REPORT OF MATCHES PLAYED ON 23rd MARCH 2017
With the top of the table positions all wrapped up the focus was on the relegation dog fight, with all 4 of last week’s bottom teams winning, the scrap to avoid joining Polden Bears in Division 2 next season will go right down to the last week, which includes a match between Somerset Vaults and Wasters, which effectively will mean that the loser is relegated and the winner stays up.
Somerset Vaults had the best result of the bottom 4, picking up 3 points as they travelled the short distance to Crown, East Huntspill and despite dropping pins on the first and last hands eased to a comfortable 42 pin win over Woolavington Boys. Jim Vearncombe and Tony Slade both had 2 spares in their 68’s, whilst the best for the home team was Martin Baker with 60.
Wasters aided their cause when they held on to a 5 pin win over Stop-Outs, despite dropping 9 pins on the last hand. Captain Mike Baumgardt led the way with a 2 spare 62 as Stop-Outs failed to master the tricky White Hart, Chilton Polden alley, with Harold Stone, who also had 2 spares, being the only visitor to get to grips with it.
Barstewards pulled Wheatsheaf Boys into the relegation places when they defeated them by 12 pins at The Duck, Burtle in their last game of the season. Lloyd Tucker started with consecutive spares and added another one in his top score of 69 for the home team, whilst the best visitor was George Barber with 59.
Polden Bears finished their home games with a 17 pin defeat of Knowle Otters, setting the tone on the first hand when they pulled 13 pins. John Williams started with a 17 spare and added another one later on in his top score of 71 for the home team, whilst Sean Tippets and Glyn Hawkes both had 2 spares in their 67’s for the visitors.
At the top of the table, nothing much changes, apart from Pirates having a bye, the teams in 2nd, 3rd and 4th all won. Crusaders and Crow away at Oddsquad and Spitfires respectively and Farmer Boys at home to Crown Jewels.
Crusaders demolished Oddsquad on their home alley, pulling pins on 6 of the 7 hands for a 49 pin win, with 3 players hitting over 60, Ben Scott with 67, Bert Beasley with 63 and Wayne Spencer with 62. The best man for the home team was Darren Marshall with 55.
Crown also cruised to an emphatic 38 pin win when they visited Spitfires, with Rob Vincent in terrific form as he hit 3 spares in a top score of 73; the home teams Simon Heal also had 3 spares, consecutively from hands 4 to 6, in his 68.
Farmer Boys took on Crown Jewels at Basonbridge Inn and started well to lead by 11 pins after 3 hands, but a 4th hand of 86, which included spares from Paul Mantelow, top scorer Jon Bray and Chris Puddy effectively killed the game as they pulled 26 pins on the hand for a 37 pin lead, which was extended to 42 pins by the end. James Hedges had 2 spares, including an 18 flopper in his top score of 72 for the visitors.
In one of the best runs seen in the league, Swannies have come from nowhere to claim the third promotion spot despite only having 7 men on 3 occasions this season. They clinched their promotion in a re-arranged game at Ring O’Bells, Moorlynch when they defeated champions Foxes and Ferrets by 16 pins with Dave Tucker smashing 86, which included 3 consecutive spares in his first 3 hands and another one in his last hand for good measure. With Ian Carter adding 70 and 5 of the remaining players hitting in the 60’s, Swannies amassed 535 for a 16 pin win. The game hinged on the penultimate hand, when spares from Ian Lewis, Will Potter and Mark Harris propelled them to a total of 86, which bamboozled the home team as they could only reply with 59. Phil Hunt also started with 3 consecutive spares in his 80 for Foxes and Ferrets, with Robert Simpson adding 75 and Mike Gibbons hitting 70.
Nomads are runners up in the division after getting the points they required to secure the second spot with a 26 pin win over bottom team Three Cees. Andy Bond and Phil Coggins both hit 68 for the home team whilst Graham Sugg top scored for the visitors with 67.
Huntspill Boys fell at the last hurdle, when they were unable to get the points they needed for the third promotion spot at Haymakers, despite being 10 ahead with 2 hands to go. The home team rallied themselves after a disastrous fifth hand to pull 22 pins on hands 6 and 7 for their 12 pin victory. Philip Duckett led the way with 3 spares in his 76 a score that was matched by the visitors James Gibbons.