ALCESTER Nomads player Alan Cummings has retained the Swan Studley Skittles League Singles Knockout title – his third triumph in the nine years of the competition.
The final rounds produced some dramatic matches but there was no denying Cummings, who retained his crown.
In round Two, Gail Stringer (Team BG) and Chris Prichard (Lodge Farmers) tied with 34 pins each before Prichard won the play-off 4-2.
Almost as close was Mark Ganderton (Engineers) against Dave Maule (Swan), with Ganderton having a poor last leg score to leave Maule needing to score ten to force a play-off, but it finished 31-30 in Ganderton’s favour.
Meanwhile, Maurice Wroe (Engineers) easily beat Craig Sears (Chris & Gerry Show) 34-25. A tighter affair saw Rob Baker (Team BG) make eight in the game’s last leg to pip John Bool (Engineers) 38-37.
Brenda Morris (Swingers) was in good form in comfortably beating Jim Child (Well Developed) 35-27 and she was joined for a quarter-final match by Angela Guest (Chris & Gerry Show), who drew 32-32 Glyn Morley (Lodge Farmers), before Guest won the play-off 8-4.
Cummings’ game with Len Quartly (Jumbo Jet Set) was tight until the latter bowled a bad last leg which let Cummings in to win 36-32.
Going into the last legs, Andy Clewlow (Engineers) and Bob Haycock (Swan) were level but Clewlow scored seven which Haycock could not match and he lost 33-30.
The quarter-finals saw Ganderton and Baker (with the only stack of the night – 14) cruise to wins over Prichard and Wroe respectively and by identical 42-32 scorelines.
The all-ladies clash saw Morris progress to a semi-final spot (the furthest any lady has gone in the competition’s history) at the expense of Guest 34-30.
In the last quarter final, Clewlow succumbed to consistent bowling by Cummings who won 36-32.
Morris could not keep up her good form in the semis as she lost 38-27 to an inspired Cummings. In the other semi, it was level pegging going into the last legs until Ganderton’s six pins then looked to be too little against Baker, who had been bowling well, only for Baker to manage just four and lose 33-31.
If this had been a reprieve for Ganderton, then there was no such luck in the final as he scored a modest 31 and was always losing ground to Cummings throughout the game.
Cummings again produced good, consistent leg scores and he finally totalled 36 to win comfortably, which gave him an excellent average of 38 pins per game throughout the competition as he became the deserved 2014 champion.