Although a rejigged Hustlers, under a rejigged captain (Rob), toiled valiantly, it was situation normal against the Outcasts, who were one of the few teams we have already beaten this season.There was no sign of things to come on the first leg as a spare from Pete on the first hand set our starting three off to a good initial session which ended with a lead of 10 pins.
We did not know at the time that this would be the only winning leg but again, this was belied by the start of our second leg with another 11 spare, this time from Neil who then proceeded to blot his copybook with a beaver and a set of middling figures. In the end, the leg finished 4 pins down but still leaving third leg with a small lead of 6.
Third leg proved to be a disaster zone with Lofty, whose punishment for turning up late included retrieving Barry the Beaver from Neil, finding the alley particularly tricky. Not so Steve, but even with a 40, he lost pins to his opponent who ended with 47. The outcome was a 14 pin deficit which nevertheless left last leg a reasonable total of 8 to make up.
Eliminating this deficit seemed achievable but it soon became clear that Outcasts had a strong leg who were used to playing on this tricky alley. Although Lloyd ended with a creditable 43, and Gary managed our third spare of the night, a score of 50 on the opposition side ensured there would be no happy ending for us and Hustlers lost a further 7 pins, losing the game by 15 pins.
We are back at the Suffolk Arms next week.
Lost by 15!