On Air Night Flight | Midnight - 5:00am

Snooker: Cue Zone Blinders retain league title

Three-way tie for individual league crown after season finale

Report by Mike Crook:

Huge congratulations to Cue Zone Blinders who have won the 2023/24 Mac’s Builders Snooker League, retaining their title which is some feat! They defeated Musicians B at their Cue Zone home venue whilst their nearest challengers, the Rockets slipped to a 3-2 defeat against Peel as the league season came to an end. 

 

Cue Zone Blinders 4-1 Finch Hill Musicians B 

Starting the final week just one point ahead of the Rockets and two in hand over St Olave’s, this was no done deal. Strong performances from the Blinders opening players who showed no nerves put them 3-0 to the good. By this time news had come through that the Rockets were out of the title race and only a 5-0 win for St Olave’s could force a play-off. Noel McConville played very well for Musicians B to take frame four and leave the champagne on ice. Just as the last frame started news came that St Olave’s had lost a frame. However Blinders Brandon Forrester wasn’t advised as they wanted to be sure. He played a really solid frame with a good tactical battle against Vic Rigby on the colours and calmly potted a fairly tricky pink in the middle to make sure they had won it! Blinders were warmly applauded by the Musician’s lads as the champagne was opened. Frame scores: Nick Stephens 56-28 Martin Rigby, Conor Mahon 99-21 Rob Callister, David Hill 74-52 Mike Doherty, Scott Campion 23-63 Noel McConville and Brandon Forrester 60-43 Vic Rigby.

 

Peel Legion 3-2 Finch Hill Rockets (played at St Olave’s)

Peel Legion’s last ever league match and the snooker gods were certainly favouring them in the opener. Mike Crook 51-47 John Spellman - A nice break of 25 from Spellman looked to be enough but awful flukes by Crook on the final brown and later the pink to land perfectly on the black for an ugly steal. Just what the Rockets didn’t need. Tom Randall 70-38 Graham Ashton - well over the hour mark before Ashton required two snookers on the colours. He got one but Randall mopped up brown and blue. Barton Beaumont 33-72 Sean Murphy - One of Beaumont’s ‘no shows’ and Murphy won with ease to give the Rockets a glimmer of hope. John Kelly 16-79 Marc Bolton - Kelly’s low handicap proved too much for him as Bolton was very good throughout, long pots for fun. By this time the Rockets had heard the score from the Cue Zone and knew they were only playing for second place. The decider, Geoff Hall vs Doug Kinrade was close throughout, Hall took the lower baulk colours and Kinrade needed the last three balls to tie. He made a great long blue and with the black tight on the cushion near the middle bag, he took on a long pink playing to cannon the black into play. The second part of the shot he achieved but the pot was missed. This left pink, black and white in close proximity where Hall could attempt to pot the pink and also roll up behind the black for cover if he missed the pot. As it turned out the pink dropped to secure frame and match for Peel Legion, a nice way to bow out of the league, Hall 52-38 Kinrade.

 

Finch Hill Musicians A 1-4 St Olave’s

St Olave’s leapfrogged the Rockets to claim the runners-up spot after edging some extremely close frames, well done to them. Paul Smyth looked like clearing up but under-hit the green with the remaining colours at his mercy and St Olave’s would have finished with all five frames. Dan Crawley potted a final black to win but a loose white headed towards a middle pocket but stopped on the lip of the pocket. Had it dropped there would have been a play-off for runners up spot. Frame scores: Peter Collister 18-95 Ollie Byrne, Vinny Dale 47-54 Dave Kelly, John Kennish (22, 25) 68-71 James Kerr (20), Sean Rolt (27) 65-48 Paul Smyth and Paul Tangeman 72-73 Dan Crawley (20).

 

Jacksons 2-3 The Hurricanes

Jacksons needed to win 4-1 at the very least to retain any interest in the title race, but losing the opener wasn’t ideal and Paul Smith doubling pink and black to then win on a re-spot made the task impossible. He also denied Dave Welsh a share of the individual league. Incidentally, last season’s individual winner, Shaun Roberts, not a regular this season ended on played ten, lost ten, that’s how it can go. Frame scores: Mike Reddington 73-83 Ste MacDonald, Kam Virk 49-44 Shaun Roberts, Alex Sinclair 57-42 Freddie Dancox, Dave Welsh 36-43 Paul Smith and Dave Notman 57-91 Jamie Wilson.

 

DSB Wannabes 3-2 PSM Legion 

An overdue win for the Wannabes, just their fifth all season. Scores: Steve Cowin 90-44 Marc Morley, Dave Callister 86-44 Dave Pickersgill, James Teare 41-87 Terry Boyle, Dave Corris 52-20 Denis Boyle and Paul McKinstry 114-118 Mike Boyle.

Finch Hill Mob 1-4 Malew

Plenty of breaks from the Mob but not enough to overcome some big starting deficits. Just the fifth frame was off scratch. Scores: Steve Finnegan (20) 66-108 Tony Pring, Alan Heath 35-66 James Goodwin, Peter Kirkham (23) 46-83 Alec Oates, Tom Miller (23, 25) 121-77 Mark Quinn and Lee Butterworth 44-50 Tony Cubbon.

 

Final league standings

Cue Zone Blinders - 71 points
St Olave's - 69 points
Finch Hill Rockets - 69 points
Jacksons - 66 points
Peel Legion - 64 points
Port St Mary Legion - 63 points
Finch Hill Musicians B - 60 points
The Hurricanes - 59 points
Cue Zone Masters - 56 points
Finch Hill Mob - 56 points
Finch Hill Musicians A - 55 points
Malew - 50 points
DSB Wannabes - 43 points

 

Congratulations also to Conor Mahon, Dave Kelly and Terry Boyle who finish joint top of the individual league with 16 wins. The high break league winner is John Kennish on 72.5 points from Darryl Hill 41 and Steve Finnegan 30.5. Darryl wins the highest break prize for his 96 back in October.

More from Isle of Man Sport