06/04/11                                     Magpies      489        Wanderers   470

The Wanderers brought their season to an end with an out of town away match at the Puriton Inn to face the Magpies. To say we were playing a bunch of old grannies was an understatement as the home team had turned out in fancy dress as - old grannies!!!!

This was going to be a game just for fun as both teams had secured 2nd division status for next season so there was no pressure at all on the game. The grannies struck a formidable 1st hand blow with a decent start of 76.  Despite a 15 spare from Food chain, the rest of the top half failed miserably as the Wanderers lost 14 pins. A rare spare from the Team Bonder (13) helped bring us back into it with a 67 hand to gain 5 pins back. A wobbly 14 spare from F-K was the highlight of the 3rd hand as we made 67 again but the Grannies were in no mood to mess around and smashed a 77 hand to pull 10 and go ahead by 19. This then set the pattern for the rest of the evening!

Steady gains by the home team led to them being 27 up and hitting a 70 last hand left the Wanderers the almost impossible task of 98 to win. Maverick Tonks went down all guns blazing and hit a magnificent 16 spare to leave him in contention for the cue pot for only the 2nd time this season. However he was denied the honour by Skipper Hake who hit a 15 spare to take the pot with 69 and broke Rob's heart by  3 pins!!! Wanderers losing the game by 19 but quickly forgot about it as a superb supper of beef stew and dumplings made more than amends for the defeat!

So ends another skittle season folks. Dates for your diary are Saturday the 7th May for our trip down to Dorset to defend our trophy against the Puddletown Wanderers and Friday the 13th May for our end of season meal at the Admirals Landing.

Make sure you all have a great summer, thankyou for reading about our adventures and we'll be back in September for more shinanigans!

Cheers for now

Chris "Boom Boom" Bennett 


30/03/11                                      Wanderers  531      Halfway Boys   457

After last week's heroics, the Wanderers were still in devastating form and signed off their season at home with a magnificent win against former division one team the Halfway Boys.

After a spare-less start of 60, the Wanderers found themselves 10 pins down going into the second hand. A fantastic response of 90 with spares from Team Bonder Tonks (14), F-K (13), Lager-Dash Stabbins (14) and Billy Whizz (17) to pull 17 on the hand and take the lead by 7. From then on it was all vintage Wanderers as we found the form of last season. The Halfway boys had no answer as we pulled pins on every hand after that. F-K was having the home game of his life as spare after spare continued to rack up his score. and with five spares in a row he was disappointed to finish up with a 6, but managed to finish top score with 86. Team Bonder Tonks also deserves a mention as his 71 included two spares and three 9's.

With seven Wanderers players hitting 60 and over on the night it was a deserved win by 74 pins and should now ease any relegation fears for next season. Fingers crossed this game wasn't the last at the Commercial for the Wanderers. We await news from the brewery to see if it will remain open with new people in charge or if they will close it for good. If this was our last hurrah on the alley, we went out in style!!

Last game of the season is out at the Puriton Inn next week.


23/03/11                               Shy-Teds      486        Wanderers   486

Just when you thought the Wanderers had faded away to become easy pickings for opposing skittle teams to pick up two points, we dig in to produce one of the performances of our season.

After a monster first hand of 90 from the Shy-Teds, we found ourselves 32 pins down thanks to a spare-less 58 hand. An improved second hand of 79 which included spares from Billy (15) and O-J Stabbins (16) clawed 17 pins back. The next two hands saw the Shy-Teds increasing their lead to 30 thanks to a 3rd hand 27 maximum from one of their players. The Wanderers halved the deficit on the fifth hand of 74 which included big spares from Skipper Hake (17) and Food Chain (16). Our sixth hand lost 6 pins to go 21 down, but the home team looked to have secured a victory with a 61 last hand effort meaning that the Wanderers had a massive total of 83 to win. The dream looked possible as thanks to a spare from F-K Frosty (17) and a 15 flopper from Food Chain we were 45 for 4 and needing one good spare from the bottom half. After an 8 each from O-J & Billy the fireworks came from Skipper Hake who produced a 14 spare to leave the Pistol with an unbelievable chance of needing 8 to win. Pistol's 1st ball went sailing through the pack to get the nerves really jangling! The 2nd ball was guts but left up both corners and both front quarters. The third ball took the left quarter and corner for a very hard 7 and a tied game. A fantastic last hand effort. Four players hitting 60 and above on the night and Skipper Hake took the cue this week with 73.

Back to the Commercial next week for our last home game and possibly the last one ever at the pub. Fingers crossed that this won't happen.


16/03/11                               Non-Starters      428        Wanderers   422

It would have been very easy for the latest report just to read "DITTO" as the Wanderers did not perform very well again this week. The division 3 champions from last year have now lost six games on the bounce and have slid from the top five in division 2 right down to the bottom 5 and may be even lower once the other results have come through.

Highlights of the evening were Mike 'OJ' Stabbins asking the question as to why Billy hasn't been given a nickname yet, and F-K Frosty winning his fourth away pot this season with 65.

Mike has since been put right that Billy is a nickname and has been his nickname before he joined the team!! Only two years late Mr Stabbins!!


09/03/11                                      Wanderers  426      Knowle Inn   435

Lowest home total this season. Highest number of players scoring under 50 at home this season (3). Lowest number of spares in a match this season (2). In a nutshell:

                                WE WERE SHITE!!!!


05/03/11                                                     SKITTLES TOUR MATCH

                                      10 A SIDE - Five hands each

                              Wanderers  410      Puddletown Wanderers   375

For the third year running the Wanderers would play hosts to the Puddletown Wanderers of Dorset to try and retain the Wanderers Challenge trophy. The Bridgwater team battled against the odds last year to win the away leg so we weren't ready to hand the cup back just yet.

The Puddletown team arrived in a blaze of sombreros and maracas. There were even two chilies and a bottle of tequila that were ready to skittle! That must be a first for the Commercial!!! The Wanderers were missing three regulars for the unusual 10 a side format so we draughted in help from the landlord and the two stickers. A bright start of 91 from the Wanderers pulled 19 pins straight away. The second hand of saw the Bridgy boys pull even further ahead as their total of 86 pulled 6 more to lead by 25.  The third hand saw the Puddletown team making their trip worthwhile as they pulled 1 pin back. The Wanderers clawed this pin back on the 4th hand with a spare-less 74 to restore their 25 pin lead. The last hand "beer leg" proved popular again with both teams. The Puddletown team winning more drinks on the leg but losing 10 pins on the hand total to lose the game to the mighty Wanderers by 35 pins.

A great night again that was enjoyed by all. We will be looking to defend the trophy down in Dorset hopefully on the 7th May.


02/03/11                                      Wanderers  502      APS   507

Back to the Commercial tonight as the Wanderers entertained the second placed APS team from the Blake Arms. We were looking for a much needed win as our recent run of defeats had seen us slip into the lower half of the table.

Maverick Tonks had to declare himself missing in action tonight, so with Reel 'em In still away in India with the Barmy Army the Wanderers had to call on the Home Guard to make a rare appearance. This shuffled the line-up somewhat so it was somehow a new-look Wanderers that took to the alley.

The first three hand were very close with APS ahead by 7. Their monster 4th hand of 84 looked like doing some real damage with the Wanderers at 48 for 6, but Skipper Hake & the Pistol came good with a 14 spare each to get the hand to 76 and only lose 8 pins to be 15 down and still in the game. Our 5th hand of 77 included a 14 spare from the Home Guard and a 15 spare from the mis-firing Food Chain who was still complaining of playing out of position. A 61 reply from the visitors meant that their lead was wiped out and we were ahead by a pin. This stung APS into action and they responded with an 85 6th hand. We were still skittling well and the resulting 77 hand with spares from Boom Boom (16) and Billy (14) meant that we were only 7 down with a hand each to go. Yet another game that needed a last hand decider!

A spare did not seem possible as chance after chance went begging, and when last man F-K Frost went on we were 56 for 7 and needing some luck. A first ball that went right hand side of the front left up the landlord and back left quarter. Pins were rolling around the diamond and toppled the back quarter pin which in turn toppled the landlord for the crappiest flopper you will ever see, but one of the most valuable! F-K went on to make 18 for a 74 hand to set APS a hard total of 68 to win. Relieved faces from the APS team as they went on to hit a 72 hand to win the game by 5. Another cracking game with over a thousand pins stuck up, but it was just unfortunate we were on the losing team. Skipper Hake coming away with the nuggets with 70.

A bit of light relief for the Wanderers this Saturday as our mates from Puddletown will be visiting the Commercial to try and win back their trophy that we have held since last year.


23/02/11                               Lamb Inn A      464        Wanderers  448

The Wanderers headed to the Lamb Inn hoping to stop their recent dip in form. With Reel 'em In still not available it was an unchanged squad yet again that was put on the pitch.

The team was chalked on the board ready for the off, but someone complained that his nickname "JUST 4 MEN" didn't sit right. Apparantly he only skittles well as "O-J". We would see if this was the case at the end of the game. The night started very brightly for the Wanderers as a hand of 79 including spares from Pistol (14), Billy (15) and a 15 flopper from F-K pulled 21 pins. A lowly 52 second hand only lost 5 to stay in the lead by 16. The Lamb Inn boys started skittling on the third hand as a mighty 82 got the lead back in their favour by 6. The Wanderers couldn't buy a spare after their stunning start until The Team Bonder struck with his annual spare at the start of the 5th hand. His 15 was followed by an 11 from the in-form F-K Frost who had earlier missed a single pin chance. Boom Boom brought the momentum to an abrubt halt with a very unfortunate 2 that saw all 3 balls go through the pack. However our hand total of 71 pulled 11 pins to go back into the lead by 4. Boom Boom redeemed himself with a 14 spare on the 6th hand but we fell just short again as our 64 total lost 6 pins for the Lamb to go ahead by 2.

It was another last hand decider, but the Lamb Inn forced the advantage with a 77 hand to give us a total of 80 to win. Boom Boom struck another spare (13) but hope soon dwindled as no spare chances came after that for a hand total of 63 and another defeat, this time by 16 pins. F-K Frosty top banana with 63.

After insisting we changed his name back to O-J, as he always skittles better as O-J, our Mr Stabbins ended up not skittling very well at all to finish below a bloke with a 2 and a 4 in his hand. Maybe there is a lesson there - Don't mess with the board!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


16/02/11                                      Wanderers  477      Rebels  498

"It would be just our luck for us to lose against these to give them their second win of the season, " joked Skipper Hake in the pre-match banter. Our visitors, The Rebels from Westonzoyland, had only managed one win all season and were rock bottom of the division. We were hoping for an easy two points.

A solid start of 68 from the Wanderers including a 16 spare from the Pistol would normally settle the nerves, but the Rebels came out fighting with an 85 hand to go 17 up. Their 2nd hand of 78 was met with a Wanderers 85 with spares from Skipper Hake (14), Billy Whizz (15) and escape artist F-K Frosty (16) to reduce our deficit to 10 pins. Skipper Hake pulled another spare out of the bag (16) on the third hand in a total of 68, but the Rebels fought back with 71 to extend their lead to 13. Their 4th hand of 62 looked to have given the Wanderers a chance but this proved to be the turning point of the game. Our hand of 56 (with 3 six's, 3 seven's and the unluckiest 9 spare from Skipper Hake) lost 6 more pins to go 19 down. From then on despite minor gains from the Wanderers, the Rebels gained in confidence and their 6th hand of 81 basically sealed the game to go 32 up. A last hand of 69 from the Wanderers was never going to trouble the Rebels as it proved by them hitting their lowest hand of the night of 58 to lose 11 pins but to run out deserved winners by 21.

Tony 'Lasagne Shoes' Hake taking the honours again this week with a score of 80. A trip to Spaxton beckons next week on the notorious Lamb Inn alley.


09/02/11                                        Lambs      435        Wanderers  431

The tough Duke alley was the setting for the Wanderers latest game. The Lambs were gonna be a tough team to beat on their own alley.

A very poor opener from the Wanderers of 49 immediately piled the pressure on to go 15 down. A much better 2nd hand of 64 including a 12 spare from Maverick Tonks pulled 12 back to only be 3 down. A 15 spare from the Pistol in another 64 total for our third hand saw us go into the lead by 6. The lead was swaying between both teams after that, but thanks to 3 spares on their last hand of 80 from the home team we were set the very tough task of 79 to win. A 14 spare from Boom-Boom and a 13 from Lasagne Shoes Hake helped to get the hand total to 66 for 7 to give our anchor man a sniff of a chance to hit a 13 spare for victory. Unfortunately it was a step too far as the resulting 8 left us short by just 4 pins.

Skipper Hake taking the cue money for the first time at an away game this season with 64. Home next week where our visitors will be bottom team The Rebels from Westonzoyland.


02/02/11                                      Wanderers  479      Lynchers  459

The Wanderers completed another double, this time over the Lynchers from the Ring o'Bells. After going 9 behind on the first hand, the Wanderers rallied to a 2nd hand of 83 with spares from Team Bonder (14), F-K (14) and 3 pint Stabbins (13). The Wanderers were never headed after that and eventually ran out comfortable winners by 20. Special mention to Food Chain Phil who took his first cue pot of the season with 69.

26/01/11                                        Wembdon Crickets 450        Wanderers  455

The short Mansion House alley beckoned for the Wanderers for their game against Wembdon Crickets. The Wanderers had beaten this team quite convincingly at home earlier in the season so they were looking to do the double over them. The omens didn't look good however as six of the eight squad members were all suffering with the lurgy in some form or another. Phil was walking on air though as he was sporting a very nice pair of designer Duff trainers. His old pair had to be consigned to the waste bin as the stubborn understains that were holding them together finally gave in and perished.

A very modest 57 hand from the Wanderers surprisingly only lost a pin to go one down. A better effort of 68 on the 2nd hand including a 13 spare from Boom Boom gained 4 pins on the hand to take the lead by 3. Another 68 from the Wanderers on the 3rd hand with a 15 spare from Billy, increased our lead to 12. Things were looking good at this stage.

Back in the bar, the absence of a pool table was having an effect on Phil. Maybe it was the lurgy talking, but somehow the conversation got steered onto "rubber bums". All of the comments are definately unprintable but the resulting hilarity brought tears to the eyes of everyone who was there. The noise from the resulting laughing, coughing and spluttering was probably likened to an old peoples home on ear syringing day. All I will say is that Puddletown may see a rubber bum later on in the year!!

Anyway, back to the game. The Crickets came back into it on the fourth hand by pulling 6 pins back. Their monster 5th hand of 80 sent shockwaves down the Wanderers camp and the resulting effort of 63 lost 17 on the hand and swung the lead back to the Crickets by 11. The Wanderers 6th hand of 66 should have been more if Boom Boom hadn't sent his spare ball zooming straight through the pack. However the hand was still good enough to pull 3 pins back. A very quiet last hand from the Crickets of 63 left the Wanderers with a tough ask of 72 to win. At 31 for 4 we needed a spare to get close. Up steps O-J Stabbins and bangs in a fantastic 17 spare. A very unlucky 5 from Billy and an 8 from Skipper Hake followed leaving us at 61 for 7 and needing a spare for victory. The Pistol was the coolest head on the alley and leaves up front right quarter and corner after his first ball. The second ball takes them with ease for the biggest cheer of the night. The rest of the team were very wary as we had seen balls go through the full pack, but Pete's 3rd ball takes 6 pins for a 15 spare and victory and the first double of the season for the Wanderers!! He also sneaked in for the gold nuggets to beat O-J and Billy by 2!!! Even more laughs a-plenty when the food was served as Skipper Hake's plate caved in due to the sheer weight piled onto it and so had to face a lasagne flavoured left shoe for the journey home. 

Home game next week against the Lynchers.


19/01/11                                      Wanderers  469      Stockland Club  492

After their good win last week the Wanderers were hoping for a similar performance against the boys from Stockland Club. The mind games against your beloved webmaster started even before a ball was chucked as Club Head Coach Barry "Lofty" Lukins decided to bring the Cannington contingent in late at 8.45pm thus putting the Wanderers old stagers out of synch for their BBC News & Horlicks for bedtime.

With Reel 'em In absent due to work commitments, Billy was brought back into the squad to bolster up the bottom half. He did this in spectacular style on the first hand as his 18 spare was the highlight of a 66 total which unfortunately lost 12 pins. Despite a first home spare for quite a while from Boom-Boom (15) the Wanderers 2nd hand was decidedly average at 61 and lost a further 5 pins to go 17 down. Our third hand of 74 was much better and included spares from O-J Stabbins (13) and Skipper Hake (16) to pull 8 pins back and cut the overall deficit to 9.

The Wanderers pool syndicate were playing well with "Ding-Jean or Mike-Oh-Fu Stabbins" and Phil "Gusty" Owen wiping the floor with their usually much better opponents. The Stockland dommie players were showing their dexterity by playing with the 9-spot set and paying out in silver & nuggets. An unrepeatable comment from Boom-Boom to the Stockland Head Coach caused the piss-taking to go up a notch and set the tone for the rest of the evening! Our 4th hand was a poor spare-less 57 and lost the 8 pins that we had gained on the previous hand. However our 5th hand effort of 84 really stirred things up with spares from O-J (13), Food Chain (16) and Boom-Boom (15), to pull a massive 18 pins and take the lead by a pin. A Wanderers 6th hand of 71 including another spare from the back on form Skipper Hake (16) lost one pin, so we went into the last hand with the scores tied. We needed to set a big score on our last hand as we normally try to do at home, but it seemed the effort in chasing the game told on us as we capitulated spectacularly to only hit a 56 hand to leave the Club a soft target of 57 for victory. At 37 for 5 it looked like we were in with a chance but the Club's last three players all hit 14's for a 79 hand and victory by 23. A great game of skittles by any standards that was played in good spirits by both teams. Special mention to Club's anchor man Mike Radford who came away with 93, the 2nd highest score on the Commercial alley this season. Joint top score for the Wanderers were Skipper Hake and Boom-Boom Bennett with 65. A welcome sight as both players had been suffering with their form for most of the season! At least Boom-Boom beat the Stockland Head coach as a bonus!!

Barry - If you are reading this - the corner first method really doesn't work mate, try aiming for the front!!

12/01/11                                      Wanderers  460      Breakaways  439

The first home game of the new year saw the Wanderers playing 4th place Breakaways. The boys from Stoke St Gregory made the long trip into town hoping to go back home with some points in the bag, but Fortress Commercial is a tough place for any team to come and beat the Wanderers!

A new addition to the team was unveiled as Rob showed off the new team horn. We are led to believe that it was purchased from an antique shop although rumours have it that Magic Hake said it had come from his garage as it was the one from his car that he sold in 1934! 

With Billy resting, it was down to Boom Boom to fill the void at number 6. We also welcomed the almost lurgy-free Reel 'em In Shapter back to the team at number 3. A 16 spare from O-J Stabbins was the highlight of a 62 first hand to go 5 pins up. The second hand was even better as spares from Reel 'em In (13), O-J again (15) and a stunning 15 flopper from Food Chain Phil helped toward a 79 hand which pulled 9 to go 14 up. Unfortunately the alley conditions started to change from the third hand as the atmospheric conditions were causing the alley to heave leaving the pitchboard area very slippery, so certain squad members had to adjust their skittling styles to avoid big accidents. Boom Boom was told to go steady as if he was to fall down the aftershocks would be felt all up Parkway & beyond! Hands of 58, 62 & 57 were spareless but seemed to be good holding hands though as we went into our 6th hand 10 pins up chasing a 73 hand from the visitors.

Another 13 spare from Reel 'em In which also included the splits (ouch!) got the top half going, but at 58 for 7 we were looking for inspiration from our top anchor man Pete 'The Pistol' Hallet. First ball takes guts and the left back quarter. Second ball, Pistol goes for the two on the left which he takes. As he turns to get the third ball the team shout and holler as the left corner pin had rolled across the diamond into the back right quarter. This caused a domino like effect and toppled the remaining three pins for one of the rarest spares you will ever see!! The third ball takes 8 and a rocker for a fantastic 17 spare making it a 75 hand to pull 2 more pins. A last hand effort of 67 left Breakaways wanting 80 to win, but got nowhere near it with a 58 hand to leave the Wanderers victorious by 21 pins. Mike O-J Stabbins taking the "Pete Hallet Fund" for the third home game in a row with 68.

Home again next week to play the Webmasters former team the Stockland Club. Let's hope we can make it more of a game of it than we did at their place!! Note to Mr Lane and Mr Adlam if you are reading this - our landlord can't book the high chair for next Wednesday. If this is a problem and causes trembly lip syndrome let me know by Tuesday and I'll see if I can arrange a dummy & rattle instead!!


05/01/11                                        Young Flags 459        Wanderers  450

The Wanderers headed to the British Flag for their first game back after the Christmas break to play joint league leaders Young Flags. With two regular players unable to attend, the team would undoubtedly pick itself! Birthday boy Magic Hake was drafted in at the last minute with no time to change footwear, so it looked like he would have to show a bit of guile, just like the England bowlers in Australia.

A couple of squad members looked like they had overdone it on the turkey and tinsel over the festive period, and it showed on the first two hands as both were spareless 55 hands to go 19 down. A glimmer of hope on the 3rd hand saw some much improved skittling and the first spare of the new year for Boom-Boom Bennett (13) in a hand total of 69 to pull 6 back. Spares were very hard to come by on the 4th & 5th hands of 59 and 62 respectively which gave the home team a major incentive by hitting 64 & 75 to go 31 pins up. A much better response from the Wanderers on the 6th hand saw spares from Food Chain (14) and F-K (15) which was backed up by 7's , 8's & 9's for a 75 total which pulled 2 pins back. The Young Flags last hand of 55 gave the Wanderers a faint glimmer of hope as 86 to win was the target. Another spare from F-K (15) followed by a Magical 14 from '78 years young' Magic Hake nearly brought the roof down. At 42 for 4 things were looking good, but the bottom half of the team tried hard but just could not get the decent spare strikes to go for. The hand total of 75 made things look much more respectable as we pulled 20 back to only lose by 9 pins. A great effort on a notorious alley.

Mark 'F-K Frosty' Frost was the deserved taker of the Pete Hallett fund with 68, the only player to register a score over 60. The Wanderers will be at Fortress Commercial now for the next two games, so hopefully more points to be gained!


15/12/10                                      Wanderers  514      Teadrinkers   498

The Wanderers were looking to halt their recent bad run of form in this turn around game against last weeks opponents Teadrinkers. Although we had lost our last home game we knew we are formidable opponents for any team on our own alley.

As this would be our last league match until the new year, It was good to see a full compliment of skittlers on parade this week in good spirits. Even Stabbins had given himself the night off from driving and was on the pints of lager dash. Our new half-centurion Skipper Hake had already decided he was going to have a night off, so F-K Frosty was given the nod to stay in. Reel 'em In was a welcome return at number 3 so this meant that Chief Floater Boom Boom Bennett had to make the unusual move down the batting order to number 7.

The night didn't start very well for the Wanderers as a very mediocre start of 58 was met with a 71 from the Teadrinkers for us to go 13 pins down. A 68 follow up from the visitors looked to be a holding hand but they could not have prepared for what happened in our 2nd hand. Rob 'Biggles' Tonks got us off to a great start with a 13 spare. At 36 for 4 it was looking very good, when up steps Mike '25 to 5' Stabbins. The double flopper hero from the last home game decided he could do with another, so banged in another double flopper!! His third ball left just the landlord rocking & swaying for a brilliant 26. Backed up with a 14 spare from Billy, our hand total of 87 pulled 19 to go 6 up. We were gonna give the leaders a game!! Our third hand of 73 which included a 14 spare from F-K and a 16 flopper from Pistol, could have been so much better if it wasn't for a bloody 4 from Stabbins. 25 to 5 from him a fortnight ago and now 26 to 4 this week. You couldn't make it up!!!! Teadrinkers came back with an 87 to back into the lead by 8. This topsy turvy game had another twist as the Wanderers struck back with another monster hand, this time of 88 which saw spares from Reel em In (17), Food Chain (12), 26 to 4 (13) and Billy (15). This hand clawed back a massive 27 pins against a Teadrinkers hand of 61 for the Wanderers to lead by 19.

A 5th hand of 64 saw Boom Boom Bennett get his first spare of the night (14) but an 80 hand from the visitors cut our lead down to 3. The sixth hand was tied at 71 each, so the Wanderers set about making a winning total. A 17 flopper from Pistol was the perfect start and was backed up by some tidy skittling, the 73 hand total set the League leaders a difficult but achievable target of 77 to win. The Teadrinkers could only muster their lowest total of the night of 60 to leave the Wanderers victorious by 16 pins. Mike '26 to 4' Stabbins taking the cue pot with 75. A truly great win that stops the rot and the perfect way to go into the Christmas break.

Next Wednesday the 22nd December there is a friendly arranged against the other Commercial Wednesday league team, the Buccaneers. This will also provide a rare team photo opportunity to be taken with the trophies that we won last year.

That just leaves me to wish our readers a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year and we will resume normal service from the 5th January 2011.

Chris Bennett


08/12/10                                        Teadrinkers 456        Wanderers  441

After last week's home defeat against the league leaders the Wanderers faced a tough match on the notorious Volunteer alley against 2nd place Teadrinkers. This would be the halfway point in the season as we would now be working our way back up the fixture list.

The Wanderers welcomed back Food Chain Phil to the squad this week with the webmaster looking to be consigned to the bench again. However Reel 'em In Shapter had phoned to say he wouldn't make it, so Boom-Boom would have a chance to shake the room after all.

A home start of 60 could only be met by a 56 hand from the Wanderers to go 4 down. A mighty 68 second hand which included a 14 foetal position flopper from Food Chain Phil, managed to pull a pin back to only be 3 down. An eventful third hand from the Wanderers saw Boom-Boom finally come good with a 14 flopper, saw Pistol Pete Hallet firing his spare ball clean through the pack for a tadpole 9 and saw Tony 'Where's the Volunteer?' Hake only making a 2, much to his own anger and disgust. the resulting 63 hand lost 8 against the home side's 71 to go 11 pins down. The Wanderers lost a further 7 pins on the fourth hand with a spare-less 63 to go 18 down. The 5th and 6th hands lost a total of 8 more pins to be 26 down and following the Teadrinkers last hand of 62 we were looking at a total of 89 to win.

With 13 spares from Boom-Boom and 1635 Stabbins, the Wanderers made their highest total of the night of 73 to gain 11 pins back and make the score a bit more respectable, but still lost the game by 15 pins. Chris 'Boom-Boom' Bennett taking the cue for the first time this season with 63. Tony 'Satnav' Hake doing that rare skittling occurence of hitting exactly your age of 50 which is quite surprising considering that he got lost his way on the way to the Volunteer and ended up at the Sportsman!!

Lets hope we can gain our revenge at the Commercial next week!


01/12/10                                      Wanderers  465      Young Flags   478

Back on home turf this week for a match against the league leaders Young Flags. The Wanderers home form was good so this was going to be a close game.

The only change to the squad would be Phil 'Food Chain' Owen being consigned to the bench to make way for the out of form returning chief floater, Boom-Boom Bennett. Would this game see him make a good scoring comeback?

A steady 63 start from the Wanderers lost three pins as the Young Flags took an early lead. We struck back on the second hand as thanks to a magnificent double flopper (25) from Mister Stabbins the team made 78 to pull 16 and go 13 up. Mike's heroics were all in vein though as 2 balls through on his next hand he could only muster a 5. So from now on 25 to 5 (or 16:35 if you are on a 24 hour clock) will be Mike's new nickname for the foreseeable! a third hand total of 62 lost 5 pins to still remain 8 up.

The Wanderers made more gains on the fourth and fifth hand including spares from F-K (13) and Billy (14) to lead by 16 going into the sixth hand.
Back came the league leaders though with a mighty sixth hand 89. We needed something special to keep the lead.  A 14 spare from the normal 12 spare specialist Reel em In was the surprise of our sixth hand but the 2nd spare just didnt come and the resulting 66 came up 23 pins short. Our last hand of 66 with spares from Skipper (12) and '25 to 5' Stabbins (13) never really looked good enough and the visitors made light work of the 60 to win total to eventually hit 72 and win the game by 13 pins. Mike '1635' Stabbins taking the cue again this week with 75, and will go for the hat-trick of cue pots next week. Chris 'no boom boom' Bennett bottom again with 47 and will be arse polishing the bench at the Volunteer.



24/11/10                                        Breakaways 458        Wanderers  449

A real away day beckoned for the Wanderers as they headed way out to Stoke St Gregory for their game against Breakaways. We were all breaking new ground as no-one from the team had ever played there before.

The Team Bonder returned to the squad with his new nickname of 'Maverick' after the pilot in the film Top Gun, and also Reel 'em In Shapter was back in following his rest last week. The webmaster was again consigned to the bench so there would be no Boom-Boom on the alley, nor would there be any 'Magic' as Mr Hake snr was told in no uncertain terms that his services would not be required for the evening!

A tied 59 first hand led to a Wanderers 2nd hand of 76 including a 13 spare from O.J and a 16 flopper from Billy to pull 13 pins. We pulled another 14 pins on the 3rd hand thanks to a 16 flopper from Pistol and a hooked 3rd ball 11 spare from the Skipper. It was at this point (27 pins up going into the 4th hand) that the usual Wanderers wobbly takes effect and we steadily lose our lead. It has become a bit of a trademark that we are quick out of the blocks but some games we can't sustain the pressure, and this was one of those games as bit by bit our lead was eroded. A 15 flopper from F-K on the 5th hand and a usual 12 spare from Reel 'em In on the 6th hand could not save us from the improving Home team. We were still 9 up going into the last hand, but a final flourish from Breakaways of 79 left us a chase down of 71 to win. Despite some good 8's and 9's the spare strikes never came and the resulting 61 hand left us defeated - but never downhearted - by 9 pins. Mike 'Pissed on three pints' Stabbins winning the cue with 63.

Our next match is a home game against the league leaders. Lets hope our home form keeps going for that one!


17/11/10                                        Stockland Club 435      Wanderers  403

The Wanderers were out of town again for their next away match way out at the Stockland Club. The scene of many a triumph and many a spectacular failure for the webmaster as he was visiting his former team mates. The night didn't get off to the best of starts as the main Stockland target of abuse had declared himself unfit and didn't travel to the game. This meant that all the wind-ups that the webmaster had planned had to be put on hold until the return match in February. It was good to see that Nigel Adlam had driven out to the club but he hadn't parked his mower very straight in the car park. Fred Ford didn't have that problem as he had parked his car in Stogursey.

The in-form Wanderers had to make a change to last week's winning team and welcomed back Magic Hake to the squad in the absence of Reel 'em In Shapter. In response to a Stockland 1st hand of 71, the Wanderers made 63 which included a 12 spare from the new nicknamed 'Billy the Eagle' to only be 8 down. A very poor 2nd hand of 55 which included a 5, four 6's, two 7's and a 12 spare from F-K surprisingly only lost 3 pins to a Stockland 58. Then things started to go wrong for the Wanderers.....

After their stunning performances in the last two games it was definately a case of 'after the Lord Mayors show' as the Wanderers fell apart and capitulated just like the England team performance that was being shown on TV. Apart from the whitewash-avoiding 9 pin pull on the 5th hand it was a night to forget as there were no worthy individual performances to mention. We were all bad as a collective and Stockland ran out worthy winners by 32, despite being 40-plus pins down on their usual home total. At least Billy was smiling as he had the nerve to accept the cue with 54.

Good to see the Stockland boys again and even better to take advantage of the bar prices! We can't promise the same in the return leg at Commercial!  

10/11/10                                      Wanderers  521      Wembdon Crickets   435

The next opponents to visit the Commercial were the Wembdon Crickets from the Mansion House.

An unchanged squad from the magnificent win at the Ring o' Bells last week was named due to the Team Bonder flying off to much warmer climates to bask in 30-plus temperatures in just baby oil and a leopard print thong. I just hope there will be no kids at his resort as they could possibly be scarred for life!!

The night got off to a great start with a 72 hand including spares from O.J & Pistol to take an early lead of 19. A 14 spare from Reel 'em In and a 15 flopper from the Pistol were the highlights of a better 2nd hand of 76 from the Wanderers as we pulled another 13. Pistol proved he is the man on fire at the moment and got the 3rd hand off to a great start with a 15 spare. This then set off a chain of events as spares from Skipper (12), Billy (16 flopper), O.J (16) and Boom-Boom (16 flopper) got us to a score of 91 for 7 with F-K Frosty to go. Would we get a hundred hand?? The answer is of course no, as with a splendid 5 and a 20p fine for F-K we fell short by just four for a hand of 96. This basically killed the game as a contest as the Crickets could only come back with 59 for the Wanderers to gain 37 on the hand and go 69 up.

The Pistol was skittling like a man possessed as with a 16 spare on the fourth hand and a 14 spare on the fifth hand he was 76 after 5 and possibly looking for the ton. A sixth hand 8 left him at 84 after 6 and wanting a 16 spare on the last hand for the magic number. The Wanderers were now 93 pins up going into the last hand, with the Pistol to throw first. His first two balls clear the diamond to rapturous cheers, hugs and handshakes. His third ball ended up going straight at the front pin, only to be too straight to take guts for a 12. A personal total of 96 is his highest ever score, so many congratulations to Pete. Great skittling. Our last hand total of 69 lost 7 pins as the Crickets avoided the whitewash, but leaving our winning margin at 86. Another magnificent team performance.

Out to the Stockland Club next week to play the webmasters former team mates. A banquet has been promised along with special bar prices for the Natch. Our spies have already informed us that due to hitting the lowest score this week, one of the more vertically challenged Stockland Team skittlers will only be sitting on the bench next week. Providing he's given a ladder to climb up to the seat that is! See you next week Mister Lane.


03/11/10                                        Lynchers  541      Wanderers  549

The Wanderers headed for the wilds of Moorlynch this week to play the Lynchers on the high scoring Ring o' Bells alley. The Lynchers were a very strong force on their own alley and had set a record for being unbeaten at home (until very recently) for two and a half years.

A full compliment of skittlers and supporters club were in attendance which was very pleasing to see. Rob had to make an unwelcome return to the bench to make way for the returning O.J Stabbins, thus promoting F-K Frosty to the number 1 slot.

A steady start of 67 from the Lynchers gained 4 pins on a Wanderers effort of 63 which included a 13 spare from Pistol Pete and a poxy 4 from the Webmaster. A wild ball wide of the full pack from Pistol did not get the 2nd hand off to a brilliant start and the resulting 5 brought the usual cuss & swear words of having to pay 20p! However thanks to an 18 spare from OJ Stabbins (single pin too!!!!) and a 14 from Green Goblin Phil we rallied to a 79 hand. This wasn't enough as the Lynchers hit 83 to pull 4 more and go 8 up. A 72 Lynchers 3rd hand was met with a Wanderers 85 hand which included spares from Reel 'em In (14) Billy Whizz (15) and The Pistol (16). We were now in the driving seat as we pulled 13 to go 5 up. GAME ON!!!!!!

We pulled 4 more pins on the fourth hand with floppers from Boom-Boom (16) and The Pistol (18) helping toward a 78 hand. Despite a 17 flopper on the fifth hand from the hug-hating Food Chain Phil (I reckon it's all a front - he loves the attention really!) we only made 69 to lose 6 pins and have our lead cut to just 3 pins. Back we came on the 6th hand with spares from Single Pin Stabbins (13) Boom Boom Bennett (17) and a fantastic 15 flopper from F-K for another 85 hand but this was only good enough to pull a pin against a Lynchers 84 hand for us to lead by 4. This was going to be a last hand nail biter - AGAIN!!

The Lynchers had made a proper game of it by hitting an 86 last hand to set the Wanderers a high but achievable target of 83 to win. The chase down started with a 9 each from F-K and Boom Boom to be 18 for 2. Reel 'em In steps up and bangs in a flopper much to the delight of his team mates to eventually make 18. Food Chain steps up and bangs in another flopper only to be mobbed by half the team. When things settled down he makes 14. We are now 50 for 4 and in with a real shout for victory. A nine each from OJ and Billy now makes it 68 for 6 with the diamond having been cleared on each hand so far. Skipper was having a night to forget up until this point but skittled when it mattered and his brave 7 set our total at 75 for 7 to give the Pistol a real chance of winning the game with only 8 required. Pete stepped up and without so much as a hint of nerves the first ball is sent bounding down the alley smashing six pins down. The second ball is sent down with the same speed and the remaining pins are dispatched for a fantastic spare and victory for the Wanderers. Never have you seen so many male bodies hanging off one bloke!!!!! Pete eventually made 15 to win the game by 8 pins.

A fantastic team effort with 7 players hitting 65 and above on the night. Pete 'The Pistol' Hallett deservedly taking the gold nugget prize with 83. A great night with some great banter, too much to mention here, but a right laugh all the same. Phil and Mike becoming a seventies American detective duo called "Tubby and Fat Arse" will live long in the memory! Back to the Commercial next week to play the Wembdon Crickets. 

27/10/10                                      Wanderers  457      Lambs   454

The Lambs from the Duke would be the Wanderers next opponents at Fortress Commercial.

The home team would be without the services of Mike "It's her birthday next week" Stabbins as he was already booked to take his wife out for a slap-up meal. Mrs Stabbins would be doing the slapping when she realised where he was taking her! Man on form Reel 'em In Shapter was under pressure this week to make it a hat trick of cue-pots. Could Bristol City's change in form bring him the luck he needed? The team also welcomed back Billy this week so Boom-Boom Bennett was nominated chief floater to fill the Stabbins void at number 5.

Two spares from Billy (13 & 17) and a sixteener from F-K Frosty helped us to a great start of 68 and 75 gave us a 17 pin lead after two hands. A Wanderers spareless third hand of 66 which included four 9's was dealt with by the visitors as their hand of 77 pulled 11 to cut our lead to 6. Spares were very hard to come by on the fourth & fifth hands but we gained pins to lead by 8 going into the 6th. A 12 spare from the Pistol was the highlight of the resulting 62 which was good enough to pull another 2. Our last hand of 67 with a joyously skilful spare from Food Chain helped us to 67 to leave the Lambs 78 to win. A couple of shouts were heard in the alley as we nervously waited for the result. The Lambs fell just short of their required target to leave us victorious by just 3 pins. Another close win for the Wanderers.

The pressure unfortunately told on Reel 'em In as with the added burden of supporting Mister Magoo on the Pool Table, and the resulting humiliation of a 3 - 0 whitewash from Bennett & Frost his skittles went completely to pot. Billy Whizz Billing finished top and took the cue with 69. Out to the wilds of Moorlynch next week to play the Lynchers.


20/10/10                                      Rebels     422      Wanderers  466

Another out of town away match for the Wanderers this week. This time the setting would be the Sedgemoor Inn at Westonzoyland to play the Rebels who were yet to score a point this season.

With Billy Whizz Billing being rested this week, the team had a fairly different look to it. We welcomed back the fit and raring to go Team Bonder Tonks to the number 1 slot, F-K Frosty moved down a notch to the number 2 position and Boom-Boom Bennett had to take the vacant number 6 slot. Would this change of position help improve the webmasters poor run of form?

A modest start of 64 from the home team was met with a great 71 hand from the Wanderers with spares from Team Bonder (13) and man on fire Reel 'em In Shapter (14). A 2nd hand 61 with a 13 spare from O.J Stabbins was surprisingly good enough to pull 8 pins to lead by fifteen. Into the third and it was another good hand of 72 from the Wanderers with finally a spare from Boom Boom (12) and a 14 from OJ Stabbins that caused so many man hugs that the in-alley GAY-O-METER went into overdrive and kept flashing on the maximum every time Stabbins went near it!! We pulled a further 7 on the hand to go 22 up. The fourth hand saw hug-hating Food Chain Phil adopt the foetal position as a magnificent spare was rewarded in the usual Wanderers way. Although he only made 11 out of it our hand total of 62 was good enough to pull 3 more pins to go 25 up.

The Wanderers were cruising now and despite starting the fifth hand with a 4 from the Team Bonder, a 13 spare from the unstoppable Reel 'em In and a 15 spare from the back on form Webmaster, we made a total of 72 to gain a further 10 to go 35 up. A predictable "Wanderers Wobbly" struck on the 6th hand to only make 54 buut despite this we only lost 4 pins on the hand and with the Rebels making 61 on their last hand we were left only wanting 31 for victory. We closed out the game with our highest hand of the night of 74 which included an 11 spare from the Pistol and a 14 spare from "second ball syndrome" F-K Frosty to win the game by 44. Reel 'em In Shapter was top again with 68. He now goes for his hat-trick of cue-pots at the Commercial next week.


13/10/10                                      Wanderers  446      Lamb Inn 'A'   446

The Wanderers returned to the Commercial for a match against the lads from the Lamb Inn at Spaxton. Temperatures were much colder than they had been in recent weeks. Would this change the playing conditions out in the alley?

Due to the Team Bonder failing a late fitness test it was an unchanged squad from last weeks defeat that would take to the alley, despite lurgy complaints from Food Chain, F-K, Skipper and Boom-Boom. The first hand did not go well despite a 12 spare from Reel 'em In as we could only register 58. The atmospheric conditions were taking their toll already! The visitors were not faring any better as a first hand 65 followed by a 2nd hand 56. Despite their best efforts from the Wanderers there were no spares in the 2nd (58) or 3rd (62) hands but they made good enough gains to square the match at that point.

The pool playing syndicate started again after a lay-off of four weeks and didn't it show? At least Bennett and Frosty ran out winners for once!! With the attention on the big screen of the Chilean miners being rescued, several scenarios emerged. One being could the Wanderers skittle team survive underground for over two months? One clever comment said that it would be possible, but when the time came to get out we would have to leave Phil & Chris until they had lost enough weight to fit in the rescue pod. Cheeky B*stards.

Another spare from the in-form Reel 'em In Shapter (15) in a fourth hand 69 gave us the lead by four pins. A fifth hand 69 from the Wanderers with a 12 spare from Skipper Hake was good enough to pull a further six pins to go ten up with two hands to play. This looked like another close game - AGAIN!!!! A sixth hand of 68 from the Wanderers, included a 16 spare from "Hopper Hallet" (who's pitchboard avoidance in an earlier hand caused lots of hilarity and barracking from his team -mates) looked like being enough, but back came the Lamb Inn with the biggest hand of the night of 73 to pull 5 back. With a 5 pin lead going into the last hand, the Wanderers needed a large score but the resulting 62 never looked like being enough. With two spares on their last hand (both 11!!) the Lamb Inn still wanted 8 for victory from their anchor man. The resulting 7 tied the game to give each team a point a piece. Probably a fair reflection as no team dominated on the night.

Reel 'em In Shapter took the cue with 66 (this time with no fines!!!!) and is the only player at the moment to have won the cue more than once this year. Well done mate, if only Bristol City were that accurate in front of goal eh?


06/10/10                                      A P S     469      Wanderers  460

Another away match beckoned for the Wanderers as they headed to the Blake Arms to play APS, another team that had come up from division three.

With the Team Bonder sidelined at home looking after his wallet,  it was decided that Mark 'F-K Frosty' Frost would be lead off man for the night, with the remaining seven reprobates taking their normal slots.

It has to be said that the Blake Arms alley is one of those skittling anomolies where the most skilful of players can be made to look absolutely abysmal. This was proved on the first hand when the webmaster made a 2 from three very good balls. The "sympathy" that came forth from my team mates was overwhelming and brought a lump to my throat. All I will say is that what goes around, comes around and be sure that I will be just as "sympathetic" if it happens to any of you!!!!!!!!! Anyway, back to the match report. After three hands the Wanderers were only 11 pins down. A fourth hand 68 which included a spectacular 16 flopper from F-K looked like bringing us back into the match, but a 74 from APS pulled 6 more to lead by 17 with three hands to go.

A fifth hand 67 from the home team was met with a 69 from the Wanderers which included a 15 spare from the alley hating "O.J" Stabbins to pull back two pins. The Wanderers fight back then started on the sixth hand. A 16 flopper from the "Pistol" a very unlucky 12 spare from "Reel 'em In" and another flopper from F-K, this time to make 17, were the highlights in a fantastic 82 hand which pulled 12 on a 70 hand to cut APS's lead to just 3 pins. The home team rallied on the last hand to make 72 to leave the Wanderers 76 to win. A 12 spare from "Food Chain" nearly got us going but the hand tailed off to 66 to lose the game by 9. Mark "F-K" Frosty Frost deservedly walking away with the cue with 75.

Back to the Commercial next game for a match against division 2 stalwarts Lamb Inn A from Spaxton. Don't expect an early start!!

29/09/10                                      Knowle Inn 424      Wanderers  433

The Wanderers headed to the Knowle Inn for their first out of town away match of the season. The Knowle Inn team are a reknowned bunch of skittlers who have been around for a long time, and know their notorious and cramped uphill alley like the backs of their hands. These guys are a proper Division Two team.

Local boy from just up the hill Mike 'I'm on the beer again' Stabbins was sporting some very trendy jeanswear for his long walk from home. Also with a week off from driving was Chris 'Magic' Hake who was savouring his pint of Winston Churchill ale so much we nearly had a speech about the 'few'. Not about the Battle of Britain but about the 'few' pints he was gonna have! Then he found out how much they charged him for a pint so he retracted his statement pretty sharpish!! For the 2nd week running it was a full squad that were all present and correct, so following his low score at home last week it was the Webmasters turn to get the Mr Sheen on his arse and polish the bench. With the after-shock of the bar prices still ringing in the ears, we headed to the alley for our 1st hand. 

A 64 effort from the Knowle boys was met with a spare-less 61 from the Wanderers, which included a twice missed single pin from Reel 'em In which cost him 50p. The 2nd hand was again spare-less (But included a 6 from Reel 'em In - now up to 60p in fines) for another 61 which pulled two back in our favour. A third hand of 64 from the Wanderers, which included another single pin missed spare from Reel 'em In (now 80p in fines - after just 3 hands!!!!) and a 9 from Food Chain Phil, who despite his protests for being mobbed and nearly raped for getting a spare last week, was DEFINATELY looking for a hug from the Team Bonder (Sorry Phil, man-hugs for spares only I'm afraid!) pulled a pin back to tie the match. A 59 fourth hand effort from the Knowle was met with a Wanderers reply of 63 which finally included a spare (12) from Reel 'em In to lead for the first time by 4. This was short lived as the Fatal fifth for the Wanderers took hold with five scores of 6 or under and an 11 spare from Skipper Hake in a 56 hand, but went back up on the sixth with a 63, including a double missed single pin by F-K Frosty (another 50p for the club!!), to lead by one. This was gonna be a very close squeaky game! Knowle Inn then suffered on their last hand to only achieve 57 to give the Wanderers a sniff of victory.

After a steady start of 14 for 2, third man on Reel 'em In came good with his second spare of the night (13) to make it easier on the rest of the team. we eventually made 65 to run out winners by 9. Reel 'em In taking the cue with a good effort of 63 but had to hand a quid back to pay for his fines!! A good close game on a very hard alley and a good team performance. Next week's game is also away, this time at the Blake Arms. Good luck to Rob 'Team Bonder' Tonks for next Wednesday who says will be having a short stay in hospital for another operation to try and remove the disabled sticker from his wallet.

22/09/10                                      Wanderers  460      Non-Starters  427

The next match for the Wanderers would be another home game, this time against the Non-Starters from the Cellophane Club. Another team that followed us up from division 3. There was a bit of history between the teams so we were all up for another home win.

With all players present and correct on parade it was sadly F-K Frosty's turn for his backside to warm the bench. His vocal talents in 'cheerleading' the squad would get louder and louder as the night wore on! Team captain Tony'Skipper' Hake and secretary Chris 'Boom-Boom' Bennett were more than up for this game but would they try too hard for a good score?

The night got off to a great start with a 74 hand thanks to a a 17 spare from the Pistol and a hug-less 12 spare from 'Back on the Beer' Stabbins - much to the hilarity from his team-mates, gave us a 13 pin lead. More was to follow from the Wanderers on the 2nd as the Non-Starters effort of 51 gave us a real incentive and thanks to a 17 from Billy Whizz Billing and a first spare of the season (13) from Food Chain Phil (causing him man-love like he'd never received before) we smashed another 74 hand to lead by 36. The third and fourth hands were wobbly ones for the Wanderers and despite a 4 each from Skipper and Two Pint Stabbins, we were still 19 up going into the fifth. A 13 spare from pot-hunter Stabbins was not supported by the top half of the team and the resulting 66 was still good enough to tie.

So to the 6th hand. A 14 from Reel 'em In was the highlight of a much better 70 total which pulled 12 pins back in our favour, and despite a spare-less last hand of 61, the Non Starters were left with a daunting total of 93 to win. They could only muster 59 to hand the Wanderers our 2nd consecutive win. The winning margin was a comfortable 33 pins with Pete 'The Pistol' Hallett taking the cue-pot with 66, much to the annoyance of Three-Pints-Stabbins. Despite wanting to do well the captain and secretary were holding the team together by posting the lowest scores of the night. Looks like the webmaster will be leading the support at the Knowle Inn next week.
p.s. I am not mentioning the games of pool that were played on the night as we were all shockingly bad and think we ought to take up tiddly winks instead. Enough said!!


15/09/10                                      Wanderers  470      Shy-Teds  467

The Wanderers' next game would be against the team that finished runner-up to them in division 3 last year, The Shy-Teds. In last years fixture, The Shy-Teds fell short of victory by just two pins. Would they be seeking to turn their fortunes around this year?

With the Team Bonder away kissing the blarney stone and Billy Whizz Billing scuppered with man-flu, the Wanderers brought in Chris 'Magic' Hake for his first start of the season and promoted Mark 'F-K Frosty' Frost to the number 1 slot - a position he revelled in last season.

The first hand did not get off to the best of starts. F-K's 1st ball took the front and back left quarters and the back, and then promptly put his 2nd and 3rd ball in exactly the same place to score a three. This brought the usual supportive and helpful comments from his team mates as was expected. Following a very average 7 from Boom-Boom it was Magic's turn to make amends. Unfortunately a 1st ball wide of the pack and the 2nd and 3rd balls going through the pack to score a fat zero! At 10 for 3 this wasn't the start that was needed! Magic did seem a bit upset about his nought, but we suspect foul play as he was talking to a Pakistani businessman before the game and later on we noticed a larger than usual pile of coinage sat next to him at the dommie table. Spread betting Mr Hake? Tut Tut! Anyway, thanks to a fifteen flopper from Skipper Hake and a fourteen flopper from the Pistol, our first hand total ended with a respectable 64, which actually pulled 6 pins. A Shy-Teds 2nd hand of 73 pulled 5 back with Magic Hake's 14 spare the only highlight in a 68 hand. A poor 59 third hand from the Wanderers, which included a 15 from Top Tipster Stabbins let things slip to go 6 down.

The Wanderers rallied back on the fourth hand with spares from Reel 'em In (15) and another one from Magic Hake (11) in a total of 72 to pull a pin back. A fifth hand 76 with spares from The Pistol (14) and Boom-Boom Bennett (15) tied the match, so it was all to play for over the next two hands. A 71 effort from the Shy-Teds meant that a good reply was required. Spares from Skipper Hake (13) and Reel 'em In (14) helped us to 35 for 3 so things were looking Ok. Up steps Mike 'skittling with venom' Stabbins who after leading the rants and chants at F-K earlier on for a 3, then proceeds to get a 3 of his own to get more than a taste of his own medicine from his colleagues. The hand falters to 68 to go 3 down. A very average last hand of 63 from the Wanderers let the Shy-Teds in only wanting 61 to win. After a very nervous wait, it turns out that they had hit exactly 61 to win by a pin. But after adding the totals up on both sides, it seemed that the Shy-Teds total did not add up to a winning score. After checking the board totals again & again it was found that the Shy-Teds 2nd hand of 73 was in fact only 69, so contraversially the Wanderers had picked up their first win in Division Two. It was a shame to win like that as it had been another really close game with the lads from the Legion but it was their error to be fair. Next week is another home game but it is a must-win match as we are against the Non-Starters from the Cellophane Club.

 08/09/10                                      Halfway Boys  460      Wanderers  448

The baptism of fire would continue for the Wanderers at the Cellophane Club as the opponents for this game were playing in Division 1 last season. How would we cope following last week's collapse? Unfortunately Reel 'em In was a late cry-off but would be ably replaced by the fully refreshed Phil 'Food Chain' Owen returning to the squad after a week's break in deepest darkest Devon. His tales of days on the beach wearing nothing but a leopard skin thong, yellow flip-flops and a thick coating of Mazola cooking oil would conjure up some pretty horrific images in the minds of his team mates, so we asked him to stop before any permanant damage was done! Good to see Mr Hake snr arriving with the old skittling shoes on. After the heartbreak of seeing the shoes going into the charity clothing bag at the end of last season, our Christopher has been wandering around the many charity shops around Bridgwater to see if he could buy them back! Eventually he found them in the shop next to Oxfam and word is a receipt for 35p is going to be submitted to the committee for possible reimbursement!!

A 59 first hand from the home team was met with an almighty 80 hand from the Wanderers which included three spares, a 16 from Boom-Boom Bennett and a 14 each from Billy and the Pistol, to lead by 21. The next four hands would prove to be tough going for both teams as there were no spares hit at all. However the home team made small gains on the 2nd, 4th and 5th hands to cut our lead to 7.

We were looking for some inspiration from somewhere on our 6th hand. At 36 for 5 going back up it was not looking good. Then up steps F.K Frosty, a man who had been skittling like a man with no arms up to that point, smashes in the first flopper of the night much to the joy of his fellow team mates. His second ball nearly cleared the diamond again but the front left quarter and corner pin just would not fall despite wobbling around like Team Bonder after 5 pints of Rattler. Frosty's third ball takes the quarter pin for a 17. Our eventual hand total of 68 looked to be a good holding hand, but just like last week our opponents came back with a 79 6th hand to pull 11 and lead by four and a last hand of 76 to leave the Wanderers 82 to win. Easy missed spares from Boom-Boom, F.K and Skipper Hake (who was popping his Cellophane Club cherry) proved that we could have got very close to the required total. Mike 'Missed four spares already' Stabbins came good with a 15 to clinch the money pot but another hand of 68 lost a further 8 pins to lose the game by 12. Disappointing to lose but quite heartening to see how close we came to winning the game. There's always next week!

01/09/10                                      Wanderers  469      Magpies  480

We're Back!!!

The Wanderers returned to the Commercial for the start of the new skittle season with a match up against the Magpies, who were a very hardy division two team. This would be a good test to see how the newly-promoted Wanderers would cope with a new higher standard of skittling.

Things could not have started better as our lead-off man Team Bonder took a flopper with the very first ball of the evening! Celebrations stopped just short of man-rape and Rob managed to regain his composure to eventually make 17. More was to follow with Billy smashing another flopper (15) and Skipper Hake wading in with a 17 spare all helped toward a great first hand total of 84. Magpies reply of 70 gave us a lead of 14. A spare-less Wanderers 2nd hand of 57 only lost four pins out of our lead and a magnificent 3rd hand 78 with spares from F.K Frosty (17), Boom-Boom Bennett (13) and Team Bonder Tonks (12) pulled 25 pins against a poor Magpies hand of 53 for the Wanderers to lead by 35.

We lost 3 pins on the fourth hand but gained a pin back on the fifth which included spares from the Pistol (14) and F.K's 2nd spare of the night (12) to lead by 33 with two hands to go. Could we upset the form book and start with a win? It was looking good.

Then it happened....just as we did in the champion of champions final, we capitulated at totally the wrong time. A 6th hand 54 with 4 scores of 6 & under let the visitors in to pull 20 pins to cut our lead to 13. A not-much-better last hand of 59 from the Wanderers left the Magpies a high total of 73 to win - a big ask in Division 3 days. But this is Division 2 and with three spares in their highest hand of the night of 83 the Magpies cruised to victory by 11. A game which ended disappointingly for us as we knew we should have never let a big lead slip like that. Good to see Rob taking the cue pot with 66 closely followed by F.K Frosty with 65. New Shoes Stabbins showed he was a bit rusty and could have done with a bit of WD40 to help him along as he had a nightmare game along with his new found pool playing partner Reel 'em In Shapter. No pool table at the Cellophane Club next week so maybe the concentration will switch to skittles for a change???

26/08/10                          Pre -season 7 a-side friendly @ Commercial

                                                Commercial Inn A  426    Wanderers 410

Due to four regular players being away on holiday, it was a very scratch Wanderers team that took to the alley for this pre-season warm-up game. The team consisted of Team Bonder Tonks, Boom-Boom Bennett, Food Chain Phil (who announced he would be missing from the first league game next week due to a holiday in deepest, darkest Devon) Magic Hake snr, Billy Whizz and Team Captain Skipper Hake. Billy's stepson, Rees would be sticker for the evening and stand in anchor man - even though he had never thrown a skittle ball in his life before!

The Commercial Inn Thursday team started with a very good 79 hand which included 3 spares. A very average effort of 56 from the Wanderers left us 23 down and were chasing the game from there on in. Despite a few good hands from the scratch squad we never looked like overturning the deficit and eventually lost the game by 16 pins.

As there was no cue-money or pot to play for, Bennett managed to hit four spares in a total of 79. He always plays out of his skin when it doesn't matter! Rees our stand in sticker played very well considering it was his first time playing skittles and hit 53 on the night - one more pin than Billy and matching Mr Hake snr, who to be fair was not wearing the skittle shoes that he rescued from the charity bag!

So the league season starts next Wednesday with a home game against division 2 stalwarts the Magpies. It would be fantastic to start off the new season with a win. Good luck lads!!



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