Northants hoping for another Cliff topper at seaside finals

Adam Warrington is chasing national success on three fronts.
Adam Warrington is chasing national success on three fronts.
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Having captained Northants Bowling Federation to a first-ever Adams Trophy success at Skegness in 2015, Cliff Watson will be hoping for a repeat act on Sunday when he leads the Newton Trophy team in their final against Humberside.

It’s their first appearance in the final since 1991 and their only success came way back in 1967.

Five of the Newton squad – Bob Warters, Roger Martin, Barry Lawrence, Martin Stokes and Paul Buckley – enjoyed success with the Adams team and Watson, Fred Addy and Malcolm Squires have all appeared for the county in a Newton final.

Watson, who will be playing in the team having replaced the injured Graham Jackson early in the campaign, said : “I was pleased with the commitment and desire to win by a highly modified team from last year.

“New and regular players gelled well together to dominate our group in a previously unseen manner. I’m sure everyone will give 110% for the county and undoubtedly they will be proud to wear the county shirt.”

Newton team (in rink order):

Darren Middleton, Bob Warters, Peter Jessop; Les Sharp, Malcolm Squires, Mick Duell; Peter Cox, Michael Humphreys, Roger Martin; Jeff Clipston, Cliff Watson, Paul Buckley; Fred Addy, Tony Kemp, Barry Lawrence; Jim Ruddy, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam.

Res: Graham Jackson, Martin Stokes.

The individual section of the English Bowling Federation national championships begin on Tuesday, with Adam Warrington (Blackstones) and Kathy Browning (Yaxley) both chasing success in three events.

Warrington goes in the two-bowl singles, which he has won twice, Champion of Champions singles and the two-bowl triples with Martyn Dolby and Jon Earl – they were winners in 2013 - while Browning has her eyes focused on the secretaries singles, three-bowl triples and senior pairs, although faces three matches on the opening day.

n It is sad to have to report the death of well-known local bowler and administrator Ivan Keen, a West Ward stalwart who once served as competition secretary of the Northants Bowling Federation.

n An agonising extra end defeat denied Hunts a place in the semi-finals of the Bowls England women’s fours championship at Leamington.

After wins over Herts (23-12), Derbys (21-18) and Worcs (23-17), the Parkway rink of Merisha McKernan, Chloe Brett, Val Newson and Catherine Popple lost 18-19 after an extra end in their quarter-final clash with Lincolnshire.

The other Hunts rink from St Ives – Jane Baldwin, Glenys Cousins, Jenny Dymond and Dina Barlow – were beaten 9-23 in the preliminary round by Durham.

There was also a quarter-final appearance for the Warboys pair of Harry Ward and Ed Elmore in the junior pairs. After victories over Warwicks (22-8) and Herts (22-18), they were beaten 12-19 by Cumbria in the last eight.

Young Chloe Brett (Parkway) reached the last 16 of the national singles which included an opening round 21-15 victory over former England international Jo Skelton (Derbys).

She also defeated Bernadette Hill (Lancs) 21-10 before going down 16-21 to Morgan Merryweather (Berks) in her bid to reach the quarter-finals.

Sophie Purrell (Holywell cum Needingworth) reached the second round, beating the 2008 runner-up Margaret Watts (Northants) 21-20 before an 11-21 defeat at the hands of Durham’s Teresa Parnell.

In the new men’s senior fours event, the Warboys rink of Sam Sallis, Bob Amos, Ian McWhinney and Lindsay Swannell defeated Derbys 21-10 in the opening round before going down 17-23 to Essex.

There was a 9-21 first round defeat for Sheila Craig (Conservative) at the hands of former winner Moira Self (Suffolk) in the women’s senior singles, while the Parkway trio of Emma Thurston, Hannah Overton and Pat Reynolds suffered a frustrating one-shot defeat (12-13) against Norfolk in the preliminary round of the triples.

The following morning the other Parkway triple of Sarah and Val Newson with Catherine Popple were beaten 11-21 in the opening round by Kent.

The men’s events begin to take centre stage this weekend beginning with the senior pairs tomorrow which will feature Whittlesey Manor’s Steve Lander and Graham Agger.

The men’s junior singles gets under way on Saturday with Hunts represented by Joe Randall (Parkway) and Jack Corney (Whittlesey Manor).

Nicky Brett’s Warboys’ rink of Simon Leader, Harry Ward and Lewis Baker have a fours preliminary round tie on Sunday afternoon, with the other Hunts rink, Parkway’s Paul Dalliday, James Harford, Simon Law and Stuart Popple in first round action on Monday morning.

The women’s senior fours competition starts on Wednesday with Buckden’s Jenny Casey, Daphne Meats, Val Corn and Pat Purssord carrying the county’s hopes.