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Stamford go close in Top Club competition

Four Stamford IBC bowlers featured in Lincolnshire's 23-shot defeat of Nottinghamshire at Grantham in the Liberty Inter-county Trophy they are defending.

Stephen Harris - representing Spalding - joined James Harford in the rink skipped by Graham Smith which drew in a 26-26 thriller. Simon Law and skip Tristan Morton, playing alongside Adrian Field and Martin Spencer, won 24-17.

Notts started stronger but this was soon turned around and the lead stayed between 20 and 30 shots until the end. Lincs will play Durham in the quarter-finals on January 12.

Result (Lincs names only): Liberty Trophy: Lincs 139 Notts 116. James Staples (Lincoln), Nick Orrey (Grantham), Ben Wilson (Lincoln), Jordan Philpott (Spalding) won 34-14; Matt Whyers (Spalding), Calvin Leuty (Spalding), Terry Berridge (Grantham), Mathew Orrey (Spalding) won 27-16; Adrian Field (Boston), Simon Law (Stamford), Martin Spencer (Spalding), Tristan Morton (Stamford) won 24-17; Kevin Rands (Lincoln), Alan Watts (Lincoln), Martin Pulling (Grantham), Billy Jackson (Lincoln) won 17-13; Stephen Harris (Spalding), James Harford (Stamford), Kevin Ekins (Spalding), Graham Smith (Spalding) drew 26-26; Ian Clark (Boston), Rod West (Boston), Andy Dunham (Spalding), Jonathan West (Boston) lost 11-30.

Louise Harris and Helen Holroyd are out of the national women's singles - beaten by two current internationals from Spalding.

Louise put up a gritty fight at home against Ruby Hill after trailing 4-14 before finally losing 16-21.

For Helen it was a more comfortable win for Chelsea Tomlin by 21-4 at Spalding.

In the national men's pairs Paul Dalliday and Tristan Morton were beaten on an extra end by Stephen Harris and Graham Smith at Spalding. John Holroyd and Mike Humphreys lost 25-7 to Kevin Ekins at Spalding.

Mal Smith and Martyn Dolby beat David Hudson and Derek King 17-15 in the Over 60 pairs, picking up a vital two on the last end after Dolby trailed the jack out of reach.

The draw has been made for the 2018 Stamford IBC Christmas Tournament to be staged at the club on Saturday, December 29, with sessions starting at 9.30 and 10.30am.

The competition has attracted 22 teams in rinks of of four playing four sessions of one hour (or seven ends) with the winners decided on total points (two for a win and one for each end won). Shots scored will decide any tie.

Defending champions are the rink captained by Howard Shipp, which includes Nick Wilkie (Spalding), Joe Randall (Huntingdon) and Jeff Newson (Stamford)

The draw for the first session matches (made by head coach John Little) is as follows: 9.30am: Derek Cave v Martin Wallace; Jon Bailey v Derek King; Mike Humphreys v Wayne Aspinall; Arthur Lonslow v Ian Hall; Howard Shipp v Len Marshall; Kevin Vinter v Keith Gentry.

10.30am: David Hudson v Shirley Suffling; Noah Tarabad v Dusty Miller; David Howarth v Ally McNaughton; Trevor Christie v Maggie Holden; Bob Warters v Darren Middleton.

Bob Warters skipped the winning rink at Kingsthorpe (6150832)
Bob Warters skipped the winning rink at Kingsthorpe (6150832)

Stamford's team in the Top Club competition came very close to progressing to the next round against highly-rated Kingsthorpe (Northampton) despite having to make last minute changes.

Their mixed rinks of pairs, triples and fours all had a chance of winning with 14 of the 18 ends completed.

But they just failed to capitalise on a golden opportunity and only the triple of John Holroyd, Shirley Suffling and Bob Warters prevailed with a last bowl 19-15 victory over the rink skipped by England Under 25 captain Connor Cinatto, after trailing 2-12 at seven ends.

Team captain Paul Bailey had earlier been put on the back foot when respective pairs and triples skips Tristan Morton and Jonathan Earl withdrew only hours before the match, leaving him having to quickly rearrange his options.

Elizabeth Wallace switched from the fours to play the women's singles but, after leading in the early stages against Debbie Watkins, she fell 3-16 behind and finally lost 8-21.

In the men's two-bowl discipline Kingsthorpe captain Ben Sharpe gave Adam Warrington little chance to show his form, running out a 21-3 winner.

Elizabeth's husband Martin had planned to attend as a spectator but finished up playing with a set of violet-coloured bowls borrowed from fours rink-mate Helen Holroyd.

The pairs performed heroics at times, alongside Christine Ford and Paul Bailey, only succumbing to their more experienced opponents 12-17 in the closing stages.

In the pairs, Katie Bailey and Martyn Dolby fell 3-10 behind after seven ends against Katie Smith and England regular Jamie Walker but fought back gallantly to tie the match with just a handful of ends to play only to concede 14-15 to a Walker barrage of heavy bowls.

Kingsthorpe won the match on points 14-4 (89-56) and will be home to Ipswich in the quarter-finals. Defending champions Spalding lost on the last end at Hornsea.

Stamford Men's B team duly stepped up their promotion challenge to escape from the second division of the Lincs League with an emphatic 145-77 defeat of Skegness, collecting all 18 points available.

With 54 points, Stamford B are six points behind Boston B from five matches, with Horncastle on 52.

Don Bruce, Keith Rippin, Mark Hebden and his father-in-law Trevor Christie comfortably took the rink honours with a 38-8 win, conceding only two shots from the eighth of 21 ends.

Keith Gentry's rink included two six-counts and a five on the last end in their 29-19 win while the other skips - Mick Owens, Alan Barnes and Derek King - also finished strongly.

Result (Stamford names only): Lincolnshire Men's League Division Two: Stamford B 145 (18 pts) Skegness 77 (0). R Blake, D Henshaw, D Heffernan, M Owens won 25-14; D Bruce, K Rippin, M Hebden, T Christie won 38-8; D Howarth, A Lonslow, A McNaughton, D King won 27-19; T Barwell, D Veasey, D Middleton, K Gentry won 29-19; R Graham, M Cullingworth, R Montgomery, A Barnes won 26-17.

The B team plays Boston B in their top of the table clash on Saturday (December 22) when the team is: R Graham, M Cullingworth, R Montgomery, A Barnes; R Blake, D Henshaw, D Heffernan, M Hebden; P Linnell, D Miller, J Hebden, T Christie; D Howarth, A Lonslow, A McNaughton, D King; T Barwell, D Veasey, D Middleton, K Gentry. Res T Mackie, D Bruce, M Hewitt.

Stamford Over 60s team were due to compete in the Lincs Second Division at home against bottom of the table Lincoln C on Wednesday but, at short notice, the visitors advised they were unable to raise a team. The match will be re-scheduled for 2019.

Lincoln B are also unable to raise a team to host Stamford on Sunday (December 23) for a Lincolnshire Mixed League Division Two fixture.

With Lincoln A looking likely to regain top spot in the first Division of the Lincs Men's League with a home match against struggling Grantham on Saturday), Stamford A will aim to regain their advantage when they host Sleaford on January 5 (2pm).

Earlier in the season Stamford picked up all but two,of the 18 points on offer with 105-82 win at Sleaford.

The scheduled team is: M Ramsden, J Holroyd, N Wright, J Newson; A Romaine, J Travis-Jenner, A Warrington, P Bailey; W Aspinall, C Ballard, B Warters, Roger Martin; R Allam, M Linnell, M Humphreys, J Earl; D Hudson, Mal Smith, P Edwards, M Dolby. Res: O Aspinall, C Watson, C Jones, K Gentry, K Rippin.

Following the walkover they were given by March in the last round, Stamford A will play Spalding in the next round of the Masons Trophy for senior women bowls on Friday, January 18 (10am) - one rink at home and one away, played simultaneously.

Spalding beat Stamford B in the last round.

Tony Barwell (6150834)
Tony Barwell (6150834)

Three Stamford bowlers compete in the Spalding Open - part of the national Open singles Circuit - on Friday and Saturday, December 28 and 29.

Christine Ford faces British Isles Under 25 singles champion Ed Elmore (City of Ely) and Tony Barwell meets Elie Last (Ipswich) on Saturday. Stephen Harris takes on Scott Whyers (Boston) on Friday.

Among others taking part are world-ranked Nick Brett, Greg Harlow and Wayne Willgress.

Stamford IBC is due to stage its mid-season open morning on Saturday, January 12 (from 9.30am) at its stadium off Exeter Gardens.

Members are encouraged to bring along friends and family to try the sport which is played for years of eight to 80 and beyond. Bowlers who also play either outdoors or the short mat or carpet bowls versions are also welcome.

Equipment is provided free of charge and coaches and experienced players will be on hand to offer advice and help. For more information visit www.stamfordindoorbowls.co.uk

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