MATTHEW Morgan of Military D is the new singles champion of the Central Roofing Hereford and District Skittles League after a final victory over Alan Silcox (Fire Brigade).

Consistent skittling by Silcox brought him legs of 7-8-7-8 for a score of 30, but Morgan, who had notched 9-9-11 in his first three legs, hit three with the first ball of his final leg to take the title.

In the semi-finals, Silcox fought a close battle with Phill Cross (Richmond Bridgemen) before winning 31-30, while Morgan needed only three of his permitted four legs to beat Patrick Bailey of Oakapples 27-26.

In the final of the pairs competition, a first-leg 14 spare by by Mike Morris of Beevers put him and his partner Keith Brimble in pole position against Luke Williams and Mike Tricklebank.

The Whitecross B pair battled back, however, and took the title by 59-55.

Williams and Tricklebank had progressed to the final with a semi-final success against Paul Wood and Mark Jones of Antelopers while Brimble and Morris enjoyed a last-four victory against the Evans SC pair of Dave Cartwright and Len Silcox.

In the Division 4 play-offs, there was disappointment for M&B Sags who, after scoring 98 in their third leg, would have been confident of snaring the 73 they needed to overcome Lost Heads' 326.

But, with a four and two threes among their scores, they were able to notch only 67 to finish on 321.

L Probert, with 38 (12), was the top scorer for Lost Heads (83-86-79-78) while D Prosser's 36 (12) was the best for M&B Sags (81-75-98-67).

At the other end of the table, there was disappointment for Military A who lost out to their stablemates Military GPO in the battle to avoid relegation.

With GPO needing 75, thanks to B Cheasley's 12 they reached their target with a man in hand and their 12th skittler finished with a six to ensure they were the ones to avoid the drop.

In the Three Cities' play-off, two ducks cost Hereford dear as their score of 396 (81-69-83-85-78) earned them second place ahead of Gloucester, 381 (81-79-63-79-79) but behind champions Worcester on 413 (75-82-94-80-82).

Hereford's top scorers on the day were M Pugh 41 (13) and R Taylor 40 (13), but the winner of the Ron Jones Cup for the Hereford player with the highest average went to A Chambers with 50.80.