NEITHER Maudslay or Engineers, lying first and second, can afford any slip-ups as the end of the Swan Studley Skittles League season approaches.
Maudslay returned to winning ways after their shock loss to Team BG with a very narrow success against Lodge Farmers – making close to their season’s best team total.
Although only taking the game by two pins, Maudslay picked up useful bonus points for three leg wins. Lodge Farmers had taken an early three-pin lead after leg one, before Maudslay responded by taking the next two legs and lead at that point by six pins.
However, any thoughts Maudslay had that they might have the game in the bag were quickly dashed as Lodge Farmers bowled well in leg four to reduce Maudslay’s lead to a single pin.
Maudslay kept their nerve through when bowling first in their last leg and made the highest leg score of the game – 69 pins. It left Lodge Farmers wanting 71 in their last leg for victory and, although always up with the required pace, fell just short.
Dennis Compton for Maudslay made 41 and team-mates Keith Fryer 39 and Tom Roberts 35. Lodge Farmers’ best were newcomer Rachel Morris with 40, Jason Kirk 39 (ten-stack) and Tim Jones’ 35.
Engineers had a far more comfortable win and earned maximum points when defeating bottom team Well Developed, who were a player short.
Ahead by seven pins after leg one, Engineers turned the screw by increasing their advantage to 29 at the completion of leg two and then took legs three and four by 14 pins each for a lead of 57.
When Well Development could manage only 48 pins with their last leg, Engineers had already won the game but ensured their maximum points haul by easily topping their opponents’ 48.
This was Engineers’ fourth score this season over 350 and they had singles champion Craig Ellis top-scoring with 43, followed by Luke Saunders (11-stack) and Andy Clewlow (12-stack) with 39 apiece.
Three ladies top scored for Well Developed – Pauline Withers made 34, Shirley Searle 33 and Liz Hinson 32.
Swan’s four-game winning run ended at the hands of Jumbo Jet Set. Swan looked good to extend their run when leading by 13 pins after leg one and then matching Jumbos’ second leg total to maintain their advantage.
However, Swan then lost their way as Jumbos reduced the deficit in leg three before taking a six-pin lead after leg four. Swan’s final leg total of 60 left Jumbos needing 55 to win.
Jumbos opened badly, with their first bowler knocking down only a single skittle, but they were steadied by consecutive stacks of 14 and 12 by Len and Rob Quartly respectively to leave other team-mates to comfortably take the last leg and further extend their winning margin.
Top-scoring for Jumbos were Len Quartly with 40, Pete Battle-Welch (35) and Dave Young (34). Swan had Kevin Masters and Kyle Phipps (14-stack) again leading the way with 38 and 37 respectively, while captain Andy Reynolds also made 37.
Results: Maudslay 8 (331) Lodge Farmers 3 (329); Engineers 10 (354 – ten players and 334 – nine players) Well Developed 1 (270 – nine players); Jumbo Jet Set 8.5 (326) Swan 2.5 (313).