Hunts men were agonisingly close to completing a double over Cambridgeshire at the weekend and qualifying for the regional finals in both the senior and junior Bowls England national double rink competitions.
The Under 25s, winners of the White Rose Trophy in 2011 and 2013, booked their place in the regional finals being played at Whittlesey Manor on June 14 with a 46-39 victory at Parkway, but the senior team were beaten 40-39 after an extra end in the Balcomb Trophy at the same city venue.
Hunts 39, Cambs 40 (after extra end) – (Hunts rinks only):
Brian Martin, Ed Elmore, Lewis Baker, Nicky Brett won 21-20.
Simon Leader, Rob Elmore, Mike Robertson, Tristan Morton lost 18-19.
WHITE ROSE TROPHY
Hunts 46, Cambs 39 (Hunts rinks only):
Tom Hall, Kierren Murray, Joe Randall, Ed Elmore lost 20-22.
Harry Ward, Toby Furzeland, James Harford, Lewis Baker won 26-17.
Hunts suffered a second defeat in three Eastern Counties League outings when beaten 120-113 by Cambridgeshire at Somersham, home club of county president Alan Parish.
Hunts men and women open their inter-county championship campaigns on Saturday.
The men are in Middleton Cup action against Cambridgeshire at Parkway, while the women head to Wellingborough to face Northants in the Johns Trophy.
With most of the leading contenders in this region in the other group, the men are perhaps favourites to qualify for the quarter-finals at the expense of Cambs, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, especially with two of the three fixtures on home soil.
However, Bob Morton’s team cannot take anything for granted, especially as Cambridgeshire knocked them out of the Balcomb Trophy double rink competition at the same venue last Saturday.
The women’s team again includes Nicky Brett’s wife Sam and their two teenage daughters, Lauren and Chloe.
Steve Farrant (Huntingdon), Simon Irwin (West Ward), Lyndsay Swannell, Nicky Brett (both Warboys).
Eric Baker (Papworth), Barry Kitto (Brampton), Simon Law (Parkway), Ean Morton (Warboys).
Tom Hall (Eaton Socon), Rob Elmore, Simon Leader, Lewis Baker (all Warboys).
Paul Dalliday (Whittlesey Manor), Toby Furzeland (Sawtry), Robbie Coleman (Brampton), Tristan Morton (Warboys).
Brian Martin, Joe Randall, James Harford, Mike Robertson (all Parkway).
Harry Ward (Hemingford), Kierren Murray (Brampton), Ian McWhinney, Ed Elmore (both Warboys).
Lauren Brett (Warboys), Tiffany Morgan (Huntingdon), Sandra Minnett (Sawtry), Dina Barlow (St Ives).
Sabrina Parnell (Parkway), Margaret Linnell (West Ward), Angela Kenny (Parkway), Andrea Rose (Ramsey).
Heather McKillop (Houghton & Wyton), Chloe Brett (Warboys), Karen Leader (Sawtry), Judy Ford (Yaxley).
Sue Cross (St Ives), Carole Hickey (Houghton & Wyton), Doris Flowers (Yaxley), Sheila Craig (Conservative).
Jan Elliott (Sawtry), Ann Garnham (Warboys), Margaret Elstub (Houghton & Wyton), Joan Padley (Yaxley).
Juliet May (Buckden), Sam Brett (Warboys), Jenny Dymond (St Ives), Val Corn (Buckden).
Northants men begin their English Bowling Federation inter-county championship campaign away to North Essex on Saturday.
The Adams Trophy team, showing several changes from the squad which challenged unbeaten for a place in the finals last year until they suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of eventual winners Suffolk, travel to Radwinter, while the Newton Trophy team, under the new captaincy of Brian Bassam, play at Haverhill.
Joining the Adams squad are Nick Wilkie and Martin Stokes, who link with fellow Blackstones player Paul Buckley, while Brian Swann (West Ward) returns at number two in the Whittlesey Manor rink with Roger Stevens and Martin Welsford.
Team captain Cliff Watson said: “After careful thought I believe we now have the right players in the right places to seriously challenge the Adams group.”
Among the newcomers to the Newton squad are John Holroyd (Stamford Town) and Darren Lord (Whittlesey Manor).
Sean Fenlon (West Ward), Bob Warters (Ketton), Roger Martin (City of Peterborough).
Nick Wilkie, Martin Stokes, Paul Buckley (all Blackstones).
Stephen Harris, Jonathan Earl, Martyn Dolby (all Blackstones).
Graham Agger (Yaxley), Steve Roden, Peter Brown (both Whittlesey Manor).
Roger Stevens (Whittlesey Manor), Brian Swann (West Ward), Martin Welsford (Whittlesey Manor).
Adam Warrington (Blackstones), Fred Richardson, Lee Welsford (both Whittlesey Manor).
Res: Paul Bailey (Blackstones).
Jeff Clipston, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam (all Peterborough & District).
Les Sharp (Yaxley), Jim Ruddy (West Ward), Malcolm Squires (City of Peterborough).
Jack Corney (Peterborough & District), John Hadley (Yaxley), Mick Linnell (West Ward).
Andrew Grief, Peter Holmes (both Crowland), Fred Addy (Parkway).
Howard Shipp (Parkway), Martin Bailey (Blackstones), Rod Maplethorpe (West Ward).
John Holroyd (Stamford Town), Darren Lord (Whittlesey Manor), Roger Strong (City of Peterborough).