New Northants B team almost pull off Derbyshire debut shock

Cliff Watson.
Cliff Watson.
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History was made at the weekend when the Northants Bowling Federation fielded a B team in the Derbyshire Trophy indoor inter-county championship for the first time and they almost pulled off a surprise victory over their A squad at Peterborough & District.

Although the A team finished with 11 of the 14 points on offer, the final margin of victory was just a little too close for comfort from their point of view at 100-98.

The rinks of Martyn Dolby, who came from 5-11 down to defeat Rod Maplethorpe 32-19, and Simon Law, 24-18 against Graham Agger, secured rink wins for the A team, while Peter Brown’s trio picked up seven shots over the last four ends, including a treble on the last, to force a 27-27 draw to deny Tony Scarr a third rink success for the A team.

There was an impressive 34-17 victory for the reshuffled B team rink of Mike Ramsden, Michael Humphreys and John Holroyd, who accumulated 12 shots over the last six ends to keep their side within touching distance.


Northants A 100 (11), Northants B 98 (3) – (Northants A rinks first):

Stephen Harris, James Harford, Martyn Dolby 32, Brian Bassam, Mick Greaves, Rod Maplethorpe 19.

Paul Dalliday, Phil Afford, Simon Law 24, Les Sharp, Mick Linnell, Graham Agger 18.

Howard Shipp, Neil Wright, Roger Martin 17, Mike Ramsden, Michael Humphreys, John Holroyd 34.

Brian Martin, Mike Robertson, Tony Scarr 27, Cliff Watson, Dick Noble, Peter Brown 27.


Northants Bowling Federation have followed in the footsteps of both the Peterborough League and Huntingdonshire Bowls by allowing the wearing of shorts from next season.

Club delegates attending last week’s annual meeting at the Peterborough & District club backed a management committee proposal that the wearing of tailored shorts, grey up to the county final and then white in the final, be added to the county’s dress code.

Both the president Tony Mace and secretary Melvyn Beck touched on the county’s general lack of success on the national scene this year, although the team of county officers and past presidents did win the one-day Eversley Trophy competition at Newark back in April.

The Newton Trophy team, under the captaincy of Cliff Watson, who later in the proceedings was awarded life membership for his service to the county administrative structure stretching more than 25 years, did reach the national final for the first time since 1991, where they were narrowly beaten by Humberside having led for most of the match.

On the individual front, the county managed only one semi-finalist at the indoor finals in Newark, while at Skegness, Simon Law and Chris Morton were unfortunate not to win the mixed pairs, having been the county’s only finalists.

Treasurer Les Sharp reported a profit on the year of £1, 116.60, due in no small part to a £1,000 sponsorship donation from Forterra.

All the administrative officers were re-elected, but there were changes to the management committee with long-standing member Alan Croxford and former secretary Mike Ramsden standing down, Tony Kemp filling one of the vacancies.

Jon Earl (Blackstones) is the new Adams Trophy team captain, replacing Peter Brown who did not seek re-election having only taken the job on a temporary basis following the resignation of Fred Richardson before the start of last season.

Cliff Watson continues in charge of the Newton Trophy team that reached the national final last season, while James Harford and Malcolm Squires captain the Derbyshire Trophy A and B teams respectively.

Election of officers: Secretary, Melvyn Beck; Treasurer, Les Sharp; Match secretary, Graham Agger; Competition and results secretary, Barry Lawrence; Minutes’ secretary, Linda Toms; Press officer, Bob Warters; National representative, to be appointed; Child & Vulnerable Adult representative, Neil Wright; Adams captain, Jon Earl; Newton captain, Cliff Watson; Derbyshire A captain, James Harford; Derbyshire B captain, Malcolm Squires; Management committee: Martin Welsford, Peter Brown, Steve Roden, Brian Bassam, Mick Greaves, Paul Dalliday, Tony Kemp.

President Tony Mace and deputy president Dick Noble remain in office for a second year.


Having won their opening two matches in defence of the Cambs Senior League title, Peterborough & District were brought down to earth with a bump as visiting March A inflicted a 64-52 defeat.

Rink honours were shared at two apiece, but March took the overall honours leaving Peterborough having to be content with four points.


Peterborough 52 (4), March A 64 (6) – (Peterborough rinks only):

Dick Overson, John Barker, Dick Noble, Rod Maplethorpe won 17-11.

Mick Fuller, Jeff Clipston, Terry English, Ray Keating won 17-11.

Terry Corney, Peter Haynes, Graham Jackson, Jeff Pitt lost 11-21.

Joe Martin, Steve Johnson, Phil Afford, Mick Linnell lost 7-21.


The Peterborough & District made an early exit from the Denny Cup national men’s indoor inter-club championship, losing 68-87 to Huntingdon, so now they go into the Denny Plate where they will face Kempston Park on Saturday week.

Peterborough went out of the Top Club the following day, losing 14 points to two against St Neots.