A much-changed Hunts men’s team opened their Middleton Cup inter-county championship campaign with an 87-136 defeat away to Norfolk.
Although picking up just three points from the 22 on offer, team manager Bob Morton was not too despondent as Norfolk, favourites for the qualifying group, would have been a tough nut to crack even with all the leading players in the county at his disposal.
The solitary win came from Mike Robertson’s rink of Stuart Reynolds, Martin Francis and James Harford, while Simon Law’s quartet of Paul Dalliday, Toby Furzeland and Lindsay Swannell shared the spoils at 18-18 apiece.
Hunts continue their Middleton Cup programme on Saturday with a home match against Hertfordshire at Brampton.
Hunts 87 (3), Norfolk 136 (19) – (Hunts rinks only):
Howard Shipp, Neil Wright, Harry Ward, Trevor Collins lost 14-19.
Paul Dalliday, Toby Furzeland, Lindsay Swannell, Simon Law drew 18-18.
Eric Baker, Sam Nickerson, Kierren Murray, Ean Morton lost 15-26.
Brian Martin, Richard Stevens, Joe Randall, Tristan Morton lost 5-39.
Stuart Reynolds, Martin Francis, James Harford, Mike Robertson won 18-16.
Tom Hall, Trevor Murray, Simon Leader, Robbie Coleman lost 17-18.
n Four more Hunts bowlers booked their passage to the Bowls England national championships at Leamington in August following the men’s and women’s under 25 qualifiers staged at Parkway on Sunday.
Defending county champions Joe Randall and Chloe Brett, both Parkway, qualified again and will be joined at Leamington by Jack Corney (Whittlesey Manor) and Sophie Purrell (Holywell cum Needingworth).
Two more qualifiers for the national finals will become known this weekend with the women’s two-bowl singles qualifier being staged at Parkway on Sunday afternoon.
n Whittlesey Manor and Parkway face each other twice over the next week in the third round of two Bowls England national competitions.
Parkway have home advantage this Sunday morning in the Top Club, and then visit Whittlesey Manor the following weekend in the Two Fours competition after the two teams defeated City of Peterborough (44-11) and St Ives (37-34) respectively to reach the third round.
PAIRS, first round: Tristan Morton (Parkway) bt Nicky Brett (Warboys) 24-2; Robert Heath (Yaxley) bt John Mitchley (Hemingford) 23-20; Robbie Coleman (Brampton) bt Bryan Johnson (Papworth) 22-21; Simon Leader (Warboys) bt Sam Nickerson (Sawtry) 22-16; Richard Fisher (Papworth) bt Lindsay Swannell (Warboys) 23-10; Rob Elmore (Warboys) bt Stuart Woodcock (Whittlesey Manor) 29-14; Eric Baker (Papworth) bt Steve Baker (Hemingford) 21-5; Ed Elmore (Warboys) bt Fred Field (Huntingdon) 22-12; Mike Robertson (Parkway) bt Ian Swannell (Somersham) 28-7; Trevor Collins (Parkway) bt John Steels (West Ward) 21-8; Peter Brown (Whittlesey Manor) bt Barry Kitto (Eynesbury) 22-12; Andrew Thurston (Parkway) bt Jim Ruddy (West Ward) 24-6; Matt Saunders (Brampton) bt Mick Hatch (West Ward) 24-11; Howard Shipp (Parkway) bt Terry Corney (Whittlesey Town) 24-18. Walkovers: David Woolford (Somersham), Stuart Popple (Parkway).
FOURS, first round: Nicky Brett (Warboys) bt Tristan Morton (Parkway) 18-17; Stuart Woodcock (Whittlesey Manor) bt Lindsay Swannell (Warboys) 19-18; Peter Brown (Whittlesey Manor) bt Robert Heath (Yaxley) 19-16; Richard Fisher (Papworth) bt Paul Parnell (Brampton) 29-14; Stuart Popple (Parkway) bt Rob Elmore (Warboys) 25-13; Robbie Coleman (Brampton) bt Jim Ruddy (West Ward) 23-11; Eric Baker (Papworth) bt Ian Swannell (Somersham) 25-19; Barry Kitto (Eynesbury) bt Matt Saunders (Brampton) 27-11.