STARTING the second half of the Swan Studley Skittles League season with a bang were leaders Engineers as they scored a mammoth team total of 378 pins in their game against Team BG.
The score is almost certainly the highest figure ever recorded in the history of the league. The lowest individual score was 31, while eight other players made 35 or more, with Craig Sears leading the scoring with 49 (stacks of 15 and 14) to be the league’s top individual scorer so far this season.
Joining in the fun with 40 pins each were team-mates Brandon Kelso and Mark Ganderton (ten stack). Team BG could be excused if they had thrown in the towel when they fell quickly and heavily behind, but stuck to their game to record the third highest team total of the week with a respectable 311.
Alex Beard made 40 (15-stack), debutant Cassie Holmes 35 (ten-stack) and there was 31 each from another debutant Kevin Dillon, Jordan Cockette, Maggie Reynolds and Gail Stringer.
Maudslay, with six wins on the bounce, moved into second spot with an emphatic win over Alcester Nomads who dropped to third.
Victory for Maudslay – reversing the early season result against Nomads – had Paul Matthews making 38 and Stu Griffiths and Dean Watson 36 each.
Nomads, with one player short, produced their worst performance of the season despite the best efforts of Alan Cummings (34) and 33 each from Mac Eaton and Bob Browning.
While the top two teams were ecstatic with their wins, Well Developed’s captain David Searle was gutted as his team lost to Swingers by a single pin.
Swingers went four pins up after leg one but fell six behind after leg two, only to take the lead again after leg three by a single pin.
Leg four was tied and Well Developed were then left 62 to win in their fifth leg. Finally, their last man needed all nine pins to tie the game but, after taking eight pins with the first two balls, he missed the last pin by the proverbial gnat’s whisker to leave Searle as sick as a parrot.
Swingers were grateful for good scores from Paul Marsh (43, 13-stack), Paul Clifton (42, 12-stack) and John Marsh (36). For Well Developed, Liz Hindson made 39 (11-stack), Martin Brennan 37 and Ros Pottinger 35.
Another captain bemoaning his luck was Glyn Morley of Lodge Farmers as the team could only match their season’s lowest team total in the loss to Alley Cats.
The Cats were just eight pins ahead after leg three but, following a poor fourth leg score by Lodge Farmers, suddenly found themselves well ahead by a healthy 28 pins.
Lodge Farmers then recovered to post a 72-pin final leg – the best leg score of the game – to leave Alley Cats needing only 45 for victory.
After a few hiccups, they made the target when their penultimate skittler saw them over the line for an unexpected and welcome win.
Best scores for Alley Cats came from Sue Marthews and Neil Harrison with 33 each and Anne O’Connor with 32. Lodge Farmers had Glyn Morley with 42 (16-stack), Alex Cull 33 and Tim Jones 31.
Results: Team BG 1 (311) Engineers 10 (378); Alley Cats 8 (293) Lodge Farmers 3 (285); Well Developed 3 (304) Swingers 8 (305); Maudslay 10 (327 – ten players and 308 – nine players) Alcester Nomads 1 (246 – nine players).