There were defeats for both the Hunts men’s and women’s county teams in the opening round of their respective Bowls England inter-county championships.
The men were beaten 112-137 away to Cambridgeshire who reached the semi-finals last year, while the women, despite winning on four of the six rinks, lost 104-118 to Northants at Parkway.
The men were beaten on four of the six rinks, the Hunts wins coming from Lewis Baker (23-13) and Mike Robertson (23-20).
It now means that Hunts have it all to do to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010. Even if they defeat Bedfordshire and Herts in their remaining two matches, they now have to rely on Cambs slipping up along the road.
It was an encouraging performance from the women’s team, even though they had to settle for eight points.
There were rink wins for Val Corn (22-18), Dina Barlow (18-17) Sheila Craig (22-14) and Judy Ford (18-15), but they could not cover the deficits of Julie Masters (12-28) and Joan Padley (12-26), the latter facing young England international Rebecca Wigfield.
Hunts 112 (4), Cambs 137 (18) – (Hunts rinks only):
Paul Dalliday, Joe Randall, Robbie Coleman, Tristan Morton lost 17-37.
Eric Baker, Trevor Collins, Simon Law, Ean Morton lost 15-18.
Richard Wilson, Lindsay Swannell, James Price, Lewis Baker won 23-13.
Simon Leader, Owen Kennedy, Rob Elmore, Ryan O’Flanagan lost 14-26.
Brian Martin, Scott Wilson, James Harford, Mike Robertson won 23-20.
Steve Farrant, Harry Ward, Ed Elmore, Nicky Brett lost 20-23.
Hunts 104 (8), Northants 118 (14) - (Hunts skips only):
Val Corn won 22-18; Dina Barlow won 18-17; Sheila Craig won 22-14; Julie Masters lost 12-28; Judy Ford won 18-15; Joan Padley lost 12-26.
BOWLS ENGLAND TWO FOURS
ParkwayA defeated arch rivals Warboys 39-29 to reach the next stage of the Bowls England national club two fours championship, but the B team lost 39-44 to West Ward, where Brian Swann defeated the rink of Joe Randall 19-18, and Mick Duell beat Nigel Eagle 25-21.
In the A team fixture, the rink of Stuart Reynolds, Trevor Collins, Simon Law and Stuart Popple pipped Nicky Brett’s quartet of Lindsay Swannell, Rob Elmore and Ian McWhinney 18-17, while Brian Martin, James Harford, Mike Robertson and Tristan Morton were 21-12 winners over Simon Leader, Harry Ward, Lewis Baker and Ed Elmore 21-12.
Joe Randall (Parkway) and Ed Elmore (Warboys) will be representing Hunts in the national under 25 singles finals at Leamington in August, while Warboys duo Chloe Brett and Amy Avery will be in the ladies equivalent.
They booked their places following Sunday’s qualifiers at Parkway.