Captain Peter Line was full of pride for his Atherley A team that won the Southampton & District Bowls League Men’s Combination One against all odds.
The Hill Lane-based outfit were hovering around 3rd place all season but, in a twist of fate, were able to defy what seemed almost mathematically impossible and claim the crown.
It came down to the final match – even the final seconds – of the campaign to finally decide the division’s standings.
And it took some tough and complex number juggling before it was realised that Atherley had claimed the trophy by a margin of just eight shots – an unbelievable turnaround.
Line, who was once a World Championship and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, admitted he was pleased with the end result.
“It was an excellent season,” he said.
“We spent the season just off the top places and thanks to a tremendous final shots average we were able to take the crown for ourselves.
“Of course, we would like to repeat what we’ve done this season next term.”
They pipped Woolston to the title, finishing equal on 51.5 points but with 108 shot difference to the runners-up 100.
There was heartbreak for Sports Centre, who missed out by just one point, but were left in third despite having a superior shot difference of 112.
Experienced captain Lines, who has played bowls around the planet, also hailed the Atherley’s continued strength in depth.
In the Southampton & District Championship, the first-team finished third only to Sports Centre and Eastleigh Rail, who finished top.
“The club is in a very strong position,” said Lines.
“There’s good stability and we have lots of very good players, which makes it competitive. Atherley are in a good position.”
The club, who have 550 members, are keen to expand further and are offering a free taster session to any budding bowler.
Visit atherleybc.co.uk for more details.