In a spectacular finish to the season Northants Bowling Federation claimed yet another first at the English championships at Skegness – clinching the coveted Victor Ludorum trophy as the top-scoring county.
Following the points they collected for winning the Adams Trophy, they picked up national titles in the Veterans Singles and Senior Pairs to add to those as finalists in the two and three-bowl triples and the pairs.
It all added up to nine points, one better than Cleveland, who won three titles plus the Durham Centenary Trophy.
Northants women bowlers also reached two finals but sadly lost them both in the 4-bowl singles and two-bowl pairs.
Commented Bob Warters, the county president, who also landed the Veteran singles crown:" It was a fairytale finish to the season and our best performance since the Victor Ludorum was introduced in 1979.
"I would like to thank everyone who supported the county both on and off the green during an amazing week. "
With a stiff seaside breeze greeting morning sunshine, it was a breakfast-time start for both the county's Saturday winners, with Warters quickly taking an 11-shot advantage against Steve Botten from North Essex when favouring longer jacks.
He raced into a 17-6 lead but then faltered temporarily as Botten closed the gap in a series of ragged ends. It all ended in dramatic style when Warters regained the initiative at 20-12. He looked likely to face another end when either a gust wind or divine intervention toppled his precariously tilted bowl in for shot.
He was the third Northants bowler to take the title, Alan Aldcroft winning in 1994 and Langtoft's Peter White, in 2010.
Meanwhile on an adjoining rink, Roger Stevens and Tony Mace (Whittlesey Manor) rarely looked in trouble against North Essex, eventually running out 17-10 winners with plenty of vocal support from the Northants gallery on the terrace that overlooks the rink.
Sadly there was no joy for Northants' two finalists in the women's events though they deserve great credit for making it to the final stages.
Langtoft's Sue Moir lost 21-13 to Humberside's Janice Ellis, while mother and daughter from Parkway, Valerie and Sarah Newson, failed to find the form of previous rounds against Dorothy Gray and the evergreen Annie Lennie (Northumberland) and conceded when 5-20 adrift.
The county's annual luncheon on September 27 promises to be an event not missed as members get the chance to celebrate an outstanding season.
Picture below from the top: Bob Warters with the Veterans Singles Trophy, Tony Mace (left) and Roger Stevens, Veterans pairs winners; Northants and their supporters with the Victor Ludorum Trophy (left); Sarah and Val Newson, pairs finalists; Sue Moir and Janice Ellis, four-bowl singles finalists.