No sooner had Newport wrapped up back-to-back Furrows Shropshire Premier League titles than talk was turning to a possible hat-trick assault.
“Teams will be wanting to stop us again and at some point things won’t go for you as much,” said thrilled captain Dale Rudrum.
“But we have got a good squad so there is no reason we can’t have a good go at doing it again.”
Rudrum’s optimism is justified after a two-year golden period in which Newport have become the undisputed dominant force in Shropshire bowls.
A brace of league titles and this season’s County Cup bear testament to that, and Rudrum admitted the emotions of this year are different to 12 months ago.
“It’s a relief more than anything,” he added. “To win it the first time was great but this year was about proving it wasn’t just a one-off.”
Newport’s final night coronation took just 30 minutes to confirm as they quickly swept to the two points they required against Meole Brace.
No sooner had Dave Rhodes defeated Mike Dulson 21-6 than Kevin Keary was conceding one less chalk in clinching the title-sealing point over Glyn Wellings, thus ending Meole Brace’s hopes of a ‘miracle’ 13-1 victory to snatch the title away from Newport.
The hosts went on to record a 9-5 victory, which was enough for Meole Brace to share second spot with Chester Road after they were forced to settle for a home success by the same scoreline against Wem USC.
Castlefields saved their best home performance until last as they whitewashed Archibald Worthington while six winners and a 13-chalk aggregate success gave Bowring an impressive victory at Ford.
Wrockwardine Wood capped their second half-of-the-season resurgence with a 10-4 home triumph over Ifton while Sir John Bayley all but clinched fifth place by beating St Georges 11-3.
The Dragons have one more chance to gatecrash the top five but would have to take every point available in Thursday’s re-arranged trip to bottom club Bylet, a match which brings the Premier League season to a close.
Attention will then turn to the play-offs with Burway and Hadley USC having wrapped up the Tanners and Mid-Shropshire League titles, while Hanmer and Hanwood are on the brink of glory in the Market Drayton and Wem Leagues.