BOWLS: Lincolnshire’s men bridge 37-year gap
Spalding’s Graham Smith led Lincolnshire to the national men’s inter-county title for the first time since 1981.
He was player-manager of the team which lifted the Liberty Trophy by beating Kent 120-107 in the final at Nottingham on Sunday.
None of the Lincolnshire players were in the side 37 years ago – although club-mates back home are fond of reminding today’s stars that there was something missing from their honours board.
Past president Richard White said: “I won the county singles in 1981 but I had only just started playing bowls and I didn’t make my cup debut until the following year.
“This is a fine achievement on the part of the boys and I’m proud of them.”
Lincolnshire came close to winning the title three years ago when they lost to Northamptonshire in the final, so there were a lot of happy faces when Smith was handed the trophy by EIBA president Margaret Allen.
The game was close to start with, but Lincolnshire got on top and stretched their lead to 21 shots at the three-quarter stage.
Although Kent narrowed the gap, Lincolnshire seemed to hold a firm grip at all times.
England regular Smith, who won the national two-wood singles title in Melton last month, played a captain’s role by skipping his rink to an influential 30-16 win.
Matt Orrey skipped his rink to a seven-shot win against Mark Johnson, while the rink skipped by Jonathan West defeated a Kent rink skipped by England team captain Andy Thomson by three shots and Jordan Philpott’s quartet edged home by two shots against Perry Martin’s rink.
This is a fine achievement on the part of the boys and I’m proud of them.
Rinks skipped by Duncan Hanmore, who beat Billy Jackson’s rink 18-15, and veteran team manager Gordon Charlton, who
returned a 25-15 card against Martin Spencer’s men, salvaged some pride for Kent who started the final as favourites.
NATIONAL MEN’S INTER-COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
Final: Lincolnshire 120 Kent 107
Rink scores (Lincs names first): Kevin Rands, Richard Ashton, Danny Brown, Billy Jackson (all Lincoln) 15 Peter Harris (Angel), Jamie Eriera (Cyphers), Pat Briscoe (Betteshanger), Duncan Hanmore (Angel) 18; Adrian Field (Boston), Alan Watts (Lincoln), Kevin Ekins, Jordan Philpott (both Spalding) 15 Joseph Vandepeer, David Ferguson (both Oyster), Paul Barnicott, Perry Martin (both Swale) 13; Steven Harris (Stamford), Terry Berridge (Grantham), Ashley Caress, Graham Smith (both Spalding) 30 Sean Coyle (Swale), Steve Marrett (Dartford SL), Michael Cheeseman (Cyphers), Ian Honnor (Swale) 16; Scott Dunham (Spalding), Ron Flowers (Boston), Simon Law (Stamford), Martin Spencer (Spalding) 15 Chris Morris (Swale), Luke Eriera (Cyphers), Marc McCaughan, Gordon Charlton (both Folkestone) 25; Matt Whyers (Spalding), Richard Vinter (Boston), Martin Pulling (Grantham), Matt Orrey (Spalding) 25 Arthur McCaughan (Folkestone), Andrew Rodger (Swale), Taylor Monk (Cyphers), Mark Johnson (Swale) 18; Ian Clark (Boston), Rod West (Boston), Andy Dunham (Spalding), Jonathan West (Boston) 20 Mick Fisher, David Holmes (both Folkestone), Roger Kendrick (Swale), Andy Thomson (Cyphers) 17.
Semi-final: Lincolnshire 124 Norfolk 118
Rink scores (Lincs names first): Kevin Rands, Richard Ashton, Danny Brown, Billy Jackson (all Lincoln) 22 Aaron Johnson (Norfolk), Dan Seabourne (Gallow), Richard Summers (Norfolk), Sam King (Gallow) 16; Adrian Field (Boston), Alan Watts (Lincoln), Kevin Ekins, Jordan Philpott (both Spalding) 15 Jake Leslie, Matt Flatman, Tom Segolo, Wayne Willgress (all Norfolk) 27; Steve Harris (Stamford), Terry Berridge (Grantham), Ashley Caress, Graham Smith (both Spalding) 34 Adam Watts, Max Turner, Peter Wilkinson, Philip Barr (all County Arts) 12; Scott Dunham (Spalding), Ron Flowers (Boston), Simon Law (Stamford), Martin Spencer (Spalding) 9 Lee Holden (Diss), Danny Ramsbottom (Acle), James Segolo (Norfolk), George Tubby (Acle) 31; Matt Whyers (Spalding), Richard Vinter (Boston), Martin Pulling (Grantham), Matt Orrey (Spalding) 32 Dan Cawthorne, Mark Riches (both Gallow), Ian Wones (Acle), Mervyn King (Gallow) 15; Ian Clark (Boston), Rod West (Boston), Andy Dunham (Spalding), Jonathan West (Boston) 12 Dean Rudling (Gallow), Aaron Stimson (Diss), Bernie Perrett (Norfolk), Steve Winter (Lynnsport) 17.
Spalding’s Over-60s County League team earned 21 points from their last two fixtures to secure promotion into
Division One next season.
Despite starting slowly, they moved ahead in the second half of the match at Boston B to secure three winning rinks.
They drew one and lost on another rink but secured the aggregate score (111-75) for 15 points to three.
The rink skipped by Roger Perkins, assisted by Pat Fillbrook, Geoff Craft, and Derek Overton, won 35-10.
Captains for the day were David Lunn and Graham Hicks.
In their final game, they travelled to Grantham with both teams in contention for promotion.
Spalding needed five points and Grantham had to take 14 to finish in second place.
At the halfway stage, Spalding were losing on all rinks and trailed by 17 shots on aggregate.
Spalding continued their fightback, winning on three rinks, including two by one shot.
They took six points to Grantham’s 12 with an aggregate score of 94-83.
The winning rink was skipped by Graham Wright assisted by Mick Dolton, Dave Amess and Rob West.
Captains for the day were David Lunn and Graham Hicks.
Spalding had a convincing 106-86 victory in their last Mixed County League game against Lincoln, gaining 14 points. Top rink was John Needham, Betty Deaton, Janet Staples and John Laud.
Spalding’s friendly bowlers won 131-94 at Boston with both teams winning three rinks.
The best winning rink was Chris Williamson, Sue Lovett, Rob West and Jenny Horner. Captain of the day was Jenny Horner and thanks go to Edna Perkins for her assistance.