County bowls champions were dethroned in the cold

Having waited patiently for more than 18 months to resume competitive outdoor bowling, local bowlers have duly encountered the coldest and wettest start to a season for a number of years.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 12:07 pm
Sophie Morton beat reigning county champion Chris Ford.

However, facing inclement weather is overshadowed by the relief at being able to resume, even accounting for the Covid restrictions still in force which has resulted in clubs having to face additional expenditure to adhere to the protocols, including in some cases the purchase of extra equipment to make certain mats and jacks are not shared with opposing teams.

With many players having forwarded last year’s entries to this season, there are as a result more walkovers than normal with circumstances having changed during the enforced sabbatical.

In the Northants Bowling Federation county competitions, the four-bowl singles winner from 2019, Stephen Harris (Blackstones), was beaten 21-18 in the opening round by James Harford (Parkway).

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However, he has already qualified for the national finals at Skegness in two events, the under 25 singles and the under 25 open pairs, having retained both without bowling a wood, his partner in the pairs this year being his sister, Louise.

There were no fewer than nine walkovers in the opening round of the men’s four-bowl singles and six in the two-bowl format.

The defending women’s four-bowl singles champion in the Northants Women’s Bowling Federation, Chris Ford (Ketton), also lost her crown at the first hurdle, losing 21-17 to Sophie Morton (Parkway), wife of England international Tristan.

With the women not involved in the inter-county championships for a second successive year, the players are having a get-together at the City of Peterborough club next Thursday.

To check on the latest county results, go to the county website – www.northantsbowlingfederation.co.uk.

**There has been another team casualty in the Peterborough League with Werrington Fox withdrawing from Division Three of the Club 55 League through lack of players.

The remaining players will now link up with Werrington Mill, who also play in the same division.

For the latest Peterborough League results and league positions, go to their website at www.bowls-league.com.