AFTER a run of 100s in recent weeks the overall standard of shooting in round 12 had a distinctly average feel.
The exception was a 99 by Steve Baker which was not enough to prevent Whitehall losing for the sixth time almost which almost rules them out as title contenders.
Esk Valley ground out their 12th win of the season but may consider themselves fortunate to be shooting against bottom of the table Castle Park.
The margin of victory in the end was a comfortable one but Esk Valley will be disappointed with their 383 which was one of their poorest scores of the season.
Phoenix, fully recovered from their unexpected defeat in round 11, equalled Esk Valley’s 383 to record a rather hollow victory over Country Lads who once again competed with a weakened team when Robert Lamerton failed to shoot.
Even with a full strength side, Country Lads would have struggled to equal the total set by Phoenix who appear to be the team most likely to provide a credible challenge to Esk Valley’s dominance of the top division.
In B League, despite shooting 98, Colin Rutland found himself on the losing side in a top of the table clash between Firemen and Patch which saw Firemen open up a two-point gap on one their closest rivals.
Nne of his team could match his performance which brought to and end a run of four wins handing victory to Firemen by five points.
Firemen, on the other hand, did not have to be at their best to gain maximum points in what should have been a much closer encounter.
Watkinson’s kept their title hopes alive with a predictable win over Farmers, still struggling to field a full strength side.
Equalling his best score of the season, John Elliott’s 94 was the best for Farmers who prop up the league table with only one win from 12 matches.
Esk Valley 383 N Scarth 97 J Hay 96 C Williamson 96 M Robinson 94 beat Castle Park 377 C Dossor 95 C Moore 95 R Oliver 94 A Eddon 93, Phoenix 383 M Marsay 97 S Darrington 97 J Stokoe 95 J Halley 94 beat Country Lads 367 D Atkinson 97 S Atkinson 94 M Atkinson 92 P Turford 84;
Average 377 beat Whitehall 373 S Baker 99 T Coates 96 D Lawrence 92 M Ware 86
Firemen 369 P Cattermole 94 M Geer 93 I Clarkson 92 B Gibbons 90 beat Patch 364 C Rutland 98 J Wood 90 I Harrison 89 R Melling 87; Watkinson’s 372 J Headley 95 D Pratt 93 J Kenworthy 93 I Addams 91 beat Farmers 361 J Elliott 94 D Hill 91 R Franks 88 Y Williamson 88.