Clarrie Dunbar came within a whisker of an impressive giant-killing in the national Top Club competition at the weekend.
After victories over Wetslecot, Clevedon and Bristol, Clarrie were drawn at home to Desborough – the current Egham Trophy champions – in the last 16.
In a hard-fought match, Clarrie took the lion's share of the points in the singles, with Kathy Walker winning and Keith Bailey drawing to open up a 3-1 lead.
The match swung towards Desborough as Rob Newman's triple took all four points from the Clarrie trio of Kim Smith, Graham Shadwell and Russell Francis, despite the home team pulling back nine shots in the final four ends to finish just two shots down.
Clarrie needed six points from the two remaining matches and everything hinged on the last wood of Andy Colebrooke in the mixed pairs.
He was one shot down overall and two down on the end but composed himself to push the jack back to two of his partner's waiting bowls to take the maximum four points by a single shot.
With Clarrie 7-5 ahead on points, the tie went down to the mixed fours but, with the four-hour time limit approaching, time was not on the hosts' side and they eventually lost by eight shots.
The match finished level at 91-91 on shots but Desborough went through 9-7 on points.
Rink scores: Ladies singles – Kathy Walker 19 Teresa D Langton 10; men's singles – Keith Bailey 13 Len Essex 13; mixed pairs – Thelma Deane & Andrew Colebrooke 19 Lorraine Woodley & John McGuinness 18; mixed triples – Kim Smith, Graham Shadwell & Russell Francis 17 Pat Holland, Michael Knight & Rob Newman 19; mixed fours – Marcia Hartley, Debbie Shadwell, Craig Doughty & Neil Collett 13 Eileen Batt, Mary Price, Simon Jones & Alan Price 21.
There was better news for Clarrie in the Wessex League Central Region as the defending champions saw off North Wilts 97-54 overall, giving them an 11-point lead at the top of the table.
With two rinks played at home and two away, Clarrie raced into a 22-shot lead after ten ends before pulling further clear for victory.
At home, the Clarrie rinks won by 11 and 16 shots, while Andy Colebrooke's four won at North Wilts but Keith Bailey's rink missed out.
Rink scores: At Clarrie: John Smith, Fred Pope, John Freeman, Duncan McGovern 22 A Blake, R Harding, M Bryon & T Cooke 11; Russell Milne, Alan Brown, Alan Colebrooke & Russell Francis 29 I Manning, D Clarke, G Hembury & M Clarke 13.
At North Wilts: Andy Taylor, Brian Hawkins, Dale Taylor & Andy Colebrooke 33 A Stell, P Jacobs, A Greenland & D Williams 10; Dick Discombe, Trevor Batchelor, Glyn Jones & Keith Bailey 13 R McComb, R Button, J Buckland & C Brown 20.
On Sunday, Clarrie's men take on Taunton Deane in the Somerset County League Division 1, while the ladies host Woodspring in the Optika Top Nine, a regional knockout competition.
For more information about Clarrie Dunbar Indoor Bowling Club, visit www.clarrie.co.uk or call 01373 830092.