Bowlers from the Stamford and District League turned in superb performances to win the English Bowling Federation’s outdoor two-bowl triples at Skegness.
Adam Warrington, Jonathan Earl and Martin Dolby, representing Blackstones and Northants in the championships, had previously won the county title to secure their place in the seaside showdown.
For 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 throughout the tournament while Earl and Dolby made some expert conversions and draw shots to keep their challengers at bay.
After comfortable wins over Derbyshire and Humberside, the trio came up against former multi-champion Ian Wones’ experienced 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 Federation 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.
The trio paid tribute to the great vocal support from a legion of Stamford bowlers surrounding the Suncastle greens.
In the men’s pairs semi-final Warrington and Dolby were outgunned by a Cleveland skip playing aggressive conversions, while 16-year-old Stamford IBC junior Stephen Harris, representing Empingham, 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 clubmate Chris Ford, then by a similar margin alongside Paul Buckley in the veterans mixed pairs.
It proved not to be a happy return for Ketton bowlers Joyce Foster and Connie Cox after winning the ladies triples 17 years ago. They lost by two shots in the Veterans Pairs.
Ketton’s Glenys Edwards lost in the second round of the Secretaries singles and Pam Plowman went down 21-11 in the veterans singles.
Paul Dalliday, Linda Toms and Barry Lawrence, from Whittlesey Manor, won the mixed rinks defeating Suffolk on an extra end.
lIn a thrilling finish to the Stamford Bowls League’s Rosebowl knock-out tournament, Empingham beat hosts Langtoft Pearl A.
The beaten finalists will be hoping to improve on Saturday when they meet Ketton Kestrels in the Boot Wainwright finals at Stamford Town’s green on Saturday (2pm), giving two shots per rink in the handicap competition.
lBlackstones C has clinched the First Division of the Stamford & District League, holding off rivals Blackstones D.
At the bottom, Ryhall have been relegated with Colsterworth avoiding the drop.
Oakham C and Stamford Town A are due to step up to the top divison with Carlby A and Barnack B favourites for relegation to the third division where Ketton Kingfishers secured the title and promotion.
Carlby and Barnack are confirmed as relegated from Division Two.