Parkway pair Sarah Newson and Catherine Popple came close to a remarkable fifth national fours title at Leamington last week.
Teaming up with youngsters Chloe Brett and Merisha McKernan, the former England internationals guided them through to the semi-finals at the Bowls England national championships.
Having been drawn to play in the preliminary round, the local quartet had to overcome five strong challenges to reach the last four, where they were beaten 6-26 by a Kent team including three current internationals.
En route to the semi-finals they defeated rinks from Hampshire (21-19), Warwickshire (26-13), Wiltshire (16-15), Cumbria (21-16) and Oxfordshire (19-14).
The other Parkway quartet – Emma Thurston, Sophie Morton, Michelle Coleman and Pat Reynolds – were beaten 17-19 by Suffolk in the opening round.
In the women’s singles, Sawtry’s Karen Leader came through the opening round, 21-18 against Worcestershire’s Maureen Clifton, but then ran into England star Sophie Tolchard (Devon), the eventual winner, and lost 9-21.
The other Hunts representative, Sophie Purell (Holywell-cum-Needingworth), was beaten 8-21 in the opening round by Herefordshire’s Kate Williams.
Norma Squires (City of Peterborough) reached the second round of the senior singles, defeating Joan Welch (Herts) 21-17, before going down 15-21 to Irene Button (Wilts).
The West Ward rink of Jim Ruddy, Sean Fenlon, Brian Swann and Dick Noble lost 16-31 to Yorkshire in the opening round of the men’s senior fours.
West Ward snatched a dramatic one shot victory (45-44) over holders Whittlesey Manor in the Peterborough League’s Munday Shield final at Longthorpe.
With one end remaining on each of the two rinks, both scoreboards read 21-21. The West Ward rink of Darren Lord, Robin Wyld, Dave Hilton and Richard Day, who had led 18-11, registered three shots on their final end against Duncan Lee, Tony Mace, Graham Agger and Martin Welsford.
On the other rink, the Whittlesey Manor rink of Roger Stevens, Melvyn Beck, Mick Duell and Peter Brown, who had let slip a 19-9 lead, could only manage two shots against Steve Johnson, Phil Afford, Peter Jessop and Rod Maplethorpe, Brown narrowly missing out on a third with his final bowl that would have forced an extra end.
West Ward bt Whittlesey Manor 45-44 (West Ward rinks first):
Steve Johnson, Phil Afford, Peter Jessop, Rod Maplethorpe 21, Roger Stevens, Melvyn Beck, Mick Duell, Peter Brown 23.
Darren Lord, Robin Wyld, Dave Hilton, Richard Day 24, Duncan Lee, Tony Mace, Graham Agger, Martin Welsford 21.