Northants’ hopes of launching a strong challenge for Adams and Newton Trophy honours this season hit the buffers in Suffolk on Saturday with comprehensive defeats from a points perspective at least.
The Adams team, having opened the season with a maximum points haul away to North Cambs, naturally found defending champions Suffolk a far different kettle of fish, and as a result could manage only two points from their long trek to Kessingland.
New team captain Jon Earl was forced to make four changes and shuffle the pack owing to a clash with Middleton Cup fixtures which didn’t aid their chances, but it’s open to debate whether the overall outcome would have been any different had Northants been at full strength for such is the dominance of Suffolk in the southern section.
The rink of John Holroyd, Michael Humphreys and Roger Martin denied the hosts a clean sweep with a 26-20 victory.
Northants were only two shots adrift after twenty of the 31 ends, but Suffolk powered home in the closing stages to record a 161-134 victory to add to their opening day success at Norfolk.
The Newton Trophy team went through last season unbeaten on the way to the national final at Skegness, but their hopes of repeating that achievement with a much-changed line-up were dashed at the first hurdle this time by a 153-168 defeat which yielded just three points, courtesy of a 31-20 win for the rink of Fred Addy, Tony Kemp and Barry Lawrence and a 28-28 draw for Peter Cox, Bob Warters and Peter Jessop.
However, there was little to choose on three of the other four rinks, where the margin of defeat for Northants was by five shots or less.
Northants are in home action on Saturday against Lincs, with the Adams team playing for the first time at Blackstones, and the Newton team at the City of Peterborough club for the second successive season.
Northants 134 (2), Suffolk 161 (20): (Northants rinks only) –
Howard Shipp, Martyn Dolby, Mick Duell lost 17-28.
Trevor Smith, Tom Fielding, Jon Earl lost 19-25.
Steve Lander, Graham Agger, Martin Welsford lost 24-28.
Wayne Morris, Jack Corney, Paul Buckley lost 20-30.
John Holroyd, Michael Humphreys, Roger Martin won 26-20.
Steve Roden, Paul Bailey, Adam Warrington lost 28-30.
Northants 153 (3), Suffolk 168 (19): (Northants rinks only) –
Fred Addy, Tony Kemp, Barry Lawrence won 31-20.
Martin Stokes, Richard Allam, Brian Bassam lost 28-31.
Les Sharp, Malcolm Squires, Dick Noble lost 20-34.
Peter Cox, Bob Warters, Peter Jessop drew 28-28.
Roger Stevens, Jeff Clipston, Fred Richardson lost 20-24.
Sean Fenlon, Jim Ruddy, Mick Greaves lost 26-31.
There was mixed fortune for the Northants county women’s teams in their opening matches of the season.
While the Donald Steward Trophy team opened with a 105-87 defeat of Hunts at Peterborough & District to collect 14 of the 18 points on offer, the Silver Jubilee Vase team, playing at the City of Peterborough club, failed to register a single point in an 88-144 defeat, losing on all five rinks.
Rink wins for Julie Masters (22-19), Chris Ford (23-9) and Gill King (29-17) made certain the Donald Steward team took the overall honours and the bulk of the points.
There were few positives to emerge from the Silver Jubilee Vase team’s performance in a comprehensive 56 shot defeat, the closest Northants came to ending the points famine came on the rink of Wendy Humphreys which only went down by three shots.
The teams are next in action away to North Essex on Tuesday, June 19.
DONALD STEWARD TROPHY
Northants 105 (14), Hunts 87 (4): (Northants rinks only) –
Norma Squires, Fiona Richardson, Linda Darani lost 15-21.
Sue Moir, Vie Hatch, Julie Masters won 22-19.
Carol Grief, Liz Hext, Sheila Craig lost 16-21.
Elizabeth Wallace, Shirley Suffling, Chris Ford won 23-9.
Marlene Osborne, Kathy Browning, Gill King won 29-17.
SILVER JUBILEE VASE
Northants 88 (0), Hunts 144 (18): (Northants rinks only) –
Pat Collicott, Joyce Needham, Hazel Bass lost 15-26.
Helen Holroyd, Doris Flowers, Pearl O’Brien lost 14-39.
Veona Slater, Janet Duffy, Jessica Phillips lost 16-25.
Maggie Holden, Carol Warters, Wendy Humphreys lost 24-27.
Terri Handley, Val Du’Kett, Joan Padley lost 19-27.
County Championship results
Two-bowl singles, first round: Tina Tinklin (Conservative) bt Louise Harris (Blackstones) 21-11; Hazel Bass (Yaxley) bt Chris Ford (Ketton) 21-8; Sharon Bailey (Blackstones) bt Sheila Craig (Conservative) 21-20; Marisha McKernan (Parkway) bt Angela Cox (Langtoft Pearl) 21-18; Joan Robinson (Yaxley) bt Vie Hatch (Westward) 21-4; Fiona Richardson (City of Peterborough) bt Julie Masters (Parkway) 21-18. Walkovers: Norma Squires (City of Peterborough) & Joan Butcher (Whittlesey Town).
Senior pairs, first round: Fiona Richardson (City of Peterborough) bt Sheila Craig (Conservative) 22-12; Julie Farrington (Whittlesey Town) bt Pearl O’Brien (Deeping) 19-17; Kathy Browning (Yaxley) bt Chris Ford (Ketton) 19-10; Anne White (Langtoft Pearl) bt M. Stone (Deeping) 21-6; Doris Flowers (Yaxley) bt Janet Duffy (Whittlesey Manor) 19-9; Elizabeth Wallace (Ketton) bt Sheron Noble (Westward) 18-13. Walkover: Angie Morton (Parkway).
Two-bowl triples, preliminary round: Chris Ford (Ketton) bt Sharon Bailey (Blackstones) 19-10; Val Du’Kett (Ketton) bt Pearl O’Brien (Deeping) 26-19; Linda Kemp (Conservative) bt Kathy Browning (Yaxley) 19-11; Gill King (Yaxley) bt C. McCarthy (Whittlesey Town); Julie Masters (Parkway) bt Sheron Noble (Westward) 18-16; Norma Squires (City of Peterborough) bt Doris Flowers (Yaxley) 22-12; Sarah Newson (Parkway) bt Sheila Craig (Conservative).
Two-bowl singles, second round: Graham Agger (Whittlesey Manor) bt Jim Ruddy (Westward) 21-12; Roger Stevens (Whittlesey Manor) bt Sam Wilson (Parkway) 21-6; Adam Warrington (Blackstones) bt Michael Humphreys (Blackstones) 21-12; Paul Dalliday (Parkway) bt Jeff Clipston (Peterborough & District) 21-13; Jack Vorney (Whittlesey Manor) bt Wilf Redhead (Peterborough & District) 21-15; Lee Welsford (Parkway) bt Richard Allam (Stamford) 21-9; Neil Wright (Parkway) bt Craig Campbell (Parkway) 21-16; Martin Welsford (Whittlesey Manor) bt Steve Roden (Whittlesey Manor) 21-13; Dave Roberts (Market Deeping) bt Peter Holmes (Crowland) 21-9; Sean Fenlon (Westward) bt Andrew Thurston (Parkway) 21-5; Steve Lander (Whittlesey Manor) bt Brian Bassam (Peterborough & District) 21-11; Ian Chilvers (Peterborough & District) bt Andrew Cooper (Yaxley) 21-17; Stephen Harris (Blackstones) bt Martin Fletcher (Langtoft Pearl) 21-12; Jn Earl (Blackstones) bt Mick Linnell (Westward) 21-7; Howard Shipp (Parkway) bt Dennis Cottom (Crowland) 21-12. Walkover: Tony Mace (Whittlesey Manor).