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Premier League Bowling

Return of the pins

27th September 2023

Words by Gutther Bawl.

It was like we never left.

As my eyes caught sight of the glittering lights of Rowans once more, a warmth rushed over me. I was reminded of Christmas morning, where I would rush expectantly down the stairs to receive the menagerie of boxes nestled beneath the tree. The joy within me begat an expectation, an excitement, a force that blew apart the doors and spun me through the turnstile with a glittering blur.

As two of our teams readied themselves for the season opener in their familiar garb, fans who had snuck in for the warm up caught glimpse of the first surprise of the year.

The Pin City Rollers underneath their usual banal and unsuspecting t-shirts sported what looked like coloured collars. Could it be? Empassioned whispers carried around the lanes. Were we to see, finally, the maturation of the Rollers from Sunday League to Sunday Best? As the pump covers were removed, the question was answered. Estrella adourned their chests, they were a vision in red, white, and grey.

Finally our 3 teams were in unison; a technicoloured triptych of sporting magnificence.

The Pin City kit was not the only newcomer to arrive on the scene. Pinter Milan, after The Ombudsman had failed a surprise reliability test, needed to find themselves another player. Fortunately, within a hat, they found a rabbit. Ex-HS2 pioneer and current Scout de Jour - Strikkar - performed a deadline day miracle, bringing in Italian talent Leonardo Da Pinci from the wilderness. A polymath of tremendous potential, he took to the lanes with aplomb - a natural artist of the tri-holed ball. It was clear he has both the potential and attitude for the Milanese, have the Italians discovered another diamond in the rough?

With the arrival of a new boy in black and blue, there came the return of an old one in green and gold. His Asian tour now over, Harry "Melon" Lemon returned to the Rider’s line up, raising the average height of the team considerably. Despite a little rust, he performed very respectably. It was a joy to see him welcomed back, and slotting back into the side. Fans can look forward to hearing about the nuances of travels, documented in his upcoming memoirs “Around the World in 80 Lanes”, soon to be available in average book stores everywhere.

There were notable individual performances with Tomhawk converting the League’s first ever 7-10 split, a truly remarkable feat when you consider that the chances of hitting that shot are 0.7%. And that wasn’t the only joy for PCR that evening. J Money and No Show put up formidable scores in both games, seemingly invigorated by their new attire. J Money’s form was unassailable all evening, and he took home Top Pinsman after accumulating 8 head-to-head points. Not to be left behind, Pinter’s Zlats started the season well and looked almost guaranteed to set a new League record, only to limp home in the last couple of balls, turning a dead cert 190+ into a, still-very-respectable, 181.

In the true spirit of PLB however, it’s all about the team score, and we had a first there as well. In Game 1, owing to their strong individual scores, PCR and Pinter shared the spoils in team score - 750 each. The Riders rectified their loss in Game 1, fighting back valiantly to a 31 pin winning margin in Game 2, a total score of 786, and an overall Matchday win. They now, as last season, sit atop the league after round 1.

A technical outage had delayed the final score counts by a number of hours. The PLB customer service hotline in Yorkshire was inundated with impatient calls from fans - and even some players - desperate to know where we stood. Our technology correspondent Flo Wressent had this to say; “the delay was caused by an erroneous date on the score submussion handed over to the Scoring Committee. The Committee will now be raisin’ awareness amongst the teams’ officials to ensure no such mistake can occur again”.

The Rider’s victory in Game 2 was not without controversy however. The CPA - Central Pintelligence Agency - are still reviewing the evening’s footage as there were multiple reported accusations of an under-pinting by a few of the Riders boys. My sources tell me that it is unlikely any punishments will be metered out so early in the season, however a leaked report confirmed that more waters were drunk in that evening than in the whole of Season 3 put together. The sporting “prime” is a mystical and elusive concept, and coming back from the long off-season, could some of the big names be hastening past their drinking best?

Brushing off the thin veneer of dust on my notebook this morning, I felt rejuvenated.

If the first match day is anything to go by this year will easily be the tighest and most titanic of tussles, and I share the anticipation of all sports fans up and down the country for what’s in store. The heroes of our story have returned and like all good sequels, they’re back bigger and better than ever.

There’s no dust on my notebook anymore, and with sharpened pencils, a keen eye, and a pointed phrase, I will be with you every step of the way.

As always: play hard, play fair, and keep them rolling.