Essex Premier held on to take a 21-19 away victory over Surrey in the Inter County Competition at Wey Valley Indoor Bowls Club.
Surrey battled back from 12-4 down to just get edged out by the split bonus points in the triples.
Essex stumbled over the line as they only took two wins in the second half. Despite that, Essex now go second in the group ahead of Kent by nine points who take on Norfolk tomorrow.
Essex were without Jake Atrill, Dave Wooler and Alan Jones.
In the first session, Essex got off to a flyer in the singles as Dom Reed won 13-9. Mitchell Young also held on to win 14-12.
The pairs also kept the momentum going as Alan Kay and Derek Coates gained a convincing 23-7 victory over Peter and Jan Smith.
Whereas Chris Coates and Babs Morokutti were held on the last end to draw 18-18 to take a 7-1 lead.
In the second half, Essex found some residence from Surrey as Greg Wade, John Pye and Mark Chittock were well beaten 22-13.
Essex’s other triple, Emily Poulter, Phil Banner and Nigel Reed covered their loss as they won 14-7.
In the fours, Essex asserted the pressure as Mo Binstead, Jonathan East, Steve Killington and Keef Paxman held off Derek John’s quartet 12-8.
Essex other rink, Ian Arthur, Linda Lambert, Matt Dillon and Antony Fautley came from 11-1 down to snatch a draw 12-12. To give Essex a 12-4 lead overall.
After the break, Surrey fought back as they swooped the pairs to beat Morokutti and Coates 20-9 by the Smiths.
In the other pair, Coates and Kay were just held off as they lost 13-15 but held on to the bonus points.
Essex returnee Reed made it two from two as he won 12-9. Whereas Young was pipped on the last end as he lost 11-10 but held on to the bonus points to take a 18-10 advantage into the final session.
Surrey were not going down without a fight, as Poulter, Banner and Reed were defeated 15-9. The other Essex triple, Wade, Pye and Chittock won 15-7 to split the bonus points overall.
In the rinks, Essex were second best again as Binstead, East, Killington and Paxman lost 9-3 against the Surrey quartet.
Arthur, Lambert, Dillon and Fautley fell to a narrow 11-8 defeat to John’s four as Surrey took the bonus points in the fours for Essex to hold on 21-19.
Essex now leapfrog Kent into second in the group. They will now wait to see the result of Norfolk and Kent who both play on Sunday.