In Prem: Miller looks set for play-offs
As the season enters the final straight, joint leaders Finch Hill Rockets and The Hurricanes had somewhat differing fortunes in the Macs Builders Merchants Snooker League.
The Hurricanes 1-4 Cue Zone Mob
With the Hurricanes home venue being refurbished this was played at The Cue Zone. Jamie Wilson’s 23 break took him towards a 46-45 black baller win over Steve Finnegan but Stuart Littlewood lost 58-66 Tom Miller similarly on the black to level matters. From then on it all went the Mobs way. Chris Dagnall 23-78, Peter Kirkham (33 break), Paul Smith 49-62 Dave Addinall (22 and 21 breaks) and Steve Munk 42-79 Steve Oates. Probably too little too late from the Mob in 4th who are 8 points off the top but do have a game in hand.
St Olaves A 2-3 Finch Hill Rockets
Sadly, the blind draw didn't pitch Darrell Thacker and Marek Kenny together, first and third in the individual league. Paul Smyth and Kenny opened the evening, Kenny playing very well, good shot choices and pots at the right time. Smyth did string a few together to get back to level from 28 behind on the handicap. A couple of in offs cost Smyth with Kenny then building a lead. Smyth’s snookers proved fruitless and Kenny cleared blue to black to take the win 42-74. Dave Kelly 56-67 Ron Grogan was quite entertaining. The Rocket potted some good balls even with the rest. Kelly conceding 28 from the off couldn't get many colours which made his task more difficult. With frame ball pink hanging inches from the green pocket Ron went into billiards mode and somehow managed to get behind it and go in off into the same pocket. Luckily for the Rockets, Kelly gave him a reprieve and left an easier pink to middle in the end. Darrell Thacker 64-51 Jonny Hogg, both played well and Hogg increased his 21 start to 37 with 3 reds left. It took an awesome effort by Thacker to take the frame on the black with a 27 clearance. James Kerr 69-54 Graham Ashton was a long battle but a couple of teen breaks from Kerr closed Ashton’s start. With Ashton not potting that well and going on the defensive, it took a great long blue and pink from Kerr to finish it. The decider ended Sean Corkish 68-102 Doug Kinrade, Kinrade had some great single long pots to extend his 70 start to around 80 points. But when he missed was lucky not to leave Corkish in. This week’s best break, a very tasty 40 from a long red did pull Corkish back somewhat but on Kinrade's next visit he started scoring again to leave snookers required and take the all important win.
Malew 2-3 Cue Zone Reprobates
A third win in a row for Reprobates after losing the previous six. The first two frames went their way fairly conclusively but Malew fought back and were only a ball or two from winning it. Scores, Alec Oates 30-60 Dollin Mercer, James Goodwin 27-65 Brendan Clague, Tony Pring 63-62 Ashley Howard, David Quayle 49-58 Rhys Moore and Mark Quinn 92-77 Chris Killey.
Cue Zone Blinders 2-3 Newbys DSB
The Blinders couldn’t build on last week’s big win as they just got on the wrong end of five mainly one sided frames. Scott Campion 54-24 Pat Maher, Campion potted well and Maher’s only reply was to continually go in off giving away 20 points. Sam Palmer 11-54 Simon Gardner, a reverse of frame one were Palmer had no luck getting out of snookers and when potting colours had some outrageous in offs! Ivan McMaw 22-53 Ste MacDonald, a nice 29 mid frame break from MacDonald was enough. In frame four Jez ‘potting machine’ Hill couldn’t stop the onslaught from an in form Adam Dooley, 35-71. Finally, Brandon Forrester 64-42 Zain Abideen, Forrester potted well and Zain never got a look in and was fighting from behind the whole way through.
Port St Mary Legion 4-1 Peel Legion
PSM repeated their winning scoreline from earlier this season at Peel despite Terry Boyle, ‘not turning up’ losing the first to John Kelly, who slowly pulled away to win 23-62. Phil Joynes had breaks of 29 and 21 beating Geoff Hall 69-8. Joynes played his best stuff for a while as he cruised to victory, even potting them when completely snookered. Hall could only stand and admire. Dave Pickersgill 61-41 Mike Crook, Pickersgill opened up a 30 point lead as he picked off his chances well. Crook fought back cannily but when 5 behind and just four colours remaining left the brown hanging. Crook got a required (tough) snooker on the pink only for Pickersgill to not only hit it but slice it into the middle. Some shot! Marc Morley 78-52 Barton Beaumont, had some nice touch shots from Beaumont but Morley’s potting was much the stronger until things got a bit twitchy towards the end. Mike Boyle 84-64 Tom Curphey, Boyle made potting look easy as he soon caught up Curphey’s 56 start, though the win wasn't assured until the blue was sunk.
Jacksons 4-1 DSB Wannabes
Wannabes woeful run continued as Jacksons inflicted a sixth defeat in a row. Frame one ended Paul Kell 39-52 Steve Cowin. A good game with Kell making some great shots and a couple of Cowin specials. Cowin took blue and pink for the win. Lee Gale 69-52 Paul McKinstry, a few teen breaks from the in form Gale pulled back the 42 start and he finished off a great performance with a tough pink for the frame. Kam Virk 58-39 Fred Corris was another settled on the pink, Virk overcoming a 21 deficit on the handicaps and a very good snooker from Corris to finish with blue and pink. League debutant Alex Sinclair could be a useful find as he comfortably pulled back James Teare’s 28 start and potted them from everywhere to win 70-32. Tony Dhadwal 61-54 Dave Corris, Dhadwal nicking a hard fought final frame with Corris unluckily going in off a re spotted black.
The Rockets now lead alone on 63 points, Hurricanes have 61, both with three to play. St Olaves A are third on 60 points but have a game in hand. The individual league reads Darrell Thacker on 18 wins with Stu Littlewood and Marek Kenny next on 16. Dave Addinall increases his lead in the high breaks league on 50.5 points from John Kennish with 47. The Rockets have their remaining bye next week and the Hurricanes and St Olaves A play away against The Musicians and Wannabes respectively. Thanks as always to all contributors.
Premier Snooker League: Week 8
Tom Miller has all but joined Darryl Hill in the play-offs of the Castle Cabs Premier Snooker League after week 8.
In match one, Hill maintained his 100% record with a 5-1 win over Peter Kirkham. Hill has been playing better of late and although Kirkham took frame one and was cueing well in places he wasn’t given too many chances.
Frame scores, Hill first, 34-50, 79-23, 64-20, 53-38, 56-14 and 55-9.
Match two saw the end of Paul Smith’s chance of progressing with Tom Miller claiming another 5-1 win. Smith was looking good in the first frame but whilst attempting to escape from a snooker using four cushions he needed five attempts, which put the frame out his reach really. He then won the second on the last black but after that it was a case of missed chances as Miller got stronger.
Scores, Miller first, 66-35, 65-66, 58-23, 54-19, 60-10 and 65-14.
Only an unlikely set of results can deny Miller a play-off spot with two rounds of league matches to go. Next week’s matches are John Kennish v Paul Smith, Kennish can confirm his spot in the next phase with a win. Then Tom Miller v Peter Crellin, a game the latter cannot really afford to lose. As always, the matches will be streamed live on the IoM Billiards and Snooker Association Facebook page.