It’s Scoring Central in Sheffield:

The Sheffield Quads is one of the longest running and most popular events in the student bowling calendar, but proved more popular than ever this year as, due to some late rescheduling, it took place the week before the BUCS Tenpin Bowling Championships (the biggest student event of the year), and in the same centre, so was the ideal pre-BUCS warm-up!

The Quads is a handicapped combination fours event, where the team posting the highest pinfall over a total of 9 games wins. For the first 3 game set each team splits in to two doubles teams, for the second each team splits into a trio and a single, and for the last 3 the whole team bowls together as a quad.

This season the tournament was bowled at 1st Bowl, Firth Park, Sheffield on 16th Feb 2013.

Leeds Metropolitan made the best start with a 1376 handicap set (1208 scratch) from their first doubles pairing courtesy of Mark Bott 730 (640) and Adam Leefe 646 (568), closely followed by Nottingham Trent A’s Curtis Berry 689 (596) and Jonathan Atkins 681 (618) on 1370 (1214) and Sheffield A’s Alexander Paranov 687 (546) and Richie Salter 679 (559) on 1366 (1105).

The highest doubles score however came from the second pairing of team Fortune with a whopping 1457 handicap pins (1220 scratch) with both Wing Lai 755 (590) and Chris White 722 (630) bowling out of their skins. Their nearest rivals were Manchester on 1385 (1139) thanks to Louise Parker 715 (622) and John McOmish 670 (517) and Three Men and a Lady on 1377 (1233) due to contributions from Bob Nethersole 710 (605) and James Larkin 667 (628).

With all teams having bowled 3 games, Three Men and a Lady topped the table with a total handicap pinfall of 2653 pins, just ahead of Fortune on 2647 and Manchester on 2644, but at this stage there were only 80 pins separating the top 12 teams, so the tournament could hardly have been more open!

Loughborough recorded the highest score in the singles section, with their bowler Aiden Wright hitting 751 (703 Scratch), just ahead of Big Gay Rob’s Throbbing….’s bowler David Abbott with 746 (701), and Split Happens’ player Hooman Behnia on 724 (637). Three Men and a Lady could only place 13th in the singles, over 100 pins behind Loughborough.

In the Trios though, Three Men and a Lady reasserted themselves with the best team performance, a 2028 handicap series (1725 scratch) spearheaded by Bob Nethersole 721 (616) with solid support from James Larkin 661 (622)and 646 (487) Sammir Radha. Mark Bott is Fat were a close second on 2016 (1854) thanks to Antony Lakey 712 (670), Matt Bailey 710 (662) and Matt Warmington 594 (522); with Split Happens an even closer 3rd on 2011 (1834) due to Phil Manning’s 752 (719), with support from Stephen Wray 657 (573) and Malin Andersson 602 (542).

After 6 games bowled Big Gay Rob’s Throbbing…. had managed to climb all the way from seventh to first place (due to their 2nd place finish in the singles and 4th place finish in the trios!) with a total pinfall of 5364 pins, Three Men and a lady dropped to 2nd with 5324, Leeds Metropolitan climbed from 10th to 3rd on 5277, Split Happens climbed from 14th to 4th on 5276, and Notts Trent A dropped from 4th to 5th on 5267. Even after 6 team games bowled, there were still only just over 200 pins separating 1st from 10th!

All teams were ranked on their pinfall after 6 games, and the leaders were placed on adjacent lanes, so that they could keep an eye on each other’s progress, in what proved to be a very tight and nail-biting finale!

The bragging rights for the Quads actually went to Birmingham University (languishing in 11th place after 6 games!), with a 2788 handicapped series (2161) courtesy of Stephen Hibbert 772 (694), Sam Bond 716 (599), Shaun Parsons 713 (521) and Georgina Avery 587 (347). Warwick (9th after 6 games) came second in the quads with 2734 (2287) thanks to Chris May 792 (651), Felix Lee 733 (670), Tom Prickett 615 (498) and Mark Deeks 594 (462); whilst Blooring One’s Own Horn (15th after 6!) snuck into third with 2721 (2286) due to great contributions from Mike Hornby 764 (572) and Mark Bloor 736 (712), and solid work from Rachel Rawlings 655 (607) and Dave Brooks 566 (395).

Nottingham Trent A placed fourth in the quads with 2718 (2082), Split Happens were 6th on 2691 (2427) Three Men and a Lady were 8th with 2672 (2333), and Big Gay Rob’s Throbbing….were way back in 13th place on 2536 (2356).

All of which meant that Three Men and a Lady regained the top spot and were crowned champions with a total handicapped pinfall of 7996 (6979 scratch, an average of 193.9 per bowler), just managing to stay ahead of Nottingham Trent A who’s strong finish pushed them up from 5th to 2nd with a total of 7985 (6077), with Split Happens worrying them all the way, but having to settle for 3rd with 7967 (7175 scratch an average of 199.3 per bowler).

An amazingly close run affair I’m sure you’ll agree and none of the teams were quite sure who’d won it in the end!

There were 17 men who averaged over 200 at the event, 8 of them over 210, but the highest average of all went to Aiden Wright in the student section with a truly impressive 233.78 average (the 4th 230+ average bowled on our tour this year), with Jonathan Atkins (Nottingham Trent A) his nearest rival back on a 213.67 average. Phil Manning won the ex-student award with 223.67, just edging out Mark Bloor with his 222.78 av.

Louise Parker (195av) beat Rachael McKenzie (Leeds Metropolitan – 191.1av) out of the student ladies’ high average award, whilst Rachel Rawlings (195.56) did the same to Malin Andersson (Split Happens – 191.44) in the ex-students.

Aiden Wright also took the student high scratch series prize with his 724 (bowled in the quads) whilst Rachael McKenzie (642) won the ladies award. For the ex-student’s Phil Manning (719) and Rachel Rawlings (607) took the plaudits.

High handicap series’ went to Chris May (792) and Kirsty Ralph (Nottingham Trent B – 727) for the students, and to Mike Hornby (764) and Malin Andersson (654) in the ex-students.

Stephen Hibbert (263) just sneaked the student high scratch game ahead of Mark Bott (259), Paul Turner (Leeds258) and Aiden Wright (258); whilst Louise Parker (236) cornered the ladies’ Trophy. Mark Bloor (276) bowled the best game of the day securing him a trophy, and the best ex-student female was Malin Andersson (233).

The high handicap games went to Michael Cade (Nottingham) for his 301 (which was actually equalled by Chris May, although Chris lost out on the award by virtue of having the smaller handicap of the two men, 47 as opposed to 79!), and Chelsea Potter (268 – Nottingham Trent A) in the students, and to Jack Wareing (285 – Special Brew) and Rachel Rawlings (248) in the ex-students.

Sheffield Quads was yet another high-scoring event on the student bowling tour this season, where the standard seems to be being raised higher and higher, event by event and season after season. There’s only one more regulation event left this season, the Leeds Met Singles at Hollywood Bowl, Leeds on 12th May and then after that the real fun begins with the invitational events in June, which are only open to those who have performed well during this season…can the standard be raised even higher, we’ll just have to wait and see!

James Larkin (BUTBA Press Secretary).

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