Teenager Sam Griffield bowled over the competition when he became the first local junior to score a perfect game at his local club.
The 17-year-old, from Ashton, bowled 12 strikes in a row in a single game, gaining the highest possible score of 300, at MFA Bowl, on Greenbank Street – the first time it has ever happened at the venue.
Student Sam said: “I’ve been bowling for 11 years; six of them I’ve competed for the Lancashire league.
“I didn’t really expect it at the time but when everyone realised I’d scored 300 they started clapping and congratulating me.”
But Sam, who also attends Preston’s College, where he is studying vehicle fitting, isn’t getting too carried away. Instead, he’s more interested in becoming a mechanic.
He said; “I do enjoy bowling and the competitiveness but it’s just a hobby at the minute.”
And after his perfect score, the teen had his bowling ball specially drilled by Steve Gomersall at the club’s pro-shop
Sam said; “Now it’s perfectly fitted to my fingers so I might get another 300 yet!”
Former professional bowler Steve said: “I was in my shop while Sam was approaching the conclusion of his 300, so I was able to watch some of his shots. He was impressive and he has improved to the point where I believe he will represent both Lancashire and England before long.
“The fact that he is the first junior bowler to achieve a perfect game of 300 in Preston since the bowling centre was built 25 years ago speaks volumes.”
And Steve said there is a certain knack to getting a strike: “You need accuracy, consistency, balance, technique, speed control and the right mindset to cope with the pressure build-up, as each strike is registered in the same way a snooker player builds his way to a 147 game or a dart player throws 9 darts for the perfect finish.
“A bowler also has to cope with the lane conditioning changing because most top bowlers learn to curve or ‘hook’ the ball to create a better angle into the pins to achieve more strikes.
“When the conditioning liquid which is applied to the lanes to allow the player to spin the ball starts to deplete, the bowler has to adjust his speed and direction to compensate for the changes.
“To people watching, it might appear to be the same for every shot, but there is much more to it.”