The overall shots score – 184-174 – reflected the closeness of the game which could have gone either way in the closing stages of this 31-end encounter of two bowl triples across six rinks. But it was Lincs who held on to stick a spanner in Northants hopes of winning five successive matches in the southern section of this inter-county championship.
But Northants still have a chance of reaching the finals at Skegness next month if they can beat Hunts at Whittlesey Manor on July 11 thanks to superior shots tally over Norfolk.
It was the unusual pace and runs of the Burton House green that caught Northants napping – laborious in one direction and slick in the other as bowls race away on a gentle slope towards the clubhouse.
Said Northants president Bob Warters:"Despite having already lost two matches, Lincs were never going to lie down for us and we didn't expect it either. But the green was so difficult to read and had more tricks in it than Paul Daniels. In the end we were grateful to end-rink skips Jonathan Earl and Lee Welsford to snatch vital points which keep us in the hunt with one match to play.
Welsford, with Adam Warrington and Fred Richardson giving good support, decided an aggressive approach was best and it paid dividends with several volatile take outs while Earl had draw specialists Stephen Harris and Paul Dalliday to keep the pressure on.
Elsewhere matches were close with Northants using the Federation facility of switching positions in an attempt to gain the upper hand. And it was only in the last three or four ends that Lincs stretched their lead to take the vital overall points.
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A late burst of scoring by Lincolnshire on their home green at The Castle BC, Spalding, cost Northants the chance to contest the Newton Trophy final at Skegness in August.
Already hampered by having had valuable points expunged from their campaign when North Essex withdrew, Northants desperately needed a win to force nearest rivals Norfolk into claiming maximum points from their last two matches.
And with a 15-shot lead at the half way stage, Northants had a chance to pull off a remarkable win. But the home side pegged their visitors back with a late rally of shots and turned the match around to win by 13 overall and claim 16 of the 22 points available.
Results (Northants names only)
Adams Trophy (at Boston). Lincolnshire 184 (18pts) Northants 174 (4). S Harris, P Dalliday, J Earl won 31-29; S Roden, G Agger, P Brown lost 26-38; M Stokes, N Wilkie, P Buckley lost 28-29; R Stevens, N Wright, J Harford lost 28-34; S Fenlon, B Warters, R Martin lost 22-32; A Warrington, F Richardson, L Welsford won 38-22.
Newton Trophy (at Castle, Spalding). Lincolnshire 171 (16) Northants 158 (6). J Corney, M Linnell, R Mapletoft lost 30-31; L Sharp, J Ruddy, M Squires lost 17-29; A Grief, P Holmes, F Addy won 33-24; J Clipston, M Greaves, B Bassam lost 18-31; M Ramsden, J Holroyd, R Strong won 30-28.