THE OPENING week of Swan Studley Skittles League games ended with convincing wins for teams which finished in the top half of the table last season over those finishing in the bottom half.
Champions Maudslay narrowly missed taking maximum points when Team BG grabbed a consolation point by winning the last leg.
By that time though, Maudslay were already coasting and 46 pins ahead, thanks to good scoring throughout the team with captain Mark Sanseverino making 39 and Dave Ford and Dick Walters 36 each.
Team BG’s best came from their captain Gail Stringer with 40 and Ray Cartwright and Margaret Sanders who made 33 apiece.
Following a third placed finish last season, Jumbo Jet Set started strongly against Well Developed. Jumbos failed to take maximum points in any game last season but had little problem in gaining all ten in this game.
For Jumbos, there were first-ball stacks for Mick Stanton who finished with 40 (16-stack) and Ray Jones 36 (15 stack). Other top scores came from Rich Johnston 39 (14-stack) and Liz Rowberry and Len Quartly with 38 each.
Well Developed just could not get going, although there were good scores of 33 from Janina Brennan and 31 each from Martin Brennan and Ros Pottinger.
Alcester Nomads, fourth last season, took the first leg against Swan only for Swan to take leg two. At that stage Nomads led by just nine pins and a close game looked likely.
Nomads then upped their game to take the next two legs and build a 37-pin lead. Swan found the deficit too much but still manged to win leg five by 11 pins and salvage another bonus leg point.
Nomads newcomer Graham Hanley made 40 (13-stack), Alan Cummings 36 and Bob Browning, Eddie Upright and Margaret Povey 35 each.
For Swan, Sally Racki and Scott Frankton both made 35, while three others – Helen Racki, Graham Howells and Scott Reynolds – all returned 34-pin scores.
Normally each team fields ten players but early season problems meant Lodge Farmers had only eight against Swingers who had only seven.
Lodge Farmers opened with a discounted first leg lead of 12 pins on their way to a comfortable win which included the top individual score of the week from Tim Jones 48 (13 and 12-pin stacks), Chris Prichard 37 (13-stack) and Richard Long 35 (12-stack).
Although Swingers managed to tie leg two to gain a half point, they were unable to make any inroads despite Paul Clifton making 37 and Larry Hanks 33.
Results: Maudslay 9 (324) Team BG 2 (282); Alcester Nomads 8 (335) Swan 3 (309); Jumbo Jet Set 10 (352) Well Developed 1 (284); Lodge Farmers 9.5 (265 – eight players and 250 – seven players) Swingers 1.5 (212 – seven players).