Skittles Report – 9th Feb



Division 1

Pirates took a giant step to retaining their Division 1 title when they defeated second placed Crusaders by 20 pins in the local derby at Puriton Inn. Pirates are now 8 points clear at the top of the table, although Crusaders do have 2 games in hand. James Pilbrow top scored for the champions with 68, with Liam Birch and James Higgins both adding 65. Crusaders anchorman Brian Scott did his utmost to stem the tide with 3 spares in his 76, with Ben Scott adding 66.

In the race for third place Crown took a march on Farmer Boys when they won away at Oddsquad by 14 pins, despite dropping 13 on the last hand, as Farmer Boys won at home against Knowle Otters by 40 pins.

Robin Bridgewater negotiated the tricky Sexeys Arms alley the best for Crown, when he top scored with 60, whilst Ollie Puddy was the only home team player to hit a spare in his top score of 61.

Chris Puddy is having the season of his life, once again top scoring for Farmer Boys, this week with 4 spares in his 86, 10 better than team mate Paul Mantelow, as the home team amassed 542, which included a second hand 92 thanks to spares from Paul Mantelow, Justin Melhuish, Dave Puddy and Simon Puddy. The result could have been a lot worse for Otters, but they also hit a hand of 90+, their last, to pull back 18 pins, thanks to spares from Sean Tippetts, Steve Harris, top scorer Keiron Atwell and Aaron Hardwidge.

With Oddsquad losing Stop-Outs moved into 5th place on their own thanks to a demolition job on Polden Bears at Crown, Catcott. The home team started with a hand of 48 that was dismantled by Stop-Outs as they went down with 83 for an initial 35 pin lead, which apart from the 4th hand, they added to throughout the night for an eventual 79 pin win. Duncan Ratcliffe started strongly for the victors with consecutive spares and eventually finished with 75, but was pipped to the tote by Andy Favell, who started with a spare, but finished with spares on his last 2 hands in his 76.

Things are warming up at the bottom of the table as Somerset Vaults moved off the bottom, to be replaced by Polden Bears, thanks to a 42 pin win at Spitfires. The game hinged on the 5th hand, when, thanks to a double flopper 20 from top scorer Richard Bamsey, Somerset Vaults pulled 24 pins to take a 31 pin lead into the last 2 hands.

Wasters have now pulled this week’s opponents, Wheatsheaf Boys, into the relegation mix as they defeated them by 23 pins at White Hart, Chilton Polden and only lie 1 point behind them and Barstewards, who lost the Duck at Burtle derby by 24 pins to Crown Jewels.

Nigel Mills was the hero for Wasters with 3 spares in his top score of 67, whilst Julian Froud was best for the defeated Wheatsheaf Boys with 60. Captain Ian Simmonds led the way for Crown Jewels with 63, which included three 9’s, a 9 spare and an 11 spare. James Tucker of the defeated home team was top scorer in the match with 64.


Division 2

Foxes & Ferrets consolidated their position at the top of the table, when they defeated nearest rivals, Nomads, by 6 pins despite being behind for most of the match, but pulling 19 pins on the penultimate hand thanks to a total of 83, which included spares by top scorer Les Macriner, Mike Wright and Sean Woodward, after being 16 down, knocked the stuffing out of the visitors.

With Nomads losing Huntspill Boys moved into sole 2nd spot after a 20 pin home win over Odds & sods. Top scorer Aaron Stokes had 2 spares and finished with three 9’s in his 73 and was aided by Toby Franklin with 65. Best for the defeated visitors was Alex McNeill and James Briggers with 64 a piece.

Huntspill Boys stable mates, Ruggerites, have moved into 4th place after spanking Wanderers by 71 pins at Coopers Arms with captain Ian Chedzey leading by example with 71 and Martin Leeming hitting 63. In contrast the away side only had 2 men hitting over 50, Stuart Bishop with 57 and Graham Fountain on 51.

Swannies, who seemed to be missing captain Brian Kidd following his knee operation, responded this week with a fine 20 pin away win over Cross Your Hart, to move level on points with Ruggerites. Will Potter had three spares in his top score of 73, with Mark Harris adding 71 and Alan Ellis 67. Best for the home team was landlord Nick Randall, who had 4 spares in his 75.

At the bottom of the table, Three Cees recorded their first away win of the season when they travelled to Red Tile, Cossington and defeated Rofugees by 17 pins. Nigel Dawson top scored with 72, with Ray Balson hitting 63 and Graham Sugg 62. Dave Thomas was top man for the home team with 67.

Rofugees stable mates, Polden Turkeys travelled to Basonbridge Inn to face Herdsmen, but returned home with nothing after suffering a 58 pin defeat, with none of the team managing to hit a spare in a dismal total of under 400. In contrast Dave Barlow of the home team started with consecutive spares in his top score of 65, just pipping Gary Wall, who also had 2 spares in his 64.

Haymakers little run of success came to a grinding halt, when they lost at home to Landlords Rejects by 27 pins. Callum Underhill of the visitors was easily the top scorer in the match with 2 spares in his 71, which was 14 better than his nearest team mate.


Mike Garbutt