IN THEIR final two games in the four-team regional group, Redditch representative skittles team Renegades at last found their form to earn well deserved and welcome wins.
Sadly, it was not enough to qualify for the Torquay finals of the Gasket Guy Skittles Championships though.
Renegades took full advantage of playing the games at their home venue – Mettis Sports & Social Club – to overturn defeats against Fat Anchors and Spitfires earlier in the competition.
The Fat Anchors game saw Renegades fall 16 pins adrift after two legs, with opponent Andy Coles making a 14-pin stack in leg one.
However, Renegades recovered and put in a solid score in leg three to draw level. Buoyed by this success, Renegades then made the game’s highest leg score of 69, helped by a 14-pin stack from Mark Ganderton to open a decisive 16-pin lead going into the last two legs.
Although Fat Anchors won the final two legs, it was only by small margins and, left just 44 pins to win, Renegades were able to cruise home for a morale-boosting win.
Mark Ganderton top scored for Renegades with 49 pins and Glyn Morley chipped in with 46. Fat Anchors’ top scorers were Andy Coles with 37 pins and Dean Lucy and Paul Hill with 41 pins apiece.
Determined to make it successive wins, Renegades started brightly against Spitfires, making 67 pins in leg one, with Graham Howells contributing a 12-pin stack, while Spitfires slumped, scoring only 49 pins.
Spitfires gradually pulled the deficit back over the next three legs to just 11 pins and looked to be growing in confidence and capable of turning the game on its head when making 62 in leg four as Rich Gentry made a 14-pin stack and Nick Dawson a 13-stack.
Renegades’ immediate and excellent response though was to score the game’s highest leg score of 73 pins in leg five, with Len Quartly and Alan Cummings making stacks of 16 and 12 respectively and this effectively ended Spitfires’ resistance.
Although taking the last leg narrowly, Spitfires lacked sufficient firepower to upset Renegades who, needing only 27 pins for victory, achieved it without difficulty.
Renegades’ Len Quartly finished with 54 pins and Mark Ganderton 46. Best for Spitfires, who now need to beat already qualified table-toppers Numpty Dumptys in the mini league’s last game to qualify, were Rich Gentry making 51 and Nick Dawson with 46.
Although not qualifying for the team finals in Torquay in September, a number of the team will be there flying the Renegades flag by competing in the men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles, hopeful of bringing back a trophy or two.
Game results: Renegades 332 Fat Anchors 321; Renegades 352 Spitfires 324.