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Stamford bowler Stephen Harris wins the Under 25 trophy at the delayed national indoor championships

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Northants Federation bowlers reached four finals when the delayed national indoor championships were staged at Newark but emerged with only one title – the prolific Stephen Harris claiming the Under 25 trophy.

The 24-year-old from Stamford already holds the Under 25 Open outdoor pairs with sister Louise and was determined to add one of the awards that had eluded him, finally achieving it with a 21-13 defeat of fellow England international Ed Elmore, representing Huntingdonshire.

It was sweet revenge for an earlier 9-23 defeat in the pairs semi-final with Blackstones club-mate Wayne Morris by Elmore and Andy Corn.

Stephen Harris.
Stephen Harris.

Elsewhere both Adam Warrington and Martyn Dolby reached singles finals but after a gruelling week of daily travel to the Nottinghamshire venue it proved a round too far.

In the four-bowl final, Warrington never regained the form he showed against Paul Oke (Lincs) and S Robson (Northumberland), losing 21-5 to local favourite Calvin Rawson (Notts).

Having beaten Herbie Blacklock (Durham) 21-18 and Hunts’ Andy Peak 21-2, Dolby faltered in his final against Alan Hines from Cleveland, finally losing 21-13.

Dolby said: “After playing some of my best bowls for many a year to get to the final, I just ran out of steam and was unable to settle on a line and length.

“From 0-8 down I clawed my way back to 12-12 but could not maintain the comeback.”

With little time for a break Dolby joined his Northants team-mates in the long-delayed final of the 2020 Derbyshire Trophy, the Federation’s prestigious inter-county competition which they had won in 2019 in style against Notts.

This time they faced Durham and after a sluggish start nosed ahead by 15 shots, thanks chiefly to the rink of Paul Dalliday, Michael Jeapes and Simon Law whose scoring was counter balancing that of Mike Robertson, James Harford and Tristan Morton, who were suffering a torrid time.

Eventually Durham won overall by 29 shots, despite Law winning by 22 and the rinks of Mick Humphreys, Warrington and Roger Martin losing only by four and Richard Allam, Harris and Dolby by six shots.

In the women’s four events at Newark, there was little joy either for Northants.

After Christine Ford won her first round singles she lost her next round 21-5. She also partnered Shirley Suffling in the pairs but they lost 15-22 to Lincs.

At the delayed English Indoor Bowls Championships at Nottingham this week, June Brennan and Chris Ford from the Stamford club reached the quarter finals before bowing out on Monday.

The senior pair beat Riverain in the last eight 15-10 and held Dorchester 12-12 after 15 ends in the quarter finals only to drop a crucial six count and eventually conceded after 17 ends at 12-21.

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