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2023: League News

22nd August: Stamford League results

Just two postponed matched have been played this week. There is one more match to be played in Division 1, on 30th August, between Blackstones C and Greetham Valley Eagles. The result of this match will not affect any relegations, nor will it change the position of Blackstones C at the top of the league.

The final positions in Division 2 have now been decided. Ketton Kites beat top of the division Market Overton Tornadoes by 6-2, but it was not enough for them to overtake second-placed Empingham Falcons, so Tornadoes and Falcons will be promoted to Division 1.

In the final match in Division 3, Barnack Vikings beat Market Overton Harriers 63-43, gaining a further 8 points. Vikings and Bourne Eau will both be promoted to Division 2.

Stamford League Competitions

Boor & Wainwright Shield:

In the semi-finals of the Boor & Wainwright Shield competition, Stamford Town D beat Ketton Kites 68-55 and Bourne Woods beat Greetham Valley Eagles 71-41.

The final, between Stamford Town D and Bourne Woods, is due to be played at Langtoft Bowls Club on Sunday 27th August at 2 pm.

Secretary’s Pairs:

The final of the Secretary’s Pairs competition will be played  on Saturday 26th August at Langtoft Bowls Club at 2 pm. In the final, Richard Lambert and Jonny Abbott (Market Overton), will play Peter Cozens and John Cox (Greetham Valley).

Oddfellows Rosebowl:

Blackstones will meet Oakham in the final of the Oddfellows Rosebowl, to be played at Blackstones Bowls Club on Saturday 2nd September at 2 pm.

Duncomb Shield:

The final of the Duncomb Shield competition will be played at Bourne Town Bowls Club on Sunday 3rdSeptember. There are still 2 matches to be played in the group stage of this competition.

There will be 8 finalists:

From Group A:  Wittering A, Greetham Monarchs and Greetham Valley A OR Greetham Valley B.

From Group B: Market Overton C, Empingham

From Group C: Wittering B, Stamford Town B and Market Overton B OR Greetham Royals

15th August: Stamford League results

All but three of the re-arranged matches have now been played, and all but one promotion / relegation has been decided.

Congratulations to Blackstones C who, with a total of 140 points, are now the league champions after beating Oakham A 8-2 last Friday. They still have one match to play, on 30th August against Greetham Valley Eagles, but they have opened up a lead of 13 points over second-placed Stamford Town C on 127 points. Blackstones D are in third place with 118 points after beating Ketton Kestrels 10-0 last Thursday and Wittering by 10-0 on Monday. Market Deeping Regals and Ketton Kestrels face relegation to Division 2.

In Division 2, Market Overton Tornadoes are set for promotion as they lead the table with 114 points and one match still to play, against Ketton Kites on Friday 18th August. Ketton Kites are in third place with 99 points at the moment, and must beat Tornadoes 10-0 to win promotion instead of second-placed Empingham Falcons on 108 points. Empingham Falcons beat middle of the table Oakham D by 8-2 last Friday, 11th August. Barnack Saxons and Oakham Owls face relegation to Division 3.

Barnack Vikings lead Division 3 with 102 points and one match in hand, against bottom of the table Market Overton Harriers, to be played on 18th August. They will be promoted to Division 2, along with second-placed Bourne Eau, on 100 points.

Stamford League Competitions

The first semi-final of the Secretary’s Pairs competition has been played, with Richard Lambert and Jonny Abbott, from Market Overton, beating John Hare and Mick Smith from Wittering by 20-10. They will go forward to the final, to be played at Langtoft on Saturday 26th August.

7th August: President's Gala Day

This year's Stamford League President, Rita Downs, held her Gala at Blackstones Bowls Club this weekend. Eighteen teams competed for the cup on a day which, in spite of rain threatening, was enjoyed by everyone. 

The competition was won by one of the four teams entered by Stamford Town Bowls Club: Graham Patrickson, Paul Bailey, John Holroyd and Moira Holroyd. The runners-up were the team from Greetham Valley: Tony Ansell, James Murphy, Peter Cozens and John Cox. The Gala raised £690 for the President's chosen charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, so a big thank you to everyone who took part. Thanks are also due to President Rita Downs and Blackstones Bowls Club manager Tony Gibbons and his catering staff.

Every day, around 750 seriously ill children and young people from all over the UK are seen at Great Ormond Street Hospital. One of those children is Mason Sallis – son of President Rita Downs’ god-daughter, Laura, and the inspiration for her choice of charity for this year. Mason has a rare genetic disorder – osteopathia striata with cranial sclerosis, or OS-CS for short. Great Ormond Street Hospital saved Mason’s life on two occasions when he was younger and the hospital continues to care for Mason and to support his family. Mason is treated by a number of different teams (the Cleft team, Endocrinology, Respiratory, ENT, Haemophilia and the Dental and Maxillo-Facial teams) and, with their help, he is able to take part in the activities he enjoys. He loves football and playing with the family dogs, Bruno and Mabel, and he is very excited to be going on holiday to Tunisia soon.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity supports the hospital and its patients by funding four key areas: Rebuilding and Refurbishment, Support for Families and Children, Research into Children’s Health and Life-saving Medical Equipment. 

7th August: Stamford League Results

The final scheduled match of the season was played on Friday 4th August, but the league positions are by no means finalised. Because of postponements, there are a number of rearranged matches still to be played; eight matches are scheduled for this week (ending 11th August), three more matches next week and one on 30th August. A further 5 matches are still to be arranged.

Although Stamford Town C, with 119 points, are still top of Division 1, they have only one match left to play, whereas second-placed Blackstones C (114 points) has 4 matches in hand and third-placed Blackstones D (98 points) has 3 more to play. Ketton Kestrels will be relegated, but the rest of the teams are very close, with only 8 points separating fourth-placed Wittering and next-to-bottom Market Deeping Regals. All these teams have matches in hand.

Market Overton Tornadoes (114 points, one match to play) will definitely be promoted from Division 2. They will be joined either by Ketton Kites (99 points, 1 match to play) or Empingham Falcons (92 points, 2 matches in hand). Oakham Owls have played all their matches and face certain relegation; they will probably be joined by Barnack Saxons (51 points, 2 matches to play) or, just possibly, Carlby Corgis (68 points, all matches played).

It is still very close at the top of Division 3, with any two of the top four teams being able to gain enough points in their final matches to gain promotion. The most likely candidates are Barnack Vikings (102 points), Bourne Eau (98 points) and Greetham (89 points), whereas Carlby Bees are a long shot with 80 points. All these teams have just one match outstanding.

Secretary's Pairs Competition

The first round of the new Secretary’s Pairs Competition has now been completed and the following teams go through to the quarter-finals (home team first):

John Holroyd and Graham Patrickson v Richard Lambert and Jonny Abbott

John Hare and Mick Smith v Darren Russell and Rita Downs

Peter Cozens and John Cox v James Henderson and Dean Wilkinson

Dennis Starbuck and Sue Starbuck v Tony Ansell and James Murphy

These matches must be played on or before Friday 21st July.

Oddfellows Rosebowl

The final match of the quarter-finals was played between Blackstones and Market Overton Harriers last Wednesday in appalling weather conditions. The teams agreed to play just 12 ends, with Blackstones beating Harriers 30-20.

The semi-finalists for the Oddfellows Rosebowl competition are:

Blackstones v Wittering

Oakham v Greetham Valley

These matches must be played on or before Wednesday 23rd August.

Boor & Wainwright Shield

The semi-finalists in the Boor & Wainwright Shield competition are:

Stamford Town D v Ketton Kites (Monday 21st August at 6.30 pm)

Bourne Woods v Greetham Valley Eagles

These matches must be played on or before 23rd August.

1st August: Stamford League

The final scheduled matches of the season are due to be played on Friday 4th August, but there are several matches outstanding, with some teams having as many as 3 postponed matches still to play. 

Blackstones C still lead Division 1 with 114 points after two 10-0 victories this week, over Oakham A and Wittering. Stamford Town C follow close behind on 109 points after beating Market Deeping Regals 8-2 and Blackstones D 10-0. In third place is Blackstones D with 89 points. However, both Blackstones teams have 3 postponed matches to play, whereas Stamford Town C has only one. Ketton Kestrels will almost certainly be relegated, but the four teams above them are very close on points (Langtoft – 68, Wittering – 66, Market Deeping Regals – 65, Oakham A – 65). Wittering has just one postponed match to play, whereas the other teams each have two, so these could be critical in determining the final positions.

In Division 2, the Market Overton Tornadoes team is still in top place with 104 points and look certain to be promoted, with one postponed match to play, as do Ketton Kites, in second place with 95 points. Kites could be overtaken by Empingham Falcons (74), who have 2 matches in hand. Oakham Owls have played all of their matches and now face relegation; they will probably be joined by Barnack Saxons, who trail Oakham D by 11 points. All the other teams in Division 2 still have two postponed matches to play.

Barnack Vikings lead Division 3 with 100 points after a 10-0 victory over Market Deeping Royals, then losing 8-2 to Blackstones A. In second place are Bourne Eau with 96 points after two 10-0 victories, 15 points clear of Greetham on 81; these three teams are the most likely contenders for promotion with each having one scheduled match and one postponed match to play.

25th July

Stamford League

With just three more scheduled fixtures left this season, the overall picture in the Stamford League is still not clear, mainly because teams have played different numbers of matches and have had postponements due to bad weather. With everyone playing on a very tight timetable, it may be 2 or 3 weeks after the official last match of the league, on 4th August, before all the matches have been played and final positions are known.

Blackstones C have now moved to the top of Division 1 after a 10-0 victory over Ketton Kestrels on Friday followed by an 8-2 victory over Langtoft, giving them a total of 94 points. Stamford Town C hold on to second place with 91 points, after beating Oakham A by 8-2 but losing to Greetham Valley Eagles by 8-2. Blackstones D remain in third place with 79 points after beating Greetham Valley Eagles by 10-0 then losing 8-2 to Bourne Woods. The Blackstones teams each have two matches in hand, so they are both still in contention. There are three teams all with 58 points in the bottom half of the division – Wittering, Langtoft and Oakham A – but there are still some results to come in.

Market Overton Tornadoes have opened up a big gap at the top of Division 2; they have 92 points after beating Ryhall 10-0, following a bye on Friday. In second and third places  are Ketton Kites on 77 and Empingham Falcons on 75; Empingham Falcons have had two 8-2 victories, against Carlby Corgis and Ryhall,  and Ketton Kites beat Empingham Ospreys 9-2 on Friday, followed by a bye on Monday.

In Division 3, Barnack Vikings are well ahead on 88 points after beating second-placed Bourne Eau 8-2 and in spite of losing 10-0 to Stamford Town D in third place. Bourne Eau have 76 points, Stamford Town D and Carlby Bees both have 70 points, but Bourne Eau and Barnack Vikings both have a match in hand, so there is still everything to play for.18th July

18th July

Stamford League

For the first time in recent years, the Stamford League schedule was completely wiped out last Friday (14th July) by heavy rainfall. These matches will be played at a later date.

Stamford Town are holding on to their position at the top of Division 1 with 81 points, but they could still be overtaken by second-placed Blackstones D on 67, who have 2 matches in hand, or third-placed Blackstones C on 66, who have 2 matches in hand and one result still to come in. The middle ranks in Division 1 remain very close, with Langtoft on 56 points after their 10-0 victory over Greetham Valley Eagles, Wittering and Market Deeping Regals both on 54 and Bourne Woods on 53. Bourne Woods has a match in hand, as does Oakham A, who are on 48 points after their 9-1 defeat of Blackstones D.

Market Overton Tornadoes have maintained their lead in Division 2 after beating Empingham Ospreys 8-2. They have 82 points. Ketton Kites have now moved into second place with 69 points after winning 10-0 against Carlby Corgis, with Ospreys dropping to third place with 62. They are closely followed by Empingham Falcons with 59 points after beating Oakham Owls 8-2.

In Division 3, Barnack Vikings top the table with 80 points after winning 10-0 against Stamford Town A, followed by Bourne Eau on 74 after losing 8-2 to Carlby Bees, who now lie in third place with 58 points. Greetham are not far behind on 55 after having had a bye on Monday. New team Market Overton Harriers managed their first outright win against a depleted Blackstones A team.

11th July

Stamford League

In Division 1, Blackstones C and Blackstones D have both had two postponed matches, so they have two games in hand compared with the other teams. They are in second and third positions, both on 66 points, with the D team ahead on aggregate. Stamford Town C hold on to the lead with 73 points. The middle of the table is still very close, with Bourne Woods on 53 points after drawing 5-5 with Ketton Kestrels and losing 8-2 to Market Deeping Regals. Wittering and Market Deeping Regals are both on 52 points, having both had two 8-2 wins.

Market Overton Tornadoes, on 74 points, have opened up a gap of 14 points at the top of Division 2, after a 10-0 win against Oakham D and an 8-2 win against Barnack Saxons. Empingham Ospreys are second with 60 points after two 8-2 wins against Empingham Falcons and Carlby Corgis.

There are two distinct groups at the top of Division 3. Bourne Eau lead with 72 points after losing 2-8 to Blackstones A but beating Market Deeping Royals 6-4, closely followed by Barnack Vikings with 70 points after beating Greetham 10-0 (they had a bye on Monday). The second group comprises Greetham on 55 points, Stamford Town on 52 and Carlby Bees on 50. Carlby Bees and Barnack Vikings both have a game in hand.

4th July

Stamford League

There were two postponements in Division 1 on Friday 30th June - Blackstones D v Ketton Kestrels and Blackstones C v Oakham A - so teams have played different numbers of games, muddying the picture at the top of the table. Stamford Town C still lead on 63 points after winning 8-2 against both Market Deeping Regals and Bourne Woods, but Blackstones C and Blackstones D are close behind on 58 and 56 points respectively and both these teams have a game in hand. The bottom half of the table is still very close, with Greetham Valley Eagles on 37 points, Wittering and Market Deeping Regals on 36 and Oakham A on 35, with Oakham A also having a game in hand.

Market Overton Tornadoes are holding on to their lead at the top of Division 2, with 56 points after losing 4-6 to Empingham Falcons and winning 6-4 against Carlby Corgis. The two Empingham teams are close behind, with Falcons on 49 points and Ospreys on 44, but both these teams have a game in hand.

Bourne Eau (64 points) and  Barnack Vikings (60) have opened up a gap at the top of Division 3. Bourne Eau beat Market Overton Harriers 10-0 and Greetham 8-2, with Vikings beating Blackstones A by 8-2, but losing 8-2 to Carlby Bees. Greetham are third with 47 points after beating Stamford Town D by 9-1 but losing to Bourne Eau. Carlby Bees and Market Overton Harriers have a match in hand after a postponement at the beginning of the league.

Friday marks the start of the second half of the league season, so there is everything to play for.

27th June

Stamford League

After 7 matches, the situation at the top of Division 1 is very tight. Stamford Town C won 10-0 against Greetham Valley Eagles on Friday 23 June, but then lost 10-0 against Blackstones D on Monday 26 June, so they have dropped from top of the league to third place with 47 points. Just above them, with 48 points, are Blackstones D, who had an 8-2 victory over Bourne Woods on Friday to add to their win on Monday. However, Blackstones C have gone to the top of the table with 50 points, in spite of losing 4-6 to Langtoft on Friday, but helped by their 10-0 victory over Wittering on Monday. In the middle of the table, Greetham Valley have 35 points and Wittering, Bourne Woods and Langtoft are all on 34 points, separated only by their aggregate scores.

Market Overton Tornadoes have surged ahead in Division 2, after two 10-0 victories (over Ryhall and Oakham Owls), giving them a total of 46 points. Their nearest rivals are Empingham Falcons, on 37 points after beating Carlby Corgis 8-2 and Barnack Saxons 10-0. The middle of the table is very close, with Empingham Ospreys and Ryhall on 32 points, Carlby Corgis on 31 and Ketton Kites on 30.

Barnack Vikings lead Division 3 with 50 points after beating Stamford Town D 10-0 and Market Deeping Royals 8-2. Bourne Eau are in second place with 46 points, after a bye on Friday and a 10-0 victory over Stamford Town A on Monday.

Secretary's Pairs Competition

The first round of the new Secretary’s Pairs Competition has now been completed and the following teams go through to the quarter-finals (home team first):

John Holroyd and Graham Patrickson v Richard Lambert and Jonny Abbott

John Hare and Mick Smith v Darren Russell and Rita Downs

Peter Cozens and John Cox v James Henderson and Dean Wilkinson

Dennis Starbuck and Sue Starbuck v Tony Ansell and James Murphy

These matches must be played on or before Friday 21st July.

20th June

Stamford League

All of the teams in Division 1 have now played five matches, and there have been some changes at the top of the table. Greetham Valley Eagles won 8-2 against Langtoft on Friday, but were then defeated 10-0 by Blackstones D on Monday, resulting in them dropping from the top of Division 1 to third place with 35 points. Stamford Town C’s 10-1 win against Wittering and 9-1 win against Oakham A put them in the lead with 37 points. Blackstones C are in second place with 36 points after beating Bourne Woods 10-0 and Ketton Kestrels 7-3. 

Teams in Divisions 2 and 3 have played different numbers of matches because of byes and postponements. Ryhall are still at the top of Division 2, with 32 points, although they have lost their 100% record after losing 8-2 to Empingham Falcons on Monday. Market Overton Tornadoes remain second with 26 points and Empingham Ospreys have moved up into third place with 22 points. The top three teams have each played 4 matches.

In Division 3, Bourne Eau (36 points) and Barnack Vikings (32 points) stay at the top, but Stamford Town D has now edged ahead of Greetham into third place after beating Market Deeping Royals 10-0 on Friday and Blackstones A 6-4 on Monday. Greetham, in fourth place, have the advantage of a match in hand.

13th June

Stamford League 

Most of the teams have now played 3 matches in this year’s Stamford League, out of a total of 16  for Divisions 2 and 3 and 18 for Division 1. As some teams have had byes and there have been some postponements , teams have played different numbers of matches, so it is early days to comment on their curent  positions.

Greetham Valley Eagles, newly promoted to Division 1 this year, are at the top of the table with 27 points out of a possible maximum of 30, followed by Wittering in second place with 22 points out of 30. Bourne Woods (also newly promoted) are in third place, with 22 points, but a lower aggregate score. Hot on their heels are the three teams who were at the top of the division at the end of last season - Blackstones C, Stamford Town C and Blackstones.

In Division 2, top team Ryhall has a maximum 20 points from 2 matches, closely followed by Market Overton Tornadoes with 18 points from 3 matches. 

The top three teams in Division 3 - Bourne Eau, Barnack Vikings and Greetham - are very close, with 21, 19 and 18 points respectively. However, Barnack Vikings have gained their points over just 2 matches, so they have the advantage.

6th June

Boor & Wainwright Shield Competition

The final matches in the round-robin group stage of this competition have now been played, with the following teams qualifying for the quarter-finals, to be played by 21st July:

Group A: Greetham, Greetham Valley Eagles

Group B: Ketton Kites, Blackstones D

Group C: Stamford Town D, Market Deeping Royals

Group D: Stamford Town C, Bourne Woods

Congratulations to all these teams, and particularly to the three teams with an unbeaten record - Greetham, Ketton Kites and Stamford Town C. Details of the quarter-final draw are on this website.

The results were very clear cut in Groups B and D, but in Group A, Greetham Valley Eagles had to play their postponed match to qualify. equaling Blackstones A on points but having a better aggregate score. In Group C it went right to the wire, with the top 2 teams having 8 points from 6 games (4 wins) and the next 2 teams having 7 points each (3 wins and a draw).

Stamford League

The first match of the Stamford League was played on Monday evening, with six teams scoring the maximum 10 points - Stamford Town C, Bourne Woods and Blackstones D in Division 1, Ryhall and Market Overton Tornadoes in Division 2 and Barnack Vikings in Division 3. The match between Market Overton Harriers and Carlby Bees in Division 3 was postponed.

30th May: Boor & Wainwright Competition

After the penultimate match of the round-robin stage of this competition, there is a clearer indication of which teams will go forward to the quarter-final knockout stage. Three teams are still holding on to their 100% record, with 10 points from 5 matches - Greetham (Group A), Ketton Kites (Group B) and Stamford Town C (Group C) - and they will definitely qualify even if they lose their final matches. Who goes forward with them will depend on Friday’s results (2nd June).

There were a number of very close results from last Friday’s matches (26th May): Stamford Town A 79 - Greetham 80, Bourne Eau 83 - Blackstones A 86, Market Deeping Regals 53 - Blackstones D 55, Barnack Saxons 58 - Market Overton Harriers 59 and Bourne Woods 76 - Barnack Vikings 75.

In Group A, Greetham are top, closely followed by Blackstones A with 8 points and Greetham Valley Eagles with 6 points. Their aggregates are very close (26 and 23 respectively) so if Blackstones lose and Greetham Valley win by more than 3 points, Eagles could move into second place.

Ketton Kites are lying second in Group B, behind Blackstones D, with the same number of points but a game in hand. Both these teams will qualify, with their final positions depending on whether Kites win their final match at home to Oakham Owls.

Group C is still wide open, with four teams in contention for the top two places. At the moment, Market Deeping Royals lead the group with 8 points from 6 matches, but the other three teams all have a game in hand. Blackstones C, in second place with 7 points, could overtake Royals if they win or draw their final match away against Oakham A, as they have a better aggregate score. Both Wittering and Stamford Town D have 6 points from 5 matches; if either of these teams win, they will match Market Deeping Royals and qualification will depend on aggregate scores. Even fifth-placed Ketton Kestrels, with 5 points from 5 matches, could qualify in theory, if they win their match and the three teams above them lose.

The situation in Group D is clear-cut; Stamford Town C and Bourne Woods will both qualify. None of the other teams in the group can catch them even if they win and the top two teams lose.

Stamford League

The Stamford League programme begins on Monday 5th June. This season there are 10 teams in Division 1, and 9 teams in each of Divisions 2 and 3. This means that two teams were promoted from each of Divisions 2 and 3, but only one team was relegated from Divisions 1 and 2, with new team Market Overton Harriers completing the line-up in Division 3.

23rd May: Stamford League Competitions

Secretary’s Pairs competition

A new League competition has been inaugurated this year - the Secretary’s Pairs competition, with a trophy donated by Stamford League Secretary Nina Rawlins. With an encouraging 18 entries, the format is a knockout competition, with two preliminary matches to give 16 teams playing in the first round.

Ally Mc Naughton and Dave Pusch (Wittering) beat Annette Oliver and Jeannie Hutton (Market Overton) by 23-8 in their preliminary match. Unfortunately, Sam Downs and Ken Rawlins (Blackstones) had to concede a walkover to Peter Cozens and John Cox (Greetham Valley) in their preliminary match as they were unable to meet the play-by deadline.

One match in the first round has already been played - Dennis and Sue Starbuck (Stamford Town) beat Dave Roberts and Dave Hopkins (Wittering) by 28-9 to go through to the quarter-finals round.

Draws for the Duncomb Shield competition and the Oddfellows Rosebowl competition were made on Friday evening (19th May). Details of the draws are on this website under ‘What Do We Do? -  Duncomb Shield Draw 2023” and “Oddfellows Charity Rosebowl Competition”.

Boor & Wainwright competition

With just two more matches to be played in the round-robin stage of this handicap competition, there are some obvious leaders in each of the four groups. The top two teams in each group go forward to the knockout stage of the competiton, so there is still everything to play for.

Each team plays a total of 6 matches. Three teams have an unbeaten record after 4 matches, with a maximum 8 points - Greetham, Ketton Kites and Stamford Town C.

Greetham, at the top of Group A, have beaten Greetham Valley Eagles ((81-61), Empingham Ospreys (59-40), Bourne Eau (92-40) and Ryhall (84-71). They are closely followed by Blackstones A, who have 6 points from 4 matches; Greetham and Blackstones A face one another in the last match on 2nd June.

Although lying second on aggregate to Blackstones D in Group B, Ketton Kites have a game in hand, having beaten Market Deeping Regals (54-53), Blackstones D (76-54), Langtoft (69-63) and Oakham D (72-53). They still have to play the two teams trailing the group.

The situation is less clear-cut in Group C; Market Deeping Royals have 8 points from 5 games, Wittering 6 points from 4 games and Blackstones C 5 points from 4 games. With games in hand, Wittering and Blackstones C could still take the top two positions.

Stamford Town C are clearly ahead in Group D, having beaten Barnack Vikings (87-43), Bourne Woods (81-67), Market Overton Tornadoes (64-61) and, yesterday evening, newcomers Market Overton Harriers (71-54). Second place in Group D could go to Barnack Vikings with 8 points from 5 games, or Bourne Woods with 6 points from 4 games and a game in hand.

16th May: Boor & Wainwright Shield competition.

It has been a strange beginning to the new season this year, with the first match of the Boor & Wainwright competition being played on 28th April, then a 2-week gap until the second match on 12th May. This, and the unseasonably cold weather, has made it a tricky start for bowlers, not to mention the heavy rainfall last week, which led to one match being postponed and one venue being changed because greens were water-logged.

Although some teams have played 2 matches and some 3, because of byes, some front runners are already beginning to emerge. Just two teams who have played 3 matches have the maximum 6 points - Market Deeping Royals leading Group C and Stamford Town C leading Group D. Three more teams have scored 4 points from their 2 matches - Greetham at the top of Group A, Ketton Kites in Group B and Wittering in Group C. Third division Greetham have already opened up a gap in aggregate scores in their group, as has Division 1 Stamford Town C, but it is much closer in the other groups.

This Friday’s matches will see the majority of teams reaching the half-way point in the competition; as conditions on the greens change and, hopefully, the weather improves, it will be interesting to see how things develop.

25th April

Start of new outdoor season

The Stamford & District Bowls League starts its new season on Friday (April 28) with the return of the traditional pre-season Boor & Wainwright Shield competition. The first stage of this competition is in a round-robin format, played in four groups of seven teams.

With a handicap system which reflects each team’s position at the end of last season, higher-placed teams could be conceding up to ten shots on each of the three rinks in these two-bowl triples matches.

The league welcomes the return of a second team from Market Overton, who have only entered a single team since the start of the pandemic. The new league starts on Monday 5th June.

Boor & Wainwright Shield fixtures: first round Friday 28th April (home team first, handicaps in brackets)

Group A: Stamford Town A (30) v Ryhall (18), Blackstones A (30) v Empingham Ospreys (24), Greetham (24) v Greetham Valley Eagles ((12), Bourne Eau (30) - Bye.

Group B: Oakham D (24) v Market Deeping Regals (6), Blackstones D (0) v Oakham Owls (12), Langtoft (6) v Carlby Corgis (6), Ketton Kites (18) - Bye.

Group C: Stamford Town D (30) v Ketton Kestrels (6), Market Deeping Royals (18) v Blackstones C (0), Wittering (0) v Empingham Falcons (12), Oakham A (0) - Bye.

Group D: Market Overton Harriers (15) v Carlby Bees (24), Barnack Vikings (24) v Stamford Town C (0), Bourne Woods (12) v Market Overton Tornadoes (12), Barnack Saxons (18) - Bye