Northants men made it two wins out of two in the Adams Trophy with a 193-136 defeat of North Cambs at Whittlesey Manor to keep the pressure on southern section leaders Lincs.
With 39 points from two matches, Northants go into Saturday’s tough home match against Suffolk just one point behind Lincs, who have dropped just four points in wins over Hunts and North Essex.
Northants would have overhauled the leaders but for a one-shot defeat for Lee Welsford’s rink on the last end which prevented the host county claiming maximum points.
The rink honours went to Jack Corney, deputy president Dick Noble and Martin Welsford, who won at a canter, 42-18, while the Blackstones trio of Adam Warrington, Martyn Dolby and Jonathan Earl were next best with a 34-22 victory.
There were also victories for the rinks skipped by Graham Agger, team captain Peter Brown and Rod Maplethorpe, who were all made to work hard for their rewards.
With North Cambs only fielding one team, the Newton Trophy side return to action at the City of Peterborough club on Saturday against Suffolk.
With North Essex also having pulled their second team out of the competition, it means the Newton team will now only have four matches this season.
Northants 193 (20), North Cambs 136 (2) – (Northants rinks only):
Roger Stevens, Tony Mace, Rod Maplethorpe won 29-19; Adam Warrington, Martyn Dolby, Jonathan Earl won 34-22; Wayne Morris, Paul Bailey, Lee Welsford lost 28-29; John Holroyd, Tony Belson, Graham Agger won 30-24; Jack Corney, Dick Noble, Martin Welsford won 42-18; Steve Lander, Steve Roden, Peter Brown won 30-24.
There were fortunes for the Northants Women’s Bowling Federation teams when they opened their county championship campaigns away to near neighbours Hunts.
While the new-look Silver Jubilee Vase team picked up 14 of the 18 points available from a 115-94 victory at St Ives, the Donald Steward side managed only two in a 104-119 defeat at Hemingford, but two of the four losing rinks were by margins of two and three shots.
Leading the way in the Vase match were newcomer Maggie Holmes paired with the experienced Doris Flowers and Liz Barr in a 31-13 win which took the rink honours.
The all City of Peterborough rink of Jean Kendall, Jessica Phillips and Wendy Humphreys won by ten shots as did Hazel Bass’s trio containing Pat Collicott and Joyce Needham.
Over at Hemingford, only Wendy Harrold and Conservative pair Tina Tinklin and Sheila Craig emerged victorious, although the rinks of county president Rita Mace and Julie Masters only lost by three and two shots respectively.
With North Cambs only able to field one team, only the Steward team will be in action next Wednesday when they entertain their local rivals at Whittlesey Manor.
DONALD STEWARD TROPHY
Northants 104 (2), Hunts 119 (16) – (Northants rinks only):
Carol Warters, Janet Duffy, Chris Ford lost 16-25; Kathy Browning, Gill King, Norma Squires lost 19-27; Fiona Richardson, Elizabeth Wallace, Julie Masters lost 20-22; Sue Moir, Shirley Suffling, Rita Mace lost 21-24; Wendy Harrold, Tina Tinklin, Sheila Craig won 28-21.
SILVER JUBILEE VASE
Northants 115 (14), Hunts 91 (4) – (Northants rinks only):
Maggie Holden, Doris Flowers, Liz Barr won 31-13; Jean Kendall, Jessica Phillips, Wendy Humphreys won 26-16; Pat Collicott, Joyce Needham, Hazel Bass won 25-15; Val Du’Kett, Pearl O’Brien, Viv Hempsall lost 13-24; Carol Grief, Linda Toms, Joan Padley lost 20-23.
n Northants Women’s Bowling Federation president Rita Mace held her President’s Day at Whittlesey Manor on Sunday attended by more than forty bowlers from clubs affiliated to the county.