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SKITTLES: British bid is still on for Skimmers
5:40pm Monday 19th August 2013 in Sport
DORCHESTER’S Skimmers clinched their place in the British Blackthorn Championships play-offs round after claiming four wins from four in the group stages.
After completing a stylish double over Yeovil side Nightcraw-lers, they finished their group matches with another double against Glastonbury outfit New Boys.
Skimmers will now take their place in the play-offs along with 62 men’s teams from all over the South, West and Midlands regions – Street side Comebacks are their next opponents.
With a total prize pot of £6,000 on offer, the Bull’s Head-based side were keen to wrap-up the job after starting the group stages so well. Playing at Glastonbury in the first leg on an alley almost twice as long as their own turned out to be a real challenge.
Both teams exchanged low to mid-60s scores in the opening hands, but two stickups for the visitors gave them a slender lead of five. With very little to choose between the teams the game was on a knife-edge going into hand five.
And it was here that the match was all but decided when the home team posted a 54 and Skimmers seized the opportunity to pile on the pressure with 63.
New Boys faced a deficit of 12 going into the last hand and the home team’s spirit seemed to suffer, as did their score (51).
This left Skimmers with the seemingly simple task of hitting 48 for the win.
However, in true Skimmers’ style they certainly made hard work of it and took a four-pin lead into the second leg.
The Skimmers posted an impressive opening hand of 75 at the Bull.
However, New Boys hit three stickups at the start of their hand and totalled a massive 83.
As the visitors added a further 11 pins to that lead, now at 19, the alarm bells started ringing for the Skimmers.
But the hosts held their ground in the fourth to pull back a vital four pins in a hand of 67.
This seemed to turn the tide as New Boys, all single-handers, looked to be tiring of the large and heavy balls.
The fifth hand virtually clinched the game and the contest, with a total of 69 too good for the visitors’ weak 57.
The hosts finished with a flourish thanks to a superb hand of 89.
The visitors needed 90 to win the match but it proved too much and they closed out with 62.
* One Step Beyond’s hopes of progressing to the play-offs came to an end at Sherborne.
In a one-sided affair, the Griffin’s Head sent the Wyke Social Club-based outfit crashing to defeat after winning 360-317 in the second leg.
Greg Black said: “They put us away with a display that can only be described as a masterclass.”
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