Northants Bowling Federation yet again stamped its presence on the English Bowling Federation championships with two dramatic victories as the sun set on the Skegness greens for another year.
Thirty-four players wore the distinctive orange county colours but it wasn't just their shirts that stood out – many performances were outstanding – particularly in the team events and by the close of play on Friday, Northants had claimed both the two-bowl men's triples and the mixed rinks.
Blackstone's Adam Warrington, Jonathon Earl and Martyn Dolby won the men's rinks and Paul Dalliday, Linda Toms and Barry Lawrence won the mixed rinks.
For Blackstone's Warrington, the victory was his third national outdoor title, having won the two-bowl singles in 2009 and 2012. Leading with great accuracy and composure he kept the pressure on their opponents from the start throughout the tournament while Earl and Dolby made some expert conversions and draw shots to keep their opponents at bay and their noses in front.
After comfortable wins over Derbyshire and Humberside, the trio came up again former multi-champion Ian Wones' experience Norfolk rink and immediately raced into a 6-0 lead. But the turning point came with a five-count on the ninth end to take a commanding 15-6 advantage.
Wones switched to lead, as the rules allow, but he was unable to shake the Stamford-based trio off their game and the players shook hands at the 19th end with Northants in an unassailable 23-9 lead.
For the Whittlesey club, victory was a sweet reminder that it can produce top quality bowlers despite recent defections and they thoroughly deserved their silverware albeit after an extra end.
In the final against Suffolk – following defeats of Cleveland and Lincolnshire – they trailed 6-11 but hauled them back to lead 13-11 with an end to play only for Suffolk to snatch the two shots they needed to force extra time.
Dalliday and Toms secured a winning position tight behind the jack and when Suffolk failed to remove them, six foot Dalliday leaped in the air to celebrate.
In the men's pairs semi-final Warrington and Dolby were outgunned by a Cleveland skip playing aggressive conversions, while 16-year-old Stephen harris lost at the same stage to the eventual winner Aaron Barsley from Nottinghamshire.
Shirley Suffling from Barnack also suffered disappointment losing 14-16 in the first round of the Ladies pairs with Chris Ford then by a similar margin alongside Paul Buckley in the veterans mixed pairs.
It proved not to be a happy return for Joyce Foster and Connie Cox after winning the ladies triples 17 years ago. They lost by two shots in the Veterans Pairs.
Belvedere's Linda Darani lost 20-21 to Julie Hutchinson of Humberside in Champion of Champion Singles final. Linda lead 18-15 at one stage then trailing 17-19, getting back to 20-20 Julie then getting a 'toucher' which Linda narrowly missed with her final bowl.
(Northants Scores only)
Two-bowl singles: S Fenlon (West Ward) bt S Botten (Norfolk) 21-6; lost to J Emmerson (Notts) 11-21.
Four-bowl singles: S Fenlon (West Ward) lost to A Barrie (Deryshire) 18-21.
Under 25 singles: S Harris (Empingham) bt J West (Lincs) 21-18; bt M Simpson-Kidd (Cleveland) 21-0; lost to A Brownley (Notts) 21-18.
Secretaries singles: M Beck (Whittlesey Manor) lost to N.Essex 21-13.
Veterans singles: J Clipston (Peterborough & District) bt N Day (Hunts) 21-19; lost to D Redfern (Deryshire).
Pairs: A Warrington/M Dolby (Blackstones) bt A Burch/P Utting (Suffolk); bt Walley/Bennett (Lincs) 18-7; lost to B Maddison/C Higgins (Cleveland) 13-17.
Veterans pairs: CBeeken/P Holmes (Crowland) beat V Mayes/H Dixon (Humberside 16-10; lost to Derbyshire.
Under 25 pairs:J Hall/C Dance (Mitchells) lost to A Barsley/Jemmerson (Notts) 17-23.
Two-bowl triples: A Warrington/J Earl/ M Dolby beat G Shepperson/A Clipston/As Clipston (Derbyshire) 17-10; bt C Hinslip/B Ryles/T Musson (Humberside 21-17. Final: bt P Pratt/C Blake/I Wones (Norfolk) 23-9.
Three-bowl triples: S Fenlon/J Ruddy/B Swann (West Ward) bt Lincs 15-14; lost to D Seaborne/T Seaborne/P Webb.
Champion of Champions singles: A Cooper lost to N Burrage (Norfolk) 7-21.
Mixed pairs: S Roden/V Newson (Parkway) lost to S Day/O Kennedy (Hunts) 9-22.
Mixed 2-bowl triples: P Dalliday/L Toms/B Lawrence (Whittlesey Manor) beat Cleveland 17-16; bt M Clarke/C Fawcett/M Thompson (Lincs) 23-16; bt D Lowe/L Munro/D Wombell (Notts) 19-16; Final: bt A Blowers/J Howe/M Rumball (Suffolk) 15-13 (after extra end).
Veterans Mixed pairs: S Suffling/P Buckley (Barnack) lost to C Laskey/J Laskey (Norfolk) 14-16.
Two-bowl singles: S Newson (Parkway) beat J Pitcher (Suffolk) 21-20.
Four-bowl singles: S Newson (Parkway) beat D Wright (N.Cambs) 21-6
Under 25: L Cooke (Langtoft) beat G Higgins (Northumberland) 21-9; lost to K Webb (Hunts) 17-12.
Champion of Champions singles: L Durani (Belvedere) bt M Harris (N Essex) 21-10; bt S Dorling (Norfolk) 21-9.
Veterans singles: P Plowman (Great Casterton) lost to L Blake (Norfolk) 11-21.
Secretaries singles: G Edwards (Ketton) bt J Ashworth (Cleveland) 21-14; lost to V Noy (N Essex) 11-21.
Pairs:S Suffling/ C Ford (Barnack) lost to H Hayes/D Pearl (Norfolk) 14-19;
Veterans Pairs: J Foster /C Cox lost to D Gray/ A Lammie (Northumberland) 18-20.
Two-bowl triples: MBussey/P Bussey/S Craig beat M Murray/A Jamieson/P Carlin (Durham) 27-11; lost to C Steward/S Day/ P Duffield (Hunts) 13-18;
Three-bowl triples: V Newson/J Duffy/J Masters (Parkway) beat M Worrall/ S Brunton/K Leader (Humberside) 21-11; lost to J Vinter/J Holmes/P Richardson (Lincs) 9-19.