New season brings new players
The Macs Builder Merchants snooker league 2020-21 broke off with two debutante teams playing out of the new venue, Cue Zone IOM at Ronaldsway and a host of new players.
Cue Zone Blinders 1 - 4 The Hurricanes
Cue Zone Blinders held back their two squad players with previous form, Darryl and Jez Hill and fielded a team all new to league snooker against the experienced Hurricanes. The first frame, played on Darryl Hill’s own top quality Shender table between Scott Campion and Jamie Wilson was pretty close, with Campion easing himself into it with some mistakes from Wilson. Campion was 15 points ahead on the last red which he crucially missed with the black over the pocket. This allowed Wilson to reduce the deficit and with the early colours shared a loose safety on the pink from Campion allowed Wilson to take the frame, 37-51. Next up was Ivan McMaw and Paul Smith. McMaw started confidently and at one stage led by 50 points before Smith clawed his way back. More good solid potting from McMaw left the gap too big for Smith and Blinders levelled the tie, 80-52. In the third Brandon Forrester wasn't able to produce his practice form on this occasion and the Hurricanes’ wily Stu Littlewood cashed in to pot the vital balls for a comfortable 11-54 win. The fourth frame was all down to experience as young Josh Rigg showed some real potential and with good composure controlled the frame against Nigel Kermode, and when potting the final blue left Kermode needing a snooker. Rigg went for the pink at the first opportunity without success and Kermode then laid a tough snooker which resulted in the foul he required. Rigg had a further shot on the pink but left it over a middle bag and Kermode took pink and black to pinch frame and match, 49-52. In the final frame Sam Palmer found Chris Dagnall playing and cueing really well and striking an early break of 29, all on pinks which made up Palmer’s start. Dagnall controlled things and when he sunk the final blue snookers were required, Palmer 53-80 Dagnall. A good win for last seasons runners up and decent enough debut for the Blinders who should be better for the experience.
Douglas Snooker Bar Wannabes 2 - 3 Peel Legion
Peel Legion, not renowned for big breaks managed three in what turned out to be a close encounter. Kyle Darby and Don Humphries took the first two frames for Peel with Humphries in fine form making a 32 break along the way. Frame scores, Stevie Cowin 39-62 Darby and Paul McKinstry 51-104 Humphries. The next three frames all went to the black, Fred Corris 46-40 Jim Caley pulled one back and James Teare nearly levelled the match but a 25 clearance from John Kelly took the frame for Peel 54-63. Geoff Hall produced another late fight back in the last, needing the final red and all the colours he left the final black hanging with his break on 24. Opponent Dave Corris gratefully knocked it in for a 62-50 win.
Finch Hill Rockets 2 - 3 Cue Zone Reprobates
It was a strange night at Finch Hill with just one team playing from the club this season making for a big change in atmosphere with both tables being utilised for the one match. In frame one Marek Kenny looked confident and made a couple of solid breaks in the teens early on and put opponent Nicky Young in a series of difficult snookers. Remarkably she escaped from most of them but just couldn't quite score enough to keep with Kenny when the chances did come her way. Good match play from Kenny led to a 59-34 win. Ron Grogan and Rob Callister followed which was a great frame for the neutral. The Rocket, with a 49 start potted a couple of good long pots early on and the high value colours went safe leaving Callister lots to do, especially when the latter started having bad luck and uncharacteristically missing pots. Callister did improve and closed the gap as the frame went on and with some good mid-range potting on the colours pinched it with a neat clearance at the end on the black 64-71. In frame three Doug Kinrade from the Rockets had a few chances but kept rattling high value colours and Paul Tangeman potted the better and played some tight safety too. The frame eventually went the way of Tangeman 22-47. Frame four was John Spellman v Dollin Mercer and it was Mercer who started the better managing to keep his opponent at bay with some good safety and chipped away at Spellmans 42 start with some small breaks. However, two or three in-offs from Mercer proved to be costly as Spellman went on to pot some important balls late on and won comfortably 75-55 in the end. In the decider between Graham Ashton and Brendan Clague, Ashton started the better and was in touch on the last couple of reds, but Clague then produced some exhibition snooker, with a string of doubles and trebles on the colours to finish the fixture in style to claim frame and match 34-64.
Jacksons 3 - 2 St Olaves Musicians
The other league debutantes Jacksons, with all their squad new to the league made a winning start at their Cue Zone home venue with the first three games all on the black. Nick Heaver took the first 58-46 over Mike Doherty and Dave Cavanagh with a 22 break put the home team 2-0 up defeating Matthew Dodd 46-39. Captain Kam Virk narrowly went down 51-63 to Brian Howland and last season’s individual league winner, John Kennish levelled the match beating Tony Dhadwal 64-95, Kennish including a 30 break. Lee Gale was the home hero as he won the deciding frame convincingly 53-13 against Patrick Kerr.
Port St Mary Legion 0 - 5 Malew
PSM’s fortunes continued from the back end of last season and were blown away by an impressive Malew team who must have been putting some practice in? PSM have now lost their last 13 league frames and 17 of the last 18 played. At least they have a bye next week to get over it. Frame scores, Denis Boyle 31-54 James Goodwin, Dave Pickersgill 29-69 Mark Quinn, Phil Jones 13-73 David Quayle, Shaun Roberts 62-74 Eric Drinkwater and Terry Boyle 45 - 73 Alec Oates.
St Olaves A 3 - 2 Cue Zone Mob
Darrell Thacker started well against Steve Finnegan in frame one, with good safety he carved out a chance and knocked in this weeks highest break, a tidy 40 effort on his first scoring visit. Finn fought back but Thacker then pressed on and soon two snookers were required. Although Finn dug deep and closed the gap, Thacker finally took the opener 71-38. Paul Smyth took on Pete Crellin next and Smyth was away with a few good pots, Crellin replied but the gap remained around 20 in Smyth’s favour for a while. Crellin closed in quickly on the final reds to go ahead but a bad safety on the final blue gave Smyth his chance and needing the final three balls he took blue and pink but missed the black. Crellin then decelerated on his final chance and 'butchered' the black down the left rail to leave it over the bag for Smyth to take the win 67-54. Dave Kelly v Lee Hunt saw Kelly off fastest with some good long balls. Hunt had a few chances but couldn't close on Kelly’s start. With Kelly 40 up on the colours which were roughly shared, Kelly ended good value for his strong 83-54 win. A late withdrawal from the St Olaves line up meant they were unable to field a player in frame four which gave the Mob a first point. Sean Corkish had a 23 break in the finale to close in on Peter Kirkham’s start but it wasn't enough as Kirkham potted well throughout and edged it 37-62. A winning start for St Olaves despite only having four players.
Thanks to all contributors including Darryl Hill, Paul Smyth and Dollin Mercer.
Next weeks fixtures see pacesetters Malew entertaining CZ Blinders, a St Olaves derby match and Newbys DSB beginning their title defence away at Peel Legion.
Report by Mike Crook.