A golden generation of Hunts talents created history amid memorable – and chaotic – scenes last Saturday.
The county’s Under 25 ‘A’ team lifted the Reg Wright Trophy for the first time following victory at the English Bowling Federation finals in Skegness.
The locals prevailed by a single shot – 61-60 – in a showpiece clash against Nottinghamshire which had it all . . . and more.
It was tinged with controversy and riddled with confusion as disputed scorecards on two of the three rinks only served to heighten the tension with glory up for grabs.
The Hunts trio of Matt Nickerson, Robbie Parker and Hayden Moorbey were beaten 23-18 while Kane Phillips, Mark Franklin and Kierren Murray were involved in a 17-17 deadlock.
The trophy was eventually decided by the rink of Mack May, Joe Randall and skip Sophie Purell.
They initially believed they had completed a 24-20 success (which would have left Hunts one shot behind overall) only for it to be discovered the match had finished an end early.
A lengthy discussion between the umpires followed with them eventually ruling that one more end must be completed – and Hunts were really grateful for that decision as they claimed the two shots required to snatch glory with May producing a fine bowl when it mattered most.
Hunts then faced another anxious wait during a meeting of tournament officials before finally being able to celebrate.
Team manager Alan Blackley said: “It was a historic day for our county with our first-ever appearance in the final of this competition – and to win the trophy topped it off.
“I’m proud of the way my team kept their composure during the lengthy delay in play at a time when there was a lot of tension among officials and spectators.
“We were always there or thereabouts and Mck produced a great bowl in the extra end. I think we deserved the win.”
The Hunts Under 25 ‘A’ squad used 18 players in all during their Reg Wright Trophy campaign. They are Sophie Purell, Mack May, Joe Randall, Robbie Barker, Hayden Moorbey, Matt Nickerson, Kane Phillips, Mark Franklin, Kierren Murray, Bradley Herbert, Lisa Haynes, Harry Ward, Toby Furzeland, Ed Elmore, Rebecca Moorbey, Callum Bowden, Dan Townsend and Ben Reed.