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Chance of clean sweep for bowlers on finals day

Martin Dolby, Mal Smith, Doug Want and Peter Edwards in the Over 60s rinks area final.
Martin Dolby, Mal Smith, Doug Want and Peter Edwards in the Over 60s rinks area final.

Stamford bowlers have the chance of a clean-sweep at the Northants Federation Finals which take place at Burton Street, Peterborough on Sunday.

They will compete in all 11 finals and with all the contestants in some of them a number of trophies are already heading to Exeter Gardens, with plenty of ‘friendly rivalry’ likely on the big day.

Martyn Dolby faces the major workload with four appearances, one fewer than two years ago when he played in five finals and was, in his words, ‘absolutely shattered’ by the end.

He will be defending the two-bowl mixed triples and the men’s four-bowl singles this time around.

His mixed pairs partner, Chris Ford, plays three times as does club colleague Helen Holroyd.

It is a busy weekend for the Stamford players with some of the finalists facing a long trip to Scunthorpe and back tomorrow in a Lincs Mixed League fixture.

Sunday’s schedule is: 10am: mixed pairs: J Clark, J Masters v C Ford, M Dolby.

Ladies’ pairs: G Edwards, M Holroyd v M Linnell, J Harvey.

Ladies’ senior singles: J Robinson v E Wallace (both Stamford).

Noon: men’s pairs: M Humphreys and Roger Martin v S Harris and P Edwards (all Stamford). men’s veterans’ singles: M Dolby v J Martin.

2pm: U-25 singles: J Clark v S Harris (Stamford).

Ladies’ four-bowl singles: E Wallace v H Holroyd (both Stamford).

Men’s triples: P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law v M Humphreys, K Vintner, J Holroyd (all Stamford).

Mixed triples: J Harvey, C Hunter, M Linnell v A Warrington, C Ford, M Dolby (Stamford).

4.30pm: Ladies’ triples: C Ford, S Suffling, J Want v K Bailey, L Harris, H Holroyd (all Stamford).

Men’s four-bowl singles: M Dolby v A Warrington (both Stamford).

Solid performances from two rinks earned Stamford B a home 90-85 victory over previously unbeaten Grantham in Lincs League Division Two on Saturday.

Stamford collected 12 points as a result, with Grantham collecting six to strengthen their title bid.

Most successful for Stamford were Mick Owen’s four who won 27-16 after taking an 18-6 advantage after 12 ends of the 21 they played.

Pete Linnell’s quartet were close behind winning 26-18, despite the shock of dropping a six on the last end as Grantham made something of a comeback in the dying minutes of the match.

Stamford had held a double-figure lead overall for much of the afternoon and at one point near the end had stretched it to 15 shots before Grantham’s late flurry.

A third Stamford rink, skipped by Richard Martin, went down 15-16 after dropping a five early on.

Scores: M Smith, G Knights, D Heffernan, M Owen 27, Grantham 16; R Graham, M Dye, D Middleton, P Linnell 26, Grantham 18; D Howarth, D Bruce, D Veasey, Richard Martin 15, Grantham 16; C Ballard, A Lonslow, A McNaughton, K Rippin 9, Grantham 16; T Barwell, M Hewitt, M Hebden, T Christie 13, Grantham 19.

The win took Grantham to 136 points from nine of their 12 matches. Second-placed Stamford have 115 from 11 and Sleaford 98 from eight.

Stamford’s last game is at Grantham on April 8. Sleaford go to Louth, before home games against Grantham and Boston.

Said Stamford skipper Roger Graham:”It was a really good performance to end Grantham’s unbeaten run.”

Martyn Dolby found himself 2-11 down after the first five ends of his National Over 60s area singles final at Melton Mowbray on Friday as he had trouble adjusting to the slower pace of the green.

Opponent Mark O’Connell from Church Gresley had no such trouble and enjoyed his flying start.

But the highly-experienced Dolby scored a three count on the sixth end and managed to unsettle his opponent by varying the mat length.

That paid off handsomely and Dolby won 14 of the next 20 ends to take the match 21-17.

He will now play in the national finals at Nottingham on Friday, April 13.

The next day, Dolby, Mal Smith, Doug Want and Peter Edwards went to Melton for their Over 60s rinks area final against a four from Leicester skipped by Roger Cooper.

Once again the Stamford men found the rink tricky but the match was ‘nip and tuck’ most of the way, until the Leicester men picked up a four deep in the game to win 20-17 in 18 ends.

The winning rink was composed of Cooper, Les Storer, David Wilson and Vic Adams.

On Tuesday, Cooper and Wilson provided opposition at Melton for Stamford’s Derek King and Malcolm Cullingworth in the area pairs final.

The Leicester pair, winners of the area final in 2017, came through 21-11.

Said Derek: “They played very well and Malcolm led well for us. But I found it a struggle. It was our first time in the area final so that was progress of a sort.”

Stamford travel to Scunthorpe tomorrow for a Lincs Mixed League fixture, leaving by coach at 10.15am.

The squad is: C Ford, S Suffling, V DuKett, S Moir, J Lonslow, H Holroyd, L Harris, M King, E Wallace, M Holland, Mal Smith, N Trigg, T Mackie, A McNaught, Mick Smith, A Lonslow, M Wallace, R Ford, R Graham, M Ramsden.


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