Local bowler Nicky Brett won two of the major awards and shared another at the annual World Bowls Tour presentation night at Potters Resort on Saturday.
The world number three from Yaxley won both the ‘Player of the Year’ and the ‘Players’ Player of the Year’ trophies, and shared with England colleague Mervyn King the ‘Match of the Year’ award.
Not only did he win the world indoor pairs title for the first time last January, but he retained the Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open title in November, beating world number one Paul Foster for the second final in a row.
However, his hopes of retaining the world indoor pairs title with City of Ely colleague Greg Harlow were dashed on Monday, when they were beaten in straight sets in the semi-finals by England pair Simon Skelton and Robert Paxton.
Brett was due to begin his singles campaign yesterday against New Zealand qualifier Andy McLean, and then tomorrow plays in the mixed pairs with Norfolk’s Rebecca Field.
Northants Bowling Federation have hauled themselves back into contention to qualify for the Derbyshire Trophy inter-county national final by defeating defending champions Lincolnshire by four shots at Stamford IBC.
Northants had narrowly lost their opening match in the four-team southern section at Huntingdon and needed vital points against the current holders to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the final at Newark in April.
With little to separate the teams at the halfway stage, Northants stretched to a 13-shot lead with each of the four rinks having five ends to play. The rinks skipped by Martyn Dolby (partnered by Nick Wilkie and Roger Martin) and James Harford (with John Holroyd and Bob Warters) rarely looked in trouble and were able to counteract the occasional inconsistency of the rink skipped by Simon Law (with Howard Shipp and Andrew Thurston).
Trailing by nine shots, a last end count of four against Harford and a single against Dolby suddenly gave Lincs a glimmer of hope and it needed the experience of Jeff Newson (with Joe Randall and Brian Martin) to steady the ship, securing a vital point with a tied match leaving Northants 88-84 winners and with 15 points in the bag.
Northants travel to North Cambs on Sunday week for another key game before concluding their programme with a home match against Norfolk on February 15.
Northants 88 (15), Lincs 84 (3) – (Northants rinks only):
John Holroyd, Bob Warters, James Harford won 25-19.
Brian Martin, Joe Randall, Jeff Newson drew 21-21.
Nick Wilkie, Roger Martin, Martyn Dolby won 27-16.
Howard Shipp, Andrew Thurston, Simon Law lost 15-28.
The Northants Bowling Federation men’s and women’s indoor championships have got under way with three matches in the opening round of the women’s singles.
There were wins for Julie Masters and Shirley Suffling, while Hazel Bass received a walkover.
Preliminary round: Julie Masters be Carol Warters 21-3; Shirley Suffling bt Fiona Richardson 21-15; Hazel Bass w/o Val Du’Kett.
There was an early exit for the Peterborough men’s senior team in the Cambs League Cup.
They were beaten 51-83 by St Neots A, but, surprisingly, it was the two home rinks that disappointed, losing by an aggregate of 30 shots, while the travelling rinks came home all square.
Peterborough 51, St Neots A 83 (Peterborough rinks only):
Dave Smith, Terry English, Pete Harvey, Joe Martin lost 10-19.
Noman Gray, Ivor Jackson, John Hadley, Wilf Redhead lost 9-30.
Mick Fuller, Jeff Clipston, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam won 19-18.
Les Sharp, Richard Harrison, Don Sutton, Mick Linnell lost 14-15.
The Peterborough men’s team bid to reach the quarter-finals of the Denny Plate on Saturday when they face the Norwich-based County Arts club.
Stamford are in action against Harrogate in the same consolation competition, while Spalding are in the mainstream Denny Cup event against Cumbria.
The Cambridgeshire county men’s team were beaten 112-114 by Essex in the second round of the Liberty Trophy, the national indoor inter-county championship.
The annual meeting of Huntingdonshire Bowls takes place at Sawtry BC tomorrow (Friday) at 7.30pm.