Boxford bowlers are national champs

THREE players from Boxford Bowls Club triumphed in the English Bowling Federation’s annual championship to become national champions.

Lea Blackham, Malcolm Grimwood and Andy Barnes lifted the solid silver trophy in the two-bowl triples after seeing off stiff competition.

The trio, who all live in Boxford and were representing North Essex, qualified for the championships in Skegness by topping the North Essex leg of the competition earlier in the season.

In their three games, played on the Suncastle bowling greens, the team from Boxford beat Northumberland 29-7, Suffolk 17-14 and Durham 21-10.

It is the first time an all-male team from the club has won a national title in its 89-year history.

Grimwood, who is also secretary of the club, said: “A mixed team were champions in 2004 and the ladies won several times in the sixties, but no men have been champions until now.”

The three were cheered on to victory in the week-long tournament by their North Essex team-mates.

Grimwood said: “There were 20 to 30 players from North Essex and it was nice to see friendly faces on the side.”

They were presented with their trophy and a small cash prize by EBF national president Mick Warriner in front of an audience that included 36 county presidents and fellow Boxford member and Edwardstone resident Les Clark, who is currently deputy president of the EBF and is expected to become president next year.

Boxford holds its club finals on September 16 and its green at The Croft, off Broad Street, will close for the season a week later.

The new season will start in mid-April when the club will be happy to welcome new members.