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Harris beats England international to retain county crown

Louise Harris, Owen Aspinall and Stephen Harris.
Louise Harris, Owen Aspinall and Stephen Harris.

Stephen Harris, representing Stamford IBC, has retained the Lincolnshire Indoor Bowling Association 4-bowl singles title.

He beat England international Graham Smith (Spalding) – the current national two-bowl singles champion – 21-17 at Louth on Sunday.

For Harris (20), it was his second major title in a week, having featured as lead on Smith’s rink as Lincolnshire won the inter-county Liberty Trophy at Nottingham, for the first time in 37 years.

Smith went on to win the sets singles beating Boston’s Richard Vinter 2-0.

There was sadly no joy for nine-year-old St Gilbert’s pupil Owen Aspinall who was beaten 21-6 in the county junior Under 18 final by the more experienced Caitlin Moore (Boston).

Louise Harris put up a really gutsy performance against the current England Under 25 captain Chelsea Tomlin (Spalding) in the women’s Under 25 final. She got within three shots before conceding a three count on the last end, losing 16-21.

Christine Ford and Martyn Dolby were looking to achieve a county double, having already taken the Northants Federation mixed pairs title but a misunderstanding cost them in the end.

Against Judy Moody and Paul Bark (Horncastle) they conceded an unfortunate three on the 16th end to go 13-14 behind, then a single on the 17th.

Believing they still had a chance to turn it around, they allowed Bark a further shot on the 18th only to discover the match was scheduled for 18 ends – not 21 as they expected.

Other results included: Open Under 25 singles: J West beat J Philpott; men’s pairs S Ashton & G Draper beat D Brown & B Jackson 15-13; Over 65 Open singles: G Draper beat T Bannister 17-11; men’s fours: A Watts, D Stevenson, K Rands, B Jackson lost to A Field, I Clark, A Reeson, J West 17-20; ladies fours: J Vinter , A Jackson, J Thompson, J Smith lost to L Finbow, D Wild, R Hill.

With a 93-85 win at Spalding, claiming 16 of the 18 points available, Lincoln confirmed their status as Lincs Co-Op men’s county champions.

They finished 22 points clear of Stamford A, the defending champions of Division One.

In their last match Boston A resigned Spalding to division two taking all the points in a 119-77 whitewash.

Following this week’s annual meeting Paul Bailey and Mike Ramsden will take over as co-captains of the A team, succeeding Bob Warters, while Arthur Lonslow and Roger Graham will perform similar roles for the Men’s B team.

David Heffernan has succeeded Tony Freeman as captain of the men’s Over 60 team -relegated from the first division of the county league. Freeman has held the role for more than 20 years.

Stamford’s mixed team will play next season in the second division of the Lincs county league after failing to get the win at Louth A that would keep them up.

Louth succeeded Stamford as the new champions with a 103-85 victory, gaining the 14 points they needed to overtake Horncastle.

Scunthorpe were also relegated with the Boston and Skegness coming up from division two.

Commented Stamford mixed captain Christine Ford: “It is disappointing to be going down after such a successful season the previous year but we are determined to bounce back next season.”

Results (Stamford names only): Lincs Mixed League Division One: Louth A 103 (14pts) Stamford 85 (4). H Holroyd, T Mackie, P Dixon, Mal Smith won 17-14; S Harris, D Mackie, C Ford, K Rippin lost 15-18; J Brennan, C Warters, J Little, B Warters won 23-14; J Lonslow, A Lonslow, S Suffling, D King lost 30-7; P Jones, S Moir, D Ford, M Hewitt lost 27-22.

The annual meeting of the Stamford Indoor Bowls Club saw a re-shuffle of officers with Arthur Lonslow and Shirley Suffling elected as Presidents, taking over in October from Kevin Vinter and Rosemary Roberts.

Brian Edwards has retired as treasurer through ill health after more than a decade in the role and will be succeeded by Gary Oliver, with Tony Barwell taking over from Nina Rawlins as fixture secretary after a similar period. Ian Cooper, whose Clarity Partnership sponsors the A team, has joined the committee.

Club chairman Keith Rippin commented that the club, which is rare in that it is completely run by volunteers, continues to make strides at national and county level while providing a top class facility for its members.

Northants Federation bowlers are competing in the national finals at Newark this week, with Martyn Dolby (Blackstones) featuring in four disciplines and others multi-tasking in at least two, including Ketton’s Elizabeth Wallace in both women’s singles events.


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