Stamford IBC men and women swept the board winning all 11 Northants Federation finals played at Peterborough on Sunday.
Martyn Dolby was king for the day with a brace of successes in the singles and ended a long day’s concentration with mixed triples and mixed pairs titles as well.
Turning 70 on St Patrick’s Day, he won a title in each of the four sessions, a marathon effort without compare.
The Stamford club had dominated qualification and had all the competitors in six of the events, with the handful of home players providing stiff opposition at times.
If Dolby was king, Elizabeth Wallace was the queen with a double of her own, ousting club-mate Joan Robinson 22-20 in the ladies’ senior singles in the morning.
The more experienced Robinson twice held good leads, but Wallace came back to make it 20-all and then score the vital winning shot.
Her fighting spirit was also the hallmark of her four-bowl singles win (21-16) over another club-mate Helen Holroyd who held an 11-4 advantage at one time.
Wallace came back with key shots when they most mattered, one end going to a lengthy measure in her favour towards the finish.
Holroyd’s compensation came when she skipped Katie Bailey and Louise Harris to a 21-20 triumph in the ladies’ triples against the more experienced Jan Want, Shirley Suffling and Chris Ford, also from Stamford.
It was nail-biting all the way, until the youngsters scored a late four to take a two-shot lead into the last end when they dropped a single to a measure.
Helen’s mum, Moira, and father John, made it triple success for the family.
Moira and Glenys Edwards took the ladies’ pairs 19-15 against the home rink of Margaret Linnell and June Harvey, and John led Mick Humphreys and Chris Ballard to an 18-15 victory in the men’s triples against Paul Dalliday, James Harford and Simon Law.
Ballard was playing instead of Stamford club president Kevin Vinter who was indisposed, while victory made amends for last year when Holroyd won the event but could not play in the national finals that followed because he was on holiday.
Humphreys and Roger Martin had earlier taken the pairs title 20-14 against Stephen Harris and Peter Edwards but Harris had his compensation when he beat Josh Clark 21-3 in the Under-25 singles.
Dolby’s long day had started comfortably when he and partner Chris Ford took the mixed pairs (22-6), against Clark and Julie Masters from Peterborough.
Next he and Peterborough veteran Joe Martin locked horns in the veteran singles, which provided a feast of impressive drawing and tight heads.
Dolby made a good start to go 10-1 up before ‘losing his way’.
Martin took full advantage and reached 18-15 down to the delight of an enthralled crowd, before Dolby produced a three for his 21-15 success.
In the mixed triples, Dolby, Adam Warrington and Chris Ford ran into stubborn resistance from Jenny Harvey, Mick Linnell and Carol Hunter (Peterborough).
They went into the last end with a three-shot lead, but the home trio cut it to one before Dolby steadied the ship again, to earn a 19-17 success.
His last outing saw him beat club-mate Adam Warrington 21-7 in the four-bowl singles.
All the winners will now prepare for the national finals at Newark next month.
Said Dolby: “I am obviously delighted to come through all four of my matches unscathed, which, I’m sure, is a record for Stamford.”
Roll of honour
Mixed pairs: J Clark and J Masters 6, C Ford and M Dolby 22.
Ladies’ pairs: G Edwards and M Holroyd 19, M Linnell and J Harvey 15.
Ladies’ senior singles: J Robinson 20, E Wallace 22.
Men’s pairs: M Humphreys and Roger Martin 20, S Harris and P Edwards 14.
Men’s veteran singles: M Dolby 21 J Martin 15.
U-25 singles: J Clark 3, S Harris 21.
Ladies’ 4-bowl singles: E Wallace 21, H Holroyd 16.
Men’s triples: P Dalliday, J Harford, S Law 15, M Humphreys, C Ballard, J Holroyd 18.
Mixed triples: J Harvey, C Hunter, M Linnell 17, AWarrington, C Ford, M Dolby 19.
Ladies’ triples: K Bailey, L Harris, H Holroyd 21, J Want, S Suffling, C Ford 20.
Men’s 4-bowl singles: M Dolby 21, A Warrington 7.
The A team are at home tomorrow (Saturday) against Boston (1.10pm), the first of two vital home games in their bid to retain the Lincs League Division title.
They are currently second, and realistically need maximum points from their remaining fixtures, the last of which is at home against current leaders, Lincoln, on April 8, to give them any hope.
Lincoln are 36 points clear at present (94-58) and finish their season at Spalding on April 14.
The team will be captained by Martin Dolby, who names himself as one of two reserves.
The team is: Alan Romaine, Cliff Watson, Mick Humphreys, Nigel Wright; Wayne Aspinall, Chris Ballard, Richard Montgomery, Martyn Dolby; Richard Allum, Trevor Harris, A Warrington, Paul Bailey; Mike Ramsden, Dusty Miller, Alan Barnes, Roger Martin. M Smith, Keith Rippin, Doug Want, Peter Edwards. Reserves: Niall Graham.
The mixed team’s visit to Scunthorpe last weekend ended dramatically as they drove home in a heavy snowstorm which cut visibility to a minimum at times.
It had been a tough afternoon’s play, with Scunthorpe strengthened by a number of players from their A team, which pulled out of their own Lincs League a few weeks ago.
Stamford collected two points thanks to a 25-17 win for Mal Smith, Louise Harris and Martin and Elizabeth Wallace.
Mick Smith, Helen Holroyd, Sue Moir and Ally McNaught just missed out 16-19 in an overall defeat by 17-129.
Stamford Over 60’s put up a fighting performance at Boston on Thursday, but still found themselves 24 points adrift at the bottom of their Lincs League table with two games to go.
There were wins for two rinks and a draw for another as they collected five points.
Mal Smith won 24-16 and Pete Banks 19-13 while Trevor Christie snatched a 19-19 draw with a last-end single.
Scores: M Dye, T Mackie, D Bruce, M Smith 24, Boston 16; J Bourne, A Lonslow, R Graham, P Banks 19-13; T Barwell, G Corby, M Owen, T Christie 19, Boston 19; D Howorth, T Weaver, A March, Richard Martin 17, Boston 28; D Veasey, T Freeman, C Jones, K Vinter 9-27.
The over 60’s are at home today (Friday) against Sleaford (10am).
Team: J Bourne, A Lonslow, P Banks, A Horton; M Dye, T Mackie, D Bruce, Mal Smith; T Barwell, G Corby, M Owen, T Christie; D Veasey, T Freeman, D Heffernan, C Jones; D Howorth, T Weaver, D Henshaw, Richard Martin. Reserves: J Gearey, Mark Smith, P Blake, R Graham.
Their season finishes at next-to-bottom Lincoln next Thursday.
Ladies score maximum
A maximum count of eight shots on the fourth end set Christine Ford’s rink on the way to a 41-11 success as Stamford Ladies enjoyed a convincing win over Skegness in their latest Trudy Bates A League match.
The rearranged match ended 134-81 in Stamford’s favour, giving them a valuable 16 shots as they chase top spot and an end-of-season play-off against the winners of the B division.
On the day, the win left Stamford in second place, seven points behind Boston. Both finish their season at Spalding who had 66.
Ford’s rink were major real hot shots on the day, but Rose March, Peggy Birch and Sue Moir were also winning skips.
Scores: J Lonslow, S Henshaw, S Suffling, C Ford 41, Skegness 11; J Brennan, L Harris, D Mackie, R March 34, Skegness 16; R Roberts, P Jones, M Andrews, P Birch 25, Skegness 11; E Wallace, M Holden, M Broadbelt, S Moir 17, Skegness 16; V Shackleton, Moira Holroyd, J Want, G Edwards 17, Skegness 27.
Promising youngsters from as far away as Oxfordshire and Derbyshire are among those competing in the under-18 tournament taking place at Stamford on Sunday, starting at 10am.
The open singles is sponsored by D&M Sports of Spalding and has a prize pot of £150.
The event has been won in the past by Stamford juniors Stephen Harris and Jay Travis Jenner, and while they and last year’s champion, Adam Fuller (South Forest), are now over-age, a strongly contested event is expected.
Players from clubs in Herts, Oxon, Huntingdon, Norfolk and Stamford and Spalding will offer a real opportunity to see some of the up-and-coming players who are now taking part in the sport.
Stamford hold regular coaching sessions for youngsters. Details are available from Keith Rippin on 01780 754274 or Mike Ramsden on 01780 460490.
World-ranked Les Gillett and Chris Rodgers (Melton) will face Spalding internationals Matt Whyers and Martin Spencer in the rearranged All-Star area five national pairs final at Stamford IBC on Tuesday (6.45pm).