Who’s good enough to stop Esk Valley?

ESK Valley made it six wins in a row in the Winter League’s A League and in doing so, asked the question: “who is strong enough to stop us?”

Esk Valley are now six points clear of Phoenix, Whitehall and Country Lads who are fighting for second place.

On their day any one of these teams could topple the runaway leaders but on the results so far, they will have to be on top form to do it.

With a full-strength team, Country Lads returned to winning ways by beating Castle Park by four points.

A 98 from Maxine Atkinson and 97 from Robert Lamerton were the main reasons why Country Lads took the spoils although Colin Moore’s 98 for Castle Park ensured the victors did not have things entirely their own way.

99 was the top score in the match between Esk Valley and Whitehall. Consistently high performers Steve Baker and Jackie Hay just missed out on the magical 100 but with this degree of consistency, the feeling is that another 100 from either of them maybe just around the corner.

Title hopefuls Phoenix will be disappointed with their performance against Average but, with a total of 379, would have lost to any of the other A League teams on the night.

Matt Marsay’s 97 was the best for Phoenix who will have to improve to overcome Country Lads in their round seven encounter.

In B League, a fully deserved win for Farmers over Watkinson’s was their first success of the season.

In a top versus bottom match no-one would have predicted that Farmers would beat Watkinson’s, but win they did by the comfortable margin of five points to set up easily their best performance of the season.

Leading the way for Farmers was Dave Hill with 94, supported by John Elliot and Bob Franks who both shot into the nineties.

Watkinson’s meanwhile, a team who can rise to the heights or sink to the depths having done both in the space of three weeks, recorded their lowest score, 10 points below their previous week’s total.

Although still league leaders, Watkinson’s may now wonder if this position will prove to be short-lived.

What is certain, more emphatic defeats will follow unless there is a marked improvement in their scores.

A welcome return to form by Patch saw them not only beat one-time leaders Firemen, but also record their best score in the six matches shot so far.

Jean Wood and Trish Rutland both shot 95, the best of the week to get Patch off to a good start and a team score seven points better than their previous best, a result which may indicate to both teams that the league is not won or lost in the first few matches of the season.

Results, A League

Country Lads 386 M Atkinson 98 R Lamerton 97 D Atkinson 96 S Atkinson 95 beat Castle Park 382 C Moore 98 C Dossor 95 M Dossor 95 A Eddon 94; Esk Valley 387 J Hay 99 N Scarth 97 C Williamson 96 D Noble 95 beat Whitehall 381 S Baker 99 T Coates 96 M Ware 93 A Rowell 92; Average 384 beat Phoenix 379 M Marsay 97 S Darrington 96 J Halley 95 J Stokoe 91.

B League

Farmers 362 D Hill 94 R Franks 92 J Elliot 91 M Noble 85 beat Watkinson’s 357 J Kenworthy 94 M Bennett 91 J Headley 87 I Addams 85; Patch 375 P Rutland 95 J Wood 95 C Rutland 94 D Holloway 91 beat Firemen 366 B Gibbons 94 H Russell 92 P Cattermole 91 M Holmes 89.