Northants’ chance of qualifying for the final of the English Bowling Federation’s Derbyshire Trophy indoor inter-county championship are balanced on a knife edge.
After claiming 10 of the 14 points available from Lincolnshire at Peterborough & District on Sunday, Northants go into their last match of the season against Norfolk at Stamford this weekend needing 13 points to guarantee their place in the final for only the third time.
They could still go through with 12 points, but they would need to win the match by at least 26 shots to pip Hunts on shots difference, so it promises to be a nervy and tense affair on Sunday morning.
Northants replicated Hunts’ 10-4 victory over Lincolnshire, but they were agonisingly close to making it 12, which would have eased the pressure slightly, as Simon Law’s rink of Paul Dalliday and Phil Afford lost by just one shot.
The rinks of Tristan Morton, playing with James Harford and Howard Shipp, and Roger Martin, linking up with Neil Wright and Stephen Harris, recorded 27-15 and 22-12 victories respectively to guarantee Northants’ their overall victory – 86-73 - which as a result ended Lincolnshire’s slender hopes of topping the table.
The remaining rink of Brian Martin, Bob Warters and Joe Randall were beaten 23-15, going on a nine-end losing spell in one sequence after they had stormed into a 6-0 lead after just two ends.
Northants 86 (10), Lincs 73 (4): (Northants rinks only):
Brian Martin, Bob Warters, Joe Randall lost 15-23.
Howard Shipp, James Harford, Tristan Morton won 27-15.
Stephen Harris, Neil Wright, Roger Martin won 22-12.
Paul Dalliday, Phil Afford, Simon Law lost 22-23.
n There will be an all-Stamford singles final in the Northants Women’s Bowling Federation indoor championships which are being staged at Stamford on Sunday, March 19.
Chris Ford, who won three indoor county titles last year, will line up against her regular playing partner Shirley Suffling after wins over Peterborough opponents Jenny Harvey (21-20) and Sheila Craig (21-12) respectively.
WOMEN’S SINGLES, semi-finals: Chris Ford bt Jenny Harvey 21-20; Shirley Suffling bt Sheila Craig 21-12.
WOMEN’S PAIRS, first round: Glenys Edwards bt Carol Warters 24-7; Denise Mackie bt Chris Ford 16-15; Louise Harris bt Julie Masters 21-16.
MEN’S TRIPLES, second round: John Holroyd bt Mick Linnell 23-15; Jeff Pitt bt Derek King 27-13.
n With title rivals Cambridge Chesterton A without a fixture, the Peterborough senior men’s team took full advantage to regain top spot in the Cambs League following a 112-33 demolition of visiting March B, who paid a heavy price for playing one short in three of the four rinks.
Peterborough 112 (10), March B 33 (0) – (Peterborough rinks only):
Terry Corney, Don Paul, Ean Eagle, Ray Keating won 31-4.
Joe Martin, Graham Jackson, Phil Afford, Mick Duell won 34-9.
Mick Fuller, Norman Gray, Mick Greaves, Rod Maplethorpe won 25-9.
Les Sharp, John Barker, Peter Haynes, Mick Linnell won 22-11.