20th Jul, 2018

Renegades get a reality check

Liam Moakes 11th Jul, 2018

FOLLOWING their superb win over previous British Skittles champions Highwaymen from Worcester, Swan Studley Skittles League representative side Renegades eased past their next opponents, Highway from Coventry, before coming up short in the return fixture against Highwaymen.

In the Highway game, both sides started slowly and Highway’s lead of six pins after leg one was largely down to a 14-stack by in-form bowler Chris McElevey.

A better performance in leg two from Renegades reduced that deficit to four pins, only to then fall further adrift after the completion of leg three. In that leg, both sides again bowled poorly although Highway’s Andy Clifton had an 11-stack which meant Highway were ahead by eight pins at the halfway stage.

Leg four proved to be the game’s turning point as Renegades amassed 64 pins with talisman Geoff Loat making a 16-stack, while Highway’s response of only 44 pins saw them go behind, by 12 pins, for the first time.

Highway narrowly took leg five by two pins thanks to another McElevey stack (13) before Highway, needing a good last leg score to put any sort of pressure on Renegades, fell apart in recording only a 36-pin total.

Left 27 pins for the win, Renegades comfortably romped home to record successive victories.

Top-scorers in the game were McElevey with an excellent 54 pins, Andy Clifton 42 and Kev Clifton 39 for Highway, while Loat finished with 48 and Mac Eaton and Len Quartly 42 each for Renegades.

After those successive wins and full of confidence, Renegades travelled to Worcester to play Highwaymen but were quickly brought down to earth.

Highwaymen’s first-leg score of 63 pins, with Dean Banfield making a 14-stack, saw Renegades struggle to match it and fall 15 pins behind. Better scoring for Renegades in leg two only reduced the deficit by a pin, with Highwaymen’s Matt Grainger’s 13-stack keeping the game in his team’s favour.

Another stack (13) by Highwaymen’s Steve Ayers in a total of 64 pins followed by a paltry 47-pin reply by Renegades put Highwaymen 31 pins ahead at halfway.

Renegades finally got the measure of the alley in scoring 63, with Loat making a 12-stack in leg four, only to see Highwaymen reply with 65, including a 16-stack from Philip Jeynes to extend their lead.

Leg five had Renegades making their best leg score of the game, 64 pins with Glyn Morley having a 13-stack, as Highwaymen relaxed to record their lowest leg score.

However, already 24 pins up, Highwaymen then scored 61 in the last leg, including yet another stack (14 from Mark Tustin) to leave Renegades an improbable 86 to extend their winning sequence.

Renegades could muster only 58 pins to slip to a big loss. For Renegades, Loat again top-scored with 49 pins, Morley made 48 and Tim Jones 47. Good scorers for Highwaymen were Jeynes with 53, Grainger 52 and 47 apiece from Tustin and Ralph Thompson.

Results: Renegades 329 Highway 307; Renegades 340 Highwaymen 367.

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