Sunday 8th December saw a change in pace for the BUTBA Tour, with members travelling to Ilkeston to play in the newly annual Loughborough University Handicap Diamond Sixes event. In the second competition of the year where students and ex-students alike were competing against one another, and with just 16 team spaces available, competition was lively. All through the competition, the students appeared to dominate, not giving up a top 3 spot for a good few games.
Game 1 – Singles
Portsmouth’s Jon Spivey started off the competition in high hopes for his university, scoring a 222 (245 handicap). Ex-students made their appearance in the form of Louise Parker from 5 Bowling Minions and Mini Me, producing a 186 (228) game. Warwick also put themselves on the map early with Gerard Colston bowling an impressive 167 (232). It was Nottingham however, who set themselves up to be high up in the tables once again with both their teams bowling above average: Nottingham A’s Saiful Salihudin scoring 201 (241) and Nottingham B’s Mike Hales scoring 142 (236).
Standings after game 1:
3rd – Nottingham B (236)
2nd – Nottingham A (241)
1st – Portsmouth (245)
Game 2 – Doubles
Portsmouth picked up the pace in the second game, with Jon Spivey scoring a massive 247 (270) and team mate James Horwood scoring 111 (197), giving them a team total of 358 (467). This wasn’t enough, however, to bump them up the tables much, sitting them behind Loughborough’s Matt Harris and Roy Meng on 344 (474). It was Nottingham Trent this time who climbed the tables, with bowlers Kirsty Ralph and Shannen Fidgett both scoring well above average to finish on a team game of 360 (508).
Standings after game 2:
3rd – Nottingham A (694)
2nd – Portsmouth (712)
1st – Nottingham Trent (734)
Game 3 – Trios
The ex-students shone through once again in the trios, with Gentlemen Bowlers Simon Wilkins, James Harris and Tom Chuter scored a team game of 501 (663), helped greatly buy Chuter’s 222 (250) game. Nottingham B saw themselves scoring well again, with their trios team of Mike Hales, Katie Skelton and Charlotte Richardson scoring a team game of 324 (677). Birmingham also put themselves on the map, with an impressive game of 133 (249) from Reena Kaur, helping teammates Sven Schulte and Kian Mistry score a team game of 418 (698). Loughborough, with the introduction of Flora Ruiter to Matt Harris and Roy Meng, scored an impressive team game of 477 (710), with all three bowling above average.
Standings after game 3:
3rd – Birmingham (1359)
2nd – Portsmouth (1360)
1st – Loughborough (1384)
Game 4 – Quads
Game 4 saw high scores starting to creep in for many teams. DILLIGAF made their climb up the tables, with team mates Nicky Donowski, James Larkin, Danny Crook and brother Joe Crook scoring a team game of 757 (890), helped greatly by an impressive 242 (284) game from Donowski. Fellow ex-student team 5 Bowling Minions and Mini Me also faired well out of the quads, scoring an overall team game of 769 (912), with Aiden Wright’s debut game of the competition being a high 243. Portsmouth once again all scored above average in the quads, to finish on a team game of 695 (891), just behind Nottingham B on a team game of 476 (951), with first game bowler Declan Greaves scoring 123 (245) to help them along the way.
Standings after game 4:
3rd – Nottingham B (2285)
2nd – Portsmouth (2294)
1st – Loughborough (2303)
Game 5 – Fives
Both Nottingham team performed well again in the Fives, with Nottingham A just falling short of the highest fives score on a 1013 (1199), with impressive games from Saiful Salihudin with a 214 (254) and Simon Atkins with a 236 (262). Nottingham B lost no form from their high scoring streak, scoring a team game of 624 (1219), with Declan Graves, once again scoring well above average with a 136 (258) and Katie Skelton scoring a massive 145 (281).
Standings after game 5:
3rd – Nottingham A (3425)
2nd – Loughborough (3443)
1st – Nottingham B (3507)
Game 6 – Sixes
The Sixes saw the ex-students fight back with a massive team game of 1098 (1371) from Wing’s Wangers, with team members Lee Burrows, Simon Batty, Caroline Rawson, Wing Lai, Charlie Baldwin and Chris Herbert all bowling well, especially Herbert on a 205 (245) and Rawson on a 169 (248). The students didn’t go down without a fight however, with Nottingham Trent just ahead of Wing’s Wangers with Shannen Fidgett bowling a 199 (268) and sixes debut Curtis Berry starting off his comepition with a massive 244 (272) game.
Half Way Roundup
At the halfway point, the student were dominating the tables, especially the midlands teams, who took all top 5 spots:
5th – University of Birmingham – 2751 (4715)
4th – Loughborough University – 3158 (4716)
3rd – University of Nottingham, A – 4031 (4782)
2nd – Nottingham Trent University – 3412 (4817)
1st – University of Nottingham, B – 2474 (4881)
Game 7 – Fives
Fighting for a place at the top, ex student team Wing’s Wangers fought back with Chris Herbert once again bowling above average on a 224 (261), for the team to finish on a 819 (1085). Loughborough fell short of keeping their 4th place spot on a 739 (1125) to Birmingham who stepped up their game to score a team game of 512 (1222), with Georgina Overy (151 (257)) and Shaun Parsons (225 (286)) bowling well above average. Nottingham B pipped Birmingham to the top post of the Fives game, scoring 663 (1229).
Standings after game 7:
3rd – Nottingham Trent (5919)
2nd – Birmingham (5937)
1st – Nottingham B (6110)
Game 8 – Fours
Warwick pushed themselves up the tables in the Fours, with Felix Lee bowling an impressive 236 (266) game and Alex Minns closely behind on a 215 (263) game, to help Warwick score a high team game of 715 (942). Just ahead of Warwick was an ex student team, stepping into the limelight in the second half of the competition, Bring Up The Near! who scored a team game of 783 (943), helped massively by Sam De’Athe who picked up the pace, scoring a brilliant score of 254 (296).
Standings after game 8:
3rd – Birmingham (6777)
2nd – Gentlemen Bowlers (6796)
1st – Nottingham B (7072)
Game 9 – Trios
DILLIGAF saw themselves climbing the tables in the Trios with a massive 269 (296) game from Pete Thornley, scoring an overall game with team mates Joe Crook and Phil Manning of 625 (701). Birmingham and Nottingham B secured their places near the top, with Birmingham scoring 498 (749), with Georgina Overy bowling a massive 180 (286) game, and Nottingham B on a 452 (759) game. It was ex students once again who topped the game tables, with Gentlemen Bowlers all bowling well above average: Tom Dunn scoring 192 (275), Jared Allen on a 142 (222) and Matt Kokolski with a 235 (274).
Standings after game 9:
3rd – Birmingham (7526)
2nd – Gentlemen Bowlers (7567)
1st – Nottingham B (7831)
Game 10 – Doubles
5 Bowling Minions and Mini Me appeared on the scene one again in the Doubles, with Bob Nethersole scoring 210 (244) and Paul Marks scoring 202 (231), making an impressive doubles score of 412 (475). It was student team Warwick, however, who pushed their way through with a team game of 398 (493), with Tom Prickett scoring 175 (222) and Alex Minns bowling brilliantly, finishing on a 223 (271).
Standings after game 10:
3rd – Gentlemen Bowlers (7977)
2nd – Birmingham (7982)
1st – Nottingham B (8276)
Game 11 – Singles
Ex-Loughborough student Ollie Lush, bowling for Loogabaroogah, found his feet in the final game to bowl an impressive 168 (249) game. However, it wasn’t enough to compete with student teams Loughborough and Nottingham A, who both bowled in the 270’s, with Loughborough’s Mark Hodds scoring a massive 265 (270) game, and Nottingham A’s Adam Maxwell scoring an impressive 246 (278).
The awards for Loughborough Diamond Sixes were split, unlike the competition itself, between students and ex students. In the student section, Male High Game Scratch was won, unsurprisingly by Loughborough’s Mark Hodds, with a 265. The Male High Game Handicap went to Nottingham’s Alvero Mirelles with a 301. Nottingham also scooped up Female High Game Handicap, won by Katie Skelton with a 293. It was Nottingham Trent, however, who picked up Female High Game Scratch, with Shannen Fidgett’s 199 game. Fidgett also picked up Female High Average, bowling a 166 over her six games. Birmingham’s Sean Khua stole the prize for Male High Average on an impressive 211.3.
In the ex student sections, scores seemed to be generally higher than in the students, prompting a very high level of competition and close scores throughout the day. Liam Grainger picked up Male High Game Scratch with a massive 279, just ahead of Pete Thornley on a 269, who, unfortunately, just missed out on the Male High Game Handicap also, which was won by Sam De’Athe, equalling Thornley, both on 296 handicap games. Female High Game Scratch went to Nicky Donowski on a 257, who also, unsurprisingly picked up Female High Average with a 198.7. Female High Game Handicap went to ex-Warwick bowler, Anne Widness, who didn’t let being on a team of just three bowlers distract her, winning with a 285 handicap game. Male High Average went to Lee Burrows, who stormed the competition with a 221.3 average.
Alvero Mirelles from Nottingham B also, unsurprisingly picked up Most Above Average, bowling a massive 30.67 pins above his 100 average.
As could be seen throughout the day, Nottingham dominated the competition. However, towards the end of the day, Birmingham and ex-student team Gentlemen Bowlers fought back with force, leaving the final team standings as:
5th – Loughborough – 8094 (5562 scratch)
(Matt Harris, Roy Meng, Flora Ruiter, Neil McKelvie, Nikki Stam & Mark Hodds)
4th – 5 Bowling Minions and Mini Me – 8095 (6859 scratch)
(Louise Parker, Liam Grainger, Jez Swann, Aiden Wright, Bob Nethersole & Paul Marks)
3rd – Birmingham – 8198 (5012 scratch)
(Reena Kaur, Sven Schulte, Kian Mistry, Mark Jeffs, Georgina Overy & Shaun Parsons)
2nd – Gentlemen Bowlers – 8218 (6034 scratch)
(Simon Wilkins, James Harris, Tom Chuter, Tom Dunn, Jared Allen & Matt Kokolski)
1st – Nottingham B – 8508 (4548 scratch)
(Mike Hales, Katie Skelton, Charlotte Richardson, Declan Greaves, Alvero Mirelles & Sammir Radha)