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Stamford bowlers help land prestigious success

Eversley trophy winners from the left: Les Sharp, Malcolm Squires, Tony Mace (President), Neil Wright, Richard Montgomery, Graham Agger and Cliff Watson.
Eversley trophy winners from the left: Les Sharp, Malcolm Squires, Tony Mace (President), Neil Wright, Richard Montgomery, Graham Agger and Cliff Watson.

Northants Federation bowlers – several of whom are Stamford IBC members – have retained the Eversley Trophy.

In the inter-county competition for county executives, they beat Suffolk on the last end of their four-match programme.

It was a prestigious victory at the end of a disappointing week at the English Federation finals at Newark where again Northants failed to reach an individual final.

Following wins over Durham, North Cambs and Hunts, the Northants Eversley team, faced Suffolk needing a maximum six points – two for each winning rink and two for the overall. Malcolm Squires, Richard Montgomery and Neil Wright won by three shots on their rink – playing a two-bowl triples format. This left treasurer Les Sharp, fixture secretary Graham Agger and past president Cliff Watson needing victory to clinch the title for a second successive year.

And they duly did it on the last end after the rinks had been tied at 13-13.

Langtoft bowler Richard Montgomery has received a commemorative tie to mark his 200 appearances for the Northants Bowling Federation. It is also recognition for his services to the sport for more than five decades.

He received the award from national president Trevor Harris after helping his county executive retain the Eversley Trophy at the EBF championships in Newark.

“it was a great honour, “ said Richard who fondly recalled his first appearance in 1966 at the Brotherhoods green in Peterborough against Notts. “It rained the whole game and I didn’t have any waterproofs.”

Inspired and influenced by his bowling parents Ken and Marjorie, he won the Northants junior title in 1968 and was runner-up in the nationals at Skegness that year.

Richard was also a member of the Northants side that won the indoor inter-county Derbyshire Trophy in 2006 and the Eversley Trophy on three occasions.

In more than 50 years associated with the county he won the national indoor pairs (with Martyn Dolby) in 2010 - the year he was national president - was county president (2006-7), competition secretary and Derbyshire Trophy captain.

n ‘Monty’ and others of his generation, could have made even more appearances but until more recent years, the records show only the skips of the rinks who represented the county!

In the individual English Bowling Federation championships, the slower pace of the Newark surface - compared to the quicker speed all county competitors are more familiar with as Stamford indoor bowlers - proved a real stumbling block, although there were a handful of good performances.

Only Martyn Dolby and Elizabeth Wallace, respective members of the outdoor Blackstones and Ketton clubs, through which they qualified, progressed to the semi-final stages in the men’s and women’s senior singles.

Dolby was finally eliminated by Lincolnshire’s Paul Flatters in a thrilling tussle 17-21 (Flatters eventually lost in the final) while Wallace was knocked out 21-7 by the eventual winner Jenny Humphries from Nottinghamshire.

The pair also won their first round four-bowl singles against the holder Danny Cawthorne (Norfolk) and Pauline Marples (Derbyshire) respectively but went out in the next round to Ian McIntosh (Durham) and Nina Riches (Durham).

Elsewhere there was a first round win over Suffolk for the young trio of Helen Holroyd, Louise Harris and Katie Bailey (all aged under 23) before losing to a late Derbyshire flourish 20-11, having led 11-4.

In the mixed triples Adam Warrington, Christine Ford and Dolby won their first round mixed rinks against Humberside but were unable to re-capture that form against Durham. Ford and Dolby also lost to Lincs in the mixed pairs.

Mick Humphreys and Roger Martin were in sparkling form in the men’s pairs first round, overcoming Humberside but after a superb start against the eventual winners from Norfolk, leading 11-2, nerves got the better of them.

Humphreys was also involved in the men’s triples with Chris Ballard (Vanguard) - substitute for the indisposed Kevin Vinter - and John Holroyd ( Stamford Town).

But they found the challenge of tournament favourites Simon Leader and Rob and Ed Elmore (Hunts) too tough, losing 27-8.

Moira Holroyd (Stamford Town) and Glenys Edwards (Ketton) lost 21-11 to Durham in the women’s pairs and Stephen Harris lost to runner-up winner Danny Seaborne (Norfolk) in the Under 25 singles.

Northants executives hopes of completing a double in the women’s Harry Carver trophy were dashed when they finished tied third behind Suffolk.

n Among the outstanding finals results were wins for near-neighbours Lincolnshire in the Derbyshire Trophy team event, the men’s rinks (R Jackson, Danny Brown & Billy Jackson) and Under 25 singles (Sam Ashton).

Current county and former national two-bowl singles champion Adam Warrington (Blackstones) faces a tough task if he is to retain his Northants title .

He will play the winner of either Peter Brown (Whittlesey Manor) or new Blackstones club-mate Mick Humphreys.

Warrington makes an early defence of his champion of champions title against Jim Ruddy (West Ward).

A new partnership of Martyn Dolby and Roger Martin also look to be serious challengers for the Senior Pairs. In the Senior singles Dolby faces former winner Jeff Clipston.

n Iin preparation for their Adams and Newton Trophy campaigns, a Northants Select team will play Whittlesey Manor BC at Whittlesey on Sunday (2pm).


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