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Northants Bowling Federation will be aiming to regain the Adams Trophy in a revised format to the event

The Northants Bowling Federation has accepted an opportunity to regain the Adams Trophy.

It won the event for the first time in its history in 2015 and will be contesting a revised inter-county knock-out competition which this year replaces the round-robin tournament.

Covid restrictions have ruled out the regular format which is played against five counties in the southern section.

Blackstones bowler Paul Buckley is sidelined after a freak accident. (46453945)
Blackstones bowler Paul Buckley is sidelined after a freak accident. (46453945)

Instead, Northants must travel to play Huntingdonshire on June 26 with the winners pitched against either Norfolk or Suffolk for a place in the national finals at Skegness in August against the winners of the northern section.

Northants’ Newton team – runners-up in 2017 – will be at home to Hunts at Whittlesey Manor on the same day and again facing either Norfolk or Suffolk for a final spot.

Only seven of the affiliated counties accepted an invitation to take part, including Lincolnshire, who will compete in the northern section against Humberside with the winners to face Nottinghamshire.

For the second year running there will be no Donald Steward or Silver Jubilee Vase events for the Northants women.

The Durham Centenary Trophy will go ahead as scheduled with Blackstones representing Northants and ties have been put back to early June.

Experienced Blackstones bowler Paul Buckley, a multiple Northants Federation county champion, has been sidelined for the season after suffering a broken hip in a freak accident.

Several local outdoor bowls clubs – including Blackstones, Ketton and Langtoft – are opening up this week to prepare for the forthcoming season.

Oakham and Stamford Town have already made a start and taken advantage of the recent dry weather spell.

Clubs are reminded that the rule of six applies (no more than six players per rink) with appropriate space between rinks and sanitizing of equipment before during and after games.

Social distancing is imperative and no spectators are allowed until the next phase of Covid rules are introduced.

The Peterborough Bowls League, involving a number of local teams, is due to start early next month with the Stamford League publishing their fixtures this week, which will begin on June 4.

Stamford Indoor Bowls Club is re-opening its six-rink arena on May 17 and is advising current and new members who wish to play to take advantage of online rink booking at www.stamfordindoorbowls.co.uk/diary.

Participants need to log on with their membership number and password if they want to play in the Monday, Tuesday and Friday morning roll-ups.

Alternatively rinks can be booked by calling 01780 756452 on or after May 17, when the reception will be manned when bowls is in progress.

Domestic summer leagues are also due to start on May 17 with Monday evening triples, followed by league fixtures on Tuesday lunchtime, Wednesday morning and Friday evening. Coaching can also be booked on Saturday mornings ( see website for details).

Following a meeting of the Lincs Women’s Indoor Bowling Association, Stamford have been paired with Spalding, Skegness, Boston and Grantham in a southern section of the Trudy Bates inter-club competition to be played from September to April.

The format will be four rinks of fours and fixtures are currently being processed.

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