ALLEY CATS left it until their last game to make their highest team score of the Swan Studley Skittles League season and win an ultimately very close game against Team BG.
Having comfortably led throughout and needing only 56 pins in the game’s last leg, they just got over the line thanks to anchorman Sam Billyard.
Team BG’s last leg score of 69 pins had set up the tight finish thanks to Mike Moore scoring 37 and Stuart Stringer (13-stack) and Ray Cartwright 36 each.
For Alley Cats, Tony O’Connor scored 37, Sam Billyard 35 and Moira Gazeley and Sue Sollis 33 each.
Having lost their previous two games, Lodge Farmers needed to finish with a win to secure their highest ever league position of fourth place.
They did this comfortably against Chris & Gerry Show by opening up a lead of 42 pins after three legs to effectively settle the game, thanks largely to Kim Clewlow (stacks of 14 and 11) in a final total of 44 and Steve Smith (11-stack) who finished with 38. Team-mate Alan Rumble totalled 37.
C&G Show had expected a much higher league spot but this was ruined by finishing with four straight losses. For them, Dave Williams made 37, Craig Sears 33 and Arthur Sears 32.
Before the game with Jumbo Jet Set, Maudslay already knew they would finish the league in third place and, with little to play for, they turned in a poor end of season performance and Jumbos took full advantage.
Jumbos narrowly took the first leg and extended their lead over the next three legs before Maudslay produced a final leg total more in keeping with their usual form, but it left Jumbos requiring only 38 pins to win which was comfortably achieved.
Jumbos’ best scorers were John McManus with 40 (12-stack), Rich Johnston 37 and Len Quartly 36. In reply for Maudslay, Tom Roberts made 38 (14-stack), Mark Sanseverino 35 and Geoff Mayneord and Dean Watson 33 apiece.
Swingers took the first two legs to lead by 11 pins against Swan and looked on course for a long overdue and welcome win before Swan fought back to lead by four pins after the fourth legs and then took the fifth leg for a far from easy victory.
Paul Clifton, for Swingers, scored 37, Larry Hanks 35 and Margaret Hendy 31, while Swan’s Helen Racki (12-stack) made 39, Graham Howells 37 and Dave Maule 34.
Swan could yet finish the season in sixth place depending on the result of the league’s last game against Jumbos, who are themselves eyeing fifth spot.
Results: Team BG 3 (320) Alley Cats 8 (322); Chris & Gerry Show 2 (292) Lodge Farmers 9 (331); Maudslay 2 (315) Jumbo Jet Set 9 (343); Swingers 3 (291) Swan 8 (305).