Classy Whanganui lawn bowler Reen Stratford and women's pairs partner Linda Ralph went close to adding a national title to their CV.

The composite pair were beaten narrowly in the final of the Summerset National Women's Pairs in Auckland last week after coming from a semmingly impossible position agaisnt eventual winners Val Smith and Australian partner Lisa Prideaux.

Stratford was runner-up in the same competition in 2010 in Wellington, while Ralph was playing in her first national final.

"We were 8-nil down at one stage and then 10-1 before we took the lead briefly,' Stratford recalled.

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"Then it was 18-all and I had two shots at knocking them out, but just couldn't quite do it It was a really handy field not lacki ng in quality, so while it was frustrating, it was also very pleasing to get that far.Val and Lisa played a great game.

"Linda and I have been playing together for four years now and getting to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. The Auckland greens were getting faster and faster as the competition went on," Stratford said.