Two years after falling at the first hurdle of the national indoor bowls championships, Liam Botten and Diane Freeman returned to put things right by going all the way to title glory.
The duo, both members of Haverhill Bowls Club, returned from the English Bowling Federation Indoor National Finals in Newark with the Mixed Pairs title.
To reach Newark they first had to battle through three rounds to earn the right to compete in the national finals as the North Essex Champions.
In January they defeated Sudbury pair Monica Snook and Malcolm Grimwood, before going on to conquer fellow Haverhill duo Mick Taberer and Chris Draper and then Jo and Trevor Howe, who also represented Sudbury.
In the National Finals they took on Humberside’s Eva Dayes and Rob Barker in the first round, winning 24-12.
They then produced arguably their best result in round two when they defeated Northumberland pair Ann Lennie and Herbie Blacklock 18-16
The win was all the more notable as Lennie went on to win both the Women’s Singles and Ladies Senior Singles crowns. She is also a former England International.
Durham’s Anne Upsall and Dave Peterson were then swept aside 17-9 in the semi-final before Freeman and Botten defeated North Cambridgeshire’s Jackie Hearle and John Hines 17-15 in the final to become national champions.
Freeman, a player for six years who in 2010 won the Ladies Suffolk Indoor Bowls Singles title, said of her win: “It’s only the second time I entered with Liam.
“We entered two years ago and got knocked out in the first round.
“I wouldn’t have done it without Liam.
“I feel privileged to have played with him.”
Next up for Freeman are the qualifiers in singles, pairs and triples for the EBF National Championships, which take place in Skegness, Lincolnshire, in August.
Haverhill Bowls Club is always looking for new members.
If you are interested contact the club on 01440 704722 or call Pryce Hardwick on 01440 705528.
For all the latest sport see next Thursday’s (June 30) Echo.