Stamford quartet are one step from national finals

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Four Stamford bowlers have reached the Area final of the English National Championship with a shock win at Spalding by 19-12.

Mike Ramsden, Bob Warters and brothers Martin and Paul Bailey staged an upset in the fours event by knocking out a quartet skipped by former Stamford player Simon Lilley.

With precise leading by Ramsden and good support from team-mates, Stamford edged ahead and held control thanks chiefly to some superbly aggressive shot-making by skip Paul Bailey. Then on the 19th end the Stamford rink snapped up a vital four count leaving the home team adrift by five shots and unable to peg them back.

Stamford now face Graham Smith’s Spalding rink of current and former internationals in the area final. The winners will play in the national finals at Nottingham at the end of March.

Stamford Indoor Bowls Club further enhanced its competitive reputation this week, when four of its members reached the last 16 of the English National finals to be held at Melton IBC in February.

Competing in the over 60s rinks (fours), Mike Ramsden, Bob Warters, Peter Edwards and Martyn Dolby overcame their old adversaries from Lincoln IBC.

On a deceiving carpet at Horncastle IBC, nominated as a neutral green for the Inter-Area final, Stamford read the conditions marginally better on long jacks and raced into an 11-4 lead, only for Scotsman Mike Smith’s rink to shorten the jack and reel off a succession of shots to lead 13-11.

Stamford, however, regained the initiative on the 19th end with a five count and held on to win 19-15 and secure a place for the club, for the third successive year, in the all-England finals on February 22 - against rinks from either Royal Tunbridge Wells or Deangate Ridge in Kent.

For details about the Stamford club and coaching see