Despite the inclusion of five Stamford Indoor Bowls Club players, Northants Bowling Federation’s hopes of reaching the national finals of the inter-county Derbyshire Trophy finals in April took a nasty jolt when they were comprehensively beaten by local rivals Lincolnshire on Sunday.
With three two-bowl triples rinks at Stamford and three at Lincoln IBC, Northants were beaten 158-111 with Lincolnshire picking up 20 of the 22 points available, winning five matches out of six - two of them at Stamford.
Northants’ only consolation came with a win for the previously untried combination of John Holroyd, making an impressive county debut, Bob Warters and Peterborough’s rising star James Harford, who held off the threat of the Boston IBC trio of Jonathan West, Iain Clark and county president Geoff Parker.
Four shots on the concluding end earned a 24-15 reward for a generally tidy performance.
Northamptonshire’s remaining matches will be against North Cambs on January 26 and Norfolk on February 16.
Results (Northants names first):
Derbyshire Inter-Federation Trophy: Northants 111 (2pts) Lincs 158 (20). Home - N Wilkie, D Noble, S Law 13, A Field, M Asplen, T Bannister 26; R Allam, P Bailey, M Dolby 20, T Powell, C Gill, P Flatters 29; J Holroyd, B Warters, J Harford 24, J West, I Clark, G Parker 15. Away - H Shipp, J Randall, T Morton 18, R Ashton, C Barks, G Draper 24; G Agger, B Lawrence, P Brown 22, K Richardson, D Johnson, M Smith 35; B Martin, A Thurston, J Newson 14, R Horne, D Stevenson, T Gilroy 29.
l A 97-84 defeat at Sleaford puts Stamford Men’s B team in grave danger of relegation from the Second Division of the Lincolnshire League - despite winning three of the five rinks with a makeshift team.
Their six points from a possible 18 available leaves them on 23 points with only one fixture outstanding - 19 points behind their nearest rivals who have at least two games in hand.
A six on the 13th end put paid to Peter Banks’ rink’s hopes of salvaging their match, while conceding 13 shots in six ends mid-way through his battle with Dave Chandley, ended the challenge of Albert Horton’s quartet.
However, credit must go to the rinks skipped by John Geary, Richard Martin and Martin Hewitt who put up a brave show to hold on for points that could be vital at the end of the campaign to stay up.
Results: (Stamford names only)
Lincs Men’s League Division Two: Sleaford 97 (12pts), Stamford 84 (6). T Barwell, W Kettle, C Ballard, J Geary won 21-18; K Rawlins, K Vinter, D Henshaw, M Hewitt won 20-15; W Aspinall, A Lonslow, M Owens, A Horton lost 15-26; N Rigby, D Bruce, B Acock, R Martin won 21-17; D Howarth, T Mackie, A Barnes, P Banks lost 7-21.
l Having reached last year’s English final of the Over 60s Fours, Stamford were aiming to go one better this term but their hopes were dashed this week with defeat in the Lincolnshire area final.
Mike Ramsden, Bob Warters, Peter Edwards and Martyn Dolby had rekindled their form in earlier rounds with wins over Stamford and Boston rinks but found Lincoln just too hot on the night on their own slick surface.
Mace Andrews, Derek Johnson, Mike Smith and George Draper were part of the Veterans Double rink that won the national title in 2013 and were in no mood for Stamford to rob them of the chance of completing a double and quickly raced into a 12-3 lead thanks chiefly to successive four and three counts on the third and fourth ends with some immaculate drawing shots.
Dolby and his team were only able to pick up occasional morsels and finally conceded after the 15th end when Lincoln claimed six shots over three ends to lead 20-7.
l Stamford Ladies’ hopes of reaching the closing stages of the Yetton Plate national inter-club competition were dashed in the closing ends against Skegness Ladies.
With two rinks at home and two away - aggregate scores counting for the winner - Stamford trailed overall by two shots but the seasiders’ late burst secured the win, despite Stamford winning two and drawing a third rink. Final score 80-71.
Results (Stamford names only)
Yetton Plate: Stamford Ladies 71, Skegness 80 . Home: A Martin, C Warters, D Mackie, P O’Brien lost 15-27; J Want, M Andrews, S Suffling, S Bailey won19-18; J Brennan, C Barnes, A Edwards, C Ford won 17-15; F Rogers, S Moir, R March, G Edwards drew 20-20.