21st Sep, 2020

Engineers close in on championship

Liam Moakes 17th Mar, 2020

THERE was yet another comfortable win for champions-elect Engineers in the Swan Studley Skittles League – this time over slow-starting Jumbo Jet Set.

Engineers opened a 30-pin lead after two legs with good scores, while Jumbos managed low 50-pin totals for the second successive week.

Engineers allowed Jumbos to take leg three by five pins, but that was the limit of their generosity as they took legs four and five by four and three pins respectively.

One more win in their last two games will see Engineers crowned as champions. For them, Brandon Kelso top-scored with 40 (12-stack), followed by Luke Sanders’ 39 and Mark Ganderton with 37.

In reply, best for Jumbos were Mick Stanton’s 39 and Darren Summers and Dan Hill with 33 each.

Elsewhere, only Nomads now still have hopes of ending as champions but need to win their last four games convincingly and Engineers to inexplicably collapse in their remaining two.

Nomads kept their faint chances alive by beating nine-man Team BG. After two legs, which Nomads won easily, they were 29 pins to the good and also won the fourth leg just as easily, but failed to take maximum points with sub-60-pin scores in legs three and five.

In winning those two legs and gaining valuable points, Team BG also kept their hopes alive of avoiding the wooden spoon but their task looks increasingly more difficult.

They had captain Gail Stringer again leading from the front with 39 pins (13-stack) and 34 each from Cassie Holmes, Margaret Sanders and Mary Withers.

Nomads’ best were Geoff Lout 42 (13-stack), Mac Eaton 39 (14-stack) and Gordon Povey 38 (10-stack).

Hoping to avoid the bottom spot are Well Developed – with a game in hand over Team BG – but, when presented by opponents Alley Cats making a very low score, they were unable to take advantage.

Alley Cats’ score was their lowest winning total this season and they had Steve Williams making 39 (14-stack), Tony O’Connor 35 and Natalie Clarke 30.

Well Developed’s top scorers were Liz Hindson and Martin Brennan with 33 and Janina Brennan with 31 and their next game against Team BG could have a bearing on which of these sides finishes bottom.

At the other end of the table, Lodge Farmers moved into second spot and are in a tight contest for the runners-up trophy with Nomads for the rest of the season – with the sides still to play each other.

Lodge Farmers were the only team last week to take maximum points in their win over Swingers. After winning leg one by only a single pin, Lodge Farmers won each of the remaining legs more easily and eventually took the game comfortably.

Chris Prichard for the winners had stacks of 12 and ten in a total of 42, whilst Richard Long made 40 and Jason Kirk 39. Swingers had Gary Marsh making 38 (14-stack), Christine Hallam 35 and there were 34-pin returns from John Marsh (10-stack), Andy Norris and Larry Hanks.

Results: Jumbo Jet Set 2 (305) Engineers 9 (337); Nomads 8 (340 – ten players and 320 – nine players) Team BG 3 (294 – nine players); Well Developed 2 (272) Alley Cats 9 (284); Lodge Farmers 10 (339) Swingers 1 (317).

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