Official recognition for Malcolm after joining umpiring ranks
Former RAF cricketer and ski instructor Malcolm Smith has qualified as a bowls umpire with the English indoor (EIBA) and outdoor (EBA) authorities.
The 71-year-old, a bowler at both Stamford IBC and Blackstones, qualified after an intensive training course on procedures, the rules and measuring in which he comfortably exceeded the 90 per cent pass rate.
Said Malcolm: " I have always been interested in and enjoyed officiating and marking in a competent, unofficial capacity and, when the Stamford indoor club suggested it needed a qualified umpire to represent it and complete the circle of coaches and officials at club level, I was delighted to take up the opportunity."
Among the tasks he had to complete was a 100-question written paper, 10 oral questions and 15 measuring exercises, some of which were very intricate, using tapes, callipers and gauges.
Oddly, and unlike many new to bowls, Malcolm revealed he was introduced to the sport by his son Trevor, a former semi-professional footballer with Stamford AFC, St Neots and Blackstones who also bowled for Blackstones and Greetham Valley.
Though it has a somewhat unfair reputation as being mainly for the older generation, Malcolm added: "Bowls is a really competitive sport for all ages with great social interaction."
His first official engagement as an umpire is to officiate at the Visually Impaired Bowls England (VIBE) Tournament at Royal Leamington Spa from July 9-13.
For further information about activities at Stamford IBC visit www.stamfordindoorbowls.co.uk
With Blackstones' Jonathan Earl at the helm, Northants Bowling Federation's begin their Adams Trophy campaign at Wisbech tomorrow (Saturday) with a string of his clubmates in support.
They play North Cambs, usually the southern section whipping boys. Apologies for last week's premature error in advising the date.
Adams squad ( v North Cambs) : Jon Earl (captain), Martyn Dolby, Adam Warrington, Stephen Harris, Paul Buckley, Paul Bailey, Mick Humphreys, Roger Martin, Wayne Morris (all Blackstones), Martin Welsford, Jack Corney, Lee Welsford, Peter Brown, Mick Duell, Graham Agger, Steve Roden (all Whittlesey Manor) Neil Wright (Parkway), John Holroyd (Stamford Town).
Northants' Newton team begin their series of just four fixtures with a 200-mile round trip to Halesworth to play Suffolk on June 2 while the Adams team travel to Kessingland, near Lowestoft.
Women bowlers from most of the Stamford League's top clubs will represent the Northants Federation in the Donald Steward and Silver Vase matches at home to Hunts next Wednesday (May 30).
Donald Steward Team (at Peterborough & District BC): M Osbourne, K. Browning, G. King (all Yaxley); E. Wallace, S. Suffling, C. Ford (all Ketton); S. Moir, (Langtoft), V. Hatch (West Ward), J. Masters (Parkway); C. Grief (Crowland), L Hext, S. Craig (both Conservative); F Richardson, N. Squires, L. Darani (all City of Peterborough). Reserves M. Andrews (Barnack), W. Harrold. Captain J Robinson.
Silver Jubilee Vase team (at City of Peterborough): P. Collicott (Deeping Assn), J. Needham, H. Bass (both Yaxley); H. Holroyd (Blackstones) , D. Flowers (Yaxley), P. O'Brien (Deeping Assn); V. Slater (Crowland), J. Duffy (Whittlesey Manor), J. Phillips (City of Peterborough); M. Holden (Market Deeping), C. Warters (Ketton), W. Humphreys (CoP); T. Handley (Deeping Assn), V. Du'kett (Ketton), J. Padley (Yaxley); Reserves P. Jones (Vanguard) J. Kendall (Co P). Captain A. Cooper.
Blackstones' Paul Buckley, Stephen Harris and Paul Bailey have reached the last 16 of the Northants Federation four-bowl singles as has Derek King (Ryhall) with a notable defeat of Martin Welsford (Whittlesey Manor).
Martin's son Lee, however, representing Parkway, saw off the challenge of Stamford Town's Richard Allam 21-9 in the two-bowl discipline.
In the senior singles Martyn Dolby beat Stuart Reynolds at Whittlesey and now plays Northants president Tony Mace, a winner over Ketton's Paul Pheasant whose club-mate Bob Warters, champion in 2015, beat Peter Holmes at Crowland.
Warters also helped John Little and Dick Ford edge past West Ward's Sean Fenlon, Jim Ruddy and Brian Swann 14-13 in the two bowl triples, winning a measure by less than one quarter of an inch on the last end.
Among the early stages of the women's events there was a 24-8 win for Shirley Suffling and Chris Ford (Ketton) in the pairs, though Suffling lost to Louise Harris (Blackstones) in the two-bowl singles, where Angela Cox (Langtoft) beat Pat Jones (Vanguard). Ford beat Jones in the senior singles.
The Federation finals will be played at Whittlesey Manor on July 15.