Northants’ hopes of reaching the English Bowling Federation’s Derbyshire Trophy indoor inter-county final have been dashed.
Needing 13 of the 14 points from the visit of Norfolk to Stamford on Sunday to guarantee their place in the final, they managed only four as the youthful visiting team took the match honours 87-80.
So it will be Hunts heading to Newark for the April decider.
Norfolk had the chance to qualify themselves if they had taken maximum points, but the rinks skipped by Roger Martin and Tristan Morton put paid to that!
Northants held a tidy advantage in the early stages as Norfolk got used to the pace of the Stamford green, but by 20 ends, with only five to play, it was clear Northants, trailing by 23-11 alone on Simon Law’s rink, were not going to be able to salvage the points or shots they needed.
As expected there were fireworks in the match between Morton and Sam King, son of former world champion Mervyn.
Both sent shudders through the foundations with heavy artillery to kill heads against them, but in the end it was the accuracy of the respective drawing and converting of Howard Shipp and Joe Randall which carried the day in a 25-20 win for Morton.
Elsewhere Bob Warters, Neil Wright and Roger Martin always had the edge on their rink after leading 9-0 after six ends and eventually romped home 26-17.
Sandwiched between them Adam Warrington and Martyn Dolby, and with one eye on events going against them, Northants captain James Harford, had to concede an 18-17 defeat.
Northants 80 (4), Norfolk 87 (10): (Northants rinks only):
Bob Warters, Neil Wright, Roger Martin won 26-17.
Howard Shipp, Joe Randall, Tristan Morton won 25-20.
Paul Dalliday, Phil Afford, Simon Law lost 12-32.
Adam Warrington, James Harford, Martyn Dolby lost 17-18.
n The Peterborough men’s senior team remain nine points clear at the top of the Cambs League following a 100-51 win away to St Neots B and a maximum haul of 10 points.
Defending champions Cambridge Chesterton A, who have a match in hand, also enjoyed a 10-0 victory and the title could well be decided next week when the top two clash at Cambridge.
Peterborough 100 (10), St Neots B 51 (0):
Les Sharp, John Barker, Terry English, Mick Linnell won 34-13.
Terry Corney, Don Paul, Ean Eagle, Ray Keating won 24-9.
Joe Martin, Steve Johnson, Phil Afford, Mick Duell won 19-11.
Mick Fuller, Pete Harvey, Mick Greaves, Rod Maplethorpe won 23-18.