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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.

On a related note however, a polite reminder to all club members and guests to respect our neighbours when parking on the street. It is important to not only leave their driveways clear, but also to allow sufficient room for them to see the traffic on what is a very busy road [Park Avenue South].

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Date

Event
Time



Wed 11th
Pilates
9:30-11:15am
2-3pm
6-7pm
Thu 12th
Age UK Art Club
9:45am-12:15pm
Fri 13th
Pilates
9:15am-12:15pm
ABC Christmas Draw
7pm start
Sat 14th
Reiki (with crystals)
10am-4pm
Sun 15th


Mon 16th
Pilates
9:30am-1:45pm
6-7pm
Otago
2-3pm
Tue 17th


Wed 18th
Pilates
9:15-11:30am
2-3pm
6-7pm
Thu 19th
Age UK Art Club
9:45am-12:15pm
Christmas carol singing
7pm start
Fri 20th
Pilates
9:15am-12:15pm
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13/9/2019

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE - WEEK 14 (PART 2)

THE LEAGUE CAMPAIGN sputtered to a halt with the already relegated B-team just about avoiding another pointless endeavour at Heyford - and thereby bringing their hosts down with them.

It was the very definition of a lose-lose encounter. The better the result, the more the overall mood would be soured, with nothing to play for on Abington's part. Heyford gave their all, requiring every rink to win, so it must have been especially galling to fall just a handful of shots short, against the side who finished eight points adrift even of their placing of second bottom.


P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Earls Barton
14
10
0
4
856
767
54
Byfield
14
8
0
6
841
822
47
Wootton Grange A
14
7
0
7
836
774
44
Bugbrooke
14
7
0
7
796
810
41.5
Daventry Town A
14
7
0
7
789
857
40
Roade
14
7
0
7
827
864
39.5
Heyford
14
6
0
8
783
857
39
Abington B
14
4
0
10
818
835
31

A swing of five shots on Reg Jones' rink was all that kept Heyford from a miraculous escape, although the Abington trio held a lead from the fourth end onwards. The crucial point also allowed Trevor Aston to leapfrog captain Rob Archer in the merit table rankings. Aston is one of few B-teamers to emerge from 2019 with a positive win/loss ratio, turning out for 12 games and being on the right side of eight of them.

Where the B-team goes from here is far from certain, but with trips to Brackley, Carlsberg and Heyford again to come next year, they will need to regain their wits if they want to make an immediate return to the second tier.

***

The A-team also ended on a disappointing note, albeit with a renewed keenness for the following season, losing only narrowly to the new champions Express A in the league's knockout cup semi-final. A longer report of this can be found on the men's page.

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7/9/2019

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE - WEEK 14 (PART 1)

THE WORST FEARS are now a reality. Abington B have been relegated to Division 3 of the Monday triples league, even with their last game still to be played.

Owing to a clash with the club's tour of Exmouth, the Bs' trip to Heyford was put back a week from the original date of September 2nd. However, other results from that evening's final round of fixtures have already confirmed their descent.


P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Earls Barton
14
10
0
4
856
767
54
Byfield
14
8
0
6
841
822
47
Wootton Grange A
14
7
0
7
836
774
44
Bugbrooke
14
7
0
7
796
810
41.5
Daventry Town A
14
7
0
7
789
857
40
Roade
14
7
0
7
827
864
39.5
Heyford
13
5
0
8
728
809
34
Abington B
13
4
0
9
770
780
30

Abington B were clinging on by barely a thread before those fixtures, requiring either Daventry or Roade to fail to pick up any points at all to keep them barely in the running. And in the event, both of those sides produced the goods, each winning handsomely against a team bidding to join Earls Barton in Division 1 (the ultimate victor of that battle being Byfield over Wootton Grange).

It was the starkest severing of the lifeline possible. All the B-team can achieve now is to take it out on Heyford, who also find themselves requiring a minor miracle to stay up. Just one point for Abington on Monday the 9th will bring their opponents down with them.

Having said that, Heyford might still fancy their chances against a team whose main problem has been gathering points. Even with one game not yet played, Abington B are likely to end up with a better shot difference than at least three of the teams above them. In fact, they may even end up with a positive SD if they lay claim to a long-awaited fifth victory.

The trouble has been too many narrow rink losses piling up.  This perhaps suggests that the problem is not one of ability, but confidence in pressure situations, leading to a lack of crucial head-changing woods when required - or at least a deficit of them compared to the opposition. The overall quality of the squad will make Abington B a favourite to come straight back up next year, but at any level of bowls, it's stepping up when it counts that gets the results.

***



P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Northampton Express A
14
13
1
0
1043
675
69.5
Kingsthorpe A
14
11
0
3
954
735
58.5
Northampton West End A
13
9
0
4
818
693
51.5
Abington A
14
7
0
7
918
795
45.5
Desborough Town
14
7
0
7
813
851
41.5
Whyte Melville A
13
3
1
9
695
832
29
St. Crispin’s A
14
3
0
11
683
1001
20
Kingsthorpe B
14
1
0
13
677
1009
13.5

The A-team quietly bowed out of league action this week, with a narrow loss at home to Desborough. Two points were gathered from a match where the shot balance barely ever moved away from the blank zero it had begun on. Captain Jonathan Brown ended his campaign on a personal high, topping the merit table with the home team's highest winning rink, albeit by only five shots.

His namesake Terry Brown perhaps slightly upstaged him with a 1-shot victory over one of Desborough's county team stars, Pete Ward. However, Brown and Brown's rinks combined were cancelled out by Phil Reeve's, who lost by six despite taking as many ends as their opposition. That left Adam Hawkings' rink to be the overall deciding factor. Sadly, a bad run in the early second half eventually saw them lose by three.

It was a disappointing way to finish a mainly solid and improved campaign, spoiling the hitherto perfect record against the lower half of the table, and leaving the A-squad a cavernous 24 points adrift of Express A at the summit. But perhaps understandable with nothing to play for, and minds focused mainly on the semi-final of the league cup on Sunday 8th September. Only the small matter of seeing off those aforementioned (unbeaten) champions and a place in the final for the first time in three years will be ours.

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10/8/2019

MONDAY TRIPLES LEAGUE - WEEKS 12 & 13

A DISASTROUS PAIR of results has slung Abington B down to the nether regions of Division 2 in the men's Monday evening triples league, with only the slimmest of hopes that relegation can be avoided in their last game.

In fact, the situation is so bad that when they next take to the field, they may already be down. To accommodate this weekend's club tour to Exmouth, the final match, at Heyford, has been pushed back a week to September 9th. With everyone else playing on the 2nd as scheduled, even just a point for Daventry A means they can't be caught, and just one for Roade takes it into a shot difference showdown - and that's IF the B-team have it within them to take a maximum from Heyford, who beat Byfield in their game in hand to also surpass our men this week.


P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Earls Barton
13
10
0
3
816
692
52.5
Byfield
13
8
0
5
789
766
45.5
Wootton Grange A
13
7
0
6
796
712
42
Bugbrooke
13
6
0
7
734
770
37.5
Daventry Town A
13
6
0
7
714
817
35.5
Roade
13
6
0
7
771
812
35
Heyford
13
5
0
8
728
809
34
Abington B
13
4
0
9
770
780
30

There's no other way to describe the mood around the side as bleak. But how did we get here? In the first half of the season, the Bs were on the fringes of the promotion places. Well, partly it's because the table has corrected itself with the likes of Byfield, Wootton Grange A and Heyford winning previously postponed fixtures to flip the early running order around. But mainly, it's because of results like the last couple.

From fixtures at Bugbrooke away and Wootton at home, Abington B claimed only one point out of a possible 12. And where earlier in the season, they were keeping their losses narrow, and still collecting at least a couple of points, now they are hemorrhaging shots at a fast rate.

Bluntly, the Wootton game in particular was a shocking display. Not a single point gained from a home fixture is especially fatal in the 2nd Division with its practically non-existent margin for error. But worse than that, there was barely even a sniff of a point, as Abington were roundly walloped across the board, seemingly already resigned to relegation even with so much to play for.

Now they require a minor miracle, with the only tiny hope provided by the fact that the difference between their SF and SA columns is still fewer than that of either Daventry or Roade. The Bs will need to give and take everything to salvage the greatest of escapes - if they even get the chance.

***



P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Northampton Express A
14
13
1
0
1043
675
69.5
Kingsthorpe A
14
11
0
3
954
735
58.5
Northampton West End A
12
8
0
4
755
650
46.5
Abington A
13
7
0
6
870
744
43.5
Desborough Town
13
6
0
7
762
803
37.5
Whyte Melville A
12
3
1
8
640
779
27.5
St. Crispin’s A
13
2
0
11
630
956
15.5
Kingsthorpe B
13
1
0
12
634
946
13.5

Thankfully, no such worries for the A-team in Division 1. In fact, it's been something of a dull year for them, the quintessential mid-table season. Beating West End A to third place is still technically possible, but unlikely. West End's pedigree has already taken them above Abington A having played a game less.

The main story from the As' last two league games was avoiding handing the title to Express, who brought both of their last two games forward to the 12th week due to national championship and tour commitments. One point for our men meant it went down to the last, but did allow the Duston-based club to seal it in an immensely more satisfactory manner, comfortably defeating perennial champions Kingsthorpe A on their own turf.

Congratulations to Express for breaking Kingsthorpe's long stranglehold on the title, something they have been threatening to do for a few years now. They haven't just squeaked home either, they've promptly shattered the glass ceiling into a thousand shards. One has to ask, is this a full-scale handover of power in bowls in Northamptonshire?

Well, whatever the long-term holds, it's down to Abington A to prevent total domination for Express A this year, with confirmation also this week that the champions will be our semi-final opponents in the league's cup competition. That game is now penciled in for Sunday 8th September. Whoever wins will play the upwardly mobile Earls Barton, now confirmed champions of Division 2, in the final.

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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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