DESPITE finishing second bottom in the Swan Studley Skittles League, Team BG triumphed against the odds as they won the league’s Summer Cup after prevailing in a close and fluctuating final.
The matchplay final group of four teams also included newly-crowned league champions Engineers, Lodge Farmers and Swan, all of whom had both finished the season in good form and after leg one it was Swan who had opened up a big lead.
They still held a good advantage, although slightly reduced, after leg two but at the completion of leg three pre-final favourites Engineers had joined Team BG in joint top spot and looked ready to forge ahead and lift the cup to claim the league and cup double.
However, Swan had other ideas and regained the lead, if only by the narrowest of margins – half a point – over Engineers and Team BG at the completion of leg four.
Not giving up without a fight were Lodge Farmers, who had looked a good outside bet as cup winners, and now chose their moment to close up on the other three teams which left all four teams in with a realistic chance of coming out on top going into the last leg.
Both the unfancied sides – Team BG and Swan – then bowled well to increase their points tally to ensure they would finish joint top and set up the sudden death play-off contested by two players from each team.
Coming out on top were Team BG’s Ray Cartwright and Josh Stringer who scored a total of 14 pins to beat the ten pins from Dean Smith and Jola Miksztal of Swan and secure Team BG’s first ever major trophy.
Major individual scores on the night came from Engineers’ Mark Ganderton (44 pins, 16-stack), Swan’s Phil Bussey (39, 12-stack), Engineers’ Brandon Kelso (38, 11-stack) and 37 each from Jess Stringer (12-stack) for Team BG and Glyn Morley (11-stack) for Lodge Farmers.
Result: Team BG 17 points (won play-off); Swan 17; Engineers 14.5; Lodge Farmers 11.5.