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Ed Brandon rolls his ball toward another strike at the RAF Alconbury bowling center. The 24-year-old youth sports director scored a perfect game Nov. 25 during his league play.
Ed Brandon rolls his ball toward another strike at the RAF Alconbury bowling center. The 24-year-old youth sports director scored a perfect game Nov. 25 during his league play. (Bryan Mitchell / S&S)

RAF ALCONBURY — Every athlete strives for perfection. Few achieve it. And then there’s Ed Brandon.

The 24-year-old U.S. Air Force civilian recently rolled a perfect game at the RAF Alconbury bowling center.

He completed the 300 score Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, during the first game of his regularly scheduled league play. A few weeks later, he still can’t help smiling when he recalls the feat.

“By the eighth strike I started to realize I might do it and by the ninth and 10th, a lot of people were gathered around,” he said. “On the 11th, no one was bowling in the whole place because everyone had come over to watch.”

And then he provided some drama on the pivotal 12th attempt.

“The sixth pin rattled and I just turned around because I could not watch,” he said. “But then it fell and everyone started cheering.”

Brandon, a British national who works as the youth sports director at RAF Alconbury, has been bowling on and off since he was 8. These days, he bowls about six times a month and carries a 181 average — boosted no doubt by his perfect game.

In a sad twist, Brandon’s mark was not recognized by the United States Bowling Congress because the league is not sanctioned. He would have been awarded a gold ring and a certificate to commemorate his date with greatness.

Instead, the bowling center staff presented him with some toned-down prizes.

It’s the second time in the past several months that a British national has bowled a 300 on the American military installation.

Before that, it had been five years since anyone achieved perfection at RAF Alconbury’s lanes.

As the most recent person to bowl a perfect score, Brandon has become a quasi-celebrity on base, especially around the bowling center.

But the humble Huntingdon man’s many years on the lanes have taught him that his perfect score took a good deal of luck.

“Sometimes you can hit the pins perfect and some don’t move and then other times you can be a little off and knock them all down,” he said. “I was definitely in the right place at the right time.”

After bowling a 300 and scoring a 700 on a three-game set, Brandon has set his goals even higher.

“I want to get a 750,” he said. “And then 800.”

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