DORSET'S short mat bowls Premier Team progressed to the quarter-finals of the Inter County Championship with a 22-18 win against North Yorkshire.

As expected, North Yorkshire began strongly winning the first session three mats to Dorset's one, winning both pairs and one of the singles, with Robert Martin keeping Dorset's hopes alive in beating England captain Lee Toleman as the hosts led 6-2.

The second session saw Dorset's strength in depth showing to the fore, winning both fours and the triple of Eugene and June Balbinske and Paul Gough cruising to a 23-4 win to put the score even at 8-8.

Yorkshire were dominant in the third session, winning both singles and a pair, however the Dorset pairing of Steve Stanton and 17-year-old Ben Riley had a tremendous 18-6 win to give Dorset additional unexpected bonus points in the pairs.

North Yorkshire now led 16-12 with the final session left to play.

Dorset needed to repeat the second session and win three mats, the Dorset four of Cristina Chant, Dave Price, Brian Baker and Mark White won convincingly 21-6, but a Dorset triple lost.

With the two mats still playing Dorset needed both to secure victory. With the Balbinske triple down 7-2 after seven ends made a remarkable comeback to win 10-9.

The four of Tony Carr, Glenn Harvey and under-18 stars Ben Weeks and Alex Kley completed the match with a late surge to win 12-6 to ensure Dorset progress to meet Hampshire in the quarter-finals in Daventry on Sunday, February 18.