Mother and daughter Pat Reynolds and Emma Thurston reached the semi-finals of the Bowls England national pairs at Leamington to produce Hunts’ best performance to date in the month-long championships.
After victories over Notts (28-14), Worcs (23-20), Northants (23-15) and Norfolk (20-17), they were beaten 19-23 by the eventual winners from Cambridgeshire, England star Ellen Falkner and her mother, Sue Alexander, who won the title for the third time.
The Parkway pair were very much in the hunt at 12-13 down, but failed to score over the next six ends and so were left with too much ground to make up over the closing ends.
An injury to Sarah Newson forced partner Catherine Popple to withdraw from the pairs.
In the two-bowl singles, both Catherine Popple (Parkway) and Karen Leader (Sawtry) exited at the first round stage. Leader lost 9-14 to Essex’s Carole Riley while Popple was pipped 13-15 by young England star Sophie Tolchard.
The Whittlesey Manor pair of Steve Lander and Graham Agger suffered the agony of an extra end 23-24 defeat in the opening round of the men’s senior pairs against Gloucestershire’s Vince Wilks and Dougie Lewis.
Both the county’s hopes in the men’s junior singles were beaten in the first round, Joe Randall (Parkway) losing 13-21 to Gloucestershire’s Nathan Kitchen, while Jack Corney (Whittlesey Manor) went down 16-21 to Kent’s Peter Foster, who went on to reach the quarter-finals.
Hopes that Northants Bowling Federation would celebrate the 50th anniversary of winning the coveted Newton Trophy in 1967 with a repeat win were dashed in the closing minutes of their clash with Humberside at Skegness on Sunday.
With just a handful of ends to go in the 31-end final, the scores were level, but Northants eventually went down 161-170 despite winning two of the six rinks and drawing two others.
In the early stages, Northants found the tricky green more to their liking to race into 47-14 and 71-40 leads after five and ten ends respectively before their opponents from East Yorkshire started their comeback, reducing the arrears to just 12 shots after twenty ends and to five with six ends to play.
Peter Cox, Michael Humphreys and Roger Martin put the first points on the board with a 36-30 win before Jeff Clipston, captain Cliff Watson and Paul Buckley forced a 25-25 draw. The defeat of Jim Ruddy, Mick Greaves and Brian Bassam by 20-35 proved a disappointment as Humberside began their fightback.
With the scores level overall, however, Darren Middleton, Bob Warters and Peter Jessop had a chance to clinch vital shots on the final end, but their opponents proved too good to claim five shots and a 35-32 win after trailing 0-11 and 23-31 at crucial times.
Fred Addy, Tony Kemp and Barry Lawrence pegged back the deficit with a 26-23 win, but Les Sharp, Malcolm Squires and Mick Duell had to settle for a 22-22 draw – not enough to close the gap after Northants’ unbeaten southern qualifying campaign.
Northants 161, Humberside 170 (Northants rinks only):
Fred Addy, Tony Kemp, Barry Lawrence won 26-23; Peter Cox, Michael Humphreys, Roger Martin won 36-30; Jeff Clipston, Cliff Watson, Paul Buckley drew 25-25; Les Sharp, Malcolm Squires, Mick Duell drew 22-22; Jim Ruddy, Mick Greaves, Brian Bassam lost 20-35; Darren Middleton, Bob Warters, Peter Jessop lost 32-35.
Warboys won the Durham Centenary Trophy club championship at Skegness on Saturday with a 102-73 win over Durham’s Simonside.
KO CUP FINALS
The last two Peterborough League KO Cup finals of the season played at Yaxley went the way of Whittlesey Manor A and West Ward Tigers.
Whittlesey Manor A wrested the Munday Shield from the grasp of defending champions Yaxley Kites with a 42-33 victory, Graham Agger actually being on the winning side for the past two years having moved to Whittlesey Manor from Yaxley this season.
West Ward Tigers proved too strong for Conservative in the Mick Lewin Trophy decider, winning decisively on all three rinks in a 76-26 victory
MUNDAY SHIELD FINAL
Whittlesey Manor A bt Yaxley Kites 42-33 (Manor rinks first):
Steve Lander, Roger Stevens, Steve Roden, Martin Welsford 26, Norman Hill, Gill & Eugene King, John Thurston 14.
Jack Corney, Geoff Staggs, Graham Agger, Peter Brown 16, Julie Cooper, Peter Marchant, Robert Heath, Tony Belson 19.
MICK LEWIN TROPHY
West Ward Tigers bt Conservative 76-26 (Tigers rinks first):
Jenny Hilton, Steve Johnson, Brian Swann 26, Patrick Brown, John Wolverson, Ann Reynolds 7.
Alan Sewell, Phil Afford, Rod Maplethorpe 25, Jackie Brown, Liz Hext, Linda Kemp 11.
Mick Hatch, Jim Bradley, Dave Hilton 25, Stuart Bradley, Peggy Garn, Tony Kemp 8.