ROUND-UP: Surge of scoring is consolation for Northants, West Ward beaten in biggest match in their history
A surge of scoring just after the halfway stage of their match at Sudbury against North Essex enabled a much-changed Northants side a heartening finish to an otherwise disappointing Adams Trophy season.
With several regular players unavailable, captain Peter Brown, who relinquishes the post at the end of the season, was faced with drafting in late replacements.
But Darren Middleton, Les Sharp, Thomas Fielding, Paul Dalliday and Howard Shipp performed admirably, as did Dave Corney, who stepped up on the morning of the match when his son, Jack, was unable to take his place in the team through illness.
Northants took time to adapt to the fast green, but after trailing overall by 10 shots after 15 of the 31 ends, transformed their fortunes to lead 130-93 over the next five ends and eventually won 150-130 to collect 18 of the 22 points at stake.
The rink honours went to Dalliday, Fielding and Martin Welsford with a 34-16 win, while the rinks skipped by Rod Maplethorpe and Jonathan Earl each won by 10 and Brown’s trio won by five.
Northants 150 (18), North Essex 130 (4) – (Northants rinks only):
Darren Middleton, Martyn Dolby, Adam Warrington lost 22-34; Roger Stevens, Dick Noble, Rod Maplethorpe won 35-25; Les Sharp, John Holroyd, Tony Belson lost 26-27; Paul Dalliday, Thomas Fielding, Martin Welsford won 34-16; Wayne Morris, Paul Bailey, Jonathan Earl won 33-23; Howard Shipp, Dave Corney, Peter Brown won 30-25.
West Ward were beaten 2-3 away to Kettering Lodge at the weekend in the third round of the Bowls England men’s Top Club competition.
“It was the biggest match in our history,” West Ward captain Brian Swann said. “And I was proud of the way we performed.”
Parkway hope to continue to carry the local flag in the national two fours event this weekend when they visit Wellingborough.
Blackstones, winners of the Northants Bowling Federation club championship last year, bid to reach the Durham Centenary Shield final at Skegness next month when they entertain Hunts champions Warboys on Tuesday (July 18).