There were a few shocks when the Northants Federation held its well-attended annual finals at Stamford Indoor Bowls Club on Sunday, but when the dust had settled there were also a few familiar faces who will be representing the county at the English Federation finals at Newark next month.
Both Martyn Dolby (Blackstones) and Christine Ford (Ketton) qualified in two events - the mixed triples which they won with Adam Warrington - and their respective four-bowl singles against Warrington and Shirley Suffling.
Dolby started off in style in the first of four finals in which he featured - against his long-time pairs partner Warrington in the four-bowl singles - snatching a three count on the 24th end to win 21-20.
However, in the Veterans singles, against former national outdoor senior singles champion Bob Warters (Ketton), he struggled to catch a consistent weight on the adjoining rink and was soon facing a 20-9 deficit.
But Dolby is a fighter and with nine shots in three successive ends pulled up to within two shots before Warters nailed the jack to win 21-18.
The pair also met in the mixed triples but this time Dolby (with Ford and Warrington) took revenge - against Warters and his wife Carol and Roger Martin (City of Peterborough) winning 19-11.
In the men's pairs Dolby and Warrington came up against a rampant Nick Wilkie (Blackstones) and Joe Randall (Parkway) who took 10 shots from the last seven ends to win 20-12. Randall had earlier lost to Stephen Harris in the under 25 singles.
The City's only other winners were the veterans Joe Martin and Carol Hunter (Peterborough & District) who won seven of the last eight end to beat Shirley Suffling and Derek King ( Ryhall) 15-8.
One of the other surprises was the defeat of the defending men's two-bowl triples champions - Harris, Cliff Watson and Peter Edwards by Mick Humphreys, John Holroyd and Kevin Vinter.
Six shots down after four ends they won six of the next seven and finally ran out comfortable winners 20-11. It will be a national final first for all three - representing Stamford Town (Holroyd and Vinter) and City of Peterborough (Humphreys).
On a final emotional note, Denise Mackie was in tears after she and Jan Want beat Helen Holroyd (21) and 18-year-old Louise Harris 26-5 in the women's pairs final. It had always been an ambition to reach the Newark championships.
Women's 4-bowl singles - S Suffling 13 C Ford 21; men's 4-bowl singles - A Warrington 20 M Dolby 21.
Under 25 2-bowl singles - J Randall 9 S Harris 19; men's Senior 4-bowl singles - B Warters 21 M Dolby 18; J Robinson 21 S Suffling 5.
Men's 2-bowl pairs - N Wilkie & J Randall 20 A Warrington & M Dolby 12; men's triples - M Humphreys, J Holroyd & K Vinter 20 S Harris, C Watson & P Edwards 11.
Women's 2-bowl pairs - J Want & D Mackie 26 H Holroyd & L Harris 5; mixed 2-bowl pairs - S Suffling & D King 8 J Martin & C Hunter 15.
Mixed triples - C Warters, B Warters & RF Martin 11 A Warrington, C Ford & M Dolby 19.