Brien, D Flowers, J Needham.
Indoor bowlers Stamford Saints caused an upset by winning at the Northampton Kingsthorpe Club in their latest EIBA Fantastic Fives fixture.
Stamford Saints gained just reward for their away trip to Kingsthorpe, Northampton, with a well deserved victory.
Captain Tony Barwell led by example with victory in the pairs (with Jeanette Bourne) and in the singles.
Results: Kingsthorpe 3 points (39 shots) Stamford Saints 5 (31). Singles - B Kay lost to Tony Barwell 12-13;fours - P Brown, P Kaye, M White, D Smith beat Jeanette Bourne, Ian Hall, Judy Barwell, Jeff Bourne 12-1; pairs - P Kay & B Kay lost to Jeanette Bourne & Tony Barwell 8-10; Brown, White & Smith drew with Hall, Judy Barwell & Jeff Bourne 7-7.
The next league fixture is Stamford Bulls against Melton Pork Pies at home on the June 28 (6.30pm).