Puddletown Wanderers clinched promotion from Section B at the first attempt, after relegation last season, as they did in 2018. Wanderers have a bye next week so will be waiting on the Essentials result to see if they become champions of the B section before the final round of matches.
Wareham Legionaires are champions of Section A at the first time of asking after their promotion from Section B last season. They become the first team since Allsorts in 2002 to achieve this feat. The Wareham outfit have led the way all season , losing just three times with two games to play.
Legionaires joined the league in 2012, and since winning Section D in 2019 have had continued success with just covid holding them up. Section C was won in 2022 followed by Section B in 2023.
Vixens have won the Ladies League for the first time. The ladies from the Trinity Club have been at the top from the start of the season and clinched the title with four games still to play. The Vixens had to come from 7-pins down after two hands in their away match to Wonder Women on alley one at the Trinity Club. The highlight of the match came on the fourth hand when the Vixens hit 67, which is the highest in the Ladies League this season, with Hayley Guille chipping in with a 13 stick up. The match was a close affair with Vixens clinching the 2pts with a 3-pins victory hitting 360, Vicki Cooper was top score for the Vixens with 52.
Vixens joined the league in 2013 as Top Kats and played on alley two at the Trinity Club on a Monday. The 13-14 season saw just one ladies league as Ladies Section B was dissolved, and the Kats finished 11th out of 16, and their debut season finished with a Plate Final in which they finished as runners-up. Top Kats moved to Tom Browns the following season and stayed there for three seasons, changing names from Kats to Cats and then to Vixens. For the 17-18 season the side returned to play at the Trinity Club, firstly on alley three before switching to their current alley, two. Vixens have twice finished runners up, in season 18/19 and last season when they finished just 3 points behind Crackerjacs. In 2018 Vixens won the Plate Final, while last season they won the Knockout Cup.
Vixens beat Woodpeckers this week by 41-pins to make it 14 wins from 15 league matches this season. With 5 games left to play Vixens will crowned champions on Monday if they beat Wonder Women away. It will be Vixens first Ladies League title after finishing runners up last season, and it will be the first time since 2000 that the winners will not be one of either Crackerjacs, Oakettes or Devils, with the latter two teams no longer in the league.
With uncertainty surrounding the future of the Ladies League two teams have decided to move to the Open League. Oakettes one of the most successful teams in the Ladies league history are re-naming themselves Ladettes and will play from the Trinity club on a Thursday as a mixed team. Easy Beats are also choosing to join Section D for the forthcoming season and are keeping their home night on a Tuesday at the Victoria Hotel.
Oakettes origins can be found in Swanie Rivers ladies team from the Rivers Arms, Cheselborne that played in the league from 1990 until the 98-99 season before the team folded. Team member Clare Ross formed the Oakettes team and took the Swanie Rivers place in Ladies Section A for the 99-00 season playing at the Royal Oak, Milborne . After finishing 6th in their debut season the Oakettes went on to dominate the ladies league for the next 11 seasons winning the ladies title nine times, the ninth coming in 2011. Jen Sims took over the team from the 13-14 season and from the 15-16 season the team played at the Royal Oak, Bere Regis. The Oakettes won two further titles, in 2019 and 2022 to take their tile total to 11. Alongside their league successes the Oakettes have won the Ladies Knockout Cup on 8 occasions, 99-00, 03-04, 05-06, 06-07, 07-08, 09-10, 16-17, 21-22
Easy Beats are one of the newer teams in the league , formed in 2018. They play their matches on a Tuesday at the Victoria Hotel. Their best season saw them finish 5th in the Ladies League in the 21-22 season.
Royal Oak Wanderers were originally called Marco Wanderers and played at the Conservative Club when they joined the league in 1997 and quickly went up through the sections, winning Section F in 1998, Section E in 1999, Section D in 2000, Section C in 2001, on their new home alley, the Drax Arms, Bere Regis, and the B section in 2002. In 2003 the team moved to the Greyhound, Winterborne Stickland. They won three Section A titles on the trot, 06,07 and 08. In 2009 they changed their name to Greyhound Wanderers and finished runners up in 2010 before winning the title again in 2011. They became Royal Oak Wanderers in 2014 after moving to the Royal Oak, Bere Regis in 2013, and finished runners up twice again, 2015 and 2019. The Wanderers won the Knockout Cup seven times, as Marco in 1998, 2000 and 2005, as Greyhound in 2011 and 2013, and as Royal Oak in 2015 and 2019.
Villains were formed in 1976 and played at the Goldies in Section E and gained promotion in their very first season. In 1980 they finished runners up in Section D. The team changed venues in 1983 moving to the Trinity Club. After 15 years in Section C the Villains were relegated to Section D in the 94-95 season. After one season in Section D Villains were back up into Section D as even though they finished 7th, a restructure of the leagues meant a quick return to the C section. Relegated back to Section D in 2001 for another season which saw them runners up in 2002, and another quick return to the C section. With the leagues going to 16 teams for the 03-04 season Villains for the first time in their history found themselves in Section B. The Villains remained in Section B until they were relegated in 2012. In 2016 there was promotion from Section C as they finished runners up, but it was just to be one season in Section B and at the start 17-18 season Villains were back in Section C.
Unpredicatble Strimmers. Strimmers were formed in 1994 and were first called Cornwall Strimmers playing their home matches on Thursdays at the Cornwall Hotel in Section G. After two seasons Strimmers were in Section F as Section G was gone. Their first season in Section F saw them promoted after finishing third. In 1999 strimmers were promoted from Section E finished as runners up. Strimmers started life in Section D on a new alley moving to the Trinity Club and achieved back to back promotions finishing runners up again in 2000. Strimmers spent two seasons in Section B when the leagues went to 16 but were back in Section C for the 05-06 season. In 2009 Strimmers won Section C to head back to Section B. Strimmers moved alleys in 2010 to the Colliton Club and won promotion to Section A after finishing runners up in Section B. After just one season Strimmers were relegated from the A section and followed that with another relegation from Section B. Strimmers moved back to the Trinity Club in 2015 and with the team struggling for numbers were joined by members of the Unpredictables who had pulled out of the league before it had started. In 2017 the team became known as Unpredictable Strimmers and were relegated from Section C after finishing third from bottom. The 17-18 season was successful with the team winning Section D, but that was followed by relegation from Section C the season after. In 2016 and 2018 the Strimmers finished runners in the Plate.
Colliton Rebels. This version of the Rebels were formed in 2016 and played at the Bulls Head and in their first season won Section D. In 2018 the team moved to the Colliton Club and just missed out on promotion from the C section after losing in a three-way play-off. When skittles re-started in 2021 Rebels had to withdraw their team from Section C before the season started but were back in Section D last season.
The AGM was held at the Colliton Club on Friday evening, here is a brief round up of the main rule changes and other topics.
- The entry fee for each team has been increased to £50, and for competitions £2 per player (except for the sticker up cup which remains a free to enter competition).
- Games shall commence between 8.30 p.m. and 8.45 p.m.
- Providing a missing player is present at the completion of both teams third hand then they may play their missed hands.
- Lady players, including those who play in the Open League, can enter the Ladies Singles & Pairs Competitions.
- Given the low number of ladies teams there will no Ladies Knockout Cup competition for the forthcoming season, likewise there will be no Ladies Secretaries Shield. Although teams can enter the Open Knockout Cup, and the Open Secretaries Shield.
- The Open league will consist of four sections with 11 teams in each section, while the Ladies League has 6 teams who will play each other four times.
- The 23-24 season will start the week commencing Monday 4th September.
A big thank you to John and Jackie Ricketts for presenting the trophies, John has been on the league’s committee since 1991 and the league would like to thank him for all of his service to the D&DSL. Jackie was presented with a bouquet of flowers by our Vice Chair-person Sally Ann Childs-Slade.
All photos were taken by Chris Whitefield Wedding Photography, as always a big thank you to Chris.
Thank you to the Trinity Club and all of it’s staff for their hospitality, the security team on the door and Sound Star for the entertainment.
Thank you to our committee for all their hard work throughout the season and on making sure Friday ran smoothly.
Lastly thank you to all of you skittlers who supported the evening. Enjoy your summer and we’ll see you all back on the alley in September.