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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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Date

 

Event

Time

 

 

 

July

 

 

 

 

 

Thu 29th

Age UK Art Club

9:45am-12:15pm

Fri 30th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30am-11:30am

Sat 31st

Men’s friendly

vs. Daventry Town

Approx 2:30pm

 

 

 

August

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 1st

 

 

Mon 2nd

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:35am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Men’s triples league

B vs. Cold Ashby

6:30pm

Tue 3rd

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Women’s friendly

vs. Abbey Park

Approx. 2pm

Wed 4th

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm

Men’s friendly

vs. Northants VPs

Approx 2:30pm

Thu 5th

Age UK Art Club

9:45am-12:15pm

Fri 6th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30am-11:30am

Nene Lace Makers

1:45-4:15pm

Sat 7th

 

 

Sun 8th

 

 

Mon 9th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:35am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Men’s triples league

A vs. Whyte Melville A

6:30pm

Tue 10th

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Women’s club

triples day

Approx. 2pm

Wed 11th

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm

Thu 12th

Age UK Art Club

9:45am-12:15pm

Men’s friendly

vs. Wellingborough

Approx. 2pm

Fri 13th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:30am

Sat 14th

Men’s friendly

vs. Desborough

Approx. 2pm

Sun 15th

 

 

Mon 16th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:35am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Men’s triples league

B vs. Carlsberg

6:30pm

Tue 17th

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Women’s friendly

vs. Kettering Lodge

Approx. 2pm

Wed 18th

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm

Thu 19th

Age UK Art Club

9:45am-12:15pm

Men’s friendly

vs. N.A.R.P.O

Approx. 2pm

Fri 20th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30am-11:30am

Sat 21st

 

 

Sun 22nd

 

 

Mon 23rd

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:35am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Men’s triples league

A vs. Desborough

6:30pm

Tue 24th

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Wed 25th

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm


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6/7/2021

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE: WEEK 10

LITTLE HAS altered since our last update. As the campaign now reaches its business end, Abington B continue to cling on to a promotion spot while the As hang around in the dead centre of Division 1.

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Brackley

10

9

0

1

546

347

42

Abington B

10

7

0

3

496

379

33.5

Heyford

10

7

0

3

454

425

31.5

Daventry Tigers

10

6

0

4

473

465

30

Cold Ashby

10

6

0

4

449

453

28

Carlsberg

10

3

0

7

444

430

20.5

Harpole A

10

2

0

8

393

504

13

Kislingbury A

10

0

0

10

314

566

1.5


The Bs' push for an immediate return to Division 2 has, if anything, faltered somewhat. Their last two games have brought just four points from a possible 10, with only two rink wins out of six. A home defeat against Brackley meant a retreat from the top of the table, with the gap now eight and a half points. Captain Jonathan Brown's rink spared total collapse that night, but it was Rob Archer and company who came to the rescue the following week at Heyford.

In a simply stunning turn of events, Archer's trio recovered a 4-9 deficit over the last five ends to stuff their opponents 21-9 - as well as snatching the aggregate victory by just one shot. It was a welcome reversal from how the home game against the same team had climaxed a few weeks before. More importantly though, the result all-round was a reminder that nothing can be taken for granted in this league. Even if the table suggests the Bs have passed their trickiest challenges, now is not the time to relax.  At least for once a narrow result went Abington's way. Hopefully, the momentum of those final five ends can be harnessed and maintained all the way to promotion. 

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Kingsthorpe A

10

8

0

2

515

397

35

Northampton West End A

9

8

0

1

462

362

34.5

Desborough Town

9

8

0

1

444

354

34.5

Northampton Express A

10

6

0

4

450

430

27.5

Abington A

10

4

0

6

468

434

23.5

Earls Barton

10

2

0

8

412

488

16.5

Byfield

10

2

0

8

349

506

13.5

Whyte Melville A

10

1

0

9

369

498

10


Things have been rather quieter for the As recently. The bare minimum of dual wins over Earls Barton and Byfield was secured, and (should have) assured midtable mediocrity at worst. With champions Express A continuing to stumble, a top half finish is still up for grabs, but it won't happen unless the rest of the side steps up to the example of John Freeman's unit and start holding onto their leads. In each of their last three appearances, Freeman and his partners have been the only winning rink.

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*ABINGTON HAVE now exited Bowls England's national club comps, with our last remaining entrants bowing out of the men's Double Rinks at West End and the men's Top Club to Kingsthorpe. The club continues to be represented at county level though, with both John Freeman and Tony O'Leary taking part in Northamptonshire's narrow Middleton Cup 2nd round victory over Suffolk on Saturday 24th July. Hertfordshire in the quarter-finals are next, a stage Northants haven't surpassed since they last won the men's national challenge tournament in 1980.

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27/7/2021

COUNTY COMPS: DUNKLEY SINGLE-HANDEDLY ENDS LONG WAIT

ALAN DUNKLEY has become the first Abington man to reach Northamptonshire's county singles final in 37 years after a truly brilliant 21-19 victory over Wellingborough star Neil Corbyn.

A game that was nip-and-tuck throughout went to the wire, but Dunkley's nerve held firmest to snatch back victory from 17-19 down. Corbyn, a man with international honours, is the biggest name yet to be 'Dunked' out of the competition in what's been a truly sensational run.

Abington have not excelled when reduced to our individual components in modern times. You have to go back to 1984 to find the last man to reach the final from our club, Tony Simons, with precious few others even getting a sniff in the decades since. So whatever happens now, Dunkley's name will be up in lights at our club for some time.

The one slight kicker is that, unlike previous years, we aren't yet able to acclaim qualification for the national finals thanks to Bowls England's restructuring of the tournaments. Our county is currently afforded only one slot in the singles - but having waited 37 years, what's another week? Dunkley will take on West End's David Walker at Northampton Express, on Sunday, August 1st, 2pm for the ultimate glory. We hope you can be there to support him.

***

Dunkley's stunning success has made up for some disappointments elsewhere. Rob Archer's unit struggled with both a pocked green and their opponents superior class in their county fours quarter-final, losing 8-16 to a Kettering Midland Band rink skipped by England's Connor Cinato. Tony O'Leary was dumped out of the National Champion of Champions without ceremony by Earls Barton's Neil Gould, 7-21. And neither Gill Crossley nor Lis Milburn made it very far in both the 4-wood and 2-wood ladies singles.

Solace was provided by O'Leary reaching the Mason Cup final with a 21-7 performance of his own over Irchester's club champion, and Crossley's continued run in the women's National Champion of Champions, although even this has been thrown into doubt thanks to a fractured arm! (Thankfully, not her bowling one.)

***

Abington will play host to this week's big county event, the men's senior fours semi-finals. Some of our own members, including that man Dunkley, will be in action looking to take home advantage in the next step towards Leamington glory.

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19/7/2021

*WITH THE final easing of Covid restrictions on hospitality venues in England, Abington Bowling Club is pleased to confirm that we are fully back in business for the first time since March last year. From this point, we will no longer be enforcing the wearing of facemasks, and we are removing the limits on how many people can be in the bar/changing rooms/etc.

Of course, the most important thing is that anyone who wishes to come into our club feels safe to do so. While the demographic of bowls tends towards the elderly, not all of our members, friends and guests have been fully vaccinated just yet. Please continue to wear a face mask if you prefer to do so. The club will remain stocked with sanitisers, for both hands and equipment, until at least the end of this season.

Good health and good bowling to all.

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14/7/2021

*MICK TAYLOR'S FUNERAL will be held on Tuesday 27th July, beginning 11am at the Catholic Cathedral on Barrack Road, Northampton (postcode: NN2 6AG). The wake will be at the club afterwards. By that date, all restrictions on funeral attendance in England should have been lifted, but we will inform the membership ASAP if otherwise.

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13/7/2021

ABINGTON REMAINS represented at the latter stages of several county and national competitions.

Last week, Alan Dunkley continued his fantastic run in the Northamptonshire men's county singles. Victory over Wellingborough's Dave Love has put him in the semi-finals. Their match was a slow-burning clasic, with both still on single figures as the other three games approached their conclusion.

Eventually Dunkley crafted a succession of scores to put himself 17-8 up, but it was never likely to be so simple all the way to the finish. Love responded with a display of bowling that showcased his status as a regular lead in the county team to force a nervy conclusion, but our man kept his head for long enough to seal it 21-17 at sunset.

The game on the next rink had finished with an identical score. Sadly, this time the Abington player was on the wrong end of it. Still, club secretary Peter Milburn could depart with head held high, having taken Middleton Cup skip David Walker so close to an upset.

Speaking of which, Abington club champion Tony O'Leary lead Walker's rink in Northants' first Middleton match, an impressive victory over Leicestershire. The storied tournament for England's county (men's) teams has changed format this year to become a straightforward death-or-glory knockout contest. So, just two more wins will put Northants, the great underachievers of English bowls, at the nationals for the first time in 41 years of hurt.

O'Leary himself though only needs one more to guarantee an appearance at Leamington. Victory over Pat McAlwane in the National Champion of Champions has taken him to the verge of qualification, with either Neil Gould of Earls Barton or Connor Cinato of Kettering Midland Band to be his final opponent from his own county.

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7/7/2021

REST IN PEACE

ABINGTON Bowling Club is saddened to hear that longtime member Mick Taylor lost his battle with cancer on Monday, 5th July.

Mick was one of Abington's most distinctive figures in modern times, rarely seen without his moth-eaten straw hat and extremely faded bowling shoes, which he seemed determined to hang onto until they disintegrated! For all his eccentricities, he was a very valued member of the club, always good company and never shy to put himself forward for the roles of president, captain, or selector. Combining the latter two, he anchored the Monday league B-team to unprecedented heights. Truly one of our finest ambassadors.

He loved sport in all its forms, football and cricket being his longest and everlasting loves. He played both in his youth and on into adulthood. He also believed deeply in supporting your local side. Northampton Town FC has lost one of its most loyal Cobblers.

Mick was one of many who discovered bowls to be an ideal outlet for his sporting passion once he had to give up more athletic pursuits, and proved himself a very capable player. He won all of our club's main honours at least once, with the exception of the main Singles Cup, in which he was runner-up twice, 2014 and 2016.

His family have asked for privacy at this sad time. Funeral details will be posted here when they become known.

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6/7/2021

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE: WEEK 7

HALFWAY THROUGH the campaign, and the B-team have stepped in front of Daventry Tigers to go back into the second promotion spot in Division 3.

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Brackley

7

6

0

1

371

259

28

Abington B

7

5

0

2

371

266

24.5

Daventry Tigers

7

5

0

2

350

293

24

Heyford

7

5

0

2

322

307

22

Cold Ashby

7

3

0

4

302

328

17

Carlsberg

7

2

0

5

306

304

13.5

Harpole A

7

2

0

5

288

342

12

Kislingbury A

7

0

0

7

220

431

1


A split has begun to form with all the top half winning their seventh games comfortably. Abington B's 75-17 demolition of bottom side Kislingbury A earned them a point extra than Daventry Tigers, meaning the two swapped places. The week before had seen a much narrower victory, by just two shots, on the park green of Far Cotton against Carlsberg.

The A-team have made a habit of being involved in such 'squeaky bum' matches. Unfortunately, they more often emerge on the losing side. Their last two encounters, champions Express at home, and table-toppers Desborough away, have gone down to the final bowl, with a points maximum still available. Yet on both occasions, the opportunity has been missed by a mere fraction of an inch, leaving Abington with only one point when they might have had four.

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Desborough Town

7

6

0

1

355

279

26.5

Northampton West End A

7

6

0

1

352

271

25.5

Kingsthorpe A

7

5

0

2

349

285

22

Northampton Express A

7

4

0

3

321

299

19

Abington A

7

2

0

5

314

307

14.5

Earls Barton

7

2

0

5

296

348

12.5

Byfield

7

2

0

5

249

338

12

Whyte Melville A

7

1

0

6

238

347

8


Securing a place in the top half is now even more of a struggle than it might have been but for those fine margins, but they now have a prime opportunity to booster their points tally. Their next couple of games are against two of the three sides below them in the table. If nothing else, it will hopefully prevent them from being sucked into a battle for survival, which is currently much closer than the four leading sides. The Bs will look to continue their good form with their first return fixture at Harpole.

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*ALL THE men's club competitions have been drawn and posted to the relevant page. These will be held on fixed dates again, following the success of last year's Covid-enforced rules. Of course, this time they will have to be fitted around other potential bowling engagements. Please check all dates you may be required and notify competition secretary Jonathan Brown of any possible clashes.

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5/7/2021

COUNTY COMPS: HEARTBREAK BUT STILL HOPE

IT WAS a gloomy Sunday 4th July for Abington. The club failed to prevail in either the men's or women's county pairs. But on the Saturday, the women's fours saw us leap to the brink of glory.

The quartet of Diana Brown, Christine Ball, Lis Milburn and Debbie Cadd were outstanding at Desborough, thrashing Heyford's Jill Welch in the quarter-final and then taking out an experienced rink from Kingsthorpe, skipped by Pat Bodily, to reach their second final in four seasons.

Unfortunately, a competition restructure by Bowls England means a repeat of their 2017 Leamington appearance isn't so straightforward this time. To reach the national finals again, nothing less than victory in their county final will do. And waiting for them on the 31st July is the sternest test of them all, a rink skipped by England international Rebecca Wigfield.

The following day, Desborough's Wigfield (and Jeannie Flippance) gave another demonstration of her abilities with a comfortable 20 shots to 6 defeat of two other Abington ladies. And neither Barbara Astle or Gill Crossley are used to losing by quite so many. This ended our interest in the Northants women's pairs at the last eight.

Cadd's four will be able to draw on the experience of qualifying before at least, a run which included a defeat of Wigfield in the semi-final. If they play again like they did last Saturday, there is no reason to fear any opponent.

***

Sadly, Dave Jones and Jonathan Brown found that final hurdle one too far in the men's pairs. A late flurry of shots had seen them through a tense quarter-final, against Corby Forest's Muir brothers on the Wednesday. So when they suddenly pulled back from 5-14 down to go within three of Express' Rob White and Dominic Graham, it seemed a similarly rousing finale was on.

This time however, they couldn't maintain the momentum to the finish and the shot-scoring swung back the other way. The Muirs qualifying for Leamington in the triples on the same afternoon proves they can be very proud of their run, and will no doubt create other opportunities before long. (Perhaps they needed to keep it in the family. If the draw had put them up against Kettering Midland Band's father/son pair Martin and Connor Cinato, who did for Abington's other quarter-finalists, Rob Archer and Phil Reeve, they would have had the opportunity of dispensing with four different family duos in a row!)

Those other opportunities include the senior fours, a recent addition to the calendar but already one in which Abington have a proud record. An entrant from our club has made the final in both previous tournaments, and three rinks stand just two more wins away from making it a hat-trick. One of those features both Jones and Brown, who will be taking on another, the 2018 runners-up, skipped by Peter Milburn, in the last eight.

Rob Archer's rink came through another all-Abington affair to book a quarter-final against one skipped by L. Gadke of Corby Seagrave. This action will take place at Abington this Wednesday, July 7th with the semis also at our club three weeks later.

***

Last, but definitely not least, Alan Dunkley became the first Abington man to confirm his place in the Northamptonshire men's singles quarter-finals (and, despite Alan Coleman's eventual loss to West End's Danny Walker, he won't be the last, with Peter Milburn and Dave Jones shortly to play-off for another). Dunkley made surprisingly easy work of his group final against our reigning club champion Tony O'Leary, confirming himself as a man in prodigious form. He travels to Kettering Lodge tomorrow evening for an encounter with Middleton Cup regular Dave Love, of Wellingborough.

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28/6/2021

COUNTY COMPS: ABINGTON MAKING THEIR PRESENCE FELT

HOW WE MISSED nights like these last season. The evening of Friday, June 25th will go down as one of our club's most glorious in several years. Not one, but two pairs overcame the odds to reach the men's quarter-finals while Alan Dunkley confirmed that we are guaranteed at least the same number in the men's singles last eight.

Despite their unquestioned ability and home advantage, Dave Jones and Jonathan Brown knew they began as second favourites against West End's Will and David Walker (unrelated), two of the county's youngest and best bowlers. And they'd given them the perfect motivation by knocking out their fathers, Martin and Iain in the previous round!

Jones though is one of Northamptonshire's best-kept secrets, and even his skip was left marveling at the quality of his drawing across the two games. They simply smashed through their opponents' burgeoning reputation, fists and elbows being bumped after just 14 ends, with the score already 20-5. In the context of that display, Rob Archer and Phil Reeve's match against another rated West End pair, Andy Fowkes and Dave Kovacs, was almost overlooked - until the climax at least.

With the other rinks cleared, attention finally settled on their tense battle. The home pair gave the crowd the finish they were looking for to edge it 17-13. For former county team skip Reeve, this was an especially gratifying return to the business end of a major competition. The first time he's reached a quarter-final since he joined Abington.

***

As for the singles, Dunkley battled past Chris Terry of Northampton Express 21-15 to set up a group final against club champion Tony O'Leary, who already has one QF under his belt this year in Bowls Northants' champion of champions tournament, the Mason Cup. A truly sensational third round left Abington on the verge of locking out the southern half, an incredible achievement even with our strength in numbers over other clubs, considering the talent elsewhere.

One of Peter Milburn and Dave Jones will face off for the second guaranteed Abington slot in whites (or blues if the players prefers), the former producing one of the more eye-catching results to get this far in beating young West End star Will Walker 21-19. Yet it had competition as the result of the round with both Dave Fage and Alan Coleman rolling back the years to knock out the garlanded Express duo Dominic Graham and Chris Bland respectively. Sadly, Fage has since been thwarted by another of West End's young Walkers (the aforementioned David), while Coleman has still to play yet another (Danny) to reach the last eight.

***

And the good news doesn't end there. Barbara Astle and Gill Crossley will take Abington's name into the QFs of the women's pairs as well, albeit at the expense of their fellow clubmates in the previous round. Club president Astle and club champion Crossley controlled  the majority of their encounter with Diana Brown and Debbie Bradshaw to triumph 18-11 and qualify for finals day on this Sunday, July 4th. Here's hoping we can get the fireworks out that night...

*A REPORT on the club's re-entry into national competition can be found elsewhere on the site. The draw for the men's double rinks unfortunately required the three teams to play each other (and Roade) for the honour of last one standing by the 3rd round. Find out who won through, and the reward of a test against the stars of Kingsthorpe or West End, on the men's page.

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23/6/2021

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE: WEEK 5

THE FIFTH round of Monday league fixtures provided a welcome pick-me-up for both of Abington's teams after double disappointment in the knockout competition the week before.

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Desborough Town

5

4

0

1

257

196

19.5

Northampton West End A

5

4

0

1

234

204

17

Kingsthorpe A

5

3

0

2

235

211

14

Northampton Express A

5

3

0

2

235

212

13

Abington A

5

2

0

3

226

213

12.5

Earls Barton

5

2

0

3

228

229

10

Byfield

5

2

0

3

175

243

9

Whyte Melville A

5

0

0

5

158

240

5


The A-team's exit had been especially gut-wrenching. Leading holders Express A by six with an end each to play, they collectively dropped seven... A trip to bottom-placed Whyte Melville A was the ideal tonic to banish that memory and our As seized the opportunity to boost their First Division points tally. An aggregate shot score of 45-37 shows it wasn't easy but a clean sweep of points takes Abington A back above Earls Barton into fifth place.

Phil' Reeve's rink earned the prize for biggest win but Alan Dunkley's achieved the honour of most eye-catching scorecard, taking 10 shots across the last four ends to snatch an 18-16 victory. The As now sit just half a point behind that team Express A, and have a swift opportunity for revenge when they host them in the league next week.

The B-team couldn't claim to be quite so downhearted by their knockout defeat to West End A (who currently sit second in the top flight). However, a win on captain Jonathan Brown's rink over England international Jamie Walker and comparatively slender aggregate deficit of 12 offered a tantalising glimpse of something greater.

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Daventry Tigers

5

4

0

1

266

203

18.5

Brackley

5

4

0

1

244

191

18

Abington B

5

3

0

2

255

210

16

Heyford

5

3

0

2

221

230

13

Cold Ashby

5

2

0

3

211

238

13

Carlsberg

5

2

0

3

222

217

11

Harpole A

5

2

0

3

209

234

10.5

Kislingbury A

5

0

0

5

174

289

1


The running order in Division 3 has barely changed after this week's results, but the race for promotion has tightened considerably. Daventry Tigers only just preserved their top spot, taking a single point from their encounter with our B-team. It's a little ironic that said point was dropped by captain Brown's rink, the previous week's stars. Mick Hall and Dave Fage skipped the winning outfits this time, with bouncing, bonny margins of 28-15 and 22-10 respectively. Next up is a trip to the lesser-sampled delights of Far Cotton Rec, to play Carlsberg.
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