Cup finals are played in the Stamford Bowls League
An outstanding weekend of Stamford League bowls saw two finals take place.
The Oddfellows Rose Bowl was held on Saturday with the Duncomb Shield taking place 24 hours later.
Both finals were hotly contested with a very high standard of play. Even the weather co-operated and contributed to making the atmosphere on both occasions everything that is best about outdoor bowling, for players and spectators alike.
The league thanks Blackstones Bowls Club and Bourne Town Bowls Club for hosting these two events and helping to make both finals so memorable.
The final of the Oddfellows Rose Bowl was played between hosts Blackstones and Oakham.
The competition was fierce between the two teams, with Blackstones being the eventual winners, beating Oakham 59-45.
On rink one, Wayne Morris, Darren Russell and skip Sam Downs (Blackstones) faced Graham Scothern, Paul Jenkinson and Ray Gregory (Oakham).
Blackstones took advantage of playing on their home green to forge ahead until they were 11-2 up after eight ends.
Oakham then began to fight back, scoring two on each of the next three ends.
With the score at 12-8 to Blackstones, skip Sam Downs swapped with Wayne Morris to try to slow down Oakham’s progress and it worked – just!
With a dead end in the 16th, Blackstones managed to hold on to their lead to win by the closest of margins, 14-13.
Rink two saw Rita Downs, Mal Smith and Darren Middleton (Blackstones) playing Eddie Owen, Denis Smith and Stuart Primarolo (Oakham).
The Blackstones team dominated throughout the match, despite Oakham's skip taking out four of their opponents' shots in the fourth end and Oakham resorting to shorter jacks whenever they had the opportunity.
Blackstones' victory was sealed by a five in the 16th end, with the final score being 23-12.
There was no such thing as home advantage on rink three with the Oakham team of Graham Cole, Matthew Murrant and Paul Murrant storming ahead to a lead of 10-2 after six ends over Blackstones' Dusty Miller, Mike Owen and Terry Smith.
Blackstones had to dig deep to come back, bringing the score to 9-10 by the ninth end.
Oakham dominated the next five ends, so that they were 20-10 up after 14 ends.
Then it was Blackstones' turn, increasing their total, so that after the 17th (penultimate) end the score was 16-20 in Oakham’s favour but, in a killer final end, Blackstones scored six, giving them a winning total of 22-20.
The final of the Duncomb Shield was played at Bourne Town Bowls Club.
There were eight teams in the final who played in a round-robin format - Greetham Monarchs, Wittering A, Greetham Valley B, Market Overton C, Empingham, Wittering B, Stamford Town B and Greetham Royals. The teams selected three out of four named players for each six-end game.
Market Overton C won their first four games (of seven), accumulating a total of 28 points out of a possible 36, putting them four points ahead of their nearest rival, Wittering B.
However, they thought they had blown it after losing their fifth and sixth games, with Empingham creeping one point ahead on 34 points to Market Overton’s 33.
Empingham suffered a heavy loss in their final game, whereas Market Overton scored six points, bringing their total to 39 points and making them the overall winners.
Runners-up were Wittering B, who won four of their seven games, scoring a total of 36 points.
They were closely followed by Empingham and Stamford Town B, both on 35 points, with Empingham just edging ahead on score difference.
This was the first time Market Overton had won this competition so caps a wonderful summer for the Rutland club.
They have had earlier successes of Jonny Abbott and Richard Lambert winning the inaugural Stamford League pairs competition last week, elevating the Division Two team of Market Overton Tornadoes to the first division and winning the Melton Triples.
The triumphant Marko team was Abbott, Lambert, Annette Oliver as lead and John Mitchell.