Cup action report from semi-finals
The semi-finals of this season's Wakefield Cup took place at neutral venues, where the aggregate scores from the five handicapped frames played between the teams decides the winner.
Finch Hill Rockets v St Olaves
Malew Snooker Club hosted this encounter and Marek Kenny built a useful lead for the Rockets in the first 65-30 over Dave Kelly. Darrell Thacker then pulled a few points back in his frame against Ron Grogan, ending Grogan 68-79 Thacker. Another close one followed with Matt Radley hitting a 20 (yellow to pink) and James Kerr runs of 24 and 20, final score Radley 76-67 Kerr. With the Rockets 33 points ahead going into frame four Graham Ashton was receiving a further 56 start against Sean Corkish. The latter had demolished Ashton in a recent league match and the same happened here, Cornish produced another strong performance including a 39 break, going on to turn the tie around with a 72-137 victory. This left St Olaves man Paul Smyth with a net advantage of 11 going into the decider against John Spellman. Within a normal league match Spellman would be receiving a 21 start so Smyth had a significant advantage. Spellman stuck to his task well though and was ahead for much of the frame with Smyth having to play a tight game to stay close. By the time the final brown was reached Smyth had edged ahead but Spellman laid a great snooker which Smyth took two attempts to hit. This left Smyth just 11 points ahead. Spellman then potted a great brown but missed the blue and a relieved Smyth sunk it with the pink. Final score Spellman 33-51 Smyth and St Olaves go through to the final.
DSB Hurricanes v Finch Hill Musicians
Meanwhile at Peel Legion, Jamie Wilson and Peter Glover opened proceedings. Wilson had a 22 break but an important pink and black from Glover gave it narrowly to the Musicians, 55-64. Stu Littlewood for the Hurricanes was 18 ahead on Mike Doherty in the next with the last three colours left, Littlewood clearing to claim a 67-31 win and put the Hurricanes 27 points ahead. Gary Conwell started very strongly in the next, the Hurricanes man knocking in a 24 to rapidly close on James Hynes 35 start. With the scores nearly level an unlucky fouled black from Conwell was followed by a great red from Hynes who then snookered Conwell and picked upon a further 11 points in fouls. Hynes was 23 points clear with just one red left. Conwell wasn't finished though and eventually ground out a 81-68 win taking the last four colours including and excellent blue. Chris Dagnall consolidated the Hurricanes lead in the next against Matthew Dodd. Dagnall soon closed on Dodd’s start with a nice 24 break and Dodd not quite firing. A couple of ‘Hail Marys' from Dodd did entertain the audience and he was a bit unlucky with a couple of late snookers which on top of some solid Dagnall potting resulted in a final score of Dagnall 104 - 70 Dodd. With the handicap difference of the final frame players on top of the Hurricanes 74 point lead, Steve Munk started with a massive 109 start though he was up against the island champion, John Kennish. Things soon got even worse for Kennish when he went in off and handed Munk an easy red followed by brown. From 118 behind Kennish showed his class with effortless breaks of 36 and next visit a 40, then after a further couple of reds he was only 30 behind with one red left. Munk was still looking calm but must have been feeling the pressure as he cut in the last red but missed an easy pink which would have left Kennish needing three snookers. However, with just one snooker required Kennish still fancied the task and he got the yellow and green then Munk was soon scratching his head working out how to hit the brown. Munk escaped from the first snooker but succumbed to the second and now Kennish could tie with the last four balls. Kennish fluked the brown when playing safe and then after missing a long blue left a very tricky shot along the side cushion for Munk. Never afraid to go for a pot Munk cooly rolled it in, (just his fourth pot) which meant two snookers were required. The handshake eventually came after Kennish went in off the pink. Final score Munk 130-101 Kennish and a great frame to end the evening.