Friday 1st April – Beep Beeps (H)

It may have been April Fool’s Day… but the season has now gone beyond a joke! Then again, how can we all not sit back and laugh?

The familiar tale of ‘beginning brightly then brilliantly bottling it’ was true to good form as local rivals The Beep Beeps plonked a sizable 15 pins on the Hopefuls. Things looked promising after the first two rolls as the Hopefuls gathered an 8 pin advantage over their opponents – with that lead maintained after the third roll (albeit knocked down to five pins).

However confidence has been in short supply this season and a bad roll always felt like it was coming. It was pretty bad luck though it coincided with the best roll of the night from the visitors. Matching 50 pins to 69 isn’t ever a good sign and despite matching them on the final roll it wasn’t enough to even contend, especially as the Beep Beeps unleashed a 7, 9 and a 7 to finish off the tie.

It was a very good night though for Mr Payne, who was on the verge of ‘giving’ his place to yours truly. Secretary Puffa intervened with his infamous iron rule and Mikey was drafted – and with good cause as he hit a majestic 34. He is on his holidays in two weeks’ time after all….

Home again next week as we face fellow relegation battlers the Sidroys from Roathside… lete’s give em a hell of a show….

Caerau Hopefuls V Beep Beeps (H) - 01/04/2016Diddler Winner - Beep Beeps - 01/04/2016

So was it snatched by the jaws of defeat? Or we did we throw it away on the last roll?

Optimists and pessimists may disagree – but they will certainly agree that this latest loss to our Caerau rivals, the Cloggers, means escape  from the relegation dogfight is getting less and less likely.

Sadly a poor last roll capped off what was originally looking like a fine night of skittling from the Hopefuls. But hey, that’s skittles…

Well done to John Davies for being a model anchorman with an encouraging 28.

See you next Thursday (24th) in Rumney for a tough night away at the table topping Croyde Chronics.

Caerau Hopefuls V Caerau Cloggers (H) - 18/03/2016

Last night’s fighting comeback was shortlived as the Hopefuls faltered again in Rumney.

This latest defeat sums up the changed fortunes of this season’s campaign, despite signs of consolidation in the last two years in Division Three. Over the past two seasons, the Hopefuls have marched happily into Castle Earlswood by gathering three wins and one draw. However for this season the drawbridge has been raised as we’ve struggled on both visits to this Rumney keep. Devoid of luck and any sense of form, the sixteenth loss of the season means Caerau Hopefuls will stay rock bottom for another week.
With each of the first four rolls lost, each getting progressively worse, it was probably all done and dusted by the time News at Ten come on the telly.Or by the time Phil Lisle had finished his 18th packet of crisps. The only shining light came from a final roll of 57, which was our only winning roll of the night.
The Hopefuls will probably be disappointed that they couldn’t take the chance to beat Earlswood when they weren’t on their best game and are struggling themselves, but that is a familiar tale for such a rotten run of games.
Well done to Peter Stockton this week for came out trumps and skittled well on a tricky alley to get a 26.
Next week’s game is at home against local rivals Caerau Cloggers (Friday March 18th).

Diddler Winner - Earlswood A - 10/03/2016Caerau Hopefuls V Earlswood A (A) - 10 March 2016

Is this the turning? Is the Great Escape under way?

Forget Steve McQueen, we’ve got the sublime Willie Hockridge – his superb 34 rounded off an exemplary display of skittling.  But it wasn’t just him – a great team effort was the main factor in grabbing the Hopefuls’ fifth win of the season.

Time to make it two from the two, for the first time this season. See you at the Earlswood, next Thursday (10th March). Let’s make March marvellous!

 Caerau Hopefuls V Strike Force - 04/03/2016

The miserable season reached a new low as the Hopefuls have lost five games in a row after losing in their midweek fixture against Earlswood Triers.

The defeat means that they are on their longest run of games without winning this season and have finished February without a victory to their name.

Looking forward from the disappointing home loss last Friday, those wide-eyed Hopefuls felt a trip to Rumney could be what the doctor ordered. The Hopefuls have been unbeaten at the Earlswood over the past two seasons, with three wins and a draw.

It even started brightly for the lads as they took a 5 pin lead in the first roll; breaking a trend of slow starts that have been common over the last few games. The second roll was all square.

The subsequent rolls however told a tale of struggling side, devoid of form and confidence, up against a home side who could up their game when they needed to. The fact that they scored three spares and scored 60+ on each of those rolls while we could only muster one 60+ score and no spares at all, sums up how the game turned.

In the end the deficit was 12 pins – not as close as it should have been, but was a familiar sight for this depressing season!

Yours truly had a glorious opportunity to score 30+ and win the diddler dosh, but I had to settle for half as a final bolter cost me £6. Well done to Mikey Strange who took the other half. Next game is now on 5th March at home against Strike Force. See you there!

Phil goes all googly-eyed!


Earlwsood Triers V Caerau Hopefuls 23/02/2016

Joint didlder winners Joe and Mike - one looking happier than the other!

Are we cursed? What can we do to avoid the drop this season?

It’s been a crazy season where everything goes wrong and then… it keeps going wrong!

The Hopefuls were soundly beaten by promotion chasers St Joseph’s, with a mighty 33 pins.

It was a first roll to forget of 35, that left a mountain to climb for our skittling heroes.

Well done to Gary for taking the diddler with a score of 26. Doesn’t he look happy?

Back to the drawing board (and maybe some practicing too!). See you on Tuesday at the Earlswood.

 Gary celebrates his diddler win!

Caerau Hopefuls V St. Joseph's (H) 19/02/2016

New Year, New Start? The slippery slide to the league bottom continues in 2016.

It’s been a long time since the Hopefuls has been to Grangetown and with a list of defeats this season as long as the RAFA’s alley, a winning return to Cardff South would be a shot in the arm for the impending relegation battle. However it wasn’t to be as the Nomads completed their double over the Hopefuls albeit just limping over the finish line by 4 pins.

It was one of those games where one roll would be the difference and the Hopefuls’ slow start was the pivotal point in gifting the Nomads with the narrow win.

But it was also a game of missed chances and dry pins, meaning that a 300+ score – a realistic target on such a smaller alley – wasn’t to be for either side. Overall it was a great game of skittles with both sides fully in the game.

Well done once again to Phil Page who won the diddler with a 32 score!

Despite winning the final roll it wasn’t enough to win the game for the Hopefuls, meaning it remains three wins now out of thirteen games.  Will this be the end of the Hopefuls’ exploits in Division Three?


Friday 3rd April – Waifs (H)

It was a Good Friday and a Good start to April as the Easter bunny delivered a cool victory over the Waifs.

To the casual observer and on paper, this should have been an easy home win for the Hopefuls. The Waifs haven’t had a great season as they’ve occupied bottom spot for a good chunk of it, propping up the rest of the league with only five recorded wins.

However form is a big factor in any sport and the Hopefuls toiled through what was a miserable March, seeing their charge for promotion slip like sand through their hands. Not to mention the last time the sides played in Tremorfa the Waifs romped home comfortably, inflicting a heavy 32 pin defeat on the Hopefuls, where they recorded the lowest total of the season (an awful 242).

You could say the Waifs are a typical bogey team for us!

As the sides were fairly evenly matched in the first roll, the Hopefuls drawn first blood by going 6 pins in the lead. The third roll offered greater promise as another 8 pins were collected to the total taking the lead to 14, meaning that it would take either a tidy Waifs sore or a Hopefuls collapse – or even both – to swing the pendulum back in the favour of the visitors. But the Hopefuls held firm while the Waifs couldn’t muster the extra pins to push ahead. The Waifs recorded the highest score of 60 on the night in the final roll but the Hopefuls’ 59 allowed them to more than limp over the finish line by 12 pins.

It was a pleasing night for Tony Elms who pocketed the diddler money with 27 just before he jets off Down Under. Surprisingly this was Tony’s first diddler of the season, who won the Averages back in 2013. Maybe he should take a few more holidays – clearly it’s an incentive for him to win the diddler! But not too many of course – it’s strange not to see ‘Telms’ on the board. Hope you’re enjoying the Aussie sun as you read this.

So rescheduled game next week – April 10th at home against Earlswood A. Let’s give em hell!

The Hopefuls ended a woeful run of matches with a good win over promotion chasing Jacko’s Boys.

It’s been a miserable March so far with 3 losses and a draw, but thankfully this win salvaged a rotten month which has effectively ended all hopes for promotion. Tuesday’s trip to the Earl Haig was second lowest score of the season with a measly 246 against the Earls – a side battling at the bottom of the table; and all looked hopeless as we were prepared to play another side from Whitchurch way who have been winning plaudits across Cardiff since being promoted last year.

Jacko’s Boys are currently feeling the business end of the season now that April is starting peek over on the horizon. Holding top spot for most of the year and looking forward to semi-final outing in the cup, the rescheduling of this game from originally set back in February is the sign of a team who have something to play for. But it’s often hard to juggle when you’re competing hard on a number of fronts and as the opposing captain said about the loss, the lads may be catching a bit of the ‘cup fever’.

A great start was essential here for victory and the Hopefuls opened with two 58 rolls to create a nice +13 cushion above the visitors, who started badly with a 42. However that’s when the chips arrived and our fortunes changed dramatically…

As the grease laden chip butties were consumed on the third roll, the Hopefuls soon managed to slip down a greasy pole of their own, with a dreadful 35; no-one scoring 5 or more and a duck egg from Mr Secretary Puffa. And the chips were his idea too…

So with the balls greased up and a resurgence from Jacko’s Boys, the contest was alive with only 5 pins now keeping the Hopefuls in front. It was then that the boys were re-energised with a new wind behind them – or perhaps it was the cleaner air wafting through after one of Peter’s ‘pungent presents’  - but whatever it was, it did the trick. Martin looked like he was in the money after a 9, putting him in pole position for the diddler and a 65 was scored.

After the final roll of 53, a tricky 67 was needed for Jacko’s Boys to grab the win but in the end maybe the chips had taken their toll on the opposition as only a 50 could be scored, securing our first win in five games.

Well done to Mikey Strange who stole the diddler from Martin at the last roll with a 7 – banishing the memories of the ’12′ only a week ago. From Zero to Hero – Skittles is a funny game like that isn’t it?

Next week we play another rescheduled game against the Earlswood A on April 3rd at the RAFA. See you there for what will hopefully be the beginning of an Amazing April!