An Exeter skittles team has claimed the first big win of the season in the Serious About Events winter skittles series.
The Saints team who play out of St Thomas Social Club, had the shortest journey to the tournament held in Torquay. Thirty two teams converged on the Derwent Hotel, having travelled from as far away as Wales, London, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire for the first competition since Covid put a stop to skittles for 18 months.
The Saints won in fine style with an impressive 437 points, leaving their nearest rivals, the Ugandan Yankers and Norwood Arms A both on 411. A subsequent bowl off saw the Norwood team snatch second place by 7 pins to 6.
The Saints’ fellow female team, the Sinners had to be content with fourth place.
But the silver haul didn’t end there for Exeter. Simon Albinson from the Saints was named the highest male scorer with 65 and Beth Ricketts from the Sinners notched up 68 points to claim her women’s highest scorer trophy.
Captain Paul Kennard described the atmosphere at the tournament as simply incredible.
‘It’s been a long wait to play again and when we saw it advertised, we booked up immediately,’ he said. ‘It’s our lucky venue. We won here last time we came so we’re coming back again in March.’
The team won all their games on the way to the finals where they beat Norwood Arms A team by a decisive 26 points.
’The Saints and Sinners are teams that come together for these weekends. We’re all good friends and really enjoy competing. We’re quite noisy teams and I think that helps encourage each other.’
Serious About Events co-director Rachel Hosking said the atmosphere at this first event was absolutely electric.
‘After all these long months where we had to cancel a whole programme of events, juggle a new programme while waiting for clarity on when we could safely go ahead, this was a dream come true,’ she said. ‘We have missed our skittlers so much, so to see all the smiling faces of people having fun was just awesome.
‘We worked our socks off to get the first four weekends into the diary and they’re virtually sold out. Now we have our 2022 programme in place too and the future is looking much rosier. Skittles is very much a community sport and we’re very much at the heart of that.’