Nottingham Never Fails to Deliver

BUTBA’s second major tournament of the season, the Nottingham Handicapped Combination Fives, took place at 1st Bowl Nottingham on Sunday 28th October (and included an EGM in the middle of it, to deal with urgent matters that had arisen since the AGM!).

The tournament format sees teams of five bowlers competing over a total of 9 games each, split in to 3 series of 3 games each. In series 1 the teams split in to a trio and a double, and bowl independently of each other, in series 2 they split to form a quad and a single, and finally for series 3 the whole team bowls together as a five. The winner is the team that accrues the most pinfall across all 45 games bowled by the team members.

Prizes are also awarded for the best performances in each section, singles, doubles, trios, quads and fives, and consequently this event tends to award more prizes than any other on our tour!

This tournament was run as a mixed event (with 16 teams in total), where student and ex-student teams compete directly against each other.

Sandbaggers Inc (Jez Knight and James Larkin) got the tournament off to a bang with a very impressive doubles performance of 1303 Scratch, giving them an unassailable lead of 1483 handicap, and winning the section with ease, despite James’ wheels falling off in the 3rd game! Jez hit 241, 255, 222 for a stunning 718 scratch series (an unbelievable 820 handicap series!), whilst James hit a 247 in the second game to give them a team game of 502 Scratch!

Beep be de Beep (Antony Lakey, Matt Bailey) were the Sandbagger’s closest opposition back on 1414 (1195 scratch), both contributing equally well to their total, Lakey on 714 (621) and Matt on 700 (574). With Notts Trent A (Tom Chuter, Jon Atkins) in 3rd on 1358 (1259) who bowl regularly at Nottingham, suffering from a distinct lack of handicap! Tom hit 233, 232, 225 for a very consistent 690 scratch series (only 696 with hcp!), whilst Jon hit a 662 (569) series.

Portsmouth 1355 (1007), Loughborough 1321 (1225) and Warwick 1219 (919) who were to feature later finished in 4th, 5th and 9th places respectively. The individual standout performances from the doubles came from Paul Symons (Manchester) with a 754 (661), Jamie Kingston (Portsmouth) 710 (491), and Loughborough’s Mike Hurst hitting a respectable 699 (636). The ladies’ challenge was led by Marie Smith (Nottingham) with a 671 (449), although the best scratch performance came from Rachael McKenzie (Leeds Met. B) with a 553.

To compensate for their relatively poor showing in the doubles, Warwick (Felix Lee, Chris May, Tom Prickett) 2178 (1704) absolutely dominated the trios, thanks to an incredible 811 (636) series by Felix, containing 3 consecutive 200+ games. Leeds Met. A (George Baker, Matt Giles, Adam Leefe) were their nearest rivals on 2035 (1669), with Portsmouth (Chris Hunnisett, Jonathan Spivey, Edward Rees) close behind in 3rd on 2004 (1743).

The early leaders, Sandbaggers Inc (James Sinclair, Abdullah al Tamimi, Chris Wragg), only finished 10th with 1842, (1356), whilst Beep be de Beep (Sam De’ Athe, Chris Barrand, Tom Nurse) could only manage 7th themselves with 1940 (1571) and Loughborough (Chris Lane, Matt Harris, Mark Hodds) finished 11th on 1827 (1527). The 3 best individual men’s scorers of the round apart from Felix Lee, were George Baker 730 (496), Chris May 720 (531), and Jim Madden (Notts Trent A) 717 (570), whilst the best ladies’ performance came from Stacey Spencer (Sheffield A) 600 (396). The best men’s scratch series were a 658 (258, 200, 200!) from Jon Spivey and a 634 (including a 253 game) from Matt Giles.

The singles section was literally a one man show, with Jon Spivey giving Portsmouth the win courtesy of a very impressive and consistent set of games, 241, 245, 248 for a 734 scratch series (a handicap total of 740!), following on from his performance at Nottingham in the BUTBA Masters 3 weeks previously (an even more impressive 769 on that occasion). Loughborough took second as Matt Harris bowled a 706 (589), with Leeds Met. B (Matt Anniss with a 257 game) 3rd on 679 (619).

Beep be de Beep (Sam De’ Athe) finished 5th on 666 (552), and Warwick (Anne Windess) 12th= with Sandbaggers Inc (James Sinclair) on 581 (455) and 581 (365) respectively.

In the quads section, Beep be de Beep [Tom Nurse 725 (608), Chris Barrand 707 (569), Matt Bailey 707 (581), Antony Lakey 659 (566)] managed to see off all of their competitors and finish top, due to some very solid scoring throughout the team, with a total of 2798 (2324). Nottingham A [Grant Rayment 752 (686), James Harris 748 (535), Simon Wilkins 629 (422), Saiful Salihudin 615 (510)] were second on 2744 (2153), and Portsmouth [Chris Hunnisett 760 (634), Jamie Kingston 665 (446), Edward Rees 657 (528), Rachael Sargent 651 (522)] finished 3rd on 2733 (2130).

Warwick 2548 (1900) finished in 6th place, with Loughborough 2545 (2266) in 7th!

An awful lot of bowlers hit 700+ handicap series in the quads, but Jim Madden (Notts Trent A) was the best of them on 777 (630), just ahead of Chris Hunnisett 760 (634, including a 249 game); although high scratch scorers Matt Giles 717 (687), Grant Rayment 752 (686) and Mike Hurst 740 (677, with a 256 game) are all worthy of note! Stacey Spencer topped the ladies challenge again with a 675 (471), with Rachael McKenzie 639 (594) reprising her role as the high scratch scorer.

After the quads the teams were all ranked based on total handicapped pinfall so far, and given a seeded lane draw accordingly. Portsmouth was in 1st place on 6832 pins, Beep be de Beep 2nd with 6818, Warwick 3rd with 6526, Nottingham A 4th on 6520, Leeds Met. B 5th on 6502, Leeds Met. A 6th on 6466, Loughborough 7th on 6399, Notts Trent A 8th on 6344, Sandbaggers Inc 9th on 6339, and Sheffield A 10th on 6330.  So effectively there were two teams fighting for 1st and 2nd place and 8 teams all with a chance of finishing 3rd!

Portsmouth just about managed to come out on top in the fives with 3365 (2756), dogged all the way by Loughborough, who finished up on 3335 (2939), with Warwick trying to hold on to both of their coattails back on 3253 (2479). Beep be de Beep could only manage 6th with a total of 3185 (2597), but with almost a 300 pin cushion between them and the rest of the field they were never in danger of finishing worse than second!

So Portsmouth [Chris Hunnisett 2180 (1802), Jon Spivey 2077 (2059), Jamie Kingston 2031 (1374), Edward Rees 1978 (1591), Rachael Sargent 1931 (1544)] were crowned champions on 10197 pins ahead of Beep be de Beep (effectively Ex-Portsmouth) [Antony Lakey 2122 (1843), Matt Bailey 2048 (1670), Chris Barrand 1961 (1547), Sam De’ Athe 1955 (1613), Tom Nurse 1917 (1566)] on 10003 pins, with Warwick (9779) [Felix Lee 2266 (1735), Chris May 2009 (1442), Anne Windess 1911 (1533), Tom Prickett 1887 (1565), Gerard Colston 1704 (1182)] just squeaking home in 3rd ahead of a resurgent Loughborough (9734) [Mike Hurst 2068(1879), Matt Harris 2056 (1705), Aiden Wright 1977 (1878), Chris Lane 1960 (1546), Mark Hodds 1673 (1538)] in 4th!

Individual handicap scores weren’t as impressive in the fives section with the two big exceptions of Paul Turner (Leeds) with a 778 (643), and Antony Lakey on 749 (656). Meanwhile Aiden Wright had the best scratch finish 712 (679), ahead of Jon Spivey 673 (667) and Rich Balaam (Team Maybe) 667 (661). The best female challenge came from Anne Windess with a 680, and her 554 scratch was also the best from a lady in the fives.

Student Men’s high average went to Jon Spivey with 228.79 over the 9 games (a fraction more than he averaged at the same centre in the BUTBA Masters 3 weeks earlier, he hit 223.64 over 11 that day!); whilst the ex-student award went to Rich Balaam with a 213.11 average. This season both student and ex-student ladies are competing for a single award in each category at all of our events, so the high ladies average at the event went to Rachael McKenzie on a 183.78 average.

Jon Spivey & Aiden Wright shared the student men’s high game award with their 258 games, and Jez Knight took the ex-student one with his 255. Rachael Sargent’s 215 was sufficient to secure the female prize.

High handicap game went to Chris Hunnisett (291) in the students, James Larkin (273) in the ex-students, and Stacey Spencer (257) in the Ladies.

Jon Spivey took a clean sweep of all the scratch awards with his 734 series, while Jez’s 718 from the start of the day secured him the ex-student award and Rachael McKenzie’s 594 took the ladies’ prize.

Finally the high handicap series awards were given to Felix Lee (811), Antony Lakey (749) and Anne Windess (680), respectively the student men’s, ex-student men’s, and female recipients!

1st Bowl Nottingham (formerly AMF) has long been a rich hunting ground for bowlers from our tour, and it was great to see that trend continue with some seriously impressive scoring from the likes of Messer’s Spivey and Balaam…here’s hoping our next event has some even more impressive performances to report (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!).

For a full list of results click here. Photos will be uploaded shortly.

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