PIRATES return to the top of Division 1 in the Puriton & District Skittles League after a close-fought win at Knowle Otters.

Farmer Boys lost at bottom team Polden Bears, who pulled all their pins on the last hand with spares by captain Dennis Williamson and anchorman John Williams.

Chris Puddy, Farmer Boys anchorman, topped scored with 71, but could only hit nine on the last hand.

Simon Boley made a rare appearance for Wanderers and propelled his team to victory over Stop-Outs with a three-spare 86 that pulled them out of the relegation places.

In Division 2, Wasters got back to winning ways with a 12-pin defeat of Oddsquad and increased their lead at the top to eightpoints.

Polden Turkeys could only tie with Odds & Sods, who pulled 11 on the last hand;, however, Dave Fry, the Odds & Sods anchorman, needed an eight to win and could only get seven.

Nomads won again, this time defeating Landlords Rejects by 15 and moved to within a point of Polden Turkeys.

Herdsmen scored a terrific 508, with Ian Nicholls hitting 80 at the high-scoring White Hart, Cross, but it was not enough to stop them slipping to another defeat, this time by 18 to Cross Your Hart and leave them rooted to the bottom of the table.

Results: Division 1 – Polden Bears 494 (John Williams 70), Farmer Boys 481 (Chris Puddy 71); Somerset Vaults 440 (John Hill 63),Woolavington Boys 430 (Jason Kingston 60); Knowle Otters 441 (Grant Hockin 68), Pirates 456 (Roger Palfrey 64); Crusaders 480 (Jake Arlow 75), Crown Jewels 433 (Colin Nutman 66); Wanderers 489 (Simon Boley 86), Stop-Outs 434 (Andrew Ratcliffe 62); Crown 494 (Barry Vincent 77), Old Railway 469 (Alex Simmond, Paul Ham 66); Foxes & Ferrets 462 (Les Macriner 67), Barstewards 453 (Adrian Cox 64).

Division 2 – Huntspill Boys 440 (Toby Franklin 62), Swannies 460 (Mike Roper 66); Cross Your Hart 526 (Pete Ormerod 76), Herdsmen 508 (Dave Barlow 81); Haymakers 415 (Morley Tibbs 59),Wheatsheaf Boys 449 (Jason Parsons 69); Rofugees 424 (Karl Monday 630, Ruggerites 418 (Ian Chedzey 60); Landlord Rejects 406 (Iain Sparkes 57), Nomads 421 (Chris Coggins 60); Oddsquad 412 (Mark Peters 55),Wasters 424 (Steve Hembery 58); Polden Turkeys 432 (Stan Smith, Mike Cox 63), Odds & Sods 432 (Martin Glover 63); Three Cee’s - bye