One hundred ends of two-bowl triples and after 1200 bowls had been delivered over four rinks with 166 shots scored, there was nothing to choose between Hunts and Northants (pictured above) in this Derbyshire Trophy thriller at Huntingdon IBC.
Northants captain James Harford, making his 50th appearance for the county, had a chance to clinch it for his team with the last bowl of the match in his hand. But after opening a head in which he was three shots down to spring the jack, he had four feet to draw to for a decisive second shot but fractionally overplayed it.
His rink’s 21-19 win was enough to secure vital rink points but he was disappointed he was unable to snatch for Northants a share of the overall match points which were tied 9-9, the result of an 83-83 overall scoreline.
Said Harford: “I’m kicking myself that I was unable to draw in that last shot when we had the chance to win it overall but a tie is better than a defeat and we will look forward to our next match in the New Year with confidence.”
With Phil Afford featuring in Simon Law’s rink alongside lead Paul Dalliday and making an impressive Derbyshire debut, Northants held leads of 16-15, 33-30 and 55-47 after five, ten and 15 ends and with five ends to play led by four overall.
Roger Martin, returning to the side looked to have the beating of Lynsey Swannell’s trio but the Hunts man converted the last end to pinch three vital shots while Neil Wright’s rink, which trailed 1-12 at one stage, weren’t quite able to get the better of England international Lewis Baker.
Results (Northants names first):
Derbyshire Trophy (at Huntingdon IBC): Hunts 82 (9pts) Northants 82 (9). P Dalliday, P Afford, S Law beat J Hignett, P AcWhinney, R Elmore 21-17; H Shipp, N Wilkie, J Harford beat S Farrant, R Greenwood, R Jepson 21-19; B Martin, B Warters, N Wright lost to Lee Swannell, T Swannell, L Baker 20-24; J Holroyd, G Agger, R Martin lost to D Peak, R Stevens, Linsey Swannell 21-23