Bere Regis Sports Club
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Bere Essentials had the chance to get our revenge for the shocking defeat we suffered against the Woodentops three weeks ago. We played at Lytchett Legion, normally an alley we score well on, at least when the central heating is on.
Essentials started well, winning the first game, but then struggled to set a hard target and let Woodentops back in. They went on to set 53 in the third game which we could not match, winning the first leg 2-1.
Fortunately, that was all that Woodentops could do. Essentials must have warmed up and went on to win the next six games, taking all three remaining legs by 2-0 each time. Top score Steve Gamble with our only stick-up of the night.
Woodentops seemed to have lost the plot for a while. However, with their new mixture of youth and experience they are no longer an easy 4-0 win and will surely move up the league soon. Why should we be kind to them, they didn't offer us a mince pie.
Bere Essentials returned to the Drax, our current bogey alley. We played Hooray Henrys, always a good fixture as they are a friendly team - in fact, so friendly that they have not yet won a match this season. They have won enough points to stay four places from bottom however, so we could not take them lightly after our recent performance at the Drax.
This time the gods were smiling on us. We won the first leg 2-0, steady scoring by the rest of the team after Colin's stick-up leading to a fairly easy win. Leg 2 was a little harder but we came through 2-1 when Henrys hit more gaps than skittles.
The third leg saw another Essentials win, by 2-0, so we went into the beer leg with high hopes. Colin gave us another boost with his second stick-up, to take a 1-0 lead. The second game saw Henrys set 39, not enough even at the Drax. Unfortunately, Essentials lost the plot for a while, hit a series of fives and lost the game. The Bere backlash worked - 45 was too big a target for Henrys and Essentials chalked up a 4-0.
A good result for us, Henrys record remained intact and hopefully we will have moved up the table. Top score Colin Greening.
After our shock defeat last week, Bere Essentials set off for Bloxworth Club determined to do better. We were playing Born Again, a young team with some strong players who are above us in the league. High scores are rare at Bloxworth so anything could happen.
The first leg started well with a win but we set an abysmal score in the second game to give the opposition some encouragement that they didn't need. Luckily we came good again to take the leg 2-1.
The second leg was a disaster, Born Again taking two games quickly for a 2-0 win. Essentials then got their act together with some consistent scoring to go 2-1 up overall after winning two straight games.
We pride ourselves on doing well in the beer leg so were delighted to start by setting 51, thanks to Mark Read's stick-up. This proved to be too much for Born Again, who then struggled to set us a challenging target, the beer leg going our way 2-0.
A good recovery after last week, a 3-1 win against good opposition is encouraging. Top score (with one hand) was Mark Read. Back to the Drax next week - watch this space.
Bere Essentials had a very humbling experience. Playing at the Drax Arms, they lost 3-1 to the team at the bottom of the league table - the team previously known as ' Woodentops Nil '. They played well, we were rubbish. It is too painful to report the details.
Bere Essentials had a game in the village this week, at the Royal Oak, a nice break for the drivers and a chance to enjoy a pint or two. The match was round one of the Aggregate Cup, where any pins left standing have to be cleared up by the next player before all nine are reset. This requires high levels of accuracy and we were up against Second Fronters, who are a strong team, so we would have to be at our best.
Essentials started badly, struggling to clear single pins and leaving awkward pin settings for the next player, so we were soon lagging by 15 or so. But then... we warmed up, hit form, whatever and scored 53 on one hand. Fronters lost it for a while and amazingly Essentials took the lead by five pins.
Sadly this was not to last long. Just when we should have turned the screw their captain had an 18 with a last-ball flopper and our captain had a couple of bad throws so we were behind again. Fronters piled on the pressure, Essentials could not respond and we were out of the Cup at the first hurdle.
Essentials were at Sandford Legion again this week - enough has been said in the past about the problems we have at this venue so no more this time. We were playing the Rejects, not exactly a jolly team at the best of times so we set out for Sandford wishing we were at home with a good book.
The opposition had only three players at eight o'clock, but it is supposed to be a friendly league so we didn't claim the game. Three more arrived at 8.20, including the captain who offered no apologies. Mind you, he is not famous for his social skills.
Anyway, we lost 4-0. We were simply awful, all the team (bar one) played well below their capabilities so we can't complain. We should have claimed the game and gone home to that good book.
The one exception was our apprentice skittler, Matt Bennett (age 14 and a bit). He had a cracking evening, two stick-ups and top score by miles. If we had all played like Matt we would have won 4-0.
This week saw a relatively short trip to The Greyhound against table topping Binliners. With David and Phil away in sunnier climes (Spain), unavailability on a high, our newly adopted youth policy, Matthew, was called upon but still we only managed to field five, bring back 'The Cheshire Exile'. Having to adopt the league rules for player number six, the opposition's lowest score minus one, it was always going to be a tough night ahead.
Binliners started well, setting a huge 64, even with Steve's stick-up (13) the leg was lost. Essentials rallied and took the next with Mark (15) and Steve (14) showing the way with two more stick-ups. Binliners replied in the last leg with another large score and we were 1-0 down.
With two stick-ups from Peter (13) and Mark (18) the first leg was won, only to see the opposition stamp their authority and keep the pins flying with a series of stick-ups of their own. Steve blasted another stick-up (15), his third of the evening, but all in vain as the next two legs were lost and 2-0 down.
Whilst waiting for bar staff, a problem all night, Colin got a stick-up (14) and with good team support the first leg was won again. Binliners not to be out done smashed wood everywhere, even with another stick-up from Mark (14) wasn't enough, 3-0 down.
The Beer leg followed, Mark hit a stick-up (12), his forth of the night, and the first leg was taken. By now we should have known better, three consecutive sticks-ups and a massive score of 68 made it leg and leg. In a very tense final leg the Binliners gained victory on the last throw of the evening to make it 4-0, the score certainly did not reflect such a close and pulsating game.
Young Matthew showed good promise in a long and tiring evening, sticking-up all night as well as playing. It was an excellent game of skittles though, both teams playing their part and every game going 2-1,however, the service at the bar was slow and I'm not sure about the food (usually excellent), it hadn't arrived by 11.10pm when we called it a night and left.
Top score Mark Bennett.
At the end of last season the Wareham League lost one of it's oldest teams when the Wooders decided that it was time to call it a day. Luckily, a new team, the M & Ms, has taken their place, maintaining the number that we need to make fixtures easy and they were our opponents this week.
M & Ms are in the bottom half of the league so Essentials were hoping for a win, especially as we were at the Clay Pipe, scene of some epic scores in the past. However, we found ourselves on the wrong end of some good scoring in the first leg, M & Ms showing the way and winning 2-0.
The Bere Essentials fightback then began slowly but surely with a couple of timely stick-ups and we took the second leg 2-1. The panic was over and we settled down to some more consistent scoring. Leg 3 was a little easier, we set 54 in one game and their last man needed 28 to win. Not likely.
Encouraged by this improvement Essentials went into the beer leg with confidence and wrapped up the match 3-1. Top score David Edmonds. M & Ms played well and look as though they will become a strong team with a bit more experience. They are very welcome.
After struggling to score well at Sandford, Bere Essentials had the dubious pleasure of playing at Bloxworth Club this week - another difficult alley which seems to have very big gaps between the pins. We played Misfits, one of the stronger teams in the league, but only two points above us so far.
Essentials started very well, due to Misfits finding the gaps more frequently than us. They only managed 31 in the second game which gave us the first leg 2-0. We were unlucky to lose the next leg, both teams hitting better scores but Misfits showed what they can do by taking the leg 2-0. The scoring improved again in the third leg but Essentials were outplayed again, narrowly beaten by 2-0.
Our record in the beer leg has been good so far and we put up a good fight this match, going to a third game to decide the leg. Unfortunately, despite being set only 42 to win our skittling fell apart and we had to concede the leg for an overall result of 3-1 to Misfits. Top score Steve Gamble. At least the supper was good, as always.
I think Bere Essentials least favourite alley is at Sandford Legion - it is very difficult to get a good score there and we have struggled against weaker teams in the past. This week we met Hooray Henrys, not one of the strongest teams in the league so we hoped for a win, but anything can happen at Sandford.
So we struggled. The first two legs went our way, but only after making good recoveries from a game down, and no really convincing scoring. Henrys came good in the third leg and won 2-1. This leg saw a rare OXO from Colin, only the third (he thinks) in a long history of skittling.
Luckily, we were back to form for the beer leg, again losing the first game, but coming back strongly to win the match by 3-1. Top score Mark Bennett.
It was pleasing to hear that our 'team-member in exile' in Cheshire is keeping up to date with our progress - and I thought nobody read this rubbish.
No game we have a bye in the first round of the Knockout Cup.
A 'home' game for Bere Essentials this week, at the Drax Arms, against the Second Fronters who finished last season as champions. Essentials were missing two regular players and introduced Matthew Bennett who had a birthday last week and is now old enough to play. The League is very keen to recruit young players to ensure that skittles has a future in the area.
Fronters showed their class in leg 1, setting 54 in the first game - a very high score at the Drax. essentials could not match that and lost the leg 2-0.
The second leg went our way, winning 2-0 after Fronters could only manage 31 in the second game. It is that sort of alley. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got, Fronters turned up the pressure and set two more high scores to win the match 3-1. Our unbeaten record in the beer leg has gone too.
Top score Mark Bennett, with son Matthew only two pins behind - a great start for the young man.
At last, a home game for Bere Essentials at the Royal Oak against the Breakaways, so it was a local derby too. Spud has a strong team with some experienced players and three young men who are learning fast. They finished well up the league last year and should do well again this season.
Essentials had a flying start with two stick-ups in the first leg, scoring 53 twice and winning 2-0. Things went downhill after that and we lost the next two legs very quickly, due to some erratic skittling by most of the team.
Unbeaten so far in the beer leg, we put in a more determined effort and took the leg 2-1, largely thanks to two 16 stick-ups just when we needed them. A close match with a fair result. Top score - Peter Wharf. Home again next week at the Drax.
Bere Essentials had the pleasure of playing the Poison Dwarfs, all girls, always a fun team and currently top of the league. We were at Lytchett Legion, a good alley where some high scores have been seen in the past so we looked forward to a good night of skittles.
Essentials started well winning the first leg fairly easily 2-0. The first game of the second leg went our way too, thanks to two 14 stick-ups, but then the wheels fell off. We went into low-scoring mode for the next two games and gave the second leg away.
Losing the first game of leg 3 shocked us into raising our scores and we went on to take the leg 2-1. This prompted some steady scoring for the rest of the night, and we took the beer leg 2-0. A sporting evening with a high standard of banter. Joint top scores - Colin Greening and Mark Bennett.
Bere Essentials had a short journey to the Greyhound this week, to play the Oddballs. Unfortunately, they were unable to field six players so we had the situation where they had to count our lowest score (minus one) as their sixth player. This always leads to confusion, especially with the numerically challenged, but should favour the team with six players.
We started well and won the first leg 2-1 but suffered from a rash of sevens in the second leg, losing 2-0 when Oddballs anchorman hit a timely stick-up. The Greyhound is a high-scoring alley and we simply didn't hit enough pins.
Essentials raised their standards after this fright with three stick-ups including a stunning 18 from Mark Bennett. We set some challenging targets to win the next two legs 2-0 for an overall result of 3-1. Oddballs put up a good fight and things could have been different if they had brought a full team. A good night and an excellent supper. Top score Mark Bennett.
The first matches in the Wareham League 05/06 season were played on Tuesday, on a sweltering hot evening not really suited to skittles. Bere Essentials were at the Clay Pipe, against our old friends Scuttles Skittlers who finished second in the league last season. We have always been their bogey team so we expected a hard game.
Essentials started well, winning the first leg 2-0, largely due to Phil Allgood who must have been practising during the break. Phil scored well again in the second leg, but Skittlers rallied and won the leg 2-1. They hit form again in the third leg and after three high-scoring games, with stick-ups from both teams, they won 2-1 again.
The beer leg also went their way at first but Essentials came back with well-timed stick-ups to win 2-1. Skittlers said they always crack up in the beer leg and they certainly did this time.
We had a great night despite being out of practice, good scores, friendly opposition and sausage and chips for supper. The beer at the Clay Pipe is very cheap too, especially by Bere Regis standards. The match was watched by several grockles and their kids from the caravan site - I don't know what they made of a Dorset evening out but we enjoyed it.