Stamford hotshots claim five titles as history repeats itself

Doug Want and Jon Bailey of Stamford Inddor Bowls Club'Photo: Alan Romaine
Doug Want and Jon Bailey of Stamford Inddor Bowls Club'Photo: Alan Romaine
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Stamford bowlers claimed five titles at the Northants Federation indoor championships for the second year running on Sunday.

Almost 200 spectators turned out to support Stamford, who were playing on their home rinks.

One of the outstanding results was the last gasp U25 singles victory for 15-year-old Stamford Queen Eleanor School pupil Jon Bailey who held his nerve to defeat defending champion Joe Randall from Peterborough.

The pair were deadlocked as the match reached its climax with Randall edging ahead 20-19 after trailing the jack. But Bailey, showing great resolve and a growing maturity with a set of bowls he 
had for less than a week, 
nailed the jack on what proved to be the final end and added another to get over the line 21-20.

Martyn Dolby had earlier claimed the blue riband men’s singles in a see-saw tussle with Trevor Collins from Market Deeping.

Dolby had raced into a 12-0 lead but Collins pegged him back to lead 16-13. After 22 ends they were even at 18-all until Dolby clinched the three he needed for victory.

Doug Want completed a hat-trick of men’s titles with a comeback defeat of Joe Martin. He trailed 5-12 but gradually found his length with some precision bowling to tie the match at 18-apiece before winning the last two ends with five shots without reply.

His wife Jan completed a family double, combining with Christine Ford to take the women’s pairs in a nail-biting finish.

They led City bowlers Jenny Harvey and Fiona Richardson for long periods but Harvey found some accurate drawing form to lead 15-13. However the Stamford pair levelled the scores going into the last of the 21 ends.

Then Want dropped two shots close to the jack and that was enough to clinch it.

Completing the quintet of Stamford triumphs, the veteran trio of Joyce Foster, Connie Cox and Glenys Edwards took an early stranglehold of the two bowls women’s triples against Emma Thurston, Val Newson and Pat Reynolds and raced into a comfortable 12-shot lead after 16 ends.

The Peterborough bowlers could find no answer to the trio’s precise drawing on longer jacks and finally conceded 23-8 after 18 ends.

Chris Ford failed to complete her personal double when she lost in the women’s veteran singles 17-23 to Sheila Craig, while Keith Burrows, his father John and Jenny Harvey lost to Fiona Richardson, Neil Wright and Simon Law (Peterborough) in the mixed triples.

Nick Wilkie and Andy Thurston completed a double when they lifted the men’s triples with Dick Noble 25-12, then toppled Law and Brian Martin 20-8 in the two-bowl pairs.

The Northants champions now head to Newark IBC at the end of April to compete in the national finals, where last year Adam Warrington, Paul Bailey and Martyn Dolby lifted the two-bowl triples championship.

l Stamford IBC Mixed team is determined to stay in the top flight of the Lincs League after promotion last season and underlined their intent with a battling defeat of table-topping Spalding in their penultimate match of the season.

The 16 points they gained might be just enough to keep them up with one game to play this weekend - the match against Spalding resting on key last end bowls as Stamford ran out worthy winners by six shots overall.

Results (Stamford names only): Lincs Mixed League Division One: Stamford 88 (16pts), Spalding 82 (2). T Mackie, M Andrews, D Mackie, M Bailey won 17-16; A Martin, W Kettle, M Bloxham, R Harvey lost 18-25; C Barnes, C Warters, A Barnes, R Warters won 18-15; S Bailey, K Bailey, P Bailey, A Horton won 18-15; D Hudson, J Brennan, C Ford, J Little won 17-11.