Warters misses out on adding to haul of trophies
The final day of the English Bowling Federation championships, in which local bowlers completed a hat-trick of titles for Northants, was submerged in controversy after a player failed to turn up, leaving Blackstones’ Adam Warrington the winner for a third time.
It was a bitter sweet moment for Warrington, the Blackstones captain.
After beating John Ivatt (North Cambs) 21-10 on Wednesday, he returned on Friday to edge past Chris Hanslip (Humberside) 21-11, then in a 31-end thriller, knocked out Jack Emerson (Notts) 21-19. Warrington drew his two bowls within millimetres to clinch a final spot.
His scheduled opponent Andy Bird from Sleaford was allegedly advised by the tournament director that whatever happened in his semi-final against Ashley Clipston (Derbyshire), the final must be played on Saturday morning.
Despite having made previous arrangements to catch a flight to Holland for a family engagement on the day of the final, the Linconshire bowler went ahead and beat Clipston 21-12.
Subsequently, Bird failed to show at the appointed time on Saturday, leaving Warrington appearing for the specified 15 minutes dressed in whites and his county colours and ready to play, to claim the trophy he had previously won in 2009 and 2012.
Warrington said: “It is a disappointing way to win the title again but it was out of my hands.
“At least I won three tough games on the way to the final having qualified through five rounds in the county competition which started in May.”
Helen Holroyd (23) from the Stamford Town club won the women’s under 25 singles following victory for the Parkway trio of Paul Dalliday, Simon Law and Tristan Morton in the two bowl rinks. Ketton’s Bob Warters lost narrowly in the final of the veterans singles.
For student Holroyd, her victory against a player 10 years her junior, completed an outstanding year having won several indoor and outdoor titles while also obtaining
her bowls coaching qualifications.
Having conceded a total of only 20 shots in earlier wins against Northumberland, North Essex and Suffolk she never looked in trouble against 13-year-old Eloise Collins from Derbyshire and ran out a comfortable winner 21-8.
Northants’ third title – a repeat of the two-bowl triples won six years ago by Blackstones’ Warrington, Martyn Dolby and Jonathan Earl – came at the expense of holders Huntingdonshire.
This time Dalliday and Law – both also members of the Stamford indoor club – joined former England international Morton to win comprehensively 23-11.
In the veterans singles Warters was hoping to follow up his victory in 2015 to add to the Northants haul of trophies.
But in a tight game against fellow left-hander Paul Cook (Suffolk) – a line-dancing coach in his spare time – he lost 19-21, having earlier led 9-3 and 19-18.
Warters came from behind to beat opponents from Derbyshire, Cleveland and Durham in earlier rounds but of the final he said: “l played tidily enough but just couldn’t get the shots I needed at crucial stages. Paul deserved his win.”
Sue Moir (Langtoft) was hoping to match Holroyd as a second woman finalist for Northants – this time in the senior singles.
But though she produced two outstanding ends to keep in the game against Margaret Dykes (Humberside), she finally lost 21-18 to the eventual runner-up.
Among other later results featuring Stamford and District League bowlers, Moir and Ann White (Langtoft) lost 19-14 to Suffolk in the senior pairs, while club-mates Malcolm Cullingworth and Peter White were beaten 21-15 by Humberside in the men’s pairs.
Christine Ford (Ketton) lost to Humberside 21-10 in the champions of champions singles and Stephen Harris was beaten by Norfolk’s Aaron Stimson in the Under 25 singles and in the Open Under 25 pairs quarter final with Jack Corney they lost 23-15 to the North Cambs’ Gowler brothers.