Northants men have made it two wins out of two in their quest to reach the final of the English Bowling Federation’s Adams Trophy for the first time since 1959.
They followed up the previous weekend’s win at North Essex with a hard-fought 175-168 victory at Norfolk, collecting a valuable 18 points ahead of their first home game of the season against North Cambs on Saturday.
With just a handful of ends remaining Northants’ hopes looked doomed, but a late, determined surge enabled them to snatch the points from under Norfolk’s noses for a real confidence booster.
“What a grandstand finish,” said non-playing captain Cliff Watson. “The team showed real commitment and spirit to pull it out of the fire.”
There were wins for Whittlesey Manor skips Martin and Lee Welsford and Peter Brown, and for Blackstones’ Martyn Dolby.
There was disappointment, though, for the Newton Trophy team in Norwich, where they suffered a five-shot defeat (172-177).
There was an outstanding 38-20 win for the rink of Darren Lord, John Holroyd and Roger Strong, with the other two points coming from tied matches involving Squires and former captain Fred Addy.
The Under 25 team, under the new captaincy of Lee Welsford, got off to a winning start in the Reg Wright Trophy as they defeated Hunts 120-60 at Whittlesey Manor for a maximum haul of 12 points.
The Adams and Newton teams entertain North Cambs at Whittlesey Manor and Parkway respectively on Saturday, while the Under 25s are at home to Suffolk B on Sunday, also at Parkway.
Northants 175 (18), Norfolk 168 (4) – (Northants rinks only): Sean Fenlon, Bob Warters, Roger Martin lost 20-37. Adam Warrington, Fred Richardson, Lee Welsford won 36-32. Steve Roden, Graham Agger, Peter Brown won 32-26. Roger Stevens, Paul Bailey, Martin Welsford won 35-21. Martin Stokes, Paul Dalliday, Paul Buckley lost 25-26. Stephen Harris, Jonathan Earl, Martyn Dolby won 27-26.
Northants 172 (4), Norfolk 177 (18) – (Northants rinks only): Jeff Clipston, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam lost 24-34. Les Sharp, Jim Ruddy, Malcolm Squires drew 24-24. Jack Corney, John Hadley, Mick Linnell lost 30-34. Howard Shipp, Martin Bailey, Simon Law lost 30-39. Andrew Grief, Peter Holmes, Fred Addy drew 26-26.
Darren Lord, John Holroyd, Roger Strong won 38-20.
REG WRIGHT TROPHY
Northants U25 120 (12), Hunts U25 60 (0) – (Northants rinks only): Andy Cook, Darren Middleton, Hannah Overton won 36-22. Louise & Stephen Harris, James Harford won 53-8. Jack Corney, Jay Travis-Jenner, Joe Randall won 31-30.
Two sisters and two brothers contested the play-off deciders in their respective men’s and women’s Hunts Under 18 singles event at Parkway on Sunday.
Chloe Brett defeated sister Lauren three sets to nil in the women’s final, while Buckden’s Jack Squire toppled brother Callum by the same score in the men’s competition, which means that Jack and Chloe will meet in the county final next month.
A total of 18 players contested the new tournament which was sponsored by county officials Keith and Fred Thomas.
There was a second successive defeat for Hunts women in the Johns Trophy inter-county championship, this time at the hands of Northants at Parkway.
Although Judy Ford (Yaxley) skipped a winning rink for the second Saturday running, Hunts slipped to a 108-141 defeat, the other home rink success coming from Andrea Rose (Ramsey).
Hunts 108 (4), Northants (141 (18) – (Hunts skips only): Andrea Rose won 22-9; Val Corn lost 16-27; Judy Ford won 28-17; Dina Barlow lost 14-21; Joan Padley lost 12-37; Sheila Craig lost 16-30.
Hunts men meanwhile will be hoping to get their Middleton Cup campaign back on track on Saturday (June 13) when they visit Bedfordshire, both teams having lost their opening games to Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire respectively.
Hunts team: Steve Farrant (Huntingdon), Rob Elmore, Lyndsay Swannell, Nicky Brett (all Warboys). Eric Baker (Papworth), Barry Kitto (Brampton), Simon Law (Parkway), Ean Morton (Warboys). Simon Leader (Warboys), Tom Hall (Eaton Socon), Owen Kennedy (Hemingford), Lewis Baker (Warboys). Paul Dalliday (Whittlesey Manor), Toby Furzeland (Sawtry), Robbie Coleman (Brampton), Tristan Morton (Warboys). Brian Martin, Joe Randall, James Harford, Mike Robertson (all Parkway).
Harry Ward (Hemingford), Kierren Murray (Brampton), Ian McWhinney, Ed Elmore (both Warboys).
Whittlesey Manor hosts the regional finals of the Bowls England national under 25 inter-county two fours championship on Sunday.
Hunts, twice winners of the White Rose Trophy in recent seasons, are in action against Norfolk in one morning semi-final, with Bedfordshire and Northants clashing in the other. The winner of the afternoon final goes through to the national finals at Leamington in August.
The official opening of the new City of Peterborough bowls green that forms part of the Peterborough Town Sports Club complex at Bretton Gate takes place this Sunday at 2.30pm.
Members of the Belvedere and Molins clubs, who share the facility, are playing a representative team drawn from the Northants Bowling Federation, Northants Women’s Bowling Federation, Huntingdonshire Bowls, the Peterborough League and the Werrington club, whose green the two clubs shared last season while waiting for their new headquarters to be completed.