While the Northants Bowling Federation’s Adams team saw their southern section title hopes nosedive with a crushing home defeat by Suffolk at the weekend, the Newton squad strengthened their hand with victory over opposition from the same county.
With two wins out of two, and just two to play, they are in a strong position to qualify for the final for the first time since 1991, although Saturday’s visit to Lincolnshire is set to provide a searching examination of their title credentials.
After taking command in the early stages at the City of Peterborough club, the Newton team held only a slender ten shot lead overall at one stage before pulling away late on to win 177-153 and collect 19 of the 22 points on offer.
The experienced combination of Fred Addy, Tony Kemp and Barry Lawrence led the surge with a 34-24 win to claim the rink honours.
Paul Buckley’s rink, which included captain Cliff Watson, replacing the injured Graham Jackson, and his Peterborough & District colleague Jeff Clipston, added 10 shots to win by seven and Roger Martin’s trio claimed nine shots over the closing ends.
Mick Duell’s rink looked set to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but the Suffolk skip with his last bowl rolled in for a second shot to force a draw.
At Whittlesey Manor, there was little cheer for home supporters as Suffolk led from the start in the Adams Trophy clash and never looked in any danger as they stormed to a 186-153 victory, leaving Northants with just two points to show for their efforts achieved by the rink of John Holroyd, Tony Belson and Graham Agger with a 37-18 win.
Northants 153 (2), Suffolk 186 (20): (Northants rinks only) –
Roger Stevens, Tony Mace, Rod Maplethorpe lost 19-29; Adam Warrington, Martyn Dolby, Jon Earl lost 26-30; Wayne Morris, Paul Bailey, Lee Welsford lost 22-35; John Holroyd, Tony Belson, Graham Agger won 37-18; Jack Corney, Dick Noble, Martin Welsford lost 24-37; Steve Lander, Steve Roden, Peter Brown lost 25-35.
Northants 177 (19), Suffolk 153 (3): (Northants rinks only) –
Jeff Clipston, Cliff Watson, Paul Buckley won 30-23; Jim Ruddy, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam lost 22-31; Peter Cox, Michael Humphreys, Roger Martin won 26-24; Fred Addy, Tony Kemp, Barry Lawrence won 34-24; Les Sharp, Malcolm Squires, Mick Duell drew 26-26; Darren Middleton, Bob Warters, Peter Jessop won 29-23.
n Northants women, who were in home action against North Cambs yesterday – only the Donald Steward team WERE playing – continue a sequence of three consecutive home matches by entertaining North Essex at Whittlesey Manor (Steward) and City of Peterborough (Vase) next Wednesday (June 21) starting at 1pm.