FRESH from their triples team crashing out in the first round of the Knockout competition, table-topping Maudslay suffered their first defeat of the Swan Studley Skittles League campaign as they were beaten by Lodge Farmers.
The leaders took an early lead but quickly conceded it in leg two and never got back on terms to leave Lodge Farmers needing to score 58 to win in the last leg.
They achieved it as anchorman Steve Smith made a 12-stack and Roger Powell top scored with 39. For Maudslay, Paul Matthews again scored well with 43 (16-stack).
That win by Lodge Farmers was in complete contrast to their previous game a few days earlier when they lost to then bottom team Swan, who took maximum points.
Swan bowled steadily to make what was at that time their highest total of the season to take them off the bottom of the table.
Dave Maule, Graham Howells and Bob Haycock – buoyant from winning the recent Triples Knockout – were all still in good form and Maule finished with 38.
Roger Powell made 35, the best score for Lodge Farmers, but it was never enough to inspire better scores from team-mates.
Swan then made it successive wins by improving their highest team total by 33 pins to narrowly beat Engineers, who could not take advantage of the leaders’ loss to really open up the chase for the title.
Engineers took the first leg by a single pin before Swan edged ahead by six pins. They kept their noses in front for the rest of the game despite Engineers throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Swan to leave their opponents wanting a tricky 66 in the last leg to win.
Swan’s in-form anchorman Howells made eight pins with the last bowl of the game to take the leg and the game. Top scorer for Swan was Helen Racki with 40 and for Engineers Andy Clewlow was best with 39.
Having won only three games over the last two seasons, Swingers already have three wins this season to equal their 2013/14 season record.
Their latest win, against Alley Cats, reversed the early season result between the teams and was on the back of a good third leg score which saw them lead by 20 pins.
Alley Cats halved the next leg and narrowly won leg five but their response was all too late despite Anne O’Connor and Pete Sollis making 35 each. Swingers’ best came from Paul Clifton with 36 and all his team-mates made good supporting scores.
Team BG beat Alcester Nomads early in the season, but there was to be no repeat as Nomads made their second highest score this season with a big opening leg score to put them 15 pins to the good and before the last (fifth) leg to lead by 35 pins.
Team BG just nicked leg two and gained another point by winning leg five as Nomads relaxed. Bob Browning and Gordon Povey both scored 40 for Nomads while Gail Stringer for Team BG top scored with 36.
Results: Maudslay 3 (319) Lodge Farmers 8 (327); Swan 10 (317) Lodge Farmers 1 (291); Engineers 3.5 (336) Swan 7.5 (340); Team BG 3 (315) Alcester Nomads 8 (342); Alley Cats 3 (289) Swingers 8 (304).