Two bowlers had a chance of ending the long wait for a Fylde-based player to lift the coveted Waterloo title.
Tim Houghton (Garstang) and James Grimston (Kirkham) were both through to the last eight of the Co-op Funeralcare tournament at the South Shore stadium on Wednesday,
The last player from this area to win the Waterloo was Steve Ellis, of Kirkham, way back in 1984.
The Fylde was guaranteed one place in the semi-final
Houghton and Grimston, colleagues in the North Lancashire and Fylde county team, were paired against each other in today’s quarters.
Houghton looked on his way out as he trailed Tommy Johnstone (Poynton) by 14-7 in the last 16.
At this point the greenside bookies had Johnstone a 7-1 on favourite to make it to the quarter-finals of the Blackpool classic.
But that was the signal for a splendid fightback by Houghton, who reeled off 12 chalks in succession to go 19-14 up.
Houghton, who also represents the Singleton club, finished the job off to prevail 21-17 as he belied his underdog status.
Grimston, beat Stockport’s Jamie Bramley 21-16.
Preston’s Simon Coupe, twice a winner of the Waterloo, exited against Terry Glover (Liverpool).
Graeme Wilson, who has won most of the crown green game’s major honours except the Waterloo, kept on course to fill that void by reaching today’s finals day. He beat Wigan’s Stuart Mort 21-18.
As well as the last eight of the men’s Waterloo, the most famous arena in bowls will play host to the women’s final between reigning title holder Linda Williams and Kaye Coulthard.
Waterloo last 16: Graeme Wilson (Audenshaw) 21 Stuart Mort (Wigan) 18; Terry Glover (Liverpool) 21 Simon Coupe (Preston) 20; Tim Houghton (Garstang) 21 Tommy Johnstone (Poynton) 17; James Grimston (Kirkham) 21 Jamie Bramley (Stockport) 16; Steve Ellis (Stockport) 21 Steve Baskerville (Altrincham) 19; John Bailey (Wales) 21, Mark Hughes (Leeds) 11; Glynn Cookson (Winsford) 21 Glen McCafferty (Hove Edge) 10; Callum Wraight (Shropshire) 21, Lee Heaton (Chorley) 19
Last eight draw: Wilson versus Glover; Houghton v Grimston; Ellis v Bailey; Cookson v Wraight.