Senior age group bowlers from Stamford have reached the area final of the English Over 60s Double rink competition, in which they earlier defeated the current national champions from Boston.
Matched against local rivals Sleaford, the rules of the competition demand that one rink plays at home, while the other competes on the away surface with aggregate score taking the tie and a clash with current British Isles Senior fours champions Lincoln.
Against the wily Aubrey Bristow, the Stamford A home rink skipped by Martyn Dolby, struggled in the early stages and were 2-7 behind after five ends and 5-9 at the half way stage before claiming a five count and establishing a 16-12 lead.
At Sleaford Roger Martin’s quartet trailed 7-12 until regaining 11 shots in four ends, including six on the 15th to turn the tie on its head. And while Dolby’s four hung on for a draw, Stamford’s travelling bowlers stretched their lead to 26-17 and an overall win by nine.
Result (Stamford names only): Over 60 Double rink: Stamford A 45 Sleaford 36. Home- A Romaine, J Little, P Edwards, M Dolby drew 19-19; away - B Warters, M Cullingworth, D King, R F Martin won 26-17.
l In a thrilling finish to their Senior Liberty Over 60s Knock Out match against Durham at York, Stamford bowlers helped Lincolnshire secure a quarter-final place against Yorkshire on February 4.
With Martyn Dolby having skipped a Boston rink to a great fight back from 16-25 behind to lose by just one (24-25), all eyes were on Peter Edwards’s rink to hang on to a narrow overall lead of three shots (110-103), re-playing the last end after the Durham skip had killed the final 21st end.
Doug Want managed to squeeze into the head for second bowl which, after four attempts, Durham were unable to displace, leaving the rink all square at 17 apiece and Lincs overall winners by two.
A fortnight earlier, when the two counties clashed in the Midlands Senior League, Durham had prevailed by one shot. Against Yorks, in February, provisional plans are to host three rinks at Stamford while three play away at Featherstone. Aggregate shots take the tie with the winners due to play Northants or the winners of the match between Suffolk and Hertfordshire in the national semi-final.
Result ( Lincs names only)
Senior Liberty Knock-Out (at York IBC) Durham 108 Lincs 110. B Warters, D Want, D King, P Edwards (all Stamford) drew 17-17; B Graves, B Jackman,R Nicholson, G Draper (Lincoln) lost 15-16; D Slayman (Lincoln), K Jackman (Horncastle), G Curley, B Hawes (both Skegness) lost 12-28; B Reeson, C Box, R White (all Boston), M Dolby (Stamford) lost 24-25; B Wilson, R Flowers, P Flatters, L Feary (Boston) won 21-15, A Mullen, P Boulton, R Robinson (Scunthorpe), M Smith (Lincoln) won 21-7.
l In individual national competitions at Stamford IBC, Derek King has earned a showdown with clubmate Martyn Dolby after defeating Graham Wright (Spalding) in the Over 60 singles. He led by ten shots but let Wright back into the match before running out a 21-18 winner.
In the women’s pairs Chris Ford and Glenys Edwards knocked out Lucy Cooke and her mother 26-8.
l Stamford Men’s A team face one of their toughest challenges so far on Saturday (December 19) when they face Scunthorpe in the Lincs Co-Op County League First Division at home (2.10pm).
The visitors have already beaten the champions Spalding and come with a highly competitive reputation, leaving Stamford captain Adam Warrington with selection headaches to solve with key players unavailable.
Team: A Romaine, R Montgomery, B Warters, Roger Martin; R Allam, C Watson, D King, K Rippin; S Harris, D Miller, J Earl, M Dolby; M Ramsden, C Ballard, A Warrington, J Holroyd; D Hudson, S Travis, D Want, P Edwards.
l Despite having gained promotion to the first Division of the Lincs League, Stamford Over 60s team are already staring relegation back to Division Two squarely in the face after another defeat, this time at the hands of fellow strugglers Spalding, who took away 14 crucial points in a 91-78 victory.
Only consolation for beleaguered Stamford were wins for rinks skipped by John Geary and Richard Martin.
Result (Stamford names only): Co-Op Lincs Over 60s League Division One: Stamford 78 (4pts) Spalding 91(14). A Chapman, D Veasey, D Heffernan, D Henshaw lost 17-23; D Howarth, T Weaver, A March, Richard Martin won 18-15; W Kettle, T Freeman, R Harvey, K Vinter lost 16-23; T Barwell, G Corby, M Owens, J Geary won 15-12; A Lonslow, R Graham, P Banks, A Horton lost 12-18.
l Bowls coaching has become an integral part of the Stamford Indoor Club’s 25th anniversary programme of activities with more than 30 attending regular sessions for adults on a Saturday morning. Juniors are also catered for after 4pm on a Thursday.
A key figure in the set-up is club chairman Keith Rippin (68), who has recently qualified as a Level Two coach.
Keith, a former Northants Federation county champion, who took up the game when the club was formed in 1990, said: “ I have always had great enjoyment from playing and reaching the next level in coaching enables me to give something back to a game that has given me so much.
“It is also very satisfying to help bowlers progress to a level that suits them.”
Stamford IBC will be staging an open morning for potential bowlers, aged from eight to 80 on Saturday, January 9 (from 9.30am) where coaches and experienced bowlers will be on hand for introductory sessions.