It seemed like a typical night for Mike Lafferty when he rolled spares in the first two frames of his first game in the Tuesday Night Industrial League at Hanover Bowling Centre.
That changed in the next frame, however, when the 68 year old delivered a strike to start a streak of 14 consecutive strikes. The streak was interrupted by a spare in the fifth frame of the second game.
Lafferty then picked up where he left off, reeling off another 18 straight strikes before leaving three pins on the last ball of the third game.
The strike barrage, consisting of 32 of a possible 36 strikes, resulted in games of 279, 279 and 297 for an 855 series, a record for a York County senior bowler over the age of 60.
"I could never have dreamed of rolling an 855 series," said Lafferty, whose previous high series was an 804. "I still can't believe I did it. It's certainly the highlight of my career."
Lafferty, a New Oxford, Adams County, resident, said he doesn't remember rolling his final ball.
"I was really nervous," he said. "I was talking with some bowlers to try to get my mind off of the game. I think that calmed me down, but I was still uneasy. I just wanted to keep the last ball on the lane."
When asked what the keys to his 855 series were, he replied: "I hit my mark, kept my ball speed consistent and got the carry when I needed it. Everything just came together."
Lafferty, who owns three perfect games, said he wasn't disappointed because he missed another 300.
"Nothing could ruin a great night like I had," he said. "I know not many bowlers have rolled such a high series without a 300 game."
Lafferty, who averaged 221 last season, returned to the bowling lanes slightly more than 10 years ago after a two-decade absence.
He was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in 1975 and almost had to have his right hand amputated. He didn't bowl for 22 years.
A friend encouraged him to try bowling again in 1997. He adjusted to the new technology, got some tips along the way and steadily improved his game.
"The last two years have been my best ever," he said. "I never thought I would bowl so well."
Reach Barry Sparks at email@example.com. This story was provided through the York County Bowling Proprietors Association.