Eight players from Worthing Pavilion need only one more win to reach the last 16 of a national knockout tournament run by the English Indoor Bowling Association.
On December 11, teams skipped by John Frew and Bill Murphy both emerged victorious after nailbiting encounters against fours from Adur Indoor Bowling Club.
The aggregate score was 34-31, although that hardly conveyed the drama of a home-and-away match that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours and whose outcome was not decided until the 18th and final ends concluded.
Jeremy Simpson, John Winkley and Warwick Davis ably supported Murphy on the home rink, moving into a 7-0 lead after four ends against an Adur four skipped by Terry Honnor. The visitors won the next three ends but Pavilion regained control to lead 11-5 after 11 ends. Adur then won five ends without reply to tie the game 11-11 with two ends to play.
The home players were keeping one eye on the aggregate match position, in which Adur had a slight advantage at this stage.
Murphy's four took a two-shot lead after the 17th end. Adur were holding two on the final end in a tight head and looking for a decisive third. They were denied by a perfectly delivered bowl that halved Adur's advantage and made the final score 13-12 to Pavilion on the home rink.
Ray Leggett, Colin Davey and Mick Patching helped Frew to start four, three, two at Adur but they dropped a five on the fourth end, which gave John Godfrey's home four all the encouragement they needed.
Adur won five of the next six ends, including a second five on the eighth end, to move into a 17-10 lead and seize control of the overall match.
Frew's four dug deep to stop the bleeding but were still six down with four ends to play. They went into overdrive and finished the game with a devastating burst of one, two, two, three to overhaul Adur on the final end and win 21-19.
In earlier rounds of the over-60s tournament, Pavilion beat Arun 31-28 and Isle of Wight 30-29. Their opponents in the area final next month will be either Grattons or Eastbourne.