REDDITCH representative team Renegades face an uphill battle to qualify for the Gasket Guy British Championship after suffering a frustrating defeat for the second successive qualifying match.
Renegades, formed from players from the Swan Studley Skittles League, went narrowly behind early on against Fabulous Baker Boys, fought back to be almost level after leg four and then failed to maintain the momentum as they fluffed their lines over the last two legs.
The opposition from Gloucester took full advantage as first Bill Fanning scored 14 in leg five on the way to a total of 51 pins, followed in the last leg by Gary Prichard – a 12-stack – for a 48-pin total.
It meant Fabulous Baker Boys took all four points from a 338-323 away win.
No Renegades player could muster a vital stack (ten or more pins) at any stage in the game, although they were presented with plenty of opportunities and this, coupled with failing to pick up one or two skittles with the third ball, proved Renegades’ undoing.
Craig Sears was Renegades’ top scoring player with 45 pins, closely followed by Geoff Lout with 43, but neither was able to inspire their team-mates to better scores.
Renegades will complete their qualifying group fixtures in the Gasket Guy British Championship with two away games.
The next one is against Reckers who they beat at home early in the competition, followed by the return fixture at the home of Fabulous Baker Boys.
Even if the two wins can be achieved – netting Renegades eight points – automatic qualification to the finals in Torquay is now impossible.
Realistically, a runners-up spot in the group is the best bet, but even this depends on results between the other teams and would still mean Renegades needing to win a play-off against a runner-up team from another qualifying group for the right to progress to Torquay.