Summary of Season 2012-2013

With all the honours in the Ormskirk & District Amateur Snooker League for season 2012-2013 now won and lost, the curtain falls on another campaign.

Division One Champions this season were Les Dodd SC who were winning the Crown for the second time in their short Ormskirk League history as they joined us at the commencement of the 2007-08 campaign, they achieved the double as they also captured the Le Rose Cup to make it a very successful season for the Southport side. Crosby Village SC, their first campaign in our league, pushed the winners very close and finished as Runners-up and will certainly be looking to go one step better next term. Maghull RBL A finished a clear third after another very solid season. Unfortunately, Upholland Social finished bottom of the table and are relegated to the Second Division.
Yet again, Les Dodd’s Gareth Hibbott won the highest break award with a magnificent break of 93 he recorded in league week twenty eight, Gareth also captured the ‘Break of the Week’ prize a record breaking eight times this campaign, an amazing statistic, but surely the most unbelievable fact of all is Gareth has reached the end of the season unbeaten in league matches and it now stands at a staggering 60 matches without defeat. This awesome run commenced on the 12th October 2010 were Gareth recorded a fabulous 127 clearance and ended that campaign on 20 wins, he won all his 22 matches in the 2011-12 season and this campaign won all his 18 matches played to bring him to that magical 60 wins mark. This record smashes the old one, no surprise that Gareth held that one too with 51 consecutive victories he achieved between 2003 and 2005. Let hope Gareth can continue this mind blowing statistic for as long as he possibly can, made even more unbelievable as we play one frame snooker !! Gareth also was a member of our Ormskirk League Representative side who captured the now prestigious UK Leaguesnooker Tournament back in November at the amazing South West Snooker Academy situated in Gloucester and recently the Merseyside Inter League Team Seniors Title we won at the George Scott Snooker Club, Liverpool. DSC_0038
Chris Jones from Maghull RBL A captured the prize for topping the table of the Divisional Player Rankings with a record of 23 matches played, 20 wins & 3 defeats. These wins by Chris were enough for him to win the Graham Fairclough Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player with the most successes from any of our 3 Divisions. A superb effort, well done Chris !!!

Skelmersdale Wardens A won the the Second Division Crown after the most exciting finale to a league campaign for a long while, they won the title by taking an amazing 22 points from 24 points available from their last 4 matches to capture the Title by 4 points and return to the elite Division after a three year absence. St Cuthberts A finished Runners-up after a fine campaign but will be slightly disappointed after leading proceedings for the majority of the season but their reward is First Division status, also after three years away like the Title winners. Aughton Institute B finished in an excellent third place as they had a chance of sealing the Second Division Crown right up until the final match of the campaign.
The highest break award went to Steve McBrinn of St Cuthberts A with an superb break of 75 he compiled in League week eighteen.
The player who topped the Divisional Player Rankings was Dave Fenney of Skelmersdale Wardens A with a record of 22 matches played, 18 wins & 4 defeats.

The Division Three Title was captured by new boys, Skelmersdale Wardens D who had a fantastic first season in our league and won the Title by a superb 10 points and will deservedly be playing Second Division snooker next term. Olympic BC finished the campaign as Runners-up after a fine season and their prize is a return to Division Two next term. Aughton Institute D ended their campaign in third place after a very solid season as they were also Kenney Cup Runners-up earlier in the campaign.
The highest break award was won by Bob Sullivan from Aughton Institute C with an excellent break of 42 in league week twenty five.
The Divisional Player Rankings was won by Stuart West of Skelmersdale Wardens D with 24 matches played, 19 wins & 5 defeats.

The first Cup Final of the season, the Kenney Cup, took place at Olympic BC on Wednesday 20th February 2013. The Final was an all Division 3 affair as Aughton Institute D came up against Reigning Champions, Stanley Club B and as both sides received a forty point handicap, there was no points concession by either team. The tie remained in the balance after the first two frames were complete as the score red 1-1,table one saw Aughton’s Steve Moss go into battle with Stanley’s Chris McCann and a somewhat expected nervy start ensued but shortly after Steve was the first player to find his stride and with seven reds remaining he held a ten point advantage. Steve extended his lead to twenty one points with some solid potting with just two reds on the table. The colours were reached and Steve held a vital eighteen point advantage as three of the coloured balls lay in very awkward positions and after a short safety exchange, Steve potted yellow, green, brown and a fine blue to comfortably take the opening frame and put his side 1-0 up. Meanwhile, on table two, Aughton’s Dave Ball came up against Stanley’s Karl Williams and as with the adjacent table, both competitors suffered some very expected nerves. The early part of the frame saw both players miss some opportunities and at the halfway stage of proceedings with seven reds remaining, the scores were tied. As the two players reached the six colours, Karl held a nine point lead which was soon reduced as Dave potted a fine yellow to a corner pocket, green ball to middle and attempted a difficult brown but was certainly worth taking on as the blue lay over a centre pocket and pink was on its own spot, unfortunately Dave missed the brown and rather unluckily for him it came back up the table and finished over the yellow pocket, this enabled Karl to pot an easy brown and blue ball to lead by thirteen points with the same amount of points remaining but potted a fine pink ball to take the frame and level the match for his team. The second two frames commenced and on table two it saw Peter Norris representing Aughton Institute and Lee Anfield for the Stanley Club side meet and this saw a slow start to the frame and some good safety played by both players, Lee was given the first opportunity as he began to settle the quicker and he soon opened up a fifteen point advantage, he quickly increased his lead with some further solid play and as the final red of
proceedings was left on the table, Lee held a twenty seven point lead. Peter potted the final red with the blue ball to reduce his deficit to twenty one points and shortly after as the brown upwards remained in play, Lee lay twenty two points ahead so Peter needed all four balls to force a re-spotted black but unfortunately for him, Lee potted brown, blue and pink to seal a comfortable frame for his side to put them 2-1 in front. Meanwhile, on table one, Phil Percival for Aughton and Elwyn Foulkes for the Stanley side clashed, and this frame saw Phil very quickly out the blocks as he swiftly opened up a thirteen point lead. With his next visit Phil made a break of fifteen and this gave him a twenty eight to nil advantage. Elwyn now began to find some form and as the colours we reached, Phil still held a very healthy twenty three point lead, after a foul shot committed by Phil and a yellow ball pot by Elwyn his arrears were reduced to sixteen points. Phil potted the green ball but Elwyn replied with brown and a doubled blue ball pot and on his next visit potted pink to take the frame into an unexpected black ball finish, with Elwyn weighting up a very difficult black he proceeded to pot it unbelievably across the full length of the table and as a result put his team 3-1 ahead and surely a telling moment in the whole tie. The final two frames took to the baize and on table two Joe Noone from Aughton and Steve Taylor for Stanley Club went into combat and this frame saw Stanley’s Steve Taylor very quickly into his stride as he soon built up a thirty one point to nil advantage with some nice potting, as a result of this, his side were well on the way to retaining the trophy they won last campaign. Joe then began to make inroads into his deficit and reduced Steve’s lead to twenty one points but Steve soon began to edge away again as he held a thirty three point advantage with the final red remaining and shortly after he sank the final red with brown and the yellow and green balls which led to a concession from Joe and it saw the Stanley outfit regain the Kenney Cup with an unassailable 4-1 lead. Over on table one, Richard Laird from Aughton and Ian McLeod for Stanley took to the table and it saw Ian quickly open up a fifteen point lead, Ian continued to pot well and increased his advantage to twenty eight points with just three reds remaining. Richard struggled to find any form and after a foul shot he lay thirty eight points adrift with just the final red left. After a few attempts of snookers by Richard, Ian potted the final red and it saw a handshake from Richard to give Stanley Club B the frame, a thoroughly deserved 5-1 triumph and the retention of the Kenney Cup, only the eighth time this has happened in the sixty one year history of the competition.
Well done Stanley Club B and their number one fan and non-playing captain, Stan McCann !!! Aughton Institue D must also be congratulated for making it a superb contest played in excellent spirit between the two sides. A big thank you to the Olympic Bowling Club for hosting the event and putting on a lovely buffet after the match and also to League Life Vice-President, Clive Dunn and Peter Connolly for their fine officiating with proceedings.
The highest break for this Competition was won by Gary Peate of Farmers Club with a nice break of 32.

The second Cup Final of the campaign, the Le Rose Cup, was played at St Cuthberts on Tuesday 21st May 2013 and was contested by First Division Champions, Les Dodd SC and fellow Division One compatriots, Stanley Club A and the Southport team had to concede 35 points a frame start to the Burscough side if they wanted to complete a coveted double. Table one saw Will Jerram represent the Les Dodd outfit and Andy Bridge lead off for Stanley Club, Andy was first off the mark with a small contribution and increased his advantage to forty five points but after missing a difficult long red pot he gave Will the opportunity to launch a counter attack, he duly took that chance and with the usual reliable proficiency from Will with his sound potting and pinpoint
positional play, he engineered a superb break of 56. This fine contribution took Will into a ten point lead with four reds of the frame remaining. Andy fought back well and as the green ball upwards remained Andy led by just four points but the crucial moment arrived as Andy had an unfortunate in-off in the middle pocket and with the remaining five balls all well positioned, this gave Will the chance to put his side into an early lead. He duly took it by potting green, brown, blue and pink to put his team 1-0 up. Meanwhile, over on table two Andy O’Hara for Les Dodd SC clashed with Stanley’s Mick Mullane and at the very start of proceedings, both players settled and produced some good pots but Andy started to get the upper hand as he was a little more consistent and with seven reds remaining had halved his starting deficit to just seventeen points. Andy continued to reduce his arrears but played a poor safety and this allowed Mick in for a good scoring visit, unfortunately he only scored six points and as the colours were reached, Andy held a nine point advantage and increased that to fourteen points by potting yellow and green. Shortly after, Mick committed a foul shot and Andy potted blue and pink to put his team in a strong position at 2-0. The next two frames commenced and the prolific Gareth Hibbott came to the table for the Southport outfit and Peter Molyneux for the Burscough side and straight from the off, the proficient Gareth Hibbott was immediately into his stride and with small and clinical contributions, he wiped out Peter’s lead and led by two points with six reds of the frame still on the table. A surprise missed red by Gareth gave Peter a fine opportunity but could only engineer a break of 15, this did put Peter back into the lead but only by two points as two reds remained. Gareth potted a fine penultimate red with pink and the final red, also with the pink ball and on his next visit, Gareth potted a superb yellow to a centre pocket, green, brown, blue and pink to give his side another frame and put them on the brink of cup glory as they led 3-0. Over on table one, Jimmy Graham was playing for the Les Dodd team and Mark Radford for the Stanley A side and Mark immediately increased his advantage to forty five points but Jimmy hit back with a small break of 15 to reduce his arrears to thirty points. Both players missed opportunities but Jimmy, again, made a small, but possibly crucial contribution of 16 to only trial by thirteen points with four reds of the frame left. Mark led by just four points but potted the final red with black to increase his advantage to twelve points. With yellow and green shared, Mark potted brown and blue to eventually seal the frame and give his team a chance of a big comeback as they now only trailed 3-1. The final two frames were reached and on table one, Martin Brown took to the baize for Les Dodd and Alan Radford for Stanley Club and an early chance for Martin yielded only ten points and after missing his next pot, Alan was presented with a fine opportunity and took advantage by increasing his lead by forty nine points with seven reds remaining. Again, Martin was given two good chances and, surprisingly, never looked comfortable as he is normally a fine, consistent player but he only reduced his arrears to thirty points with three reds remaining. Alan took two reds with pinks and on his next visit he potted the final red, black, yellow and green to seal a very comfortable frame for his side and put his team in with a chance as they reduced their arrears to only 3-2. Table two saw Andy Booth represent the Les Dodd outfit and Nick Swift for the Stanley A team, Andy was straight into his usual fluent potting stride and with small contributions and in no time reduced his arrears to just three points with four reds of the frame left. Nick showed some of his wealth of experience and dug in to contribute an important break of 14 and led by two points as the players reached the colours. Nick also potted yellow, green and brown in three scoring visits to lead by eleven points and required only one of the final three balls to force a very unexpected play-off a little over an hour ago but Andy saved his best to last as he potted a superb long blue into the yellow pocket under pressure and also gained ideal position on the pink ball, he proceeded to pot the pink and black balls to capture the frame for his team and with it, Le Rose Cup glory and the double.
The highest break of the Competition was a fabulous 102 break from Les Dodd’s Will Jerram, this was the only century break recorded this season in both league and cup.DSC_0025

The first of the Individual and Pairs Finals played was the Individual Handicap Final which was played on Tuesday 14th May 2013 at Skelmersdale Wardens. The Final was contested between Paul Williams of Crosby Village SC and Mike Reeder of Farmers Club. The match was a best-of-five format and Paul was conceding ten points per frame. The first frame commenced and both players seemed to settle down very quickly under the circumstances, Paul made an early contribution to erase his ten point deficit but after attempting a difficult long red gave Mike the first real chance of the match, he compiled a break of 21 to lead by that score. Paul quickly hit back with 16 to trail by five points as seven reds of the frame remained. Paul was given another opportunity were he engineered a nice break of 32 to open up a twenty six point lead, shortly after, Paul potted the final red and a foul shot from Mike saw Paul lead by thirty points as the colours were reached. Paul then cleared to the pink to take the early advantage and lead 1-0. The second frame began with some good safety by both players but then Mike caught a red a little thick trying to return the cue ball to the baulk area and this gave Paul a chance of a long red, he duly potted it and compiled a break of 21 to open up a twelve point advantage, next visit saw Paul increase his lead to twenty one points and then shortly after took that to twenty nine points with just two reds remaining. Mike potted a nice penultimate red with the blue and also the final red with a blue, once again and as they reached the colours, Mike trailed by seventeen points. Paul took control as he potted both yellow and green and after a foul shot from Mike, he was able to pot brown and blue to now lead by a vital 2-0 scoreline. Frame three saw a repeat of the first frame as Paul eroded Mike’s small advantage at his first visit to the table. Both players made small contributions and halfway through the frame, Paul led by six points. The scores were completely level with just three reds remaining and also with the final red on the table. Mike finally potted the final red after a lengthy safety battle and with it he took the brown, yellow and green and shortly after he took the blue and pink to half his arrears to 2-1. The fourth frame saw both players potting well and they compiled breaks in excess of 20, this saw Mike lead by just three points. Mike was given an opportunity to possibly level proceedings and after potting a red he missed a reasonably straightforward black, this miss now gave Paul a fine chance to clinch the title and it was looking very good for him as he confidently reached 35 with some excellent pots and solid positional play under pressure but in attempting to dislodge a red off the cushion, his break ended, this gave Paul a thirty one point advantage with three reds remaining. Mike produced a vital 14 break to reduce his deficit to seventeen points. Shortly after, Mike committed two foul shots and together with yellow and green ball pots, Paul held a thirty point lead with just twenty points left on the table. A safety duel followed and a little while after, Paul potted an excellent blue and the pink to win the frame, the match 3-1 and capture the Mac Trophy. Paul is chasing something never been achieved in the sixty eight year history of the Ormskirk League by a player winning the Individual Championship,

Individual Handicap and Pairs Handicap in the same season, he has now won the Individual Handicap, one down, two to go !
The highest break prize for this Competition goes to losing finalist, Mike Reeder who compiled a magnificent break of 80.

The next Cup Final played saw the Pairs Handicap Final on Monday 20th May 2013 at Crosby Village SC, the match was played between four team mates from the Crosby Village SC side contested between Paul Williams & Ian Jones and father and son pairings, Steve Evans Snr & Steve Evans Jnr. The match was played over the aggregate of two frames and Paul & Ian had to concede an eighteen start to their club compatriots. The match commenced with the expected cagey start as all four players produced some fine safety shots but eventually Paul was given an opportunity on a long red which he duly dispatched and with fine potting and precise positional play, Paul compiled a superb break of 54 to give him and his partner a vital thirty six points lead. The Evans combination started to find their form and reduced their arrears to twenty three points with just the green, brown, blue, pink and black remaining. After another safety exchange, Ian potted a fine green followed by brown, blue and pink and shortly after Paul potted the black into a baulk pocket to see them lead by forty eight points at the halfway stage. The second frame got under way and all four players made contributions to their scores and both Steve’s began to play well and with just three reds of the contest left, they trailed by thirty points. More safety followed and Steve Senior was given an opportunity but surprisingly missed a vital red ball, the Williams/Jones partnership then potted one of the final two reds each, both with blacks and this saw them hold an unassailable advantage of forty five points with just the colours remaining. Very shortly after both Steve’s offered their hands of congratulations to their opponents and this meant that Paul Williams & Ian Jones were now newly crowned Pairs (Anon Trophy) Handicap Champions. This result meant that Paul had now captured leg two of the very unique treble he was now chasing of Individual Championship, Individual Handicap and Pairs Handicap Titles.
The highest break made in this Competition was a brilliant break of 78 made by Les Dodd’s Gareth Hibbott.

The next Cup Final to be played was the JF Wills Handicap Final, this was played on Thursday 23rd May 2013 and was hosted by Scarisbrick NSC. It was contested between Alan Radford of Stanley Club and Dave Ellision of Rainford ESC A. Alan was receiving three points a frame start in this best-of-five encounter. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this Final much to my disdain due to work commitments. I can confirm that Alan won a very closely fought final and much credit must go to both players, Alan sealed a 3-1 triumph to become the JF Wills Handicap Champion for this season.
There was no highest break recorded.

The concluding Final of the season and the main show piece, the Individual Championship, was played on Tuesday 28th May 2013 at Aughton Institute and was contested between Paul Williams from Crosby Village SC and Gareth Hibbott of Les Dodd SC. The evening also saw the presentation of our trophies and after the match a hot pot and chicken curry supper.
The first frame of this best-of-seven match saw Gareth showing no signs of early nerves as straight from Paul’s break off shot, he powered in a tremendous long red and gain perfect position on the blue, he went into the pack of reds after potting that blue ball but was amazingly unlucky not to finish on any red whatsoever and Gareth could only play a safety shot. Paul left a safety shot a little short and this gave Gareth the opportunity to gain the upper hand early in the match, he compiled a fine break of 40 to open up a forty six point advantage. Paul showed what a class player he is and hit back immediately with a nice break of 33 to bring himself right back into the frame. After a short safety exchange, Gareth potted the penultimate red with black and laid a tricky snooker on the final red of the frame, Paul made a good escape but unfortunately for him left the red on for Gareth, he duly potted the red, black, yellow, green and brown balls to seal the opening frame and take a 1-0 early lead.
Frame two saw Gareth take an early advantage with a small contribution of 14, Paul replied with 13 but Gareth engineered a tricky break of 21 to lead by twenty two points. Paul again hit back with 24 to now lead by just two points. Gareth committed a foul shot but potted the final red with a black and this meant the scores were completely level as the colours were reached. Gareth potted a superb yellow but very unfortunately knocked the black ball in to concede seven penalty points and with Paul potting yellow and green, he held a twelve point advantage Gareth hit back with brown and blue ball pots but, again, committed a foul by knocking the black into a corner pocket and this allowed Paul to pot the pink ball to level up the scores at 1-1.
The third frame was a very swift affair as Paul was quickly out the blocks as he soon opened up an eighteen point lead, Gareth committed two foul shots and shortly after Paul compiled an excellent break of 40 which saw Gareth concede the frame with the final red of the frame remaining and Paul chasing an unique treble, held a 2-1 lead as we reached the interval.
The next frame saw both players make early contributions but Paul forged ahead with a fine break of 36 to hold a thirty five point advantage. Both players produced some fine safety but a slightly short return to baulk by Gareth saw Paul pot a fine opening long red to help manufacture another classy break of 40 to seal the fifth frame, hold a 3-1 advantage and be on the verge of creating history.
Frame five saw Gareth get in first and potted a nice red to gain good position on the black but very surprisingly, Gareth jawed that black ball and left Paul a chance to seal frame and match, he potted a red but was unable to gain ideal position on a colour and decided to take on a long pressure ball blue into the yellow pocket, he duly dispatched the blue with aplomb and this was the catalyst to launch yet another superb effort of 48 to see him lead by forty one points. A further contribution of 12 from Paul put him fifty five points clear with just two reds of the frame remaining. Shortly after, Paul potted the final two reds with colours and Gareth offered his hand of warm congratulations to Paul who now has captured the Title of Individual Champion of the League. Well done Paul !!!
The highest break recorded for this Competition was a superb break of 77 compiled by John Wade of Les Dodd SC.DSC_0011

Paul Williams

It has to be given a very special mention on the achievements of Paul Williams from Crosby Village SC this season. Paul, as you all no doubt know after reading this report, has captured all three Individual and Pairs Titles within our fine League. Paul has won the Individual Championship with a superb 4-1 victory over Gareth Hibbott in the Final, an amazing performance.DSC_0026

The Individual Handicap with an excellent 3-1 success over Mike Reeder and the Pairs Handicap with his fine partner, Ian Jones. To put this all into perspective, no player until now, in the sixty eight year history of the Ormskirk & District Amateur Snooker League has achieve this monumental feat, in fact, only two players have ever won the Individual Championship and Individual Handicap in the same campaign which were Mike Cowley back in 1976-77 season and recently, John Wade in the 2003-04 campaign. I think this is a magnificent achievement and should be commended for some time to come.
Paul, a member of the Ormskirk League Representative Team to regain the UK Leaguesnooker Tournament so triumphantly in Gloucester last November and will be representing the League again in the defence this coming November and the Merseyside Inter League Seniors Team Title last month at the George Scott snooker club, started playing in the Ormskirk League at the inception of the 2001-02 campaign representing Aughton Institute A until the completion of the 2009-10 season were his side finally captured the coveted Division One Crown after finishing Runners-up the previous four campaigns, with the sad split of that title-winning side, Paul joined Les Dodd SC with some of the winning Aughton team for one season finishing Runners-up in their league campaign and capturing the Le Rose Cup. Paul has also won the Kenney Cup and Le Rose Cup twice with his old Aughton team and in his debut season in the League was victorious in winning the Mac Trophy (Individual Handicap).

Finally, the committee and myself would like to congratulate all our winners this season and the achievements that were reached, the curtain falls on another successful campaign in the Ormskirk & District Amateur Snooker League and we wish everyone participating in the 2013-2014 season every success !!!