THE Motley Crew ladies’ team started their Butcombe British Championships campaign with a win away to Dorchester side Shot ‘o’ Clocks.

The hosts started off steadily by hitting 43 in the first hand, but the Motley ladies hit back with 52 to take a nine-pin lead.

A 55 from the visitors in the next put them 14 ahead, only for the home side to reply with a 62 in the third, reducing the Crew’s advantage to 10.

There was not much between the sides in the fourth hand, the Crew only managing to take a further three pins from the home side.

Fifty from Shot ‘o’ Clocks in the fifth allowed the visitors a chance to sneak ahead and they stole another two from the hosts, giving them a lead of 15 going into the last.

The sixth and final hand saw the Shot ‘o’ Clocks pull out all the stops to fight back but they could only amass 53.

The Crew battled until the end and a superb stickup from Denise Brown (16) gave them a final hand of 59 to win the match by 21.

Looking to continue their winning ways, Crew’s men travelled to The Royal Oak in Illminster to play their second match in the competition against the Chutney Ferrets.

The Ferrets began well with a hand of 55, including a 12-pin stickup from C Stockey, giving them a two-pin advantage.

Another 12-pin stickup by R Hardy helped the hosts widen their lead by nine, however, 61 from Motley Crew and a stickup (12) from David Clark in the third narrowed the game to four pins.

The fourth hand was a close affair but the Ferrets kept up the pressure, taking two more pins from the visitors.

A tight battle ensued in the fifth with the Crew regaining only one pin and the home side taking a five-pin advantage in to the last hand of the contest.

The home side then played their worst hand of the night in mustering only 43, leaving the Crew needing 49 to take the win.

Sevens, eights and nines from the visitors totalled 62, their best of the night, to clinch victory by 14.