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Bere Essentials Skittles 2004 - 2005

21 March 2005

This week saw a short trip to the Drax Arms for the last league match of the season. The opposition in recent games had been living up to their name 'Born Again' and this was to be no different. After a struggle we dragged a full team together and play began. Well they did anyway, in no time at all we had lost four legs and were 2-0 down. The next leg followed in similar fashion, an early night loomed, but then to front came Steve Gamble. Two stick-ups, good team support, two consecutive winning legs, 2-1 down and all to play for in the 'Beer'. A closely contested first leg and another stick-up from Steve in the second saw us draw level only to fail in the final throws. A disappointing 3-1 defeat but not all doom and gloom, two cup matches to follow in early April and a welcome back to the skipper. Top score Steve Gamble.

14 March 2005

Another week, another venue and a chance to redeem ourselves before the skippers' return. The Greyhound Inn saw two teams play out an enthralling match, in good spirits with many a tale from the past, even a new one to saviour, Colin 'The Clamp' Greening, but that's another story. Two legs won in quick time, 1-0 up, and a third followed in devastating fashion, no trouble, back home before 10 o'clock. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, things went horribly wrong. Stop …………. is beginning to sound familiar? The Woodentops showed great resolve and played outstanding skittles to reel off two legs without even giving us time to ring the bell and order some more drinks, 1-1 and their tails were up. But solid play from the Bere Essentials team and a couple of stick-ups from Mark and Colin cut out any thoughts of the week before and we were 2-1 up. The 'Beer' game first ebbed one way and then the other, ball to hand co-ordination was not at its best, abit late in the evening for Brian. However, Colin once again showed us how to take another stick-up and a 3-1 victory was assured. Top score Mark Bennett.

07 March 2005

With the skipper away in a sunnier climate down under, it was time to throw caution to the wind, shuffle the pack, pick up points and claw our way up the table. Continuing the form of the previous week and in glorious style, two legs won in quick time, 1-0 up, and a third followed in devastating fashion, no trouble, back home before 10 o'clock. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, things went horribly wrong. Six out of the next seven legs showed why Bloxworth seems to be our bogey alley; the Greyhound team have never had it so good. A series of 2s, 3s and 4s assisted their superior and consistent play and from the jaws of another victory we were hammered 3-1, bring on the food. It wasn't all gloom though, Steve and Mark turned in reasonably good performances and Phil managed to hit some wood on each throw. Top score Steve Gamble.

28 February 2005

A trip to Lytchett RBL saw the Bere Essentials in fine form. Defying the odds set by Paddy Power we came away with a victory of great magnitude against a team of much higher standing. It all started well, got even better in the middle games and finished with flurry that saw us feel sorry for the opposition, the Rejects looked rejected, a 3-1 win, never in doubt. You cannot put into words the night itself, several stick-ups, many a score of nine, the usual rest leg and immense pressure put on ourselves by ourselves. The skipper once again was a shining example and led from the front, well nearly from the end to be exact, and was ably assisted by the other team members, even Phil. However, his great ability and style was on show yet again, it can't be luck to throw three balls straight through and leave all nine pins standing two weeks on the trot, but there you go, he managed it. Top score David Edmonds and Mark Bennett.

21st February 2005

The Wareham League season is nearly over, only four games to go before we get into all the Cup play-offs. This week Essentials were at the Oak against Bin Liners who always give us a hard time. We were lucky to draw our previous match so we knew that a win was unlikely.

The first three legs were very close, all going to three games with Bin Liners taking the lead 2-1. The beer leg turned out to be a huge disappointment. Essentials lost the plot completely, setting 31 (probably our lowest score this season) which included an OXO, so game 1 to Bin Liners. They then hit 65 which included four stick-ups and went away happy with a 3-1 win when we failed to match their total. A bizarre leg even by our standards. Top score David Edmonds.

Our Skittle correspondent is off down under for a well earnt holiday so normal service will be resumed on his return.

14th February 2005

Bere Essentials had a chance to level the scores with the Wooders, who beat us 3-1 in the first half of the season. We felt at the time that they were lucky so looked forward to a better result this time. However, Bloxworth Club has been a bogey alley in the past.

The first leg went our way, but from then on it was all downhill. The gaps between the pins seemed to get bigger and our scores got smaller. Wooders took the next three legs without Essentials winning a game to take the match 3-1. No revenge after all, but the supper was excellent. Top score Gordon Tucker.

7th February 2005

This week Bere Essentials were back in League action after the excitement of the pairs. We were 'at home' for a change, at the Drax against the Misfits who are well above us in the league table. However, the Drax alley is a great leveller so we were hoping for a good result.

The first leg started well as we took the first game but we lost the second and then the third as Misfits' captain hit a single pin with his last ball to win the leg. At this point Mark Bennett hit form and helped Essentials to win leg 2 with two stick-ups. Encouraged by this, Essentials produced some good scores to win leg 3 and go into the beer leg 2-1 up. Misfits were unusually quiet at this stage.

The beer leg was close-fought and went to three games but Essentials could not produce the high scores needed and ended up with a worthy 2-2 draw. A good result from a strong team effort.

31st January 2005

No Wareham League matches this week as it was the first round of the Pairs competition. Bere Essentials only had one team entered, Mark Bennett and David Edmonds. We were at Lytchett Legion, which was useful as we had played there last week and won.

The pairs matches are played as aggregate games, each pair having eight throws, with the top two from each venue going through to the final in May. We had a good start, David hit a 17 stick-up first throw and Mark responded with a flopper for another 17 in the second leg. This gave us a big lead which we were able to defend by some steady scoring.

Another stick-up in the fifth throw made things look even better and we held on to win despite some stiff competition. Through to the final on May 9th, which seems a long way away but time does fly when you're having fun.

24th January 2005

After playing a few of the top teams lately, Essentials set off for the Lytchett Legion hoping for a win against Hooray Henrys, who we beat 4-0 in the first half of the season.

Luckily everything went to plan. Henrys are a friendly team with some good players and they gave us a good game but for once the pins fell for us. For example, when we needed a 14 to win leg 2 Colin Greening hit 18. When they needed 12 to win, their anchor man hit 11. It was that sort of a night and we came away with a 4-0 win. Top score Steve Gamble.

17th January 2005

Bere Essentials continued the run of games against the top teams when we met the very top team, Second Fronters. The Greyhound is a high-scoring alley so we were expecting to struggle.

Although the final score went against us, we had a very close match. The first leg went to the Fronters 2-1, the deciding game being won by a single pin. We took another game in leg 2 and made them work hard and were close to victory in leg 3 (but not close enough).

Everything came together in the beer leg and some good scores by Essentials gave us the leg 2-0, Fronters taking the match 3-1. They set some huge scores and played consistently all evening, showing why they are top of the league. Top score Mark Bennett.

10th January 2005

Bere Essentials faced a hard match this week. We played the Breakaways, who beat us 4-0 in the first half of the season and we were at Sandford Legion where we always struggle.

However, the Sandford alley is a great leveller and Breakaways found it to be just as unrewarding. A good first leg found us in the lead having won two straight games. Breakaways then hit form and won leg 2 easily, setting a massive 54 in the process.

They started leg 3 well, but we fought back to be 2-1 up after they could only set 27 to win and only three of our players were needed. The beer leg was going to be close but an unfortunate OXO let the opposition in for a 2-2 draw. The Sandford curse struck again. Top score Colin Greening despite a cold.

4th January 2005

The first game of the New Year saw Essentials at the Clay Pipe against the Poison Dwarfs. We have slipped down the league lately, ending up below this week's opposition so a good result was needed.

The match didn't start too well, some erratic scoring by Essentials putting us 2-0 down by the half-way stage with only one game won out of five. Then the great Essentials fightback started, the third leg was ours with two straight games and we won the beer leg after a three-game leg.

An honourable result, 2-2 against a team who always make a game of skittles fun. Top score Colin Greening.

20th December 2004

The Wareham League is now in the second half of the season and we have begun playing teams for the second time this year. This week Essentials met the Oddballs at the clean, shiny Royal Oak, always one of our favourite alleys. As we beat Oddballs 4-0 in the autumn we were confident of a good result.

Unfortunately we had a bad start, partly due to a missing team member which meant a hasty last-minute recruitment from the bar. However, Essentials fought back with some good stick-ups to get a deserved draw. Taking six points from Oddballs in the season is not a bad result as they have some good players. Top score David Edmonds.

13th December

Part of the pleasure of playing skittles is the friendly rivalry between most of the teams. Bere Essentials have enjoyed being the bogey team for Scuttles Skittlers, having beaten them three times in the league and the cup last season. Our first game against them this season ended in an honourable draw so we wanted to keep up our unbeaten run when we met at Bloxworth Club this week.

It was a friendly game but not with the result we wanted. Essentials slump in form goes on and despite some very close games the final scoreboard read 4-0 to Skittlers. We have lost our touch lately and have lost games that we should have won or drawn. Top score was a pensioner with a pacemaker, which shows how badly we played.

6th December 2004

Bere Essentials were back in League action this week, against the Rejects at the Greyhound, both the venue and the opposition being known for high scores. As Rejects are above us in the league we were delighted to start strongly and win the first leg, by the skin of our teeth and a Bennett stick-up of 15 which was just enough.

That was the end of the good news. From then on, Rejects showed their class and took the next three legs to win 3-1. The sausage and chips supper was good though. Top score Mark Bennett.

29th November 2004

The Sandford saga continued this week with Bere Essentials meeting the Binliners in the first round of the Aggregate Cup. Last year we were runners-up so we were looking forward to this competition and as we had drawn with Binliners two weeks ago so a close game was likely.

The Aggregate is different in that all the pins have to be knocked down before all nine are reset, so if the first player hits eight the second player has a single pin to see off before he gets nine to throw at - this sometimes takes more than one ball.

Essentials started well enough with a small lead after three throws but then had two bad hands and fell 17 behind. A lot to make up on any alley but almost impossible at Sandford. However, some bad luck hit the Binliners and Essentials hit their targets to go into the last throw needing only 25. When the first three players had hit 19 Binliners' captain Chay Fox sportingly gave us the match. A good night and maybe the end of the curse of Sandford. Watch this space.

22nd November 2004

The Bere Essentials saga continues - after a good result last week we met the Wooders with some confidence as they are several points below us in the league. Once again the curse of Sandford Legion struck. We seem to be unable to score more than 40 while our opponents notch up scores that are just out of reach. Wooders won 3-1 and we were lucky to get the beer leg, thanks to a stick-up from top scorer Mark Bennett.

Within the team the very mention of the word 'Sandford' makes strong men tremble these days and the captain has been known to wake up shouting ' not Sandford again'. We saw our first OXO of the season too.

Guess where we play next week, in the Aggregate Cup. Yes, Sandford.

15th November 2004

Bere Essentials had mixed feelings about this week's venue. Bloxworth Club is a difficult alley but the supper is great. We played the Bin Liners, a strong team who were one point below us so a good result was needed.

The start was not good. Bin Liners hit pins while we found the gaps and we were soon 1-0 down. Luckily we rallied and managed to take the next two legs, partly due to a cracking 16 from Phil Allgood. Bin Liners came back strongly to take the beer leg, leaving a fair result at 2-2.

Top score Mark Bennett. Supper was excellent!

8th November 2004

This week Bere Essentials were at Sandford legion, against the Greyhound who are third from bottom so we were confident of another win. Unfortunately, Essentials had their worst evening for a long time, played really badly and went down 3-1. It is too embarrassing to go into the details of the match. Greyhound deserved to win and we were lucky to get a point.

Hopefully, things can only get better because we are at Sandford for two more matches this month. Not really a bogey alley - watch this space. Top score David Edmonds.

1st November 2004

After another 4-0 defeat last week (unreported due to holidays) Bere Essentials had slipped down the league table to fifth place. This week we were at the Lytchett Legion, against the Misfits, a strong team who had overtaken us by one point so a hard match was on the cards.

It turned out to be exactly that - each leg went to three games, there were loads of stick-ups and some amazing changes of fortune. Essentials won the first leg, Misfits the second, Essentials the third so we went into the beer leg happy with a draw but looking for a win.

This leg went to the third game with Misfits throwing last. Their last man needed 12 to win and hit a flopper first ball. Game over? Not really - he could only hit two pins with his remaining two balls so we won 3-1. This was typical of the whole match, although there was some very good scoring, luck played a large part. A great night against a sporting team.

18th October 2004

Of course, we all knew Essentials could not stay top of the league for ever. We knew we would meet a good team one day, at a difficult alley, and have a bad night. Maybe another draw, or even lose 3-1 (but win the beer leg).

What happened was....we met the Breakaways, who were two points behind us, at the Drax, which has the biggest gaps between the pins and had a nightmare evening.

Breakaways were able to miss the gaps and we found them with deadly accuracy. Unable to set challenging scores and unable to meet our targets, Essentials were hammered 4-0, only able to win two games all night. Breakaways played well and deserved to win. Our top performer was Mark Bennett.

11th October 2004

An unusual event for the Wareham League this week - two Bere teams in a Bere pub! Essentials played the Woodentops in the first round of the Knockout Cup at the Royal Oak. This competition is slightly different from league games as a match has five legs instead of four, making a draw impossible.

Having beaten Woodentops 4-0 recently, Essentials started confidently and won the first game easily. Woodentops hit back and set some good scores, each leg going to three close games. In the end, Essentials' superior firepower did the trick and we won the match 3-0. A good night against a fun team.

Next week we are at the Drax against another local team, Breakaways.

4th October 2004

Bere Essentials run of luck goes on - this week's league table shows us to be top by a point, not just on alphabetical merit. However, we have some strong teams to play in the near future and this week was no exception. Back at the Oak against the Poison Dwarfs, a team that always set a hard target.

Dwarfs started badly, setting only 34 in the first game and not matching our 50 in the second. 1-0 to Essentials. Then the Dwarfs started firing on all cylinders and took the second leg. Essentials came back well to win the third and we went into the beer leg hoping for another win. It was not to be, Dwarfs set too many for us and the end result was an honourable draw 2-2. At least we have not lost a match yet.

Top score Colin Greening for the third week in a row.

20th September 2004

The draw last week meant that Bere Essentials lost their lofty place in the table and fell to third, so a good result was needed this week. We played the Oddballs at Bloxworth Club and both teams soon proved what a difficult alley that is. The pins seem even further apart this year and the bolters were coming thick and fast.

Luckily, Oddballs low scores were slightly below ours and we managed to win 4-0. Top score Colin Greening. At least the Oddballs had the consolation of a good supper, we are always looked after well at Bloxworth.

13th September  2004

Bere Essentials enjoyed a second week at the top of the table but knew they had a hard game against Scuttles Skittlers at the Oak. We had beaten Jerry's team twice last season and knocked them out of a cup run, so they were determined to get some revenge.

Essentials started well, winning the first leg 2-0 and hoped to pressure the Skittlers into making mistakes. The plan didn't work, Skittlers are a good side and they proved it by winning the next two legs.

Into the beer leg with everything to play for, Essentials fought back and set some good scores which Skittlers could not match. Final result, a very fair 2-2 after a match played in a very competitive and friendly spirit. Top score Colin Greening.

6th September  2004

This week Bere Essentials enjoyed the rare honour of being top of the league table (after one game, equal on points with four other teams but first in alphabetical order). We were at the Clay Pipe against the Woodentops and had high hopes of another win. Why two teams from Bere had to go all the way to the Clay Pipe beats me, but that is how the Wareham League works!

For some reason the Pipe were not expecting us so we had some work to do rolling up the carpet and setting up the alley - the staff were very helpful and laid on a good supper however.

Once the skittles started it was obvious that Essentials were in a winning mood again, despite being handicapped by the skipper playing single-handed. Somehow he fluked a couple of stick-ups and the rest of the team piled on the pressure to give Woodentops little chance. They scored well but Essentials managed another 4-0 to stay at the top for another week at least. Top score David Edmonds.

31st August  2004

The Wareham League skittles season started on Tuesday, Bere Essentials being at full strength thanks to a new recruit and good support from last season's players. We met the Hooray Henrys at the Greyhound, one of our favourite venues, and had the best possible start.

Although nobody had played for several months, all the team scored well and we had at least one stick-up every game. Henrys were unable to match our totals and we won each leg 2-0 to give an overall result of 4-0. Top of the league so far!

Top score Gordon Tucker, with several close behind.

Skittles 2003 -2004

29th March 2004

A skittles team captain has quite a rewarding job when things are going well but it can be very frustrating sometimes. This week Bere Essentials were at the Clay Pipe up against the Bin Liners in the final league game of the season. Bin Liners are second in the table so we knew we had a tough night ahead of us - then one of our team failed to turn up! Too late to find a substitute, so we had to play with five men and take the penalty of scoring the oppositions lowest score minus one. 4-0 to the Bin Liners and a very disappointing end to the season. Top score Peter Wharf.

This may be the end of Bere Essentials - unless we can find some new players for next season it will be impossible to continue.

22nd March

This week Bere Essentials returned to one of our favourite alleys, the Greyhound, to play the Wooders - this promised to be a close match as the Wooders are only one place above us in the league.

The first leg turned out to be as expected, very close but thanks to one young man hitting three consecutive stick-ups, Wooders won 2-1.

Things then changed dramatically for the better. Essentials started hitting consistent high scores and Wooders cracked under the pressure. Their stick-up artist lost the plot and we hit several, winning the next three legs by 2-0 each time. A good team effort and a great game against a sporting and friendly team. Joint top scores Mark Bennett and Gordon Tucker.

15th March 2004

Bere Essentials have a series of hard games in the run-up to the end of the season, this weeks match being one of the most difficult. We met the Misfits at the Royal Oak - last years league winners and in line to do it again.

The match turned out to be very evenly balanced. Despite losing the first leg, Essentials managed to win the second, had a narrow loss in the third and went into the beer leg looking for a draw. We won the first game, but could not keep up the momentum and had to give Misfits best in the end.

A tiny bit of luck and things could have been different - two or three missed stick-up chances made the match a bit harder for us. Top score - Gordon Tucker.

8th March

Bere Essentials had a tough task this week - at the Sandford legion, which is the most unrewarding alley and against Second Fronters who are one point below the top of the table.

We had a dream start, taking the first leg by two games to nil and started the second leg by winning the first game. Then the dream turned into a nightmare. Second Fronters woke up and proceeded to hit a series of good scores (by Sandford standards) and Essentials failed to win another game. Final result 3-1 to the Fronters with neither side scoring a stickup all night.

Top score Colin Greening, bottom score Captain Edmonds who will have to drop himself next week!

1st March 2004

Bere Essentials were back at the Bloxworth Club, famous for cheap beer and great suppers. Not our favourite alley though, we have had some disasters there in the past. Our opponents were the Breakaways who are a strong team with three experienced players and several keen youngsters who are in their first season. We beat them in September but found that they had learnt a bit since then.

Unfortunately Essentials were not at their best and lost the first two legs 2-0. A fightback in the third leg gave us a point and we went into the beer leg with more confidence. Breakaways hit back with a 61 so we ended up 3-1 down. Top score Mark Bennett. Supper was terrific!

23rd February

More success for Bere Essentials this week. We were at Lytchett Legion against the Hooray Henrys who are just below us in the league so we were hoping for a win.

The first two legs went according to plan, both won 2-0 by Essentials. Then the Henrys stepped up a gear and Essentials missed a few chances giving the third leg away.

Luckily we were back on form for the beer leg for a 3-1 result. Top score with 80 from eight throws - Martin Barlow.

16th February

This week essentials had the luxury of a 'home' match at the Royal Oak - not that there is much luxury there! We played the Leftovers, who are basically a young team with two older and wiser players. On form, they can hit good scores and we could only manage to draw when we last met.

Fortunately, things were different this time. Leftovers gave us a couple of frights with scores of 50 or so, but they were unable to keep that standard up and Essentials won 4-0. A good team effort with a lot of competition for top score - eventually won by Mark Bennett.

2nd February

Bere Essentials were at the Clay Pipe this week, against the Oddballs who were given four points earlier in the season when we couldn't raise a team. As we usually do well at the Pipe we were looking forward to getting some points back, especially as we have been close to the Oddballs in the league all season.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out as planned. In spite of some good scoring by Essentials, including setting 60 in one game, the Oddballs managed to match everything we set them and came out 3-1 ahead. A tiny bit of luck could have seen a different result but it was not to be. Top score Colin Greening.

Next week will be the first round of the pairs so there will be no league match.

26th January

Every now and then a skittles match has a bit more importance and this week Bere Essentials had such a match. Our opponents at the Drax were Scuttles Skittlers, who were top of the league and and had only been beaten once this season - by Essentials, 3-1 at the Clay Pipe. There was a threat of revenge in the air!

However, Essentials put Scuttles under pressure from the start and they cracked - thanks to some consistent scoring we won the first two legs by two games to one then won the third two-nil. Scuttles had some consolation by winning the beer leg but had to give us best by 6-2 over the season.

A great team effort by Essentials, on an alley that has been unkind to us in the past. Top score Gordon Tucker.

19th January

The vagaries of the Wareham League meant that two teams from the village played at Sandford Legion - one of the problems caused by not having a 'home and away' system. Our opponents were the Woodentops who had been struggling to turn out a team recently and had ended up at the bottom of the table as a result of giving away points.

The first two legs could have gone either way, Woodentops showing that they are better skittlers than their league position suggests. Fortunately, after six close games Essentials were 2-0 up. Sandford is a low-scoring alley and we got away with setting scores that would be easily beaten anywhere else.

The last two legs saw Woodentops struggle to keep up and the final result went 4-0 to Essentials. Top score (by one point) - Peter Wharf. A fun evening against a friendly team.

12th January

Bere Essentials were at the Drax this week - nice to play in the village for a change, but the Drax is not an easy alley. The gaps between the pins seem to get bigger every time we play.

Our opponents were the Poison Dwarfs so we knew we were in for a bit of fun but also a hard game. The Dwarfs took the first two legs by very small margins but Essentials fought back to win the third and went into the beer leg confident of a draw. It was not to be, however and the final result was 3-1 to the Dwarfs.

A low-scoring match, with targets ranging from 38 to 47. No stick-ups by Essentials made the difference between the teams. Top score Mark Bennett.

5th January 2004

The first match in 2004 found Bere Essentials at the Greyhound, against the Greyhound who are just below us in the league so we were hoping to pick up some points. We started well, winning the first leg with good scores but then the Greyhound got their act together and matched everything we set them. Having missed a stickup or two, Essentials went into the beer leg 2-1 down. Luckily our form returned and we managed an honourable 2-2 draw.

A good night against a very friendly team. Top score - Colin Greening.

Thanks to the landlord of the Greyhound for a cracking supper of cottage pie.

8th December

Bere Essentials were back at the Clay Pipe this week, against the Poison Dwarfs who are one place above us in the league. Last time we played at this alley we had a great night, lots of stick-ups and a win so we were confident of a good result.

Unfortunately, Dwarfs had not read the same script, starting by winning the first two legs 2-0, 2-0. Essentials could not get any good scores together until the third leg which we managed to win but the beer leg went to the Dwarfs for a 3-1 final result. Only one stick-up all night for the Essentials, on what is normally a high-scoring alley.

Top score - Peter Wharf.

1st December

Bere Essentials had a break from the league to play the first round of the Aggregate Cup, against the Leftovers at the Greyhound.

This competition has a different format in that all nine pins have to be knocked down before being stuck up again - for example, if the first player hits seven, the second player must clear up the two remaining pins before having a throw at nine pins. Nine legs are played, the winners having the highest aggregate at the end.

It is a very tactical game which requires accuracy and the ability to clear up pins quickly. Fortunately, after a shaky start when we were a few pins behind, Essentials settled down and scored well, helped by Mark Bennett hitting an 18. After eight legs we were 42 points in front and the Leftovers sportingly conceded the match.

It was a great team effort, all players contributing to a well-desrved victory.

24th November 2003

Bere Essentials were at Sandford Legion this week, against the Hooray Henrys, bottom team in the league, so a good result was on the cards. Unfortunately, with the captain away on holiday and other team members with commitments, it was a struggle to get a team out yet again.

Despite promises, one player failed to turn up so we were forced to play with five skittlers, using the method where our sixth score was the opposition's lowest score minus one!

This proved to be too much of a handicap and Hooray Henrys won 3-1, probably their first win of the season. Top score Peter Wharf.

17th November

Following last week's disaster we had another struggle to turn out a team, having to dig deep into our reserves. Fortunately the match was against the Leftovers, who are below us in the league, so we had hopes of a good result. Unfortunately, Leftovers did not cooperate and took the first leg.

Essentials hit back, Mark Bennett scoring the team's first 18 of the year and we went into the beer leg 2-1 up. Leftovers hit back again with some good scores that we could not match, the end result being a 2-2 draw. Top score Gordon Tucker. Better luck next week!

The Woodentops were beaten by the Hooray Henry's - 3 to 1 at the Clay Pipe.

10th November

All bad news this week - after a run of good results we were looking to move up the league, but for all sorts of reasons we could only find four players this week and had to cancel our game. Who'd be a skittles captain

3rd November 2003

Bere Essentials visited the Clay Pipe this week, for a difficult fixture against Scuttles Skittlers (once known as the Saints). Scuttles are well above us in the league and the Clay Pipe is a high-scoring alley so we were not surprised when their first player hit 16 with the opening throw of the match.

Luckily, the rest of the team did not follow his example and we were able to win the first game. Encouraged by this success, Essentials continued a fine scoring run to take the first two legs. Scuttles were very quiet for a while then hit back to win the third leg 2-0.

Undaunted, Essentials took the first game of the beer leg, narrowly missed the second and roared back to win the third for a 3-1 result. A great evening of skittles against a friendly and sporting team.

This was a great team effort, everyone hit a good score and someone always came up trumps when it was needed. Joint top scores - Colin Greening and David Edmonds with the rest of the team close behind.

27th October

A local derby for Bere Essentials, at the Drax against the Woodentops. Essentials started with confidence, as the opposition are below us in the league and all went well for the first three legs. Although our scores were fairly low, Woodentops' were even lower and we went into the beer leg with a 3-0 lead.

Then it all went wrong! Woodentops hit back, had the only stick-up of the evening and took the beer leg in fine style. Final result 3-1 - top score shared by Colin Greening and Mark Bennett.

20th October

Bere Essentials were back at the Bloxworth Club, for the third time in five weeks. It's a very friendly club, but it would be nice to play somewhere else for a change...

Our opposition was the Greyhound - just below us in the league so we were hoping for a win. The first two legs went according to plan, 2-0 up despite some low scores. Then Greyhound fought back with a bang, scoring over 50 twice to win leg 3. Luckily, Essentials hit form and won the beer leg for a 3-1 victory. Top score Mark Bennett.

KO CUP

The Knockout Cup first round took place this week, with Bere Essentials against Second Fronters at Bloxworth Club. We turned out a strong team, with high hopes of progress towards a place in the final like last season. However, Fronters had beaten us 4-0 in the league and showed their class again to win by three straight legs. The Essentials played well but.... Top score - David Edmonds.

13th October 2003

After last week's humiliation, Bere Essentials were hoping to do better at the Greyhound against the Bin Liners this week. The Bins were league champions last season, but are only one place above us in the league at present so we had high hopes.

Unfortunately, due to holidays, illness etc the team was short of regular players and included a drunk picked up in a bar. Essentials started well with a win in the first game, but went from bad to worse and then worse to dreadful, 3-0 down after three legs. The Greyhound has new, very heavy, pins and we found them hard to knock over.

However, the scoring touch returned and we won the beer leg in style - even the drunk scored well!

Top score - David Edmonds (by one pin)

6th October 2003

After last week's humiliation, Bere Essentials were hoping to do better at the Greyhound against the Bin Liners this week. The Bins were league champions last season, but are only one place above us in the league at present so we had high hopes.

Unfortunately, due to holidays, illness etc the team was short of regular players and included a drunk picked up in a bar. Essentials started well with a win in the first game, but went from bad to worse and then worse to dreadful, 3-0 down after three legs. The Greyhound has new, very heavy, pins and we found them hard to knock over.

However, the scoring touch returned and we won the beer leg in style - even the drunk scored well!

Top score - David Edmonds (by one pin)

29th September 2003

If Bere Essentials have a bogey alley it is the one at Sandford Legion and this week we had the misfortune to play there against one of the top teams, the Rejects.

Probably psyched out before we started, most of the Essentials played well below their capabilities and the first three legs went 2-0, 2-0, 2-0 to the Rejects. The beer leg was much closer, Essentials actually won a game and pushed hard for a win, but in the end our luck ran out and the final score was 4-0. No high scores recorded, only one stick-up all night between both teams. Top score - Colin Greening (well, it used to be his home alley)

22nd September 2003

Bere Essentials were at the Bloxworth Club versus the Wooders, a very friendly team who are above us in the league.

Essentials started well, winning the first leg easily but we lost our way in the second and could not keep the momentum going. A run of missed stick-ups and some erratic shots found us 2-1 down going into the beer leg. However, a return to form gave us the leg for a 2-2 result but we have to reflect on how much better the score might have been!

Welcome back Peter Wharf who missed all of last season through business commitments - he played well and added some vocal encouragement that had been missing. Top score Mark Bennett again.

15th September 2003

Bere Essentials played the Misfits at Lytchett Legion. Misfits are a strong team and beat us easily in the final of the Knockout Cup last season, so we knew we were in for a hard game.

Despite winning the first game, we lost the first leg and were worried that another whitewash was on the cards. However, steady scoring gave us the second leg, which inspired the Misfits to greatness - they hit some huge scores to take the third leg, two of the team getting 18 apiece.

Fortunately, their luck ran out and Essentials were able to take the beer leg - final result a hard-fought 2-2, each leg going to three games. A good night of skittles played in a good spirit. Top score - Mark Bennett.

8th September 2003

After a good win last week, Bere Essentials were looking forward to the second match of the season, against the Second Fronters at the Drax. The Fronters are always a strong team and the Drax alley can be unrewarding so some luck was going to be needed.

Unfortunately, after losing the first game by a narrow margin, things got worse and worse for Essentials. Their scores were never up to the required standard and the final result was a humiliating 4-0 defeat. It is early in the season and most of the team are a bit rusty, whereas Fronters play in several leagues (and it showed ! ). Top score - David Edmonds.

1st September 2003

The new Wareham and District skittles league season started this week, with Bere Essentials against the Breakaways at the Royal Oak. The Breakaways are following the committee's request to introduce young players and have signed three young men who look very promising for the future. (Essentials youngest was the wrong side of 40.)

The Oak has always been a high-scoring alley, even with the new pins, so it was no surprise when the stick-ups started and both sides set demanding targets.

At the end, it was the Essential oldies who hit the most, winning 3-1 and taking the beer leg. Top score - Mark Bennett with exactly 100 from nine throws.

Good news July 2003

Some good news on the skittles situation - we thought the Bere Essentials were about to fade into skittles history 
BUT
 by picking up a few players from other teams which have folded recently we have managed to get a squad together for the 2003/4 season.

 Dave Edmunds is the new captain, and attended the Wareham and District League AGM at the Rugby Club to register the team for the coming season. The league stays intact with 14 teams as usual and the same alleys will be in use. The team name remains the same and hopefully Martin will be able to play regularly (if pressure of work allows). No date has been set for the start of the season as yet - we will keep you informed.

Skittles 2002 - 2003

The end of an era?

The match on June 13th (an inauspicious date) marked the end of a long and happy reign of Martin Barlow as the Captain of the Bere Essentials. The Essentials were formed in 1989 and achieved the proud record of playing for 10 years without winning a single trophy, for which achievement they were given the 10-0 award in 1999. However, since then this record has been rather spoilt by winning 2 runner's up trophies in cup competitions, although the teams place "at the top of the bottom" of the league has never been in serious doubt.

Martin is the only remaining member of the original team and has given long and distinguished service as an inspirational Captain. This has involved a great deal of effort in getting (and keeping) players together and in providing inspiration to the team through many triumphs and disasters. The great Barlow cry of "Orse em on down" will be missed by the whole league, not to mention the usual end-of-match comment "It's rude to win". He has undoubtedly been one of the great characters of the Wareham and District League

Now that (as Martin would say) the nights will soon be drawing in again and thoughts turn to next season, the future of the Bere Essentials is uncertain, but Martin at least will be taking a very well deserved rest (who knows, maybe just a rest) from the Captaincy, and the whole team would like to thank him for all his efforts over the years. Whatever happens, the team won't be the same without him.

13th June 2003 Bere Essentials lost 3 - 0 in the Knockout Cup Final at the Drax.

The Essentials, playing in only their second ever Knockout cup final, and for the last time with Martin Barlow as Captain, lost to the Binliners (?) without putting up too much of a fight. With Giles (probbaly teh best player this year) already departed for warmer climes, the team struggled against stronger opposition on a tough alley. Perhaps not the very best finale, but at least another trophy was added to the collection.

6th May 2003 Bere Essentials reach final of  KO Cup

Bere Essentials played their Knockout Cup semi-final against the Wooders at the Greyhound. This is probably our favourite alley, where we have had high scores in the past, so we went into the match feeling fairly confident.

Unfortunately, the first two legs went against us, Wooders getting more than their share of luck and Essentials missing several stick-up chances. When we lost the first game of the third leg things started looking black - one game away from defeat. However, the team settled down to some steady scoring, Wooders luck ran out and we pulled back to 2-2.

The final leg saw Essentials on song, winning 2-0 (with the help of a timely stick-up from young Harold Churchill) the 3-2 result giving us a place in the final at the Drax on 27 May.

Top score - Giles Moore, who will sadly miss the final as he is leaving for Australia. They don't play skittles in Brisbane.

22nd April

Our reports may improve after our correspondent was seen in the Drax after a long absent spell due to being exiled and banished to the Royal Oak.

Although the Wareham League season has ended, the cup games are still going on. This week Bere Essentials played their first game in the Aggregate Cup, having had a bye in the first round, their opponents being the Poison Dwarfs.

The Aggregate Cup is played to different rules in that all nine pins have to be knocked down before being set up - for example, if the first player leaves one pin, the second player has to hit it to get all nine set up again. This can lead to low scores if a team are a bit off form.

Essentials were a bit off form and the Dwarfs were playing their usual accurate game, steadily pulling ahead until it became obvious that a miracle was needed and Captain Barlow threw in the towel.

Never mind, we are still in the Knockout Cup - next match 6 May.

7th April 2003

The second round of the Knockout Cup saw Bere Essentials back at Bloxworth Club against Skuttles Skittlers - a team we always enjoy playing.

The Knockout Cup matches are best-of-five legs to ensure a result, so we knew we were in for a hard evening, especially after struggling to hit good scores at the same alley last week.

However, a good start for Essentials and some unusually low scores from Skittlers gave us the first leg, but this inspired the Skittlers who took the next two legs and put the pressure back on Essentials.

The hero of the night then appeared! Richard 'Stump' Chivers had been playing single-handed to protect his injured finger and bravely went back to double-handed for the rest of the match. His scores of 9, 15, 9 and 9 inspired the rest of the team, who backed up his efforts with some steady skittling, giving Essentials a 3-2 win. Top score - Stump.

31st March 2003

The last league game of the season saw Bere Essentials at Bloxworth Club against the Purbeck Players. On paper, this should have been a match that Essentials would win, but some uncharacteristically low scoring from certain players (who will claim to have suffered terrible luck) let the Players enjoy a 2-2 draw. Top score - Colin Greening.

Although this was not the way we wanted to end the season, it must be said that the total points scored were the highest in Essentials' history and with two cup runs to complete, we still have something to look forward to before it is all over.

24th March 2003

Bere Essentials had a local derby with the Woodentops - not very local because the match was held at Lytchett Legion. Woodentops are not the strongest team in the league, but great fun to play against. Essentials duly won 4-0 after a brief moment of panic in the beer leg.

Top score Giles Moore who pipped Richard Chivers at the post with a stickup on his last throw.

17th March 2003

Bere Essentials were at Sandford Legion against the Greyhound - a match we expected to win, looking at our record from past games. However, Sandford is a famously hard alley, where even the best teams struggle to score. We began to realise that it was not our lucky night when the minibus broke down in Wareham Forest and Ray had to rush to our rescue in his taxi. The rest of the evening went much the same way and after some erratic skittling we were lucky to get away with a 2-2 draw. Top score Giles Moore.

10th March 2003

Bere Essentials were at one of our favourite alleys, the Greyhound - scene of some awesome scoring in the past. Unfortunately, the magic was not there this time and with a couple of exceptions the team played badly. The Rejects seemed to get all the luck and, with the help of some niggling gamesmanship, managed to win 4-0. Top score was Colin Greening, who started with two 15 stick-ups, but it was not enough to save us.

3rd March 2003

 Bere Essentials faced a hard match at the Clay Pipe, against the current league leaders Bin Liners. However, the Pipe appears to be an unlucky alley for the Bin Liners and Essentials started well by winning the first leg. Bin Liners were lucky to win the second leg by a very narrow margin and then showed their class by taking the third.

Essentials fought back in the beer leg, setting some challenging scores and were rewarded with a 2-2 draw. A great result against a very strong team. Top score - Giles Moore. Wounded soldier Richard Chivers deserves a mention for playing well one-handed (for the first time ever) and hitting a stick-up to help win the beer leg.

25th February 2003

No skittles result this week - for the first time in living memory Bere Essentials could not raise a team. For various reasons, ranging from holidays to someone losing an argument with a chain saw, we were down to four players and Captain Barlow had to throw in the towel. This week's winner was the chain saw!

17th February 2003

This week Bere Essentials were at Bloxworth Club against the Misfits, who we beat in a giant-killing match earlier in the season. Misfits are  lying second so we expected a hard game. However, the always-difficult alley came to our rescue and Misfits found it hard to score. Essentials went into the beer leg with a 2-1 lead hoping for another famous victory, but Misfits hit form and forced a draw. Perhaps we should have claimed the game when they turned up late!

Top score Giles Moore.

3rd February 2003

This week's match saw Bere Essentials visit the Greyhound against the Hooray Henrys. Essentials started well and won the first three legs fairly easily. However, the Henrys fought back strongly in the beer leg, setting the highest scores of the night and winning a consolation leg. Result - 3-1 to Essentials, top score Richard Chivers.

Just another point - The Woodentops actually won their first game of the season this week - Hallejuha !!

27th January 2003

This week Bere Essentials were at the Lytchett Legion against the Second Fronters - a team well above us in the league. Essentials started well (or Fronters started badly) and we won the first leg. This fired up the Fronters, who raised their game and their scores to take the next three legs. Essentials put up a fight but missed too many stick-up chances. Top score - Giles Moore.

Very bad news this week - the Royal Oak is to close the skittle alley, apparently to convert the building to a function room. Rumour has it that it will become a venue for pole dancing - just what a Dorset village pub needs! This will be a blow to the many skittles players in the area, especially the Dorchester League teams.

20th January 2003

Bere Essentials were at the Drax this week against the Breakaways. A  3-1 defeat for Essentials. Top score - Giles Moore. 

13th January 2003

This week Bere Essentials were at home in the Royal Oak against the Poison Dwarfs and we expected a close match. Essentials started well with some high scores and won the first leg easily. Then we relaxed for a while and consistent scoring by the Dwarfs gave them the next two legs. Essentials then woke up again and fought back to take the beer leg and draw the match 2-2. Top score - Richard Chivers.

2nd January 2003

Bere Essentials were due to play the Oddballs on Monday at the Clay Pipe, but the opposition were unable to raise a team due to illness and seasonal excesses. A useful four points for Essentials which should help our league position.

Next Monday is the first round of the Aggregate Cup and Essentials have a bye so no report until the 17th.

16th December 2002

Bere Essentials were back at Sandford Legion this week, against our old friends Scuttles Skittlers who are several places above us in the league.

Unfortunately, the giant-killing skills shown in recent weeks deserted the Essentials this time, the Sandford alley proving as always to be difficult. After a low-scoring match the result was a 3-1 defeat for Essentials but we did win the beer leg.

Phil Nash played well to hit top score by one point.

9th December

This week, Bere Essentials were not looking forward to their match at Lytchett Legion, home of the dreaded line dancing, especially as we were against the Rejects, who were third in the league.

The good news is that line dancing is no longer held at the Legion!

The even better news is that Essentials won 4-0!!

Although Essentials played reasonably well, it must be said that Rejects did us a favour by not playing to their usual standard, missing several stick-up chances. Their last score was so low that they conceded the game after only four balls had been thrown in reply! Top score was Colin Greening again.

2nd December

Essentials won 3 - 0 at Drax Arms.

24th November

Bere Essentials returned to the Sandford Legion this week, meeting the Oddballs in the first round of the Knockout Cup. Matches in this competition are played over five legs (so a draw is impossible) and can lead to a long night!

Luckily, Essentials were on form and managed to win the first three legs in spite of the vagaries of the alley, although Oddballs gave us a few frights on the way.

Top score Colin Greening.

18th November

Having had some good results lately (including being partly responsible for knocking the Misfits off the top of the league table), Bere Essentials went to the Sandford Legion in a confident mood. However, the Bin Liners showed us why they are the new leaders. On a low-scoring alley, Essentials could not find their previous form and went down 4-0, winning only one game all night. Top score - Giles Moore.

11th November

This week, Bere Essentials had a local derby, playing the Greyhound at the Drax. As usual on this alley, the scores were low but fortunately the Greyhound's scores were lower than ours. A good win for the Essentials 4-0. Top score Richard Chivers.

4th November

The Bere Essentials had a hard match at the Greyhound this week, against the Misfits who currently fill the top spot on the league table.

Despite the Essentials setting quite demanding scores, the first leg went to the Misfits 2-0, giving them good reason to be noisy and confident. But then.....

Essentials fought back brilliantly, winning six of the next eight games to take the match 3-1. Misfits went very quiet and the phrase 'you're not singing any more' came to mind!

Lots of good scores but the top man was Roger Duncanson with a dazzling display of skittling.

28th October

This week, Essentials played the Second Fronters at home in the Oak and had their first experience of the new Wareham League pins. These must be the heaviest skittles in Dorset, if not the world, and proved to be very different from the old ones. Scores were lower and sticking up was very hard work.

Essentials played well, but the opposition proved to be up to the challenge, twice winning a leg by the last man hitting a stick-up, the final result being a 3-1 win for the Fronters. Highest score Colin Greening, again.

21st October

Our normal correspondent is still sailing but H advised me that Bere Essentials lost 3 to 1 Spud's team at Bloxworth.  High score was Giles and H had the only stick up all night.

14th October 2002

No skittles report this week, Monday was the first round of the Singles competition and Martin forgot to send in our entry form!!

No report next week either, I will be bobbing about in the Med.

7th October

Before the start of this game, Bere Essentials held their highest league position for a long time, sitting happily in third place.

However, the Poison Dwarfs at the Clay Pipe proved to be a bigger obstacle than expected and Essentials ended up losing 3-1. We didn't play at our best and were put off by a standard of 'sledging' that would have made Shane Warne proud! Top score Colin Greening (again).

30th September 2002

Bere Essentials were at the Greyhound this week, playing the Purbeck Players on one of the highest-scoring alleys. We started well, winning the first two legs easily, but the Players came back (while we had a rest leg) to take the third. Essentials were back on form for the beer leg giving us a 3-1 win. Top score Colin Greening.

23rd September 2002

This week Bere Essentials played the Oddballs at Sandford Legion - the alley that is famous for low scoring. It proved to be as demanding as ever, with individual scores ranging from 0 to 9, everybody having a fair share of 'bolters' and no stick-ups all night. The totals set varied between 27 and 42.

Luckily, our dreadful scores were higher than theirs, the match ending up 4-0 to the Essentials. Top score - Colin Greening with an average of exactly 7 from 9 throws.

16th September 2002

Bere Essentials met Scuttles Skittlers (our old friends Jerry and the Saints) at the Clay Pipe and got off to a flying start with a win in the first leg. From there on it was all down hill and we were beaten by a better team 3-1. A good evening with a great atmosphere so no regrets.

9th September 2002

Bere Essentials had a rare treat this week - a local derby against the Woodentops at home in the Royal Oak. The draw normally sends the village teams as far away as possible when they play each other.

After last week's erratic performance, Essentials got their act together and managed some consistent scoring. Woodentops put up a good fight and gave us a fright in the beer leg, but in the end Essentials had a 4-0 win.

Top score - David Edmonds.

2nd September 2002

Yes, winter is nearly here!

The Wareham League skittles started on 2nd September, Bere Essentials being in action at the Lytchett Legion against the Hooray Henrys. There was some pretty erratic skittling, not surprising really after several months layoff and no practice. The result was a friendly 2-2 draw which was thoroughly deserved by both sides. Top score - Richard Chivers.

SKITTLES 2001-2002

Final of Aggregate Cup Final

Bere Essentials lost in close final.  They lost on the last hand despite having a 7-point lead so collected our runners-up medals at the prizegiving. The opposing captain, Ian Tubbs, publicly stated that they should not have won, and we got a bigger clap than the winners!

Monday 20th May 2002

The semi-final of the Aggregate Cup took place at the Royal Oak on Monday 20th May 2002, Essentials against the Bin Liners, a very strong team with the accurate players that this competition needs.

Bin Liners started strongly and took an early lead, but Essentials fought back and the lead changed nearly every hand.

Inspired by being on their home alley (and by a free pint on the landlord), Essentials went into the final throw with a 7-point lead.

Set 8 to win on the last throw of the night, Colin Greening hit exactly that, Essentials winning by one pin on the last ball.

Watch this space for news of the final (except that it's at the Drax so Pete and DaveI won't be there!)

22/04/02

Bere Essentials are through to the semi-finals of the Aggregate Cup after a tough game against the Oddballs at the Greyhound. This is the game where any pins left standing after an individuals throw must be cleared by the next player before all nine are stuck up again. Luckily, Essentials were the more accurate team and came from behind to score a convincing win - Oddballs conceding before their final throw.

Next round will be at the Drax on Monday 20th May.

08/04/02

Bere Essentials played at Bloxworth Club in the Knockout Cup, against the all-woman Poison Dwarfs. This competition requires a 5-leg match, to avoid the chance of a draw, and we had a long evening as it went to the full five legs. Bloxworth has small balls and wide gaps, which we all found with unerring accuracy. Despite some low scores, Essentials had several chances to wrap up the match, but could not produce the shots when they were needed. Top score - David Edmonds (including a '1' ).

01/04/02

Summer must be nearly here, the last league skittles game has been played. Bere Essentials played the Hooray Henries at the Greyhound. The Henries started strongly, but Essentials were on form and stormed to a 4-0 win, setting some of the highest scores of the season on the way. Top score - Pete Wharf, 21 pins in front of his nearest rival. Obviously going for the skittlers vote in the forthcoming election!

20/03/02

A clash of bookings led to the Captain having to arrange a Wednesday match, at the Oak of course. Bere Essentials played the Wooders, who set off at a cracking pace, setting high scores and winning the first two legs easily. As last week, however, Essentials got their act together and fought back for a very satisfying 2-2 draw. 

Top score David Edmonds (yes, David Edmonds).

18/03/02

Essentials played the very strong Rejects team who were in fine form for the first part of the match, hitting several floppers and setting high scores.

The Rejects couldn't keep it up though and went from 2-0 up to 2-2 at the finish - a great recovery by the Essentials who were not sure how they did it!

Top score Richard Chivers which included two 17s.

11/03/02

A very friendly match at Sandford Legion against the Greyhound. So friendly that we drew 2-2! Top score, Giles Moore again. We hear Premiership scouts are watching him.

04/03/02

Misfits 3 Bere Essentials 1 at Bloxworth

A rather scrappy game but a fair result against the top of the league (but nobody's sure why they're top). Fine performances by Giles (top score) and the Antipodean contingent (aka Kirsty).

25/01/02

Bere Essentials met a strong Second Fronters side at the line dancing centre (Lytchett Legion) and lost 3-1 in a high-scoring match. Probably a fair result. Top score Giles Moore again.

18/02/02

Our reporter being banned from the venue, this weeks report is somewhat brief. The Essentials were thrashed at the Drax 4-0.

11/2/02

It was the first round of the Pairs competition this week, top two teams from each venue going through to the final. Essentials were represented by Giles Moore and David Edmonds at Bloxworth (who missed second place by seven pins). Martin Barlow and Colin Greening were at the Oak and probably had the best start with 25 on the first on the first throw.  Unfortunately, they were up against some of the best in the league and failed to get through too.

4/2/02

Essentials were at home to the Poison Dwarfs, who were supposed to be a weak team this year (so Martin said). In spite of some good scores, the Essentials were too erratic and lost 3-1. Top score Giles Moore, classiest dresser Roger Duncanson - he played in a tie!

19/1/02

Bere Essentials played the Purbeck Players at Bloxworth, where the balls are small and the gaps are large. In spite of some amazingly low scores, we managed a 4-0 win.

12/1/02

Bere Essentials were at the Clay Pipe against the Oddballs and were looking for revenge as they beat us early in the season.  A good evening against a fun team and a 3-1 win for the Essentials.  Top score - Giles Moore.

14/1/02

Bere Essentials played at the Oak against the Saints, old friends of ours and quite a strong team. The result was a very satisfying 2-2 draw after a most enjoyable game.

7/1/02

BereEssentials at home for a change against the Greyhound in the first round of the Aggregate Cup. This is an odd game where any pins left up by the first player must be cleared by the second before all nine are set up again, and so on. Very tactical! Royal Oak won by a large margin, Greyhound conceding defeat before the last round.

17/12

Skittles went well, Bere Essentials had their third local derby with the Woodentops in five weeks.  This time they were at Lytchett Legion, home of the ever-popular line dancing.   Woodentops put up a fight, but went down 4-0 in the face of some good skittling by the Essentials, with good scoring all round.

10/12

Bere Essentials started well against the ever-popular Bin Liners, winning the first leg, but this made them raise their game and Essentials ended up 3-1 down.

26/11

Essentials played the Woodentops at the Royal Oak, both village teams at home for a change. The cup matches are 'best of five legs' to avoid a draw - Essentials won the first three and go through to the next round. Top score - Giles Moore again.

19/11

Local derby against the Woodentops at the Greyhound. Essentials won 3-1, joint top scores Giles Moore and Phil Nash, all the team being within 6 points of the lead.

12/11

Bere Essentials against the Greyhound at the Clay Pipe, won 3 - 1 but lost the beer leg .

5/11

Bere Essentials met the Rejects for the first time.  They are a new team, but are largely the old Antelope team from three years ago.  Good players, should do well this year.  We lost 4-0 (at Bloxworth), Giles Moore top score.

29/10 Bin Liners 3 - Bere Essentials 1  

Not our greatest game, against the highly talented ringers from the Poole league.  Martin was awesome as usual.  

22/10

Bere Essentials beat the Wooders 3-1 at the Clay Pipe, an alley that hasn't been used by the Wareham League for about nine years.   Lots of high scores, we set 65 on one hand.  Top score Captain Barlow with 99, Dave Edmunds just behind.  

15/10 Bere Essentials 0 Misfits 4 at the Drax

Highest score Roger Duncanson

A disappointing result for the new look international Bere Essentials team, who actually played pretty well, but were always just beaten by the on-form Misfits, demonstrating a highly consistent performance.

But great things are still expected of the new team one day soon.

1/10

A win for the Essentials at last! We beat the Hooray Henries 3-1 last night - a real struggle because Bloxworth has new skittle balls which are a bit small and we all found that they slipped neatly between the pins without doing any damage.

Top score - Colin Greening.

No skittles next week, it's the singles and we were too late with our entries!

24/9

We played skittles at the Greyhound last night, against Ian Tubbs team -'can't remember what they call themselves' writes our ace reporter!

Another 2-2 draw, great evening, lots of high scores, Giles Moore top-scoring for the Essentials for the second week running, we needed some new blood in the team.

17/9

Played the Breakaways at Sandford Legion - an alley famous for one big ball and low scores.   Lost 3-1 again, but it was an honourable defeat, we put up a good fight but were beaten by a better team.   No stick-ups all night but they won the last game with five players hitting 9 each, unheard of at Sandford!

10/9 Bere 2 Poison Dwarfs 2

Played at the line dancing club (Lytchett Legion) this week - nightmare music, managed to draw with the Poison Dwarfs 2-2.

3/9 Bere essentials remain consistent

Came second again score 1 - 3.

28/8 match was against the Saints

Bere lost 3-1, fielding a scratch team which included our new overseas player.

SKITTLES 2000-2001

25/3 The LAST league skittles report of the year.

Bere Essentials 3 Woodentits (sorry Woodentops)1 at the DRAX.

A reasonably convincing final performace of the year for the Essentials in the local derby. As usual,the Essentials were more friendly than is strictly required to the opposition, Brian in particular showing true generosity while sticking up by removing opponent's skittles  even when they had not actually been knocked over

So as usual the Essentials have ended the season near the top of the bottom half of the league. And there's just the second round of the knockout cup to go (and beyond that....Wembley?)

19/3 Bere Essentials vs Purbeck players

Good game against a team above us in the league

Bere Essentials 1
Purbeck Players 3

However the team got a headache from the line dancing at Lytchett Legion!

Skittles report 12/3 Bere Essentials 3 Greyhound 1 at Bloxworth

Top score jointly by Little Richard and Big Richard

A solid if unspectacular victory for the Essentials.

Don't want to blame anyone, but it would have been 4-0 if a nameless individual (I won't say who but he's banned from the Drax) had scored 3 instead of 2 at one crucial point.

Skittles report for Mon 3rd March

Bere Essentials 4 Bere le itums 0 at the Sandford

Top score Colin Greening

The Local Derby saw a comfortable victory for the Essentials. The Bere le itums fought hard,and won a game in each of the first two legs, but despite good performances from Phil, Tom and Norm, the Essentials managed to say more or less in control throughout (although spectacular they weren't).

Skittles report for Mon 26th Feb

Bere Essentials lost 4 - 0.

Last time we played at the Greyhound we all hit high scores - last night we lost 4-0 to the Binliners without even winning a single game in any leg.

Funny old game, skittles!

Skittles report for Mon 19th Feb

Bere Essentials 2 Wooders 2 at Bloxworth (Beer leg to the Essentials)

Top score Dave Edmunds

A rather bizarre night's skittles saw the Wooders inflict a crushing defeat in the first game of the first leg, but after that the Essentials dragged their opponents down to their own (pretty low) level. The Essentials managed to throw away one leg which they had almost certainly won (reminders of Wales vs Scotland on Saturday) but then the Wooders did the same. The fact that two of the best players in the entire league (in the Wooders, of course) managed to score 3 between them at one point summed up the general quality of the game.

It was good to see Martin making his first away appearance, and his inspiration undoudtedly made all the difference to the team.

Skittles report for Feb 6th

Bere Essentials 0 Bovvy Wizards 4

Top score Ricahrd Curtis

Oh dear!!!

The Essentials were comprehensively slaughtered by one of the joint league leaders. The Essentials were somewhat dstracted by the Line Dancing (some interestings sights to be seen here) but it didn't seem to affect the Wizards.

Skittles report for Jan 22nd

Bere Essentials 1 Breakaways 3 at the Oak (Beer leg to the Breakaways)

RICHARD CURTIS SCORES 25!!!!!

An epic battle saw victory eventually go to the Breakaways (currently third in the league) although the actual game was overshadowed by Richard's historic 25, the highest score anywhere in the league for many years and probably the highest ever single score at the Oak (well I'm not sure about that but its quite likely true). And it was very nearly a 27 too - something to tell your grandchildren about.

This was just the centrepiece of a superlative's nights skittles for Richard which saw him score 118, an average for the night of over 10. That's almost as many pints as Brian had drunk before the game.

There were also some other fine individual scores in the Essentials, but the team never quite came up with the goods at the key moments,and the Breakaways played superbly as usual.

Mon 15th Jan Hooray Henrys 3 Bere Essentials 1 at Sandford (Beer leg to Hooray Henrys)

A terrible result for the Essentials against their current bete noir. The Hooray Henries are currently bottom of the league but have now drawn or won against the Essentials three times in succession.

Top score went to guest star player Gordie.

Monday January 8th Aggregate Cup

Bere Essentials vs Second Fronters at Bloxworth - Win to Second Fronters.

The Aggregate Cup is played to a complex set of rules and is usually one of the trickier nights of skittles. The Essentials struggled against one of the more formidable teams in the league, and early on dropped behind by around 15 points. For the rest of the game they managed to keep pace without ever really closing the gap, and the final deficit was around 15 points.

So no chance of the Essentials getting to Wembley (sorry, Cardiff) this year.

It is worth noting that the Drax Arm's team Bere'ly hit 'ems had a rare win in the cup.

Bere Essentials 2 Oddballs 2 at the Greyhound

(Beer Leg to the Oddballs)

A titanic struggle (well a close match anyway) between two closely matched teams. There were some big scores on both sides, but after sailing into a 2 leg lead, the Essentials couldn't maintain the pressure. Still, there was plenty of noise generated on both sides, and a good night was had by all.

11/12 Bere Essentials 1 Saints 3 at St Peter's Finger

(Beer leg won by Saints)

Top score Jim Corbyn

A close-fought (and very noisy) game which could (and should) easily have been 2-2. Despite an awesome performance by Jim, the Essentials struggled against a Saints team who begun poorly but grew in confidence - still with a bit of luck things could have been different.

4th December Bere Essentials 2 Hooray Henrys 2

(Beer leg to the Bere Essentials) at the Drax

Top score Richard Chivers

A disappointing performance by the Essentials against one of the weaker teams in the league. The team never fired on all cylinders and at times were comprehensively outplayed. The best feature was a fine debut performance by Richard Chivers with top score in his first match.

20th November Bere Essentials 3 Wooders 1 at the Royal Oak (Beer leg to the Bere Essentials)

Top score Shaun   109

An awesome performance by the Essentials saw a sensational victory against one of the top teams in the league. Despite struggling to get a team, the Essentials won a comfortable but hard-fought victry. Fine performances all round, but a magnificent effort by Shaun, who'se 109 included three 15s and a 13.

13/11/00 Bere Essentials vs Bere-le-Itums at the Drax

Bere Essentials won 4-0
Top score - Colin and Jim

The second big local derby - the old Drax team vs the new. A comfortable win for the Essentials, who struggled to find a team, but gave a competent enough performance, especially bearing in mond the Drax alley's well-deserved reputation for low scores. The Bere-le-itums (I think I've spelt that right) shhowed (you didn't spell that right) promise, with a fine 13 from landlord Steve and good performances from the youngsters, but although they managed to win one hand, they were never quite consistent enough. The best score of the night was a massive 17 from Jim - quite an achievemnet on this alley.

So the new order hasn't quite overtaken the old yet, but its only a matter of time....

Skittles Report 23/10/00

Bere Essentials lost 4-0 to the Binliners at the St Peter's Finger. Top Score: Pete Wharf 72

Oh dear!!!

A generally poor performance by an uninspired Essentials side. The night started badly when one of the team failed to appear (naming no names but Brian you know who you are) and the team resorted to touring the streets of Bere Regis looking for a replacement. Luckily young Shaun stepped in to help out. Further problems arose when Colin put his back out half way through the game, and had to retire hurt. All in all, it was perhaps unsurprising that the team got efficiently hammered by one of the better teams in the league.

2nd October Bere Essentials 3 Poison Dwarves 1 at the Greyhound

Beer Leg won by Bere Essentials

Top score Colin Greening

An excellent performance by the Bere Essentials against one of the best teams in the league. The Dwarves played well as always, but the Essentials produced some of their highest scores for a long time to win comfortably (even if luck was on their side at times). The Essentials even managed to produce more noise than the Dwarves (an impressive feat considering the latter's all-female composition).

A good night was had by all.

PS Has anyone seen Brian's jacket???

25/9 Bere Essentials 1 Purbeck Players 3

At the Sandford Legion. Top score Pete Wharf (Welcome back Pete!)

Bere Leg won by Purbeck Players

18/9/00 vs ODDBALLS

Bere Essentials drew 2-2 against the Oddballs at Bloxworth (Beer leg lost) Top score Jim Corbyn 64 (I think).

A rather off-form Bere Essentials promised much, winning the first 2 legs easily, but then managed to throw the last 2 legs away.

Better luck next week!

11/9/00  vs SAINTS

Beer Essentials lost 3-1 (Beer leg won) to the Saints at the Greyhound.

Top score score Colin Greeing 96 (!!! For those who don't kmow that's very very good!)

Bere Essentials 3 Woodentops 1 at the St Peter's finger
(Bere Essentials won the Beer Leg)

The first Local Derby of the season saw two of the Bere teams meet 10 miles from Bere Regis (such is the skittles league system). The Essentials were greatly improved following their performance the previous week, despite the sad absence of their inspirational captain Martin (best wishes from the team). This was a competent performance against the old rivals, with the Essentials establishing an easy 2-0 lead then struggling against a rejunevated Woodentops during the last 2 legs. Top scorer was stand-in captain Colin Greening with a very consistent performance.

Bere Essentials vs Binliners at Bloxworth

A rather subdued start to the season saw a lacklustre Bere essentials lose 4-0 to the Binliners. The opposition were not on top form but were more than a match for the Essentials (with several of their key players AWOL), who won an early leg but were otherwise completely outplayed. However Martin Barlow (team captain/manager) is confident this early lapse is but the preulde to a highly successful season.

SKITTLES 1999-2000 SEASON

THE KNOCKOUT CUP FINAL May 11th

Bere Essentials 1 Wooders 3 at the Sandford Legion

The Bere Essentials went down in their first ever final after a gallant battle against the Wooders, but the runners-up trophy made a fine end to the season.

TEAM DINNER May 12th

The Essentials declared UDI from the league and held their own dinner at the Royal Oak. During this, the Player of the Year award was presented (in absentia) to Richard Curtis, while Martin Barlow was presented with a special "Lifetime Achievement" award for his outstanding contribution as
Captain. The award took the form of a glass Stirrup Cup, which was liberally filled with port and christened by the entire team.

The team would like to thank Mike and Laura of the Oak for putting on an outstanding meal for the occasion, and the rest of the Oak staff for looking after them so well.

BERE ESSENTIALS STORM INTO KNOCKOUT CUP FINAL!!!!

Bere Essentials 3 King Pins 0 (at the Royal Oak)

A vintage performance by the Bere Essentials saw them reach their first ever cup final (and guarantee at least the runner's up cup). The team made a rather shaky start, losing the first hand to a youthful looking King Pins, but after that took control of the game, and never looked in trouble. There were some large scores set (including a 60) and some excellent performances all round, led as always from the front by Martin Barlow. There was also plenty of hwyll generated towards the end (if you don't know what hwyll means ask a Welshman).

So evrything is now set for the big final against the Wooders (I think) at the Sandford Legion on May 11th. Supporters' coaches will leave the Drax at seven thirty.

By our welsh correspondent.

3rd April FINAL LEAGUE RESULT OF THE SEASON

Bere Essentials 0 Bin Liners 4
Top scorer Colin Greening

A rather disappointing final result, although it was against the no. 3 team in the league. However, 4-0 wasn't really a fair reflection of the game - the Essentials threw away several chances to win at least a leg.

So once again the Bere Essentials finish bang in the middle of the league. The final tally was:

Won 8  Lost 8  Drawn 10

and exactly the same number of points were scored as last year - nothing if not consistent.

There are a couple of cup matches to go, but that's it for the league this year. The Bere Essentials would like to thank all their many supporters for turning up every week to cheer us on (well actually most weeks there weren't any).

27th March

Bere Essentials 1 Bin Liners 3 (At the Greyhound) Highest score Jim Corbyn.

Monday 20th March

Bere Essentials 2 Bovy Wizards 2

A hard fought draw at the Oak. The Drax fielded a new-look team, including Roger, Brian (Hole in the Head) and Mark, a skittles professional who normally plays in the Dorchester league, making his first appeance. The Essentials struggled in the first two legs which were lost 2-0, and a white wash was on the cards.However, a strong recovery was staged, with excellent scores from Mark, Dave (in his temporary role as Captain) and Brian (yes, Brian) and the Essentials came through to win the last 2 legs in style. Mark was top scorer on his first appearance (hopefully not his last)with Dave a close second.

March 13th

Against Second Fronters at Sandford Legion 0-4 defeat. Highest score Peter Wharf/Jim Corbyn

March 6th

Against Breakaways at Bloxworth 0-4 defeat. Highest score Jim Corbyn

Two disappointing results, although against high placed teams perhaps not too surprising. A mid-table position appears likely (as in every other year). End-of season injuries (and jollies to Italy) are making team selection difficult, although we have now welcomed Roger to the team.

28th February Bere Essentials rise to new heights

The Bere Essentials scored another confident victory at Lytchett Legion on Monday night (28th Feb) and moved a step closer to that elusive league title. This was achieved in spite of difficult match conditions and several pitch invasions by 50 line dancers. The opponents were the Hooray Henrys, who although bottom of the league have proved to be tough opponents in the past and held the Essentials to a hard-fought draw in the previous encounter.

The Essentials began confidently, with a 12 from Dynamo Dave (aka Ice Cube) a sign of things to come. An epic battle developed between Dave and “Big Jim” Corbyn for the legendary £1 prize fund, with Jim taking an early lead due to a jammy 14 countback. The first leg was taken 2-0 with the Henrys struggling initially to find form, and the second leg was won by the same score, with the Essentials consistently scoring in the high 40s and looking well in control.

The third leg proved a very different affair. The Henrys began slowly, but staged a blistering comeback after an inspirational 17 from secret weapon Zippy. The Essentials struggled to regain lost ground, but lost the leg 2-1 after two imposing scores of over 50 from the opposition, who began to play with real passion.

In the Beer leg, the men from Bere regained their composure and staged a strong finishing performances with a confident 2-0 win. There were good all-round performances from Colin in his usual anchor role (apart from an untypical 4) and Richard who managed some impressive scores in his new number 5 position. As usual, there was strong support from the backbone of the team, with Martin playing his normal stalwart captain’s innings (although several wides were recorded) and Phil stringing together a truly brilliant series of 6s (which would have all been 16s if the ball hadn’t mysteriously kept swerving away, due probably to unexpected lunar influences). But it was Dave and Jim who were the two stars of the evening, with Jim finally collecting the £1 after a long hard battle involving some questionable ball tampering.

All in all, a competent performance and 3-1 was a fair final score. All that is now required is for the 6 teams above the Bere Essentials to lose their last 6 matches 4-0 (an unlikely eventuality its true) and the league title will come to Bere Regis for the first time.

The above account is the subjective impression of the author, and any resemblance to the truth is entirely coincidental.