But Finch Hill Rockets extend lead at top to two points
Finch Hill Rockets lost their second in three matches but still extended their lead to two points in the Macs Builders Merchants Snooker League, where the top three all suffered defeats.
Finch Hill Mob 3-2 Finch Hill Rockets
The Rockets actually outscored their opponents 315-373 but the damage was done in the first three frames before a late fightback. Peter Kirkham 103-89 Marc Bolton, Kirkham needed to produce breaks of 27 and 39 to pull back the handicap and see him home. There wasn’t much in the next two frames, Steve Finnegan 78-64 Marek Kenny and Lee Hunt 51-35 John Spellman, the Blade potting well in the third. Tom Miller 33-86 Jonny Hogg, a mini rematch off last season’s epic Doug Kinrade final. Hogg once again came out on top after over an hour of pure grinding. Miller tried relentlessly to claw back Hoggers start to no avail, in fact Hogg extended it. Peter Crellin 50-99 Doug Kinrade, similarly, Kinrade was too good for Crellin who never looked like getting the 49 start back.
Finch Hill Musicians 2-3 St Olaves
Defending champions St Olaves made it six undefeated with this victory, details from Mike Doherty.
Peter Collister 72-74 Dave Kelly, Collister played really well to pull the 42 start back from Kelly who was keeping the frame extremely tight. Collister needed both the pink and black to win the frame. He cut the pink into the middle, only for the white to finish in the jaws of the top pocket leaving himself snookered. He managed to get out of it but unfortunately left an easy black for Kelly to clinch it. Mike Doherty 65-71 Paul Smyth was very tactical and safety orientated in their exchanges. Smyth was getting the occasional teen break, slowly closing the gap and Doc taking his opportunities when they presented themselves. Another very close game decided on the black with Smyth coming out tops. Vic Rigby 33-44 Ryan Quigley, a winning debut for young Quigley against a tough competitor. Overall, a scrappy game with both players potting reds but the colours were very hard to come by. Matthew Dodd 60-14 James Kerr, the scoreline didn’t truly reflect this game. With Kerr playing catch up from the start he needed to pot well. Dodd with a couple of early reds and colours didn’t make it easy. Kerr managed a number of reds but missed his chances on the colours and eventually conceded the frame. Dave Hanlon 74-63 Dan Crawley, a difficult frame for both players as the reds were all covering each other and the colours mostly on the rails. A lot of good safety play and the occasional good pot but no chances of either player making a break. Going into the colours Crawley was behind and needed to clear from the brown to win. He managed the brown and played a tremendous shot on the blue to get position on the pink, only to miss it and Hanlon held his nerve to slot it home for the win.
Cue Zone Blinders 1-4 Douglas Snooker Bar Wannabes
This was the surprise result of the week. Blinders could have gone top had they won convincingly against the team propping up the table. Calum Gardner in the finale saved the Blinders from total humiliation with a magnificent display, details from Darryl Hill.
Brandon Forrester 57-88 Steve Cowin, Forrester required two snookers with two reds on, got the snookers and could win on the blue but never got the proper chance and Cowin eventually won the frame after over an hour of play. Josh Rigg 50-57 Dave Corris, this went to a re-spot black with Rigg missing the first potable shot to the middle, rolling it around the jaws and leaving it for Corris. Scott Campion 17-70 Harry Minor, good stuff from Minor whereas Campion, so consistent this season couldn’t buy a colour. Jez Hill 43-56 David Callister, an untimely miscue on the final black by Hill, missing it completely handed the frame to Callister. Calum Gardner 118-67 Fred Corris, this was one of the best league frames I have seen. Giving Corris a 63 start, Gardner wasted no time getting his scoring boots on as on his second visit, (his first being the break off shot), he put together his highest league break this season of 44. He fell short on the blue meaning he left a red at distance which he broke down on. After a miss from Corris, he was straight back in with another break of 30, his flicks into the pack and little cannons working perfectly. He gave one foul away putting Corris off the mark to 67, but another chance soon came for Gardner and then he cleared from two reds left to the brown, missing the brown on 27 which is enough to take him to the top of the break league for the first time. Even his opponent had to admit, ‘Calum played a brilliant game, it was good to watch as I was only a spectator for most of it!’ Well said Fred.
Peel Legion 5-0 Newbys DSB
The stars aligned to allow Peel to record their second 5-0 win of the season. Newbys turned up a player short then preceded to have no luck. Don Humphries 44-38 Johnny Myers, a frame neither will remember fondly, Humphries winning on the black with both having multiple chances to win. Jim Caley 67-42 Ste MacDonald, Caley seven up on the final green all but cleared up in fine style, failing on the black which would have been a personal best. John Kelly 48-18 Pat Maher, both hadn’t played for a while and it showed. Kelly eventually dug out some sporadic decent pots to make it safe. Barton Beaumont 70-46 Simon Gardner, some good potting and ‘run’ always kept Beaumont in control and when Gardner failed in getting a colour with the final red, it left snookers required. He did get one but fouled soon after and a flurry of colours from Beaumont put it beyond doubt.
The Hurricanes 3-2 Finch Hill Reprobates
Hurricanes are another team on the up with their third win in four, Paul Smith reports.
Jamie Wilson 105-78 Chris Killey, aided by a 23 break Wilson made short work of the 56 start catching up with reds left on the table. Things are never that easy in league snooker though and Killey made a bit of a fightback taking a couple of reds with colours to close the gap. On the colours Wilson just needed a ball to win, but Killey took the first two keeping the frame alive, this was only a temporary reprieve though as Wilson potted the brown effectively finishing the frame. Paul Smith 43-32 Dollin Mercer, halfway through this scratch frame the balls got a bit messy with most of the reds on or near cushions and the scoring dried up. Smith managed to eke out a 20 point lead, but let Mercer in after a poor attempt at a red and he closed the gap. Mercer soon potted yellow and green to leave himself a four point cushion. Smith then found two good pots on brown and blue and needing just the pink narrowly missed a double to win, but did manage it a couple of shots later. Stuart Littlewood 57-44 Chris Brown, making his debut in the snooker league, Brown was something of an unknown entity. Reportedly playing well in practice and being an ex international pool player and one of the best players on the island in that sport, league snooker is very different. With a 14 start he was off comfortably enough and kept Stewie at bay for around half the frame. Stewie then found his range and in true angling style reeled his opponent in. On the colours it was too close to call the winner until Stewie potted brown and blue and left himself a chance on the pink, however he missed and after a couple of safeties Brown potted it to make it a black ball fight. Stewie had the first chance but missed to the middle leaving Chris a difficult black to the same middle. He overcut it, caught the angle and left Stewie a comfortable black to complete the win. A decent start from the newcomer who will give anyone in the league problems once he’s settled into match snooker. Gary Conwell 54-84 Paul Tangeman, giving a 42 start to one of the Reprobates well known ‘bandits’ was always going to be a tough ask for Conwell and so it proved. Conwell soon found himself 50+ behind but this is familiar territory for him though, and just when he looked down and out he started potting everything in sight. A nice little 16 break cut the deficit and a few more reds with colours brought the deficit to under 20, but for a mammoth twitch on a black off the spot, resulting in the crowd shouting, ‘wide’ (well Smithy anyway). The running seemed to go against him after that and coupled with Tangey not missing anything from distance and finally potting a ball in a middle bag the writing was on the wall. Conwell valiantly played on for snookers, but last years Veterans finalist wasn’t going to let yet another victory escape his grasp and he closed the game out, keeping his challenge for the top individual in the league well and truly alive. Steve Munk 38-79 Rhys Moore, a good start from Munky cut the 35 handicap but he was unable to keep any pressure on Moore who is another proving difficult to beat this season as he often replied with interest. Munky kept at it with some customary pots from nowhere and dragged himself back into the frame, however coming to the colours Moore only needed a ball to leave snookers required. After getting the ball he needed and Munky failing to escape a snooker it wasn’t long before the concession came. A good match played in good spirit which I think everyone enjoyed.
Malew 4-1 Jacksons
Malew celebrated the new year with their biggest win in over a year, Alec Oates reports.
Alec Oates 65-55 Mike Reddington, behind until the colours, Oates then potted yellow to blue in succession and just needed the pink. After a couple of shots Reddington left the pink a short distance from the green pocket but, the cue ball was as far away as you could be, in the jaws of the diagonally opposite black pocket. Oates accepted the late Christmas present potting the pink to win. Mark Quinn 34-52 Lee Gale, with Quinn struggling to get over the line this season, it was Gale that got the upper hand, potting more consistently. It's nose to the grindstone again for Postie. James Goodwin 71-47 Paul Kell, after a long barren spell Goodwin made it two wins in a row. David Quayle 61-29 Tony Dhadwal, both players struggled to make telling pots. It was always down to who made the least mistakes and that player was Quayle. Tony Pring 41-32 Kam Virk, not a high scoring frame but nevertheless good to watch and quick, which is always a bonus. With good potting by both players it was the Malew man that came out on top on the colours. A Happy New Year to all that play this great game, and those behind the scenes from everyone at the Malew club.ß
Jacksons 2-3 Port St Mary Legion
This game was outstanding from before Christmas, Terry Boyle reports:
Tony Dhadwal 51-49 Terry Boyle, a good frame with both potting well. Boyle sportingly calling a foul on himself, a push shot on the black. 13 behind with 25 on Boyle potted green, brown, blue and pink but missed a tough black. After a few shots each Dhadwal doubled it into a corner bag. Lee Gale 11-54 Phil Joynes, Gale just never got going and Joynes potting well was an easy winner. Paul Kell 39-53 Matty Astill, the latter was always ahead, playing well and only needed one ball on the colours. Kell, who had potted some great reds without any reward snookered Astill on the yellow, he missed and hit the black. Kell raised his game with good safety and pots managed to take it down to the black ball which went to Astill. Richard Hillier 31-62 Marc Morley was closer than the score suggests, Hillier unlucky to foul both the brown and the pink during exchanges on the green, Morley won on the blue in a frame where both players potted well. Kam Virk 69-39 Mike Boyle, Virk potted some great reds without any colours. On one visit he went in off after potting 2 reds and then potted another red only to go in off again. With the black safe through most of the frame Boyle struggled to get the start back and needing a snooker on the colours went in off the green leaving Virk 30 ahead. One successful snooker later he left the brown over a pocket and that was that, a bad night for the Boyle’s but a PSM win all the same. No win in eleven now for the luckless Jacksons.
Top league placings:
Finch Hill Rockets - 35 points,
Cue Zone Blinders - 33 points
Finch Hill Musicians - 33 points
Peel Legion - 33 points
Finch Hill Mob - 32 points
St Olaves - 32 points.
Calum Gardner remains ahead in the individual league with 10 wins. Paul Tangeman and Tony Pring are both on 9. Gardner’s performance also sees he leap to the top of the high break league.
The pick of next week’s matches are the Rockets vs Blinders, St Olaves vs the Mob and the Musicians have a derby match against the Reprobates. Peel visit the Wannabes.