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ABOUT US: Abington Bowling Club is one of Northampton's sporting institutions. Based just south of Abington Park, we are in close proximity to the Old Northamptonians Sports Ground. Just a short way east of the town centre. We provide a competitive but welcoming environment for anyone who fancies taking up outdoor flat green bowls, the most popular form of bowls, and the most inclusive of all sports.


We also boast one of the biggest and most furbished clubhouses in the region, complete with lounge area, dining room and boardroom. We offer usage of any of these to interested parties. Click on 'Hire our Facilities' above to see what we can provide.
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**FAKE NEWS!**

Contrary to the rumours that have been spreading recently, Abington Bowling Club have no plans to build a car park at the bottom of the site. This space will continue to be the home of our friends and associates, Abington Lawn Tennis Club, for as long as they wish to use it.

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ABC ON TOUR 2019


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Date

Event
Time




August



Thu 22nd
Age UK Art Club
9:45am-12:15pm
Captain’s Day

Fri 23rd


Sat 24th
Men’s Friendly
vs. Kingsthorpe
2:30pm start
Party
7pm start
Sun 25th


Mon 26th


Tue 27th


Wed 28th
Pilates
9:15-10:15am
10:30-11:30am
2-3pm
6-7pm
Thu 29th
Age UK Art Club
9:45am-12:15pm
Men’s Friendly
vs. Olney
2:30pm start
Fri 30th
Coach departs for
ABC tour
7:30am
Pilates
9:15am-12:15pm
Sat 31st






September



Sun 1st


Mon 2nd
Pilates
9:30am-12:30pm
12:45-1:45pm
6-7pm
Tue 3rd
Men’s Triples League
A vs. Desborough
6:30pm start
Wed 4th
Pilates
9:15-10:15am
10:30-11:30am
2-3pm
6-7pm
Thu 5th
Age UK Art Club
9:45am-12:15pm
Men’s Friendly
vs. Olney
2:30pm start
Fri 6th
Pilates
9:15am-12:15pm
Men’s Drawn Pairs League
6:30pm start
Sat 7th
Reiki
10am-4:30pm
Charity function
7pm-11:30pm
Sun 8th


Mon 9th
Pilates
9:30am-12:30pm
12:45-1:45pm
6-7pm
AV Ladies
7-10pm
Tue 10th
Spectrum Workshop
9:30am-12:30pm
Men’s Drawn Pairs League
6:30pm start
Wed 11th
Pilates
9:30-10:15am
10:30-11:30am
2-3pm
6-7pm
Mindfulness
7-9pm
Thu 12th
Age UK Art Club
9:45am-12:15pm
Fri 13th
Pilates
9:15am-12:15pm
Men’s Drawn Pairs League
6:30pm start
Sat 14th
Reiki
10am-4pm
Men’s Friendly
vs. Rugby Railway
2:30pm start
Sun 15th


Mon 16th
Pilates
9:30am-12:30pm
12:45-1:45pm
6-7pm
Men’s Drawn Pairs League
6:30pm start
Tue 17th
Spectrum Workshop
9:30am-12:30pm
Wed 18th
Pilates
9:15-10:15am
10:30-11:30am
2-3pm
6-7pm
Mindfulness
7-9pm
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12/8/2019

FROM ABINGTON TO LEAMINGTON - 2019 EDITION

THE TITLE of Northamptonshire men's senior fours champions will be etched onto our honours board at the end of the year. Unfortunately, said rink were unable to upgrade that status at the national championships, their stay climaxing with the opening round.

Alan Coleman, Terry Brown, Tony O'Leary and skip John Freeman were drawn against their Herefordshire counterparts in the opening game, on Tuesday August 6th. On paper, it seemed a decent draw, but on the green they came up against a competitive skip in inspired form.

Ron Bithell of Kington BC was not a completely unknown quantity at Abington, thanks to the bowling history of our very own Colin Barnes, previously a member of Ross-on-Wye, another club in the western border county. But he quickly made a distinct impression on several other members thanks to some superb, head-turning shots in the early stages.

Were it not for Bithell, Freeman's men would have assumed firm control of the game from the kick-off. In the actual unfolding of events, the Herefordshire rink kept things tight in the first third before striking out into a comfortable lead of 16-7 after 12 ends.

Thanks to the shortened format of the senior game, only six ends were left, but not all hope was lost, and Freeman produced a magnificent brace on the 13th to arrest the decline, and take back control of the jack. Coleman immediately switched to a minimum length (give or take) - and the complexion of the match completely changed.

Suddenly, the Northants players were building tightly compacted heads, and the Herefordshire rink were all at sea as Freeman and co hacked chunks out of the nine-shot deficit to level with two to play. All the momentum was with them going into the penultimate end - in fact perhaps a little too much momentum as Coleman's previously sure grip deserted him and the 17th jack was cast a fair way longer than the previous few.

With this, Herefordshire seized their second chance and picked up two twos to win. Out, but not significantly bruised, Abington's appearance at Leamington this year but a brief one, but memorable.

*MEANWHILE, on the second weekend, our club's youngest member, Thomas Manderson, was in action in the Sutton Winson U18 singles tournament. Sadly, his stay was also a short one, with defeat in both his group games to Huntingdonshire's Jorja Jackson (6-13) and Surrey's Joshua Stonehill (7-8).

**FREEMAN was soon back on the green for the latter stages of Northamptonshire's men's champion of champions competition, the Mason Cup. A fantastic win over Express' Middleton Cup lead Neil Rolfe in the preliminary stages took him to the last eight. There he would ultimately meet his match in Kettering Midland Band's young England international Connor Cinato.

With both bowlers playing against the ridiculously windy conditions as much as each other, Cinato was the better at overcoming the gale-force handicap early on, taking a 6-0 lead after four ends. Freeman soon settled down though and cut the gap down to 6-8 in almost the same time. And shortly after, he'd equalised to take it to 10-10.

Mirroring his Leamington disappointment though, Freeman was unable to keep the scoring going and take the lead, and Cinato produced another seven shots from five to leave him potentially one end from victory. Freeman responded with two singles, but the KMB star made his advantage count to bring an end to Freeman's eventful season at this level.

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10/8/2019

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE - WEEK 11

ANOTHER DOUBLE defeat for Abington on Monday, August 5th puts the men's triples league B-team in their worst position yet of an increasingly infertile campaign.

A terrible finish at home to Earls Barton saw the point score flip at the last moment, to the betterment of the leaders. Four points for Barton puts them 14.5 clear of third place in Division 2, and on the brink of confirming a swift return to the top flight. 


P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Earls Barton
11
9
0
2
688
573
46.5
Byfield
10
6
0
4
603
596
33.5
Wootton Grange A
11
5
0
6
663
617
32
Bugbrooke
11
5
0
6
623
649
31
Roade
11
5
0
6
643
666
29.5
Abington B
11
5
0
6
674
629
29
Daventry Town A
11
5
0
6
594
713
28.5
Heyford
10
4
0
6
569
614
28

There has been no change to the running order but with all the other matches going to the lower-placed side, the table has constricted yet again, to the tightest margin yet. Only five and a half points - less than the total available for each game - separates the second promotion place from bottom. In theory, Heyford could now use their game in hand against Byfield to make the jump from Division 3 to Division 1 in one swoop, though there is still no date given for when this will be played.

Abington B are the chief losers of this week's events, the gap to the drop-zone now the sporting equivalent of wafer-thin. Despite Heyford having a fixture outstanding survival thankfully remains in Abington's hands as they are due to meet at the end of the season. Bizarrely, the Bs could still be going into that encounter chasing promotion, but that won't happen without an immediate reversal of form.

With every side still having at least 18 points to play for, the permutations are still far too varied to list here. Hopefully, immediate prospects will become a lot clearer after the next fixture, away at Bugbrooke.

In this context, the A-team can perhaps be relieved that they are free of such dramas. Although a push for the ultimate glory would be nice, this week's heavy defeat at West End shows why they remain some way short of involvement in a compelling title race.



P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Northampton Express A
11
10
1
0
819
539
54.5
Kingsthorpe A
11
10
0
1
787
554
52
Abington A
11
6
0
5
756
628
37
Northampton West End A
10
6
0
4
626
542
37
Desborough Town
11
5
0
6
652
667
31.5
Whyte Melville A
10
3
1
6
549
650
25.5
Kingsthorpe B
11
1
0
10
521
813
10.5
St. Crispin’s A
11
1
0
10
515
832
10

Meanwhile, the relegation issue is practically already confirmed. The bottom two teams, Kingsthorpe B and St. Crispin's A, play each other in the next round of games, with the barest of reprieves surely the only honour up for grabs. It's possible that even the winner will have their demotion confirmed on the night - although hopefully not, at that would require Abington A to be on the receiving end of a surprise tonking at home to Whyte Melville A.

Longer match reports of this week's games can be read in the men's section.

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2/8/2019

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE - WEEKS 9 & 10

LITTLE HAS CHANGED from the last Monday league update, at least as far as Abington's position is concerned, and that's not great news for the B-team, who once again hang perilously close to the drop in Division 2.

There was a much-needed resumption of winning ways over Daventry in the ninth game - but after coming unstuck at Roade this week, the only real plus point is that the former result keeps the Bs three and a half points ahead of the side who have sank down to second bottom in recent weeks. (Shot difference is also hugely in Abington's favour after they confirmed that the combined score from both Daventry matches to be 153-86.)


P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Earls Barton
10
8
0
2
627
516
42.5
Byfield
9
6
0
3
548
530
31
Bugbrooke
10
5
0
5
582
574
31
Wootton Grange A
10
4
0
6
597
562
28.5
Roade
10
5
0
5
583
604
27.5
Abington B
10
4
0
6
617
568
27
Daventry Town A
10
4
0
6
532
653
24.5
Heyford
9
3
0
6
494
573
22

Only one point was acquired at Roade, relinquishing position in the running order to the village club. And with games in hand now being filled in, Abington B have found themselves overtaken by a majority of the field (Byfield most notably making a sudden burst into second place after some excellent recent results). The stark realisation is that the priority is now chiefly avoiding a shock drop into the Third.

On the plus side, there are still four games to go, meaning 24 points up for grabs, and the field remains tight enough that even promotion is still very much achievable. Next up are leaders Earls Barton, who this week lost for only the second time this campaign at Bugbrooke. Vulnerable or deadly? We'll see on Monday, August 5th.

Up in Division 1, to look at the A-team's lack of progression or regression from last time would suggest that they have plodded along. Not so. In the last couple of weeks, they have been embroiled in two of the season's most fraught matches. Both were against a Kingsthorpe team, and both went down to the razor-sharp wire.



P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Northampton Express A
10
9
1
0
740
485
49
Kingsthorpe A
9
8
0
1
645
460
42.5
Abington A
10
6
0
4
706
558
36
Northampton West End A
8
5
0
3
518
428
31
Desborough Town
10
5
0
5
596
589
30
Whyte Melville A
9
2
1
6
480
600
19.5
Kingsthorpe B
10
1
0
9
471
744
10.5
St. Crispin’s A
10
1
0
9
461
753
9.5

The away game vs Kingsthorpe B resulted in a disappointingly narrow win and only four points, but that was nothing compared to the loss by a single shot against Kingsthorpe A the following week. With four and a half points taken out of us, the champions maintain their pursuit of Express A, who continue to soar out in front. Despite these setbacks, all will be forgiven if the As can win their next opportunity to prove how far they have come this year, at West End next Monday.

*THE LAST TWO league games may not have gone entirely as hoped for, but the A-team can at least claim one target set and matched. On Wednesday July 31st, they comfortably won through to the semi-finals of the league's knockout competition. Wootton Grange A of the 2nd Division were bustled out with minimum of fuss, all four rinks successful to the combined effect of 66-42. The semi-final will be at home to the winner of the heavyweight contest between West End and Express' A-sides.

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29/7/2019

COUNTY/NATIONAL COMPS: 22nd-28th JULY

ABINGTON WILL be represented at the National Championships at Leamington Spa. The last of Northamptonshire's male qualifiers were the county's senior fours champions - this parish's very own Alan Coleman, Terry Brown, Tony O'Leary and John Freeman.

It was not the finest of days for a game of bowls on Sunday 28th July, but our men withstood the constant rain better than their vaunted opponents from Kingsthorpe, skipped by former England international Mick Sharpe no less.

The game, staged on Express' green in Duston, was a nip-and-tuck exchange of shots for the majority of proceedings. After 11 ends, the scores remained deadlocked, with still neither side hitting double figures. The decisive twist came at this moment.

A sensational sixth on the 12th end gave Freeman and company a clear headstart for the final third of proceedings (the senior fours using a slightly shortened format to the regular version). And they followed it up with another three shots over the next two ends. Kingsthorpe needed to respond in kind immediately, but the Abington quarter continued to blockade every head. Sharpe's men could muster only three shots back, and another scoring for Abington sealed the day with an end to spare.

Victory marks Abington's first success in the competition since it was launched in 2017. All four have previously qualified for a national championship before, but it will be a first appearance since the switch from Worthing to Leamington Spa for two of them, with Coleman having waited the longest since his appearance in the men's triples in 1996. Their first opponents will be the champions of Herefordshire, on Tuesday 6th August at 2pm.

Sadly, they will not be joined by last week's headline makers Trevor Aston, Dave Fage and Thomas Manderson, whose stunning run in the men's triples ultimately hit the wall at the semi-finals. Having just edged out Neil Gould of Earls Barton in the last eight following a long and nervy affair, the semi was reduced to a tragic anti-climax almost immediately.

The classy Northampton Express trio Rob White, Wayne Stanley and Gavin Taylor stunned the Abington upstarts with 10 shots on the first two ends. After that, it was always likely to be a battle to save face at the most.

The situation steadily deteriorated from there. After 13 ends, it stood at 4-20 to the Express lads. But on the 14th, Fage and co did give their best single showing when they picked up a four. Dropping the same again on the following end though persuaded them to calling it off with three to spare.

Not the happiest of birthdays then for young Manderson, who turned 15 on the Friday. Nevertheless, it's a promising start and he has many years ahead to make up for it. For now, they take the simple honour of Abington's best performers in the main men's events for 2019.

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22/7/2019

COUNTY/NATIONAL COMPS: 15th-21st JULY

WHAT FEW competitive games that involved Abington this week was more than made up for by the sensational story that emerged from the men's triples.

Dave Fage's entry qualified for the quarter-finals via two incredible giant-killings, dispensing of talents like Express' Dominic Graham and West End's David Walker by astonishingly comfortable margins. When the draw was made, these would have been pegged as the most likely from their group to reach the 'whites' stage, yet it's our lads who have prevailed.

Yet that isn't even the half of it. Fage's team-mates include his grandson Thomas Manderson, embarking on his first year of senior county competitions at just 14 years of age! And he's the skip! The buzz around the club is whether this makes him the youngest ever player to reach an advanced stage in a Northamptonshire county competition. At any rate, he's certainly the youngest in our club's history by several years.

Of course, the contribution of their lead Trevor Aston shouldn't be forgotten either. His steady drawing set up many decent heads from which Fage and Manderson were able to clear up. In the Friday game, they would post a run of 11 shots from just five ends towards the end of the first half. The second half was spent maintaining that advantage - which they did so well, they didn't even play the last end. Like Manderson, Aston will also be marking a breakthrough appearance in the last eight, which takes place at Kislingbury on Wednesday 24th July.

Whatever becomes of their efforts this week - and for now, we should just let Manderson in particular enjoy his bowls as it comes - this is certainly one of the most heartwarming stories to come out of our club for some time. (Yet it doesn't escape our notice that one incentive to go all the way to Leamington is that young Thomas celebrates his 15th birthday on the day of the semi-finals.)

Even this was almost beaten to the status of our headline act though, as Gill Crossley came within a whisker of reaching the national championships via the women's singles, a county tournament that Abington have barely ever figured in before.

Although the eventual demise of Crossley's challenge was a particularly crushing one - scoring only four shots against last year's champion, Pat Bodily of Kingsthorpe - to have reached this stage within only a few years of taking the game up bodes well for the near future.

To get to the last four Crossley took out Alison Dring in a close-fought quarter-final, and it may well have been the mental exertions of that that took a toll on her semi-final performance.

Prior to all that, Crossley had more comfortably seen off club-mate Lis Milburn in the second round, 21-10. Milburn did at least have the consolation of also turning out in whites this week, for the latter stages of Bowls Northants' women's 2-wood singles. Sadly, she was one of four quarter-final fallers as Heyford's Jill Welch edged their encounter 15-10.

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19/7/2019

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE - WEEK 8

ALL THE GOOD NEWS came from the 1st Division as the Monday League entered the second half of the current campaign. But all the drama is to be found in the tier below, so we have to start there.

For the second week in a row, Abington B were narrowly defeated by a team who began the game (and ended it) in a relegation spot. Last week Heyford, this time Byfield. Two fixtures that should have consolidated their promotion push have suddenly threatened to throw their 2nd Division status in jeopardy.


P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Earls Barton
8
7
0
1
509
398
35.5
Wootton Grange A
8
3
0
5
479
452
22.5
Roade
8
4
0
4
472
475
22.5
Bugbrooke
8
3
0
5
444
460
22
Abington B
8
3
0
5
494
462
21.5
Daventry Town A
7
4
0
3
400
447
21
Byfield
6
4
0
2
348
370
20
Heyford
7
2
0
5
376
458
15

Those two surprise losses are at the centre of a wider pattern of results which have greatly upended the 2nd Division table. While Earls Barton have now eased away into a mighty lead, the gap between second and seventh has contracted down to just two and a half points, with the running order of those sides swapped round almost completely from last week. Wootton Grange A's defeat of Heyford in their previously postponed game helped catapult them up from sixth to second, despite fewer wins than Roade - and despite also losing to Roade in their scheduled game this week. Once again, it really is anybody's guess which sides will go up, and which will go down.

The Bs now sit almost at the exact eye of this storm, so here's hoping they can achieve renewed calm. Despite the sudden and dramatic descent to a precarious position - reinforced by all three teams below them having played less games, and with even eighth-placed Heyford not far from safety - it also goes to show just what returns are on offer for any team who can knuckle down and find some sliver of consistent form. Something that is well within the capabilities of our B-team.

As for the A-team, they continued their fine form against the bottom-half teams, hosting St. Crispin's A - and crushing them with the mightiest win of the week. An aggregate shot score of 83-32 was more than enough to complete a clean sweep double over the team who now sit bottom of the top tier.



P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Northampton Express A
8
7
1
0
593
396
39
Kingsthorpe A
7
6
0
1
507
363
32
Abington A
8
5
0
3
585
439
30.5
Northampton West End A
6
4
0
2
376
347
23
Desborough Town
7
3
0
4
400
440
19
Whyte Melville A
7
1
1
5
394
458
14.5
Kingsthorpe B
8
1
0
7
375
588
8.5
St. Crispin’s A
7
2
0
5
332
531
7.5

While it is expected that West End A will eventually surpass our As for a podium place, dominant displays such as this week's have helped Abington back into the echelon of the top sides. Similar will be expected next week against Kingsthorpe B.

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15/7/2019

COUNTY/NATIONAL COMPS: 8th-14th JULY

ABINGTON ARE guaranteed representation in the county quarter-finals of both the women's singles, 2-wood and 4-wood, even before the lineup of the latter is confirmed.

In the first round of the 4-wood, Gill Crossley strolled to victory over Chloe Weston of Abbey Park by a factor of 21-10. She goes on to meet her club-mate Lis Milburn in the 2nd round, the winner of which will advance to the 'whites' stage of the competition, just two more wins away from the national championships at Leamington Spa.

Milburn is already at that stage in the 2-wood singles after scraping past Janet Ashby of West End 14-13. Her date with destiny is this coming Saturday, 20th July at Kettering Lodge.

No such promise of glory for Abington's men in their 2-wood competition. The early rounds were staged at Kislingbury on Sunday, 14th July. Only one of our entrants, John Freeman, could notch up a win over an opponent from another club - a steady win over Mark Tomkins of Kingsthorpe, who had previously edged out Peter Milburn - before eventually going out in the group final to Will Walker of West End.

Credit is also due to Mick Taylor and Alan Dunkley, who both went the full 21-end distance in their head-to-heads with West End star Jamie Walker. Both though would ultimately receive a harsh lesson in just how switched on you have to be against an England regular. In fact, the Walker family were almost solely responsible for ending Abington interest in the tournament, with Adam Hawkings and Jonathan Brown also knocked out by Jamie's brothers, Will and Danny.

The first week of the county triples saw similar bloodshed, with only Dave Fage and Peter Milburn's entries surviving to the second week - and the latter of those had to claw their way past two other outfits from this club, skipped by Mick Taylor and Pat McAlwane respectively. For Fage, it was heartening to see his young grandson Thomas Manderson make the step-up to skipping a county competition with no small amount of ease. Their contest against John Hodgkinson of Daventry Town ended at 20-11 with a couple of ends to spare.

Over at Express, Freeman and team-mates Tony O'Leary and Terry Brown were proving just how quickly fortunes could change. In a frankly bizarre pair of games, they comfortably won that which they would have been expected to lose, against county star Chris Bland, and then slumped to an 8-19 defeat in the one they would have been backed to win, against Tom Wellburn. Yet more proof that bowls is played on grass and not paper.

Freeman continues to be Abington's busiest player in competitive action, though he won't be making a return visit to Leamington in the senior singles this year, coming up just short against Mark Turner of Kettering Midland Band. He sits only two away from qualifying in the men's champion of champions though, barely noticing Trevor Spear of Whyte Melville to reach the 4th round, where he now starts to look beyond the county's borders for his opposition.

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12/7/2019

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE - WEEK 7

A BETTER illustration of which level the Abington A-team currently perform at in the Monday Triples League can scarcely be imagined than this week's results.

Results plural, as the day after a decent all-round showing at Desborough, which resulted in a 5-1 victory, the As then succumbed away at Kingsthorpe by the opposite scoreline, in the match postponed from an earlier rain-affected week.

Longer reports can be found in the men's section as always. Here, there's little room but to be philosophical. We've reached the halfway point of the campaign. These two results back-to-back showcases more evidence that progress has been made. The wins have been strong wins, and the defeats reasonably narrow. For the most part, that is all that has been asked for this season, the only scope for short-term improvement being to start taking two winning rinks from fixtures against the heavyweights.



P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Northampton Express A
7
7
0
0
536
339
36
Kingsthorpe A
6
5
0
1
422
321
27
Abington A
7
4
0
3
502
407
24.5
Northampton West End A
5
3
0
2
310
291
18
Desborough Town
6
3
0
3
344
374
18
Whyte Melville A
6
1
0
5
337
401
11.5
St. Crispin’s A
6
2
0
4
300
448
7.5
Kingsthorpe B
7
1
0
6
333
503
7.5

Kingsthorpe A had especial motivation against Abington, their pride sorely hurt by a rare defeat against the runaway Express train, and a 5-1 defeat makes up some of that lost ground as they remount in pursuit. West End are beginning to lurk menacingly over Abington's shoulder, easily beating Kingsthorpe B to rise into the top half for the first time - now only five and a half points back from our men, with two games in hand.

At the bottom, St. Crispin's took a points majority over Whyte Melville despite a drawn shots score (possible via three winning rinks that added up to the same margin against their one losing rink), lifting themselves off last place, though still firmly in the drop-zone. Down in Division 2, Abington B's chances of replacing them received another shock as they became the first side this season to lose to last-placed Heyford.


P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Earls Barton
7
6
0
1
432
358
29.5
Abington B
7
3
0
4
441
407
20.5
Daventry Town A
6
4
0
2
356
376
20
Roade
7
3
0
4
414
427
18.5
Bugbrooke
7
2
0
5
373
416
17
Wootton Grange A
6
2
0
4
373
338
16.5
Byfield
5
3
0
2
293
317
15
Heyford
5
2
0
3
280
323
13

This marks the continuation of an odd pattern of better results away from home than on their own turf. Two points keeps the Bs in the promotion spot, but they've lost ground again on leaders Earls Barton, and it remains in Daventry's hands to surpass them. Plus,,with other games not played even the likes of Heyford and Byfield may yet have something to say at the opposite end before the close of August, with only seven and a half points separating seven sides. You can never quite tell in this division.

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