Dramatic last-bowl victory sends Hunts to first Adams Trophy final

Hunts Bowls celebration team photo

The jubilant Hunts Bowls team after winning through to the final of the national Adams Trophy. Back row: Simon Leader, Kev Bowers, Barry Kitto, James Bowers, Richard Wilson, Joe Randall, Eric Baker, Richard Fisher, Owen Kennedy, Scott Wilson. Front row: Mack May, Colin Bates, Andy Walton, Steve Gentle, Richard Coles (president), Albie Corn, Trevor Dighton, Dave Richardson, Richard Stevens (team manager), Mick Rayson (umpire and Hunts EBF chairman). - Credit: HUNTS BOWLS

Hunts Bowls made history in dramatic circumstances with victory over Norfolk on the final delivery taking them through to the Adams Trophy final for the first time in their history.

Played on home turf at St Ives Bowling Club, Hunts went into the final end of the final game trailing by one shot.

And the all-Papworth rink of Colin Bates, Eric Baker and Richard Fisher were still down by one when skip Fisher played his final ball.

He was able to draw the jack though to tie things up and Norfolk's final bowl tipped their nearest bowl over, giving Hunts two shots and winning the game by one.

The final of the national event will be played at Skegness on August 21.

Earlier Hunts had found themselves 15 shots up across the six rinks at the halfway stage before the visitors made their comeback.

The gap was down to just two shots after 20 ends and had been completely wiped out five ends later, Norfolk holding a six-shot advantage until the late rally brought the final hurrah.

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Including the final one, Hunts ended up with victory in three rinks and draws on another two.

Playing on home soil, the St Ives trio of Richard and Scott Wilson with Owen Kennedy won 30-29 while Albie Corn of Buckden and Sawtry pair James and Kevin Bowers won 27-23,

Mac May, Richard Stevens (both Buckden) and Joe Randall (Brampton) drew 29-29 and Trevor Dighton (St Ives), Dave Richardson (Papworth) and Simon Leader (Brampton) drew 26 -26.

The all-Eynesbury rink of Steve Gentle. Andy Walton and Barry Kitto went down 31-24.

Team manager Richard Stevens said: "I am absolutely delighted to have qualified and every single player in the squad deserved the victory.

"They showed fantastic team spirit when the game looked to be slipping away in the final stages but remained focused and dug deep to secure the win."

County president Richard Coles was a delighted spectator for the match and was "thrilled" at the historic victory.