ARRIVA look set to retain their Thursday Evening Triples title in the Halifax BC indoor leagues after seeing off the threat of Clayton in a battle of the top two.
Les Holmes, Mark McGorlick, Dale Holdsworth were 16-8 winners against Tony Riley, Paul Kaye and Paul Gill and are four points clear with three rounds of fixtures to play.
Holmes, the lead player for Arriva, bowled his trademark minimum length jack and the experienced Clayton trio had no answer as Arriva moved into a 12-1 lead.
At the next end Arriva were holding five shots before Gill, the skip for Clayton, ran the jack into the ditch to score two.
Riley immediately bowled a maximum length jack but Arriva rose to the occasion and scored a single so a fightback never got off the ground.
It was all change again in the Monday Afternoon Fours. In the closest and most exciting finish ever, the six teams in title contention were involved in several upsets.
Pride of place goes to Rabbits (Jack Orley, Derek Finch, Jack Jowett and Con McGinley) who beat leaders K9s (Bernard Farrar, Ernie Morris, Malcolm Edmondson and Barry Wright) by 15-10.
They led 8-4 before Wright, skip for K9s, moved the jack with his first wood and bowled in with his second to help bring his team level at 8-8.
K9s scored a single at the next end but Rabbits replied with a four to lead 12-9. K9s pulled one back at the penultimate end and bowled the jack out with seconds to go, hoping to win shots on the last end. However, Rabbits added three more shots.
Second-placed No Hopers (Les Holmes, Sue Griffiths, Sue Gormley and Joyce Shaw) came up against a most determined Luddites (Peter Richardson, Arthur Winter, Dave Illingworth and David Stinton), who are also still in with a chance of honours. After being behind for most of the game, Luddites ran out 11-9 winners.
Another top game featured Finger or Thumb (June Barron, Noreen Bradley, Pam Berry and Maywynne Denby) and Dodgers (Tim Coleman, Jeff Dovernor, Rodney Collinge and Peter Grant).
Dodgers won the autumn Monday Afternoon Fours league but on this occasion, with a little luck, Finger or Thumb ran out 10-8 winners.
The other top team, G2 + A2 (Barbara Gee, Sheila Holbrook, Alan Fleming and David Gee), improved their points difference by blitzing Triers (Shirley Beverley, John Palmer, Eddie Hirst and Roy Greenwood) 29-3.
With one game left, six teams are still in with a chance. Much could depend on points difference while G2 + A2 play Finger or Thumb in the top contest.
Clayton B (Jack Summers, Paul Gray, David Moore and Alan Peel) changed their order of play against Blue Moon (Sheila Holbrook, Di Dixon, Rhonda Horner, Guy Dixon) in the Wednesday Evening Fours and ran out 22-3 winners.
Vandals (Dennis Bowyer, Geoff Wood, Carl Craven and Mike Hutchinson) have blown their chance of finishing in the top three in the Wednesday Afternon Fours.
In their last game of the season they lost 16-8 against Bradshaw (J.Wedgwood, J.Flaherty, N.Fawley and Steve Gilling).
The teams won a similar number of ends but while Vandals were scoring singles, Bradshaw were scoring threes and fours.
Hebden Hotshots have finished runners-up to Hawthorns after welcoming back regular players Brian and Margaret Gunnill from holiday. The Gunnills, Peter Drinkwater and Wendal Adams beat Jack High (Ernest Cole, Maura Graydon and Jim Graydon) by 17-4.
The final of the John Dunn Shield between Les Holmes and Patrick Helliwell is tomorrow (1.30).
MONDAY AFTERNOON FOURS: As & Bs 18 Fair of Face 3, No Hopers 9 Luddites 11, K9s 10 Rabbits 15, Yorkies 20 JABS 9, Triers 3 G2 + A2 29, Finger or Thumb 10 Dodgers 8.
MONDAY EVENING FOURS: Phoenix 20 Avengers 4, Hit and Miss 1 Patacakes 23, Edwardians 10 CCJS 12, Spartans 25 Madlams 2.
TUESDAY EVENING PAIRS: Golden Girls 7 Double D 7, B & J 6 Hollies 5, Webbo’s 9 Brookley 2, Valley Boys 2 Brigands 12, Roils 2 Hit and Miss 10, R & B 5 Virgo 7.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FOURS: Just Fours 8 Illijngworth 20, Jack High 4 Hotshots 17, Yorkies 10 Hawthorns 12, Sowerby 19 Springers 2, Guys and Dolls 20 Bluebells 7, Vandals 8 Bradshaw 16.
WEDNESDAY EVENING FOURS: Hopefuls 16 DHSS 2, Arriva 13 Rockets 7, Clayton A 17 The Halls 13, Blue Moon 3 Clayton B 22.
THURSDAY EVENING TRIPLES: Clayton 8 Arriva 16, SID 25 Newbies 6, Phoenix 11 Arriva 25, Clayton 25 Madlams 11, Avengers 18 Flying Scots 9.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON TRIPLES: Friends 8 DWRs 14, Surprisers 10 BR + 1 13, Surprisers 4 DWRs 28, Patacakes 20 Hotshots 6, Friends 11 B & R + 1 12, Sowerby 12 G2 + 1 16, The Halls 2 Friday Girls 20.
FRIDAY EVENING PAIRS: Phoenix 9 HLI 13, On the Move 12 Hilltoppers 11, C & J 17 HLI 7, Phoenix 13 Blues Brothers 10.