Skittles Report – 17th March




Division 1

Pirates have done it, Champions for the 7th successive season, beating the record of 6 successive seasons held by Crown Hotel between 1969 and 1975. Congratulations to Roger Palfrey and all his team.

Pirates secured the 3 points they needed to get them out of touch from Crusaders by defeating Wheatsheaf Boys by 45 pins, despite dropping 23 pins on the first hand, but they pulled 29 on the second hand to wipe out the deficit. Stand in Captain Danny Palfrey lead by example with a 3 spare score of 80, which was helped by scores of 73 by James Higgins and 70 by Liam Birch. Jim Nipper and Julian Froud top scored for the home team with 67.

Crusaders played 2 matches this week, on Wednesday they travelled to the Duck, Burtle to take on Crown Jewels in a game postponed from Christmas and won by 30 pins, all of which were pulled on the last 2 hands. Rob Haggett top scored with 63 for Crusaders, whilst Rich Dallimore was best man for Crown Jewels with 59. On Thursday they had a far easier task as they completely demolished bottom team Polden Bears, pulling pins on all 7 hands for a 121 pin win, a result that finally relegates Bears after a struggle all season. Bert Beasley was star man for the home team with 3 spares in his 82, with Nick Haggett, Brian Scott and Rob Haggett adding 68, 67 and 66 respectively.

The second from bottom team, Wasters still have a chance to avoid relegation despite slipping to their 18th defeat of the season, this week at the hands of Crown at the Bristol Bridge by 45 pins. Keith Morgan led the way for the home team with 69, a score matched by Wasters Andrew Evans.

Somerset Vaults did their chances of survival a power of good by defeating fellow relegation strugglers Barstewards by 7 pins. Richard Bamsey was the hero for the victors, hitting a 16 spare on the last hand, in his top score of 74, when his team were only 4 ahead going into the hand. Barstewards Captain James Cox was their top scorer with 66. The game basically hinged on the fifth hand, when Somerset Vaults had spares from Graham Hoskins, John Hill and Tony Slade in a total of 83 that pulled 15 pins. Barstewards only have 1 game left so could be in real trouble.

Spitfires got over the disappointment of their cup defeat by defeating Knowle Otters at Knowle Inn, Bawdrip by 19 pins. Christopher O’Brien was their top scorer with 57 thanks to a 17 spare on the last hand. Ben White had a 17 spare on the first hand, but could only add a further 30 pins in his remaining 6 hands. Otters Keiran Atwell was top scorer in the match with 62.

Stop- Outs had the Ratcliffe Brothers, Duncan and Andrew in fine form as they top scored with 63 and 62 respectively in their teams 18 pin win over Woolavington Boys. Arron Baker of the visitors was top scorer in the match with 66.

Odd-Squad went to the races at Cheltenham and therefore forfeited their away game to Crown Jewels, 2 points that probably lift them away from relegation.

Division 2

Foxes and Ferrets, having secured the divisional title last week, romped to a 52 pin home win over Ruggerites with Mark Hill hitting 69, whilst John Parsons top scored for the visitors with 67.

But the real story is of the teams vying for the other 2 promotion places, with 2nd placed Nomads losing by 31 pins at Landlords Rejects and 3rd placed Huntspill Boys being defeated by 2 pins at home to Herdsmen. These defeats have given Cross Your Hart and Swannies a glimmer of hope of promotion, however Cross Your Hart have completed their programme and will have to see whether Huntspill Boys or Swannies can get anything from the catch up games they will play next week.

Nomads struggled on the tricky White Hart, Chilton Polden alley , only pulling pins on 2 hands, with Rob Denman suffering in particular as he had a 14 spare in a total of 37. Tom Lynham and Shaun Dykes both hit 58 for the home team.

Huntspill Boys are finding the last couple of points they need for promotion difficult to come by as they fell at the last hurdle at home to Herdsmen despite pulling 21 pins on the fifth hand to take a14 pin advantage into the last 2 hands, but a poor penultimate hand of 57 allowed the visitors to pull 10 pins back, but when James Gibbons and Aidan Stokes completed the last hand with spares they must have thought  that setting the away team a score of 74 for victory was enough, but spares by Alan Deller and top scorer Dave Barlow, who incidentally had 4 spares in his 78, enabled anchorman Gary Wall to get the pins needed for victory.

Swannies moved to within a point of Huntspill Boys and Cross Your Hart after a 41 pin win over bottom team Three Cees and if they could win their last game this week, however it is away at champions Foxes & Ferrets, they could earn that promotion. Rich Walker had 2 spares in his top score of 63 for the victors.

Cross Your Hart travelled all the way to Ring o’Bells, Moorlynch but came away with a stunning 93 pin win over Odds & Sods thanks to 82 from Nick Mawson that included a double flopper 24 on his last hand, 72 from Steve Watts and 68 from Frank Nicholls. James Briggers with 70 was best man for the home team.

Polden Turkeys could only muster 7 men when they travelled to White Horse, Mark to take on Wanderers and that was crucial as they only lost by 4 pins. Nick Dedman nearly got an unlikely victory for them with his 3 spare 65, but the home team pulled 11 pins on the penultimate hand as the visitors went down with their worst score of the night. Stuart Bishop top scored for Wanderers with 59.

Rofugees woes on their home alley continued as they were defeated by 30 pins by Haymakers this week, their 12th defeat out of 13 matches at home. Colin Durston lead the way for the visitors with 63, whilst the home teams David Thomas was top scorer in the match with 67, but unfortunately they had 2 men who hit under 40.

Mike Garbutt