Not since 1959 has the Northants Bowling Federation reached the final of the prestigious inter-county Adams Trophy.
It was the year Buddy Holly cut his final record before his untimely death in a plane crash, Alaska joined Hawaii as the last U.S. states, the Cod War with Iceland was at its height and the iconic Morris Mini Minor was launched.
That year, too, Northants were beaten by Durham but 56 years on they are in with a chance of putting all those years of hurt behind them after a convincing 36-shot defeat of the 2014 holders Suffolk at Whittlesey Manor to lead the southern group with two matches to play.
Next week they will play old rivals Lincolnshire at Boston, where a fifth successive win in the current campaign will leave them needing to beat Hunts at home to secure a place in the final at Skegness in August.
Against Suffolk, Northants were able to draft in England international Tris Morton (Peterborough Parkway) to partner Adam Warrington and Lee Welsford – and he certainly didn't disappoint. While his team-mates set up the heads with accurate drawing, Morton was able to convert opportunities with expertise, as his rink ran out 30-14 winners.
But even that couldn't eclipse Lee's Dad Martin, whom, with Roger Stevens claimed the top,rink prize for the third successive week (34-17) this time joined by Whittlesey Manor team-mate Fred Richardson.
Leading by only 11 shots at the halfway mark of the 31-end two bowl triples format over six rinks, Northants finally shrugged off the rain and stepped up the pace win at a canter.168-132, claiming 18 of the 22 points available.
Also successful were home-based Steve Roden and Pete Brown combining with Yaxley's Graham Agger and completing the quartet of winning rinks were Sean Fenlon (West Ward), Bob Warters (Ketton) and Roger Martin (City of Peterborough).
Result (Northants names only):
Adams Trophy: Northants 168 (18pts), Suffolk 132 (4). S Fenlon (West Ward), B Warters (Ketton), R Martin (City of Peterborough) won 30-21; R Stevens, F Richardson, M Welsford (all Whittlesey Manor) won 34-17; A Warrington (Blackstones), L Welsford (Whittlesey Manor), T Morton (Parkway) won 30-14; S Harris, J Earl, M Dolby (all Blackstones) lost 20-30; P Dalliday, P Buckley (all Blackstones) lost 24-28; G Agger (Yaxley), S Roden, P Brown ( both Whittlesey Manor) won 30-22.
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A surprise defeat of Norfolk in the Newton Trophy has put Northants right back in the mix to reach the Newton Trophy final. They beat Suffolk comprehensively at Parkway in Peterborough, claiming 18 valuable points to add to their campaign.
Leading the 190-153 rout were Whittlesey Manor's Darren Lord, John Holroyd (Stamford Town) and veteran Roger Strong (City of Peterborough) who waltzed to a 47-11 end rink win.
There were also wins for rinks skipped by Peter Jessop, Fred Addy and Brian Bassam as Northants chase the points after having 18 deducted when North Essex withdrew.
Newton Trophy: Northants 190 (18) Suffolk 153 (4). D Lord (Whittlesey Manor), J Holroyd (Stamford Town), R Strong (City of Peterborough) won 47-11; A Grief, P Holmes ( Crowland), F Addy (Parkway) won 28-16; J Corney Peteroborugh & district), J Hadley (Yaxley), M Linnell (West Ward) lost 21-40; H Shipp (Parkway) , M Bailey (Blackstones), P Jessup (Parkway) won 29-26; L Sharp (Yaxley), J Ruddy (West Ward), M Squires (c of P) lost 33-35; M Ramsden (Empingham), M Greaves, B Bassam (Peterborough & District) won 32-25.
Northants hopes of reaching the final of the Reg Wright Under 25 finals at Skegness in August were dashed by a young and highly talented Suffolk Whites team at Ipswich. But they can take credit from their performance.
The home team – five of whom were educated at the same primary school at Thurlton where bowls at the neighbouring green was part of the curriculum – emerged from a 40-strong trial of potential players to form two teams of three two-bowl triples rinks to compete in the championship.
And the strength in depth proved decisive as Northants worked hard to curb the exceptional drawing skills of their opposition. To their credit the heads were tight on all rinks but Suffolk always had the edge overall.
With players of such calibre, Suffolk's long term success is assured, while Northants – who will lose at least Hannah Overton, James Harford and Joe Randall as over age next season – continue to scour the local clubs for emerging junior talent.
If you know of any youngsters willing to compete for a place in 2016, please contact the county secretary.
Reg Wright Under 25 Trophy (at Ipswich): Suffolk White 109 (12) Northants 60. (0). Louise Harris, Darren Middleton, Hannah Overton lost 18-28; Josh Clarke, Jay Travis-Jenner, Andy Cook lost 21-47; Jack Corney, Daniel Randall, Stephen Harris lost 21-34.