Beginners' luck for Weston team playing for fun

PUBLISHED: 10:06 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:06 18 April 2018

Ugandan Yankees.

Ugandan Yankees.


A Weston skittles team entered a major tournament at the last minute for fun and won it at the first attempt.

A team of skittlers from Weston are proof that there is such a thing as beginner’s luck. They entered a major skittles tournament at the last minute for fun and won it at their first attempt.

The Ugandan Yankers were competing against 31 teams who had all travelled to Torquay from Gloucestershire, Somerset, Leicester, Wiltshire, as well as Llandaff and Barry in Wales.

Captain Paul Stewart said they’d only entered at the last minute and were treating it as a bit of fun.

Pre-match things hadn’t all been plain sailing with one team member falling from a roof and breaking his leg. So fellow skittler Sandra Watkins stepped in to fill the gap as the only female member of the team.

Another team member, Gary Norman, had to be persuaded to fly back from Cyprus where he now lives and works, to join his son Toby and their pals in the team to make up the numbers.

However, after the first day’s matches, the Ugandan Yankers found themselves booking their place in the finals alongside seven other teams, still not expecting to win.

After some tense skittling, the Ugandan Yankers emerged the victors with 436 points, with the Dirty Dozen from Stroud runners-up and five points behind. Third were the Leftovers from Henstridge with 414.

So what was the secret of their unexpected success? “The beer helped,” confessed Paul, ‘but really it was a mixture of it being our first time so we were relaxed and not bothered about the outcome. We were just there to have a great time.”

The last-minute team which included many of the members from Weston St John, normally play out of the 49 Club in in the Weston District and Weston Central leagues. Weston St John are also regulars at the British Skittles Championships, having been crowned men’s champions in 2009.

“If the team qualifies for the finals in Torquay in September, ‘said Paul, ‘Gary will be coming over for that as usual. He loves the sunshine in Cyprus but there are no skittles out there.”

The tournament was organised by Serious About Events of Torquay, who also staged the British Skittles Championships.

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