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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

October

 

 

Mon 18th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:35am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Mindfulness

7-9pm

Tue 19th

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Aromatherapy

7-9pm

Wed 20th

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm

Counseling Skills

6-9pm

Thu 21st

Age UK Art Club

9:30am-12:30pm

Fri 22nd

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:30am

Sat 23td

Counselling Skills

10am-4pm

Sun 24th

 

 

Mon 25th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:30am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Tue 26th

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Wed 27th

First Aid at Work

9am-4:30pm

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm

Thu 28th

Age UK Art Club

9:30am-12:30pm

Fri 29th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:30am

Sat 30th

Counseling Skills

10am-4pm

Charity Function

7pm onwards

Sun 31st

 

 

November

 

 

Mon 1st

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:30am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Mindfulness

7-9pm

Swedish Body Massage

7-9pm

Tue 2nd

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Aromatherapy

7-9pm

Wed 3rd

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm

Counseling Skills

6-9pm

Thu 4th

Age UK Art Club

9:45am-12:30pm

Get Fit

6-7:15pm

Fri 5th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:30am

 

11:30am-12:30pm

Sat 6th

Hand and Arm Massage

10am-12pm

Counseling Skills

9:30am-4:30pm

Sun 7th

 

 

Mon 8th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:35am

11:30am-12:30pm

6-7pm

Swedish Body Massage

7-9pm

Mindfulness

7-9pm

Tue 9th

Pilates

9:15-10:15am

10:15-11:15am

Wed 10th

Winter Collage

10am-12pm

Pilates

2:15-3:15pm

Counselling Skills

6-9pm

Thu 11th

Age UK Art Club

9:30am-12:30pm

Get Fit Today

6-7:15pm

Fri 12th

Pilates

9:30-10:30am

10:30-11:30am

Crib Night

7pm onwards

Sat 13th

Counselling Skills

9:30am-4:30pm

50th Birthday Party

5:30pm onwards

Sun 14th

 

 


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4/10/2021

BOWLING IS DONE FOR 2021

HEAVY RAIN forced cancellation of the President's Day event, our traditional season finale, but the season just concluded has been anything but a wash-out. 

Even as the outdoor season kicked off, clubhouses remained out of bounds owing to pandemic restrictions, the sport of bowls having gone through a truly unprecedented and damaging year. Our club was one of very few in the country to stage a full compliment of club comps in 2020, but as the calendar ticked over to 2021, Abington was eager to reconnect with the wider bowling community.

That appetite survived even the delayed start to the season proper and a spate of later cancellations thanks to the poor weather in the latter half of summer. Almost 50 different members turned out for friendly games this season. Below is the top 20 based on our merit table rankings, with a point given for each game played and two further points for a winning result (one if tied). This table is an aggregate of Saturday, Thursday and Tuesday matches. Admittedly, there's less opportunity for our female membership to score highly, but that makes it especially impressive for three of them to feature here:

 

P

W

D

L

%

F

A

Pts

Bill Shelton

24

14

1

9

60.42

415

354

53

Bill Woodley

30

10

2

18

36.67

449

511

52

Reg Jones

22

14

1

7

65.91

417

305

51

Allen Johnson

19

15

1

3

81.58

390

234

50

Jonathan Brown

17

15

0

2

88.24

359

192

47

Adam Brown

15

13

0

2

86.67

286

182

41

Diana Brown

18

11

1

6

70

298

282

41

Chris Beck

19

10

1

8

55.26

324

288

40

Dave Williamson

18

10

1

7

58.33

296

262

39

Dave Poole

12

10

1

1

87.5

271

159

33

Phil Reeve

11

9

0

2

81.82

219

140

29

Gill Crossley

11

8

0

3

72.73

197

140

27

Phil Boseley

10

8

0

2

80

207

122

26

Rob Archer

11

7

1

3

68.18

232

143

26

Thomas Manderson

12

7

0

5

58.33

201

179

26

Dennis ‘Bill’ Roberts

11

7

0

4

63.64

192

158

25

Stuart Johnston

10

7

0

3

70

171

149

24

Christine Ball

13

5

0

8

38.46

196

210

23

Bill Beesley

10

6

0

4

60

193

142

22

Arthur Bicker

11

5

1

5

50

170

172

22


The names highlighted in bold are, as ever, those who turned out for more than half the games. Nobody can fault the Bills Shelton and Woodley for commitment, but Allen Johnson takes the plaudits for best win ratio. He was on a losing rink just three times out of 19.

The club thanks all who have turned out to represent it this year, all helping set Abington back on the path. For many members, attention immediately returns to the indoor game, resuming after a very long gap. Abington BC will definitely not be resting during the 'off-season' though. In addition to the occasional indoor fixture, the club now has an important few months ahead to decide on the final look, shape, feel and legacy of our centenary celebrations. We will keep you updated as the announcements roll out.

*CONGRATS also to the winners of the remaining club comps over the final weekend. Lis and Peter Milburn were supreme in the mixed pairs, as they often tend to be, beating Barbara Astle and Alan Coleman in the final by a healthy 22-7. Meawhile, Tony O'Leary, Adam Brown and Debbie Bradshaw were similarly dominant in the open drawn pairs league, losing only the last of their nine matches.

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20/9/2021

CLUB COMP FINALS - PART 2

LIS MILBURN retains the title of Abington women's champion after a nail-biting fightback in the club singles final.

Gill Crossley was best placed to regain the crown she had won three successive times before last year, with a splurge of 11 shots in five ends putting her 14-7 up. Milburn though inched back into contention nine in five herself. There was time for furher drama with that patern of scoring repeated in microcosm and Crossley going back in front with a three to make it 19-18.

Milburn made sure of one final twist though, edging three tight-fought heads to slowly but surely crawl over the finishline first. It had been a contest worthy of the billing, leaving no doubt that these are Abington's two finest female players, capable of giving any bowler a tough game.

There was comparatively little drama in the men's finals held over the weekend. The handicap, vase and pairs all finished with one-sided scorelines. However, they weren't without note. Rob Archer won the former against Peter Milburn, barely in need of the four-shot headstart he began with as he cantered to a 21-8 win. As with last week's men's singles champion Dave Jones, it was Archer's first success in an Abington club comp, in his ninth year as a member.

Terry Brown outdid even this in the 'never-too-late' stakes. His equally dominant victory in the vase final was his first ever success in a singles tournament at our club after more than three decades of effort!

There was zero novelty in the identity of the pairs winners, with Tony O'Leary and John Freeman keeping hold of the honour for the third year in a row (and the sixth time in the last eight). That final was effectively over as a contest within the opening few ends, a five on the first setting the tone for a rout. Their opponents, Stuart Johnston and Dave Vernon, gave themselves a brief glimmer of hope after saving a four that would have left them 2-20 down after just nine ends, and pulling the difference back to 12 but it never came back into single figures. Hands were eventually shaken after 16.

It hadn't been quite so easy for the triples winners earlier in the week, but ultimately this was also reclaimed by the holders, Dave Fage, Alan Coleman and Jonathan Brown. They held a narrow lead over Barnes, Alan Dunkley and Phil Reeve from the second end right through to the last. The final score was 15-11.

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13/9/2021

CLUB COMP FINALS - PART 1

THE MEN'S Club Cup reached its climax this year in thrilling style, with two semis and a final that rated high for competitiveness and quality play.

The eventual final was between Peter Milburn and Dave Jones, but could so easily have been a head-to-head between the other half of the last four, Phil Reeve and Tom Manderson. Between them they provided three matches where the pattern of scoring zig-zagged furiously from start to finish and the level of play matched the occasion.

Eventually, it was Jones who prevailed as the new club champion, finishing the final as he had done the semi over young Manderson, with a sudden blitz of superb draw bowls which his opponent just could not remove, just as it looked like he might have to settle for second prize. Both Manderson and Milburn had seem poised for victory over Jones, victories which would have seen them take the honour of being the youngest ever finalist and their second Club Cup crown respectively. But Jones is a man who will not be easily denied.

Coming into this season, nobody was sure how much of it Dave would take part in. The form he has displayed while continuing a battle with serious illness has been nothing short of sensational and the status of club champion just reward for his perseverance throughout a difficult year. It's also his first Abington honour since joining from Bugbrooke in 2018.

***

AND (AT LAST) A NATIONAL FINAL - If a week is a long time in sport, 41 years is an ice age. Yet this is how long Northamptonshire have had to wait between appearances at the business end of the prestigious Middleton Cup tournament. Two Abington players were involved in their long-overdue semi-final, and the subsequent final, both held at Bowls England HQ on Saturday, 11th September.

Sadly, the wait to recapture the trophy extends into a 42nd season, as Kent managed 10 more shots in the final, but our little contingent returned with pride. At number two on a rink skipped by Kingsthorpe's Vernon Gearey, John Freeman was on the wrong side of the final scoreline both times, but only by one shot in each game. Meanwhile Tony O'Leary led for West End's David Walker who emerged as the star rink for Northants in the afternoon, taking the Shire's only rink win by nine.

***

The other men's comps to be decided were the 2-wood singles and the Veterans Cup, both taken by Tony O'Leary in dominant fashion. He barely dropped a shot to either Chris Beck or Bill Woodley respectively to add to his burgeoning collection of titles. He was however, unable to make it a treble in the Champion of Champions, reduced this year to a single game between O'Leary and John Freeman. It began as the inverse of O'Leary's successes, Freeman not conceding a shot until reaching 12. Despite O'Leary eventually scrabbling to double figures, Freeman's advantage remained until he hit the magical mark of 21.

The first two women's comps to be decided this year were the triples and the handicap, and it really wasn't the Milburn family's day, with Peter's wife Lis a runner-up in both. In the handicap contest, she and Debbie Bradshaw began on the same amount and proceeded to play out another back-and-forth affair. Bradshaw however held the lead throughout and from the position of 16-14 up gained in confidence rather than wilting, dropping only one further shot.

In the morning, the triples had ended with a smash-and-grab. Milburn and Bradshaw this time were able to combine their talents (alongside Judy Jones), and were in front throughout - until a disastrous final end. A four at the death claimed the golden prize for Christine Ball, Carole Voller and Diana Brown instead.

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6/9/2021

*A BIG THANK YOU to all members who took part in the recent fun days.

On the August Bank Holiday, Monday 30th, Abington BC threw its doors wide open to the public, inviting anybody who was curious to come try out this game we play. It was a long day, but well worth the effort. A good number of absolute beginners did show and found a club well-attended and able to answer all their queries.

Then, on Saturday September 4th, a special roll-up just between members as the club paid due tribute to the unique Mick Taylor. Two months have passed since the untimely loss of our former club president but he remains much-missed, and will be for a long time to come. Unusually for a Saturday, we were without a fixture, so the 4th was declared 'Tatty Hat Day'.

30 players turned up for a day of mix-and-match 2-wood triples, all sporting attire that could only be described as 'Tayloresque'. Some had known Mick for decades, some for only a year or two. All recognised him as a special part of our club's rich history. To cap it all off, a sensational £150 was raised for cancer research.

Between them these two days honoured our past and laid down foundations for the future. With plans for our centenary celebrations now being finalised, it's heartening to see that the club is in good hands at this historic juncture.

*ABINGTON BC is also honoured to have been chosen as the host venue for the Northampton Triples League Cup Final. Rarely can the fixture have produced a David/Goliath encounter quite like this year's before; the champions of the top flight versus the winners of the bottom division. West End A will naturally be on odds-on favourites to complete the Double, but fourth tier West Haddon deserve all possible plaudits for a truly sensational semi-final victory over the stars of Kingsthorpe A (Div 1 runners-up this season).

The match will be followed by the league's annual prizegiving ceremony, where our B-team's promotion will be just one of many achievements marked and rewarded. Kick-off will be around 10am on Sunday September 19th.

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2/9/2021

*ALAN DUNKLEY'S LONG RUN in the Men's Senior Singles was ended by his first opponent at the national finals in Leamington Spa.

Our man began the brighter, leading 9-4 after the first half-hour, but once Nottinghamshire's Amjad Rana had figured out the pace of Bowls England HQ's 'C' green, he gradually asserted control. From 9-4 up Dunkley barely scored again until he was potentially one end away from elimination.

Of course, Dunkley hasn't got so far - and claimed the honour of county singles runner-up lest we forget - without a touch of tenacity. Rana's final few shots were the hardest earnt. On two separate ends, the Abington man clung onto survival when facing game down with his final wood, giving him and his supporters renewed hope of a stirring fightback. All of which was sadly extinguished by a superb resting bowl from Rana for his 21st. As with most other Abington qualifiers in recent years, Dunkley's stay on the hallowed turf would be a brief one.

Rana delivered further proof of his class by knocking out former England international David Lockhart to reach the last eight. As for Dunkley, at least there's still the new Novice Singles tournament...

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24/8/2021

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE: FINAL WEEK

THE BEES ARE BACK! Abington B confirmed promotion up to Division 2 in style with maximum points from their last two games.


P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Brackley

14

12

0

2

747

457

58

Abington B

14

10

0

4

709

516

49.5

Daventry Tigers

14

9

0

5

689

603

46

Heyford

13

9

0

4

579

551

40.5

Cold Ashby

13

7

0

6

546

606

32

Carlsberg

14

4

0

10

580

645

24.5

Harpole A

14

4

0

10

578

669

23

Kislingbury A

14

0

0

14

422

803

2.5


The penultimate game was the clincher, psychologically if not mathematically. A home game against Carlsberg, lying a distant sixth, may have seemed a formality but is precisely the kind of fixture that has tripped the Bs up too many ties before. Plus the former brewery works team had the motivation of a fight against relegation.

That battle they would eventually win, but only by the skin of their teeth and not remotely aided by the Bs, who delivered their most convincing display of the entire campaign. After three succeeding nail-biters (with two games tied and another won by only a single shot), a 29-shot margin was a timely uplift and meant the Bs could travel to Kislingbury secure with the knowledge that they only had to repeat what every other team had done there this year, and take at least four points.

Never has this league seen a greater guarantee of a clean sweep than against Kisle's second string this season. From 42 individual rinks they have managed only two wins and one draw, losing by an average of more than nine shots per rink, per match. Abington B cruised to another 5-0, earning twice as many points in one night as their opponents have all year.

Team captain Jonathan Brown's rink came within a whisker of climaxing with a clean sheet, dropping only one shot and scoring 25. Having played all but one of the 14 matches, and winning in the vast majority, Brown finishes several points clear in the merit table, but it was his middle man Reg Jones who ends with best individual win percentage. Seven of his nine appearances came with a rink point attached.

By contrast, the A-team limped over the finish line with two 1-4 defeats, a points dividend that has become a mantra over this campaign. Faint hopes of pipping champions Express A to a top-half spot were ended with defeat there in the 13th game, followed a week later by an almost identical points and aggregate score at home to Desborough on the final night.


P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Northampton West End A

13

12

0

1

669

488

51.5

Kingsthorpe A

14

11

0

3

693

547

49.5

Desborough Town

14

10

0

4

662

570

46

Northampton Express A

14

9

0

5

643

585

40.5

Abington A

14

5

0

9

606

625

30.5

Earls Barton

14

3

0

11

582

667

23.5

Byfield

13

3

0

10

459

661

17.5

Whyte Melville A

14

2

0

12

523

694

16


One slight deviation in the latter match was the source of that one point, falling to Dave Vernon's rink for a change instead of John Freeman's. Freeman ultimately has to settle for sharing the win percentage honours with his usual running mates Tony O'Leary and Terry Brown, but does rank above them on shot difference. No other A-teamers end the season with a positive percentage.

As for the league itself, congratulations to West End A, who were confirmed as champions with a week to spare and in fact still haven't played their last fixture. Victory for Earls Barton at bottom side Whyte Melville means the Bs will be travelling to Byfield, as well as Wootton Grange and Bugbrooke among others next year. The As will be welcoming Kingsthorpe B and Roade back into the 1st Division fold for 2022.

Having said all that though, speculation regarding the league's structure, including possible new entrants from the northern half of the county, remains rife. Watch this space.
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