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Image of Kingsthorpe Bowling Club team who won the inaugural Northamptonshire County Top Club Competition played at Abington Bowling Club in 2022

2022 – First County Top Club Champions

17/09/2022 – On a sunny, breezy Saturday morning the final of the Northamptonshire Men’s County Top Club, one of the new county domestic competitions, was played between Abington and Kingsthorpe Bowling Clubs.

The competition is run on the same basis as the national one with five disciplines, 2-Wood Singles, 4-Wood Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours, the only difference being that the overall winners do not progress to the national championships.

The final was played at Abington Bowling Club due to them being in the top half of the draw, a fitting and exciting reward for the host club which has been celebrating its centenary in 2022. Abington’s Pete Milburn, the County Men’s President was, unfortunately, unable to attend the presentation.

The match started in Kingsthorpe’s favour with a comfortable win (21-12) for Jason Bryan in the 2-Wood singles against Adam Brown and after a slow start the Kingsthorpe Triple of Denis Hardy, Geoff Hayter and Andrew Manton won five of the last six ends, to turn a losing position around and record the win against Terry Brown, Simon Coles and John Freeman. Abington levelled the overall match with wins in the pairs, Dave Jones and Jonathan Brown forcing Mick Spears and Neil McKee of Kingsthorpe to concede with ends to spare and the Kingsthorpe four of Matt Care, Ivan Wilson, Pete Morris and Roger Tansley losing by fours shots (19-23) to Alan Coleman, Phil Reeve, Tom Manderson and Tony O’Leary which tied the overall match.

With the scores at 2-2, the 4-Wood singles were proving to be a topsy-turvy game with Kingsthorpe’s Vernon Gearey trailing 10-4 to Abington’s Robin Adams before turning the game round to lead 17-12. Robin wasn’t giving up that easily as he fought back to 19-19 with one end to play.

A nervous time for everyone who was watching and with nerves jangling Vernon trailed the jack and sat close with his third bowl. Robin failed to make a difference with his last woods and Kingthorpe claimed the 21-19 victory to win the overall match 3-2.

The new trophy was presented by Kevin Mawson, County Competition Secretary for Men and Mixed competitions, to Kingsthorpe Bowling Clubs Saturday Captain, Chic Eichmann

Travelling Reserves for Kingsthorpe were Mick Taylor and Mac Sibley – who had played in previous rounds