Long trip brings little reward in trophy tussles
One of the outstanding results among the Northants Federation competitions played so far came at Empingham where three players from the homeless Vanguard club beat a celebrated trio from Parkway in the two-bowl triples.
Malcolm Mann, Mike Ramsden and Ken White were not expected to trouble former county champions Fred Addy, Andrew Thurston and Commonwealth Games Paralympian Mike Robertson but raced away to a 20-3 victory, setting up a quarter-final visit to Empingham that Jack Corney's Whittlesey Manor trio will not be relishing.
Elsewhere in the same competition, Corney's dad David (Peterborough & District) fell victim to the young, in-form Blackstones trio of Wayne Morris, Mark Pye and skip Thomas Fielding 17-12. They have also reached a similar stage in the three-bowl triples.
In the pairs, another young gun, Darren Middleton teamed up with Paul Bailey to beat Paul Dalliday and his partner 19-12 while Richard Allam and John Holroyd (Stamford Town) knocked out the experienced Trevor Collins and Tony Scarr (Parkway) by a similar margin.
Bob Warters and Dick Ford (Ketton) travel to Yaxley today (Friday) to take on Les Sharp and John Hadley, also for a place in the quarter-finals finals, after beating Pop Eddings and Jim Miller at City of Peterborough 23-13.
Warters and Ford have already reached the last eight of the senior pairs thanks to 23-7 defeat of reigning champions Tony Belson and Robert Heath (Yaxley). They play Paul Buckley and Trevor Christie (Blackstones) on Wednesday.
In the veterans singles Peter Cox (Langtoft) went out to Dave Corney (P & D), the first to reach the last eight.
In the women's competitons Sharon Bailey (Blackstones) reached the last eight in the two-bowl singles with a notable 21-20 win at Conservative BC over Sheila Craig. Sharon hosts Marissa McKernan (Parkway) on June 17.
A 200-mile round trip to Suffolk proved a fruitless journey for both Northants Bowling Federation's Adams and Newton Trophy teams collecting just five points from a possible aggregate of 44.
Jon Earl's Adams team, weakened by calls on key players who preferred to contest an alternative code, had just one winning rink in a 134-161 defeat at Kessingland near Lowestoft, while the Newton team, under the guidance of the irrepressible Cliff Watson, lost by just 15 shots at Laxfield.
Both results put Suffolk in the driving seat for both Adams and Newton titles having already beaten Norfolk away from home, leaving Northants needing to do them a favour to stay in the hunt.
The only success in the Adams came from John Holroyd, Mick Humphreys and Roger Martin who retained their unbeaten record with a 26-20 win after trailing 13-15 with 11 of the 31 ends still to play.
Elsewhere Adam Warrington's rink were unable to hold on to an early 15-10 lead, while Martin Welsford was two up at a similar stage.
Eleven shots dropped and only one in reply in the last six ends tells its own story for Mick Duell's rink who eventually lost 17-28.
Overall Northants were rarely in the picture in the closing stages as Suffolk piled on the pressure from a slender 89-87 lead at 20 ends.
Despite losing a handful of key players to the senior Adams team at the start of the season, Watson was confident he had enough firepower in his Newton squad to repeat last year's visit to the national finals.
But Suffolk were in no mood to bend and quickly took advantage of the steamy conditions on a challenging green.
With 11 ends to go, Suffolk led by 20 shots but despite Barry Lawrence's experienced rink (with Fred Addy and Tony Kemp) picking up two points with a 31-20 win and a Peter Jessop inspired triple snatching a draw, there was little to celebrate.
Watson said: "The result was disappointing because, although we were competitive on most rinks, it was always going to be difficult to cover big deficits on adjacent rinks.
"At 25 ends the game had gone but eight points were definitely attainable. We only lost by 15 shots because Brian Bassam's rink picked up 10 shots on the last five ends."
Results (Northants names only: Adams Trophy: Suffolk 161 (20 pts) Northants 134 (2). Howard Shipp, Martyn Dolby, Mick Duell lost 17-28; T Smith, Thomas Fielding, Jon Earl lost 19-25; Steve Lander, Graham Agger, Martin Welsford lost 24-28; Wayne Morris, Jack Corney, Paul Buckley lost 20-30; John Holroyd, Mick Humphreys, Roger Martin won 26-20, Steve Roden, Paul Bailey, Adam Warrington lost 28-30.
Newton Trophy. Suffolk 168 (19) Northants 153 (3) .Fred Addy, Tony Kemp, Barry Lawrence won 31-20; Martin Stokes, Richard Allam,Brian Bassam lost 28-31; Les Sharp, Malc Squires, Dick Noble lost 20-34; Peter Cox, Bob Warters, Peter Jessop drew 28-28; Roger Stevens, Jeff Clipston, Fred Richardson lost 20-24; Sean Fenlon, Jim Ruddy, Mick Greaves lost 26-31.
To satisfy the burgeoning, demand for more competitive indoor bowls played during the summer months, Stamford IBC has introduced a second team - the Saints - to supplement its established Bulls team competing in the national 'Fantastic Fives' league.
Both teams played simultaneously at Stamford on adjacent rinks - the Bulls beating Charnwood 6-2 over a series of singles, pairs, triples and fours disciplines but Saints losing to Daventry Reds 3-5.
Results (Stamford names only): Stamford Bulls 6 points (39 shots), Charnwood 2 points (43). singles - Peter Edwards won 17-13; fours - Wayne Aspinall, June Brennan, Peggy Birch, Glenys Edwards won 10-5; pairs - Aspinall, P Edwards won 10-6; triples - Brennan, Birch, G Edwards lost 2-19.
Stamford Saints 3 (27 shots), Daventry Red 5 (33). Singles - Tony Barwell lost 7-12; fours - David Howarth, Jeanette Bourne, Betty Sims, Jeff Bourne won 7-6; pairs -Jeanette Bourne, Barwell drew 8-8; triples - Howarth, Sims, Jeff Bourne lost 5-7.