Desborough Town celebrate 50th anniversary with Bowls England

9th September, 2019

Bowls England President, Hazel Marke, honoured the Northamptonshire club of Desborough Town BC, by bringing a team of Bowls England representatives to play the club members in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Club.

Hazel’s team included the Senior Vice President of Bowls England, Paul Robson, Terry Turner, Lincolnshire President, David Williams, Wiltshire President, Gill Barkas, Worcestershire President and Three Counties President Sid Barkas, and players from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, and Northamptonshire’s Richard Somerton, who captained the Bowls England team.

A most friendly game was enjoyed by all, and although Desborough had four winning rinks, it was Bowls England that triumphed on the day by 12 shots. The highest scoring of Desborough’s winning rinks was that skipped by John Haines, he posting a win by 11 shots, and the highest for Bowls England was that skipped by Oxfordshire’s Michael Andrew, which won by 22 shots.

The final score was Desborough Town BC 111 shots – Bowls England 123 shots. Rink details as follows, Desborough names first:

Rink 1. Margaret Watts, Bob Mitchell, Vic Cosgrove & Carl Haines 20 shots – David Williams, Linda Bennett, Paul Robson & Jan Brooks 18 shots

This match was pretty evenly contested throughout, as the final score indicates, and the first 6 ends saw just single shots scored, and after 8 ends of play honours were even at 5 each, but BE took a 9-5 lead over the next 4 ends, until Carl and his team picked up 5 shots on the next 2 ends for a 1 shot lead after 13 ends of play. After dropping a single the County club scored 7 shots for a 17-10 lead with 5 ends to play, but BE picked up a single on the first of those ends, and then a massive 6 to tie up the match with 3 ends left, and Desborough managed to score 3 shots to 1 conceded for the small win.

Rink 2. Richard Watts, Eddie Short, Stuart Panter & Rebecca Wigfield 22 shots – Allan Hunt, Barbara Clutterbuck, Don Whyatt & Hazel Marke 19 shots

This was another very close affair for the first third, with Desborough firstly taking a 6-2 lead after 5 ends, then BE taking the led at v7-6 after 8 ends, and increasing that lead to 16-6 after 12 ends, having kept Rebecca and her team on 6 for 7 ends. Rebecca is, however, a feisty player and she and her team ‘dug in deep’ to collect 11 shots to just 1 conceded to tie things up at 17 each with 3 ends to play, and in winning those last ends by 5-3 shots she managed to give Desborough a modest win.

Rink 3. Ron Chambers, Rachel Jarvis, Rob Duff & Bob Sullivan 8 shots – Stewart Allison, Bob Markham, Pauline Bright & Michael Andrew 30 shots

This was a match which was pretty evenly fought over the first 12 ends, for after being behind at 2-9 after 7 ends, Bob and his club members scored well to close to within 2 shots at 8-10 down, but then the wheel really came off for them! Bob and his men were stuck on that 8 for the remaining 9 ends, as Michael & his BE players scored very freely in adding 20 shots to their total for a very good win.

Rink 4. Karen Collins, Jeannie Flippance, Barry Hogston & John Haines 25 shots – Gill Barkas, Graham Marriner, Brian Hearn & Richard Somerton 14 shots

The first few ends of this match were pretty even and very low scoring with single shots only for 5 ends, and after 7 ends the score was 4 shots each, at which point John and his club players started to score much better than BE and when picking up a big count of 5 on the 14th end they were 17-7 shots ahead. BE did reduce their deficit to 7 shot at 14-21 down with 2 ends to play, but in collecting 4 shots on those ends John and his club players earned a good victory.

Rink 5. Tony Gilbert, Dawn Owen, John Chester & Trevor Anderson 16 shots – Ray Keen, Deepak Tanna, Roy Rogers & Marcia Dunstone 27 shots

Bowls England started a little better in this match but after 8 ends they were just 1 shot ahead at 6-5, although the next 3 ends were good for them as they increased their advantage to 11-5, and with 4 ends left to play had gone further ahead at 20-7. The 18th end was very good for Trevor and his club players for they collected a big count of 5, and after dropping a double on the 19th end, they collected another good pick up of 4 shots to get within 6 of their opponents, but the last end was not so good for they dropped a big 5 of their own for a good BE victory.

Rink 6. Celia Booker, Ann Woolston, Phil Bates & Trevor Wright 20 shots – Sandra Hall, Terry Turner, Gillian Blacklock & Sid Barkas 15 shots

Another good competitive match in which after 9 ends there was just 1 shot in it at 6-5 for the Club, but the next 5 ends were all Desborough as Trevor and his players added 9 shots for a 15-5 lead. Bowls England reduced their deficit with a good 4 and a single, and after dropping a single, they got very close to Trevor and his players in picking up 5 shots on the following ends to be just 1 behind at 15-16 with 2 ends left to play. Those ends went to Desborough for a decent win.

Bowls England team
Desborough Town team

[Thanks to John Church MBE, Northamptonshire Bowls Press Officer, for providing this report]

Bowls England Celebration Matches are a great way for Affiliated Clubs to celebrate an anniversary or a special event. Celebration Matches are usually held when a Club or County reaches its 50th anniversary and then rising in multiples of 25 years.

The respective Bowls England President will compile their programme a year in advance and make a final decision regarding the schedule. They will usually bring a team of six rinks.

The Bowls England representative team will be made up of players from all over the country (often involving hundreds of miles of travel) in order to celebrate your special occasion.
The closing date for applications to host a match in 2021 is Friday 21st February 2020.

If anyone would like any further information about these matches visit or contact Dawn Chapman on 01926 334609 or email

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