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Snooker: Four-way battle now on at top of the league

Title race ramps up with seven weeks to go

Report by Mike Crook:

Just seven weeks to go in the Mac’s Builders Merchants snooker league and after more defeats for joint leaders Rockets and Blinders there’s now a four-way tie at the top of the table 


Finch Hill Rockets 0-5 St Olaves


Report by Graham Ashton:

Marek Kenny 38-81 Ollie Byrne - Good performance by Ollie, potting well from the start and good safety. Marek did have the odd moment but after failing to escape from good snookers laid by Ollie he needed plenty himself. He played on in blind frustration to no avail. Graham Ashton 55-63 Paul Smith - Smith quickly caught up the 21 start, Ashton stayed in it but missed frame ball pink. Smith, with a long pot took it to the black, leaving a thin cut into the middle. The black caught the near knuckle and hugged the cushion and went in yellow pocket! Sean Murphy 13-79 Dave Kelly - Two of the most consistent winners this season, but this was all Dave’s frame. Strong potting and he even turned town an easy enough green for a 20+ break, instead playing a tough safety. Marc Bolton 69-77 James Kerr - A lot closer than the previous frame but once James had caught Marc’s 35 start he always held the edge. Rockets title chances were then dealt another blow by being unable to field a fifth player and a happy St Olave’s quintet headed north with maximum points. Rockets drop to fifth, St Olaves move from fifth to joint top. 

Cue Zone Blinders 2-3 Cue Zone Masters

Report by Scott Campion:

David Hill 65-33 Les Briggs - Dave took his chances well to level and go ahead. Les will be disappointed not making the most of a few errors from Dave as he went in-off the pink during a steady break and also the brown when snookers were required. Scott Campion 39-49 Ivan McMaw - Never more than ten in this once Scott caught the 14 start. Scott tried to play safe off the final brown but left Ivan with a very tricky pot with the cueball on the side cushion and the brown near the pink spot. Ivan dispatched the almost straight shot perfectly. This was a turning point and Ivan took the game following another safety error from Scott on the pink. Darryl Hill 74-92 Martin Rigg - In the replay of the Joe Davis final, Darryl had a slow start not being able to pick up colours with his first few reds and Martin made a couple of small breaks to extend his 63 advantage to 84. The table seemed to get very messy, certainly making it tough going for Darryl! With three reds left on the table Darryl required four snookers to tie. He managed to pull back two snookers but once Martin took the last red the frame was out of sight for Darryl and he duly cleared the colours to finish the frame. It would have been the biggest comeback story but alas, Martin continued his form against Darryl with the frame. Conor Mahon 25-68 Jez Hill - Jez was on fire in this game and potting them off the lampshades, (if there were any at the Cue Zone). Conor put up a good fight to bring back a 47 point deficit down to 29. Jez took the last red via a fluke, then a pink to leave Conor requiring snookers. 41 the difference on the yellow and Jez held on for frame and match. Brandon Forrester 71-65 Tommy Clague - Starting 49 in arrears Brandon was still 26 behind on the colours and managed to pick off yellow to brown. Brandon was unlucky not to lay a couple of snookers on the blue but Tommy went in-off and left it for Brandon to the yellow pocket. Leaving himself a tricky pink which he picked off with the rest. This then left an even trickier black. Brandon chose to play safe and after a short safety battle, Brandon, while tight to the top cushion slotted in the black expertly from long range! 




Jackson 3-2 Finch Hill Musicians A

Jacksons were just too good against a Musicians A team who fielded three scratch or below players. A black ball win for Dave Welsh was enough to keep him in pole position in the individual league. John Kennish was on form in the last with breaks of 31, and the week’s best, 37. Frame scores: Dave Welsh 61-56 Sean Rolt, Lee Gale 35-61 Peter Collister, Alex Sinclair 54-47 Vinny Dale, Kam Virk 75-33 Paul Tangeman and Dave Notman 76-101 John Kennish. 


Peel Legion 3-2 Finch Hill Mob

A sixth win in a row for Peel moves them into the group of Blinders, Jacksons and St Olave’s heading the league. Tom Randall 79-102 Steve Finnegan - Finn was once again in imperious form as Randall’s safety game went awry.  A maximum was on, well until Finn missed a 5th black, (33 break). Randall replied with a teen break but three fouls followed, the final one leaving Finn ‘in hand’. He fired in a long red which led to an excellent 36 and Randall chasing a snooker. Barton Beaumont 102-52 Tom Miller - Beaumont’s best potting of the season, albeit with a 70 start. Miller was patient, waiting for the right time to pounce and trying to develop the black. By the time the right chance arose he was still 68 behind with 75 remaining. Miller’s break reached 34 before he rattled a pink in the corner. Beaumont replied with the last red and pink and was then 41 up on the yellow. Ten minutes passed as Miller chased snookers, where the balls weren’t ideally placed before Beaumont potted yellow and green. Mike Crook 32-70 Lee Hunt - Too many near misses for Crook including a black off its spot. The Blade took three reds with blacks for a 24 break and he eased away to victory. Geoff Hall 69-67 Alan Heath - Heath will wonder how he lost this, numerous chances on the colours to pot frame ball were squandered. A fantastic long brown from Hall plus blue, Heath again missed a long cut pink for frame and finally left the black for Hall to drop into the middle. John Kelly 76-39 Peter Kirkham - Kirkham didn’t have much luck but had halved Kelly’s 42 start with a couple of reds left. That was as close as he got, Kelly potted both reds with pinks plus the yellow for good measure for frame and match. 


The Hurricanes 3-2 Port St Mary Legion

Report by Terry Boyle:

Darran Creer 58-39 Matty Astall - Three balls left and both players needed two for the frame. Matty went in-off the blue and the frame was soon Creer’s. Chris Dagnall 66-32 Phil Joynes - Chris played very well limiting Phil to only two of the reds. Freddie Dancox 57-25 Marc Morley - Freddie had the run where Marc was unlucky with a few in-offs. Jamie Wilson 34-69 Terry Boyle - Jamie struggled to get the 49 start back. He was still 35 behind with five colours left and offered the handshake. Steve Munk 67-71 Mike Boyle - Close frame, Mike struggled to get the start back until Munky missed a brown ball for the frame and Mike cleared the last four balls, 22 break. At 3-0 down things looked bleak but the Boyles to the rescue for a little PSM respectability. 


Finch Hill Musicians B 3-2 Malew

Report by Matt Dodd:

Mike Doherty 72-65 Tommy Lawler - Tommy at one point was 40 points up in a frame that went on for over an hour. This was possibly a contributory factor in some scoreboard confusion. Tommy seemed in control throughout with some fantastic pots but Doc from nowhere came back strong at the end, Tommy went for the final black only to see his white drop in. Vic Rigby 46-50 Alec Oates - Nip and tuck until Vic pulled away to 23 ahead on the final yellow. Vic only needed one pot but failed as Alec somehow completed his task and stole it on another black ball. Dave Hanlon 21-61 Tony Cubbon - Good too see Tony back and playing well, Dave tried his best but just couldn't get a look in. Matt Dodd 96-61 Tony Pring - Cagey at the start and Dodd found himself 36 behind after Tony potted a nice red and black. Dodd found his form with a few teen breaks, the highlight was a straight red, full length of the table to land perfect on the black and in it went. Tony could still win on the colours but Dodd didn't hold back and potted brown and blue to seal it and complete a double over Tony this season. Noel McConville 106-67 James Goodwin - Noel had no trouble chasing down Jimmy’s 56 start in the decider. 

Top League Standings

Cue Zone Blinders - 50 points
Jacksons - 50 points
Peel Legion - 50 points
St Olaves - 50 points
Finch Hill Rockets - 48 points

Top Individual League Standings

Dave Welsh - 14 wins
John Kelly - 13 wins
Michael Heathcote - 12 wins
Dave Kelly - 12 wins

High Break League Standings

John Kennish - 57.5 points
Darryl Hill - 33 points
Steve Finnegan - 26.5 points

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