Little cheer for bowlers in county singles event
Not content with the club already heading the men's First and Second Division tables of the Lincolnshire League, Stamford's Over 60s team edged to the top of Division Two of the Seniors League - but only on shots difference.
By beating league leaders Lincoln B 112-71 and snapping up all but one of the 18 points at stake, Dave Heffernan's seniors matched the visitors on points (101) but overtook them at the top of the table thanks to a more miserly shots difference - 142 to 171.
Stamford also have four games to play - two of them against bottom of the table Lincoln C while Lincoln B have only three matches outstanding.
With Lincoln B struggling to cope with the pace of the surface, Stamford rarely looked like conceding the overall points, leading 63-25 after 10 ends and 76-43 with six ends left. It was then just a case of maximising their points advantage.
Cliff Watson's rink looked in danger until successive three counts in the last two ends gave them an 18-14 win while John Little's rink were unable to hold on to a 16-5 advantage after 12 ends and eventually shared 36 shots for a point apiece.
In a tactical switch to rink six, Mick Owens' quartet finished in style with eight shots in five ends while Trevor Christie's four never looked in trouble with a 24-15 victory.
The home rink honours, however, went to Dave Hudson, Denis Henshaw, Kevin Vinter and Bob Warters who won seven of the last eight ends in a 27-12 win.
Stamford face Dunholme away next on February 28.
Results (Stamford names only): Lincs Over 60s League Division Two. Stamford 112 (17pts) Lincoln B (71 (1). A Romaine, S Travis, D Bruce, C Watson won 18-14; D Howarth, D Miller, K Rippin, J Little drew 18-18; T Barwell, J Bourne, R Montgomery, T Christie won 24-15; D Hudson, D Henshaw, K Vinter, B Warters won 27-12; R Graham, D Heffernan, D King, M Owens won 25-12.
There was little to cheer Stamford bowlers who participated in the Lincolnshire Singles knock-out stages at Lincoln at the weekend.
This included defending champion Stephen Harris, who holds joint Stamford/Spalding membership, losing to club-mate Graham Smith 21-20 in the second round of matches.
Elsewhere, John Holroyd lost to Lincoln’s George Draper 21-10, Derek King lost 18-21 to home-based Sam Ashton and Mike Ramsden was beaten 21-14 by retiring county competition secretary Simon Reeson (Louth).
Chris Ballard went out to Harris 21-11 while Gary Oliver and Alan Romaine conceded their matches.
On Saturday at Sleaford, five Stamford bowlers compete in the Lincs Sets singles - a completion played as two seven-end sets with a three end tie break deciding the winner if required.
The draw matches Derek King against Trevor Bannister (Sleaford), John Holroyd against Alan Watts (Lincoln), Mike Ramsden against Graham Smith (Spalding) and Adam Warrington against Nick Orrey (Grantham). Keith Gentry makes his competition debut against A Cave (Louth).
On Sunday Christine Ford, Bob Warters, Martyn Dolby and Richard Allam contest the early knock-out rounds of the Over 60 singles at Boston respectively against Graham Smith (Grantham), John Molson (Skegness), John Maury and Trevor Bannister (both Sleaford).
An excellent win at Boston has put Chris Ballard's Stamford rink in prime position to go further in the Lincs IBA competition.
Having recruited England international Tristan Morton to skip Wayne Aspinall, Garry Knights and himself, Ballard's quartet beat Adrian Field, Ian Clark, Andy Reeson and Jonathan West 14-13.
It was always a tight struggle but six shots in five ends put them ahead and, although Boston squared the match, a two count on the penultimate end gave them the edge they needed to face Lincoln in the next round.
Malcolm Smith and Martyn Dolby have reached the Area 5 final of the Over 60 pairs with a 26-6 win over club-mates Bob Warters and Roger Martin.
It was a well deserved victory in which Smith drew with precision and Dolby played both accurately and uncharacteristically aggressively when necessary.
The tactics worked and they led 13-0 within just a handful of ends and their opponents finally conceded when a five count put the result beyond doubt.
Stephen Harris, who has joint membership of Stamford and Spalding indoor clubs, has reached the Area 5 final of the EIBA two-bowl singles, defeating his friend and clubmate Jordan Philpott.
He trailed 3-11 and 9-17 before picking up seven shots, only to trail 16-18 when he inadvertently removed his own bowl from the head.
Philpott grabbed two more shots to lead 20-16 but five shots in three ends took Harris over the line 21-20 and a clash with either Joe Dawson (Barwell) or Chris Rodgers (Melton).
Hopes that Stamford might reach the quarter-finals of the EIBA Double Rink for the first time in the club's history were dashed when, after a four-month campaign, they were toppled 28-37 by Derbyshire-based Church Gresley.
As regular phone messages criss-crossed the country relaying each team's progress - one rink of four players at home and one playing away to form a aggregate score - Stamford were well in the hunt at the 10-end stage of an 18-end match.
Martyn Dolby's rink led by a handful at home while Jeff Newson's rink trailed by just six away.
However, while Dolby's quartet of Dave Hudson, Mick Owens and Peter Edwards continued to hold the upper hand, eventually winning 19-13, the away team which also included Bob Warters, Tony Scarr and Roger Martin were unable to contain the persistent drawing and running bowls of skip Terry Bosworth and his number three Dave Brennan.
Chasing the game in a bid to make up ground in the closing stages they eventually conceded a 24-9 defeat.
In the quarter-finals Church Gresley, who had earlier beaten holders Nottingham, now play Cumbria, who beat York A 42-32.
June Brennan, Jan Want and Christine Ford are the first bowlers to qualify for the finals of the Northants Women's Bowling Federation finals due to be staged at Stamford IBC on March 17. They beat Julie Masters' rink 21-15 at Peterborough.
Ford also reached the final of the senior singles, defeating Joan Robinson 21-5.
Mike Ramsden earned a second round tie with Paul Dalliday in the men's four-bowl singles with a three count on the last end to beat Bob Warters 21-19.
Warters, however, gained revenge the following afternoon in the veterans singles fighting back from 13-20 behind to win 21-20.
Defending singles champion Martyn Dolby reached the quarter finals with a 21-11 defeat of club-mate John Holroyd.
It was a high quality match but three on the last end finally settled it after Holroyd, on the previous end, had bowled four bowls within inches and came away with just one shot! Dolby will play Stephen Harris who beat Nick Wilkie 21-8.
With Peter Edwards, Harris earned a two-bowl pairs clash with Paul Dalliday and Tristan Morton by defeating Chris Ballard and Jonathan Earl.
In the mixed pairs, Louise and Stephen Harris beat Bob and Carol Warters 18-11. Martyn Dolby and Christine Ford beat Joan Robinson and Nick Wilkie 18-13.
Against veteran Wilf Redhead, Dolby had to dig deep to beat the Peterborough bowler who led 14-8 with some outstanding running bowls in the veterans singles. Defending champion Dolby, however, finally prevailed 21-15.
It took an extra end to separate Peter and Glenys Edwards and Cliff Watson from Roger Martin, Joan Robinson and Mick Humphreys in the Federation mixed triples before the former went through to the semi-finals 20-19.
Eight Stamford IBC bowlers featured on their home surface in Lincolnshire's 122-90 defeat of Leicestershire in the Midland Counties Senior League.
Tony Barwell, David Heffernan, Richard Montgomery and Kevin Vinter scored 11 shots in the last eight ends to win 21-16 having trailed 9-11 after 11 ends.
Mike Ramsden, Mal Smith, Cliff Watson and Trevor Collins, however, led 19-18 but in a tight battle dropped singles in the last two ends to go down 19-20.
Northants Federation A are still in with a good chance of qualifying for the final stages of the Derbyshire Trophy at Newark in April and face title-chasers Lincolnshire in their penultimate southern section game at Stamford on Sunday February 17 (10am).
Captain James Harford has had to make a couple of changes but is confident, with a handful of opposition players committed to the EIBA Egham Trophy at Lincoln, his team is strong enough to prevail.
The team is: Paul Dalliday, James Harford, Simon Law; Brian Martin, Tony Scarr, Tristan Morton; Nick Wilkie, Trevor Collins, Jeff Newson; Adam Warrington, M Humphreys, Roger Martin.
Northants A entertain Norfolk the following weekend at the same venue in a bid to amass enough points to take them through.
In their final game in the Derbyshire Trophy series, Northants B host Hunts at Peterborough on Sunday at 10 am.
Without regulars Richard Allam and Helen Holroyd, captain Malcolm Squires has drafted in Jeff Clipston for his Derbyshire debut while Les Sharp returns to Mick Linnell's rink.
The team is: Les Sharp, Mick Greaves, Mick Linnell; Jeff Clipston, Ray Keating, Jon Earl; John Holroyd, Cliff Watson, Peter Brown; Brian Bassam, Dick Noble, Graham Agger. Reserve Malcolm Squires.
All players of both A and B teams are reminded to arrive in blazer, white shirt, county tie and grey trousers as national rules dictate. Match dress is county shirts and whites. For further information visit www.northantsbowlingfederation.co.uk
Owen Aspinall (10) featured as part of the Lincs Under 18 team which beat Yorks in a two leg inter-county match at Boston. The score was 42-34.