Although the English Bowling Federation national indoor finals don’t start in earnest until next week, Northants bowlers have already put their name on the roll of honour by winning the men’s Eversley Trophy at Newark on Sunday.
It’s the eighth time the county have won the event, but the first since it became a one-day tournament restricted to county officers and past presidents as opposed to being open to the whole management committee – they have also been runners-up 11 times since it was introduced in 1974/75, when Northants were the inaugural winners.
Northants won all four matches in the two-rink format, beating Suffolk, Durham, Humberside and Hunts to claim 20 out of the 24 points available – they lost on two rinks during the day out of the eight played (two points for each winning rink and two points for winning overall). Humberside were runners-up with 17 points.
The rinks were Les Sharp, Graham Agger and Cliff Watson – Malcolm Squires, Richard Montgomery and Dick Noble.
The county will be hoping that team success will be the springboard for improved fortunes when the individual portion of the championships get under way next Wednesday, as they have managed only two titles since 2009.
Martyn Dolby and Adam Warrington featured in one of those when winning the triples with Stamford colleague Paul Bailey in 2012, and they return once again with the former having two bites of the cherry – senior singles and mixed triples.
In fact, the experienced Dolby is bidding for a fourth national indoor title, having previously won the triples, pairs and mixed pairs, although he remains four short of the county record of seven achieved by Jeff Newson.
You have to go back to 2001 to find the last women’s success in these championships when Pat Reynolds won the singles, Chris Ford carrying the county’s hopes in that event this time, and she also lines up in the mixed triples with Dolby and Warrington.
The championships proper start next Wednesday, with Tuesday being set aside for the women’s Harry Carver Trophy, the day-long tournament for county officers and past presidents.
Northants’ squad: Doris Flowers, Joan Robinson, Liz Barr, Chris Ford, Rita Mace, Jessica Phillips and Janet Duffy.
NEWARK TIMETABLE FOR NORTHANTS
(Championships start next Wednesday, April 19)
U25 singles: Stephen Harris v Humberside (second round), Saturday, 12.00
Singles: Martyn Dolby v North Essex (first round), Friday, 9.30
Senior singles: Bob Warters v Humberside or Northumberland (second round), Friday, 2.30
Pairs: Nick Wilkie & Joe Randall v Derbys (first round), Thursday, 9.30
Triples: Michael Humphreys, John Holroyd, Kevin Vinter v Derbys (first round), Wednesday, 12.30
Mixed pairs: Carol Hunter & Joe Martin v Norfolk (first round), Friday, 9.30
Mixed triples: Adam Warrington, Chris Ford, Martyn Dolby v Suffolk (first round), Wednesday, 12.30
Singles: Chris Ford v North Essex (first round), Friday, 9.30
Senior singles: Joan Robinson v North Cambs (first round), Thursday, 12.30
Pairs: Jan Want & Denise Mackie v Lincs (first round), Thursday 3.30
Triples: Fiona Richardson, Margaret Linnell, Julie Masters v Notts (first round), Wednesday, 12.30
Nicky Brett’s hopes of a second national indoor title of the season were dashed when he was beaten in the second round of the EIBA two-bowl singles.
Representing the Huntingdon club, Brett, fresh from winning the pairs with Lewis Baker, lost 13-21 to Paul Maynard (Foxhill) having beaten fellow England international Graham Smith (Spalding) 21-17 in the opening round of the final stages.
CAMBS SENIOR LEAGUE
Having been put in the driving seat after a lapse by Cambs League Senior League title rivals Cambridge Chesterton A, Peterborough duly slipped up on a banana skin of their own, so handing back the initiative to the defending champions.
Although Peterborough defeated newly-crowned League Cup winners March A 68-63, they only managed to win on one of the four rinks – Ray Keating’s winning 24-7 – and so collected only four of the 10 points.
As a result, Peterborough went into their last match of the season away to St Neots A with a seven point advantage, but Chesterton still have one game in hand.
Peterborough 68 (4), March A 63 (6): (Peterborough rinks only):
Norman Gray, Ean Eagle, Peter Haynes, Ray Keating won 24-7.
Joe Martin, Steve Johnson, Phil Afford Mick Duell lost 10-11.
Mick Fuller, Don Paul, Mick Greaves, Rod Maplethorpe lost 21-23.
Les Sharp, John Barker, Terry English, Mick Linnell lost 13-22.