Well, that was a blast!
This year's Harris Hill Charity Bowling Tournament was the biggest yet with fantastic participation from nearly 40 charities, a great atmosphere and plenty of surprises on the scoreboard!
A big thank you firstly to the tremendous team behind all of the events; with Mr Leo Visconti and M.C. Vanessa Furey flying the flag for the committee on this occasion, effortlessly holding the whole thing together with little more than a microphone, style and Sambuca.
A well-deserved thank you too for our hosts Rowans Tenpin Bowling who somehow manage to take the annual onslaught of competitive charities completely in their stride, with super-efficiency and a sunny smile: great service as ever.
And there were some pretty seismic shifts in the scoring...
In the end, 2015 and 2016 winners Age UK didn't quite pull off the hat-trick that would have seen them keep hold of the trophy for good (next year's budget breathes a sigh of relief!) but nevertheless notched up yet another impressive top three placing.
Meanwhile it was all change at the top with a flurry of fresh faces turning in prime performances and picking up points galore: congratulations to silver medallists The Prince's Trust and the clear 2017 winners with a mighty 734 points, Plan UK!
Rounds of applause too for top individual bowler Guy from Rethink who single-handedly racked up 184 of their points, and presenting a major challenge to the male-dominated top three for the first time, with 151 points, top female bowler Amy from Anthony Nolan!
Here are the 2017 top ten teams:
...where you might notice something of a surprise at number five!
We've genuinely no idea how this happened: we're delighted to have taken on lots of great new talent over the past year but can promise that 'are you any good at bowling?' is not one of our interview questions.
For much of the night we were even in danger of coming THIRD but - like those rare occasions when the UK accidentally sends something to Eurovision that isn't a direct insult to the contest, your ears, or music itself - the initial excitement and hopes of glory faded as the final results were delivered (albeit with fewer sequins and marginally less screaming).
It's probably for the best though: winning your own prizes simply wouldn't be cricket (or indeed bowling). In fact it's a scenario we've never planned for as no-one thought it could actually happen, but if that's not bang on trend for 2017 we don't know what is. By next year we promise to write 58 reports on the potential outcomes and publish heavily edited bits of them while simultaneously claiming they don't exist.
But enough of all this - it's all about the participation and for that, our congratulations and many thanks to absolutely everyone who's taken part and thrown themselves into this year's events with such impressive gusto, it's been a fantastic year and all we can say is bring on 2018!
Team Harris Hill
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