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50th anniversary celebrations for Wittering Bowls Club

Ketton Bowls Club is the first from the Stamford & District League to guarantee a place in the Northants Federation finals on July 14 at Blackstones after both Shirley Suffling and Christine Ford won their quarter-finals of the four-bowl singles.

They will meet in the semi-final to take on either Tina Tinklin or Linda Kemp from the Peterborough-based Conservative Club after beating Viv Hempsall (Yaxley) and Helen Holroyd (Stamford Town) 21-19 and 21-18 respectively.

Suffling is also still chasing four other titles after she and Blackstones' Paul Buckley beat his club-mates Jane Needham and Martyn Dolby 19-14 in the senior mixed pairs. Theywill travel to West Ward for a place in the final.

Shirley Suffling (12637115)
Shirley Suffling (12637115)

The others she is contesting are the senior two-bowl singles, the mixed triples (with Buckley and Martin Stokes) and the pairs (with Ford).

In the men's competitions there was a shock defeat for defending county and national champion Adam Warrington who was beaten on his home green 21-15 by Tony Kemp (Conservative Club).

John Holroyd (Stamford Town), who beat Mick Humphreys (Blackstones), is due to play Steve Roden (Whttlesey Manor) for the right to play Andy Cooper (Yaxley) in the semi-final.

He is also still in the pairs with Richard Allam - after defeating Cliff Watson and Brian Bassam (Peterborough & District) 16-13 - and plays Wittering's Ally McNaughton and Dave Burton for a place in the semis.

Langtoft's Malcolm Cullingworth - winner of the pairs title last year with Peter White - continues to show good form in the only two competitions he entered.

With Richard Montgomery he has reached the closing stages of senior pairs with a 22-11 win over Mel Beck (Whittlesey Manor) and, with his wife Ann, play Jeff and Sarah Newson for a place in the final of the mixed pairs.

Elsewhere in that competition Stephen and Louise Harris (Blackstones) beat Allam and Ann Holmes while John and Moira Holroyd lost to Graham Agger at Whittlesey Manor.

Malcolm and Ann Cullingworth (12637112)
Malcolm and Ann Cullingworth (12637112)

Wittering Bowls Club celebrate its 50th anniversary with an invitation gala on Sunday at their six rink green with Michael Smith (70) the guest of honour - the only surviving bowler still at the club from the original membership.

"It's a great honour to be still associated with the club which has been a great facility in the village," says Michael, who recalls joining as a 20-year-old having only been attracted to the game by watching it at the seaside.

"I was pretty useless at other sports," he admits " but I took to it straight away and within two years was the county under 25 champion."

The club continued to thrive and won the Stamford League in five successive years from 1976 as leading bowlers were attracted to its Cumberland turf green and its members won countless county and national Federation titles. It won the league championship five more times in subsequent years.

Despite falling on hard times around the millennium, the club, with the support of the 20-strong membership and the parish council, who stage their monthly meetings in the re-built clubhouse, is now providing an excellent facility for the village.

The fund-raising gala will feature bowlers from its past and present, as well as invitees, starting from 12 noon.

"A lot of people have put in a great deal of work over the years to maintain this friendly club," adds Michael. "We are all delighted to have reached this milestone and hopefully it will continue for many years to come."

Three Wittering bowlers won the Stamford Town gala on Sunday.

Competing in the EIBA Fantastic Fives League, Stamford Saints secured their first win at Melton - claiming five of the eight points available despite conceding the shots 28-35.

David Howarth, Jeff Bourne and Roger Graham clinched the victory with a 9-6 win in the triples after Jeanette Bourne and Peggy Birch lost the pairs 15-2.

Earlier Graham claimed a vital point in the singles, holding the shot on the last end in a 22-shot stalemate after leading 7-4 and the fours won 6-5 after trailing 1-5.

Stamford Bulls travel to Church Gresley on Saturday.

Northants Federation bowlers complete their home fixtures in the Adams and Newton Trophy inter-county competitions on Saturday (June 21) with the respective visits of Hunts to Blackstones and City of Peterborough (2pm).

Adams captain Jon Earl was still finalising his team following defeats by Suffolk and Lincs but Newton captain Cliff Watson has confirmed he will step in for the unavailable Richard Allam in a rink skipped by Malcolm Squires.

Newton team: Jeff Clipston, Fred Richardson,Peter Jessop; Dave Roberts,Mick Linnell, Roger Strong; Andy Dyer, Tony Kemp ,Brian Bassam; Les Sharp,Mick Greaves, Alec Emery; Martin Stokes, Cliff Watson, Malc Squires; Dave Corney, Zac Brown and Dick Noble.

Closing date is Monday (June 24) for entries to the Ketton Bowls Club two-bowl fours gala )£12 per team plus food) on Wednesday, July 3. Please contact Phil Hoare on 01780 751573.

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