Local bowlers begin the pilgrimage to Leamington this weekend (Augist 1 & 2) for the start of the month-long Bowls England men’s and women’s National Championships.
The women take centre stage for most of the opening two weeks, with the under 25 singles and senior pairs first in the spotlight, before the first of the mainstream events, the fours, gets under way on Monday (August 3).
Junior international Hannah Overton (Parkway) and Chloe Brett (Warboys), daughter of World number one Nicky, are in action on Sunday (August 2) in the opening rounds of the junior singles, Chloe having beaten Hannah 21-20 in the county final at Somersham last Sunday (July 26)
Also on Sunday, Parkway pair Helen Crow and Pat Reynolds begin their campaign in the senior pairs.
Hunts will be represented in the fours by two rinks from the Parkway club, with former international Catherine Popple skipping mother and daughter Val and Sarah Newson, also ex-England players, and Julie Masters, while Angela Kenny heads up the rink of Angie and Chris Morton and Sabrina Parnell.
In Sunday’s rain-soaked county finals at Somersham, there was a singles double for Parkway husband and wife Catherine and Stuart Popple.
Catherine defeated two-bowl singles winner Juliet May (Buckden) 21-16 in the four-bowl singles, while Stuart took the men’s two-bowl singles title with a 16-5 win over Warboys’ Simon Leader, whose wife, Karen (Sawtry), was runner-up in the women’s two-bowl event.
Stuart also figured in the winning men’s triple with Parkway colleagues James Harford and Simon Law, while Catherine remains on course for three county titles, the pairs and fours finals having been held over.
Trevor Collins (Parkway) won his own Shotbowl trophy after defeating Owen Darlington (St Ives) 21-13 in the Champion of Champions singles, and he celebrated that 24 hours later by qualifying for the national senior pairs finals with Tony Scarr, the pair defeating Warboys’ Lindsay and Ian Swannell 24-7 in the county final.
COUNTY FINAL RESULTS
2b singles – Stuart Popple (Parkway) bt Simon Leader (Warboys) 16-5.
4b singles – Ed Elmore (Warboys) bt James Bowers (Sawtry) 21-20.
Pairs – Rob Elmore & Lewis Baker (Warboys) bt Andrew Thurston & James Harford (Parkway) 20-11.
Triples – Stuart Popple, James Harford, Simon Law (Parkway) bt Rob Elmore, Nicky Brett, Lewis Baker (Warboys) 19-12.
Fours – Simon Leader, Ean Morton, Nicky Brett, Tristan Morton (Warboys) bt Trevor & Kieran Murray, Robbie Coleman, Barry Kitto (Brampton) 22-7.
Stuart & Co Shield – Sawtry bt Somersham 48-32.
2b singles – Juliet May (Buckden) bt Karen Leader (Sawtry) 17-12.
4b singles – Catherine Popple (Parkway) bt Juliet May (Buckden) 21-16.
Triples – Emma Thurston, Hannah Overton, Pat Reynolds (Parkway) bt Fiona Richardson, Norma Squires, Linda Darani (City of Peterborough) 20-15.
Under 25 singles – Chloe Brett (Warboys) bt Hannah Overton (Parkway) 21-20.
Secretary’s singles – Juliet May (Buckden) bt Vie Hatch (West Ward) 21-10.
Champion of Champions singles – Trevor Collins (Parkway) bt Owen Darlington (St Ives) 21-13.