By OTS Sports Reporter: Chris Gill

Rickerby Cup match reports

The Rickerby Cup took precedence over the league fixtures this week and provided us with plenty of drama and very near misses. One of the matches of the round was between Fleetwood Hesketh B & Churchtown Cons C, in a game which was separated by the tightest of margins.

Churchtown won on aggregate by 5 points only after both sides shared the six frames on the night. Fleetwoods Ian Brownhill got the home side up and running when he beat Mike Stuttard 69-42, but Richard Butterworth replied for the Con club by beating Mark Beaver 39-27. Frames level, and an aggregate difference of only 5 points, Fleetwood held the narrowest of leads going into the middle pairings. That margin would be clipped down to only 3 points after the next two frames when Lawrence Renshaw beat John McCabe on the black, 52-51, and Phil Marrow lost to Richard Hughes 37-50. This meant the frame scores were locked at 2 apiece and the aggregate score standing at 185-182 to the home side, the margins could not be closer going into the last two pairings. Brian Kimberley played well to defeat Peter Milford by 26 points in the 5th match, but Brain Sheil beat Mike Orme by the greater margin of 32 points, and so taking the match away from the home side. Funnily enough these sides met last week in the league where they drew that match, though that was split by 20 points in the aggregate. So we should have expected that it would be a tight finish between the sides in the end.

In a clash between two 1st division teams, Birkdale Cons lost to Argyle LTC on aggregate to the tune of only 8 points. Similar to the previous match report, both sides traded blows to go 1-1 then 2-2, but Birkdale trailed by 15 points to their visitors going into the last two pairings. With these sides sitting side by side in the league it always looked likely to be a close match though, and in the end it came down to who would lose to whom by the most. Ronnie Brooks did his best to see Birkdale go through when he beat Ryan Curry 66-7 but Paddy Tyndall showed some of his best form to beat John Melvin 83-31 and so take the aggregate score in favour of the tennis club.

The 2nd division side Bretherton A, beat 1st division opposition Banks A, even after going 2-0 down and 72 behind on the aggregate. Alan Sutton and Andy Hardisty had put Banks firmly in control early on only for Dave Cottam and Mick Powell to turn the tables and reverse a 72 point deficit into a 25 point lead. With the frame scores level and Banks only slightly behind on points, either two winners or a close defeat and big win for them would see them go through. Roy Cookson only beat Jim Holden by 9 points which meant Andy Bridge had to beat Harry Halsam to gain a 4-2 victory for his side. But Harry, who has only one league win to his name this year, grabbed an unlikely victory when potting the black to beat Bridgey 72-67 and send Bretherton though to the next round.

In the battle of Churchtown A v Churchtown D, the 1st division side overcame their 3rd division team by 4 frames to 2, even though they lost the aggregate score in the match. The 1st team ran to a 2-0 lead taking a 23 point advantage into the next two frames, but that was about to be wiped out, and in some style too. Long time stalwarts of the league Billy Pye and Russ Walsh scored an impressive 163 points between them when they defeated Dave Harwood and Dave Matthews. This meant that the gap between them and the A team was a huge 78 points and gave the 3rd division side a real chance of causing an upset. The D team now looked favourites going into the last two pairings, and nailed on to win should the frames scores end up level. But the last two players for the A team, Colin Boston and Mick Coxon, had different ideas about the outcome. Colin continued his great start to the season by racking up a ton of points to beat Al Graham comfortably 39-100 with Mick managing to beat Steve Mentha 75-67, in a close finish. It meant that the 1st division side progressed through to the next round at the expense of their D team.

The current 3rd division leaders Birkdale Cons B, lost 4-2 to Waddington Cons B of the 2nd division, but not without going down with a fight. The star performance on the night was when Steve Cobb beat John Stringfellow 54-111, in a frame that saw him have breaks of 38 and 25. Phil Kitchen managed to hold on to his frame and victory when beating Johnny Mullard on the final black and so meant that the Waddy went into the last pairings 3-1 and 52 up on aggregate. Birkdales Geoff Tyas did his best to cut the deficit but Dave Robinson lost out to Andy Linaker and so the match went the way of the visiting side.

Having just won their first league match of the season Banks B defeated Les Dodd’s B 4-2 and by 122 points on aggregate, even if they were receiving 14 points per man head start. A topsy-turvey start saw JE Gearie easily beat Dave Mills 102-16, though ex-Banks player Lee Holmes, replied himself for Les Dodd’s with a 90-19 victory over Ray Swailes. It was a close match after the opening pairings but it was anything but that after John Gearie and Andy Griffiths both won to go 3-1 ahead and take a 75 point lead into the last two pairings. Mike Marsh completed the win after defeating Dave Brown 82-34 and gave the 2nd division side only their second win of the season.

Joint 2nd division leaders St. Teresa’s A played host to Mere Brow A the leaders of the 1st division in what turned out to be a bit of a battle. After both teams shared the opening frames, Martin Jones beat Alan Wareing very impressively 127-33, to send Teresa’s into the last pairings 2-2 but more importantly 37 up on the aggregate score. The draw looked the most unlikely way out for Mere Brow, so both Danny Jassi and Jack Wilby had to win their frames against Ste and Lee Cromwell. As it turned out it wasn’t a great night for the Cromwell’s, as John Greenwood put John to the sword earlier, beating him 104-57, only for Steven and Lee to lose their frames and so the match 2-4. The final aggregate score of 439-433, just 6 points difference to Mere Brow, showed how close the result had been, but ultimately Teresa’s just came up short.

In the other all 1st division clash Waddington Cons A beat Tarleton Bowling Club A 5-1 in a match that saw one side have more than a bit of run and luck than the other. The Waddy team seem to be enjoying their new home venue after moving from British Rail, why even the barman says they are a good lot. But Lady Luck seemed to take more of a shining to them as the home side made great use of the running and outrageous flukes that they had on the night. No Waddington Cons side has won the Rickerby Cup since 1988, so the new transplants from the Rail will hope that the luck is going to stay with them for a while yet. For Tarleton they will have to dust themselves down and prepare for the top of the table clash of 1st versus 2nd in the league this week.

The Tarleton BC B beat Les Dodd’s C 4-2 in a match that saw Ian Gautrey help put his side 2-0 up when beating Danny Clegg on the black. It proved decisive in the long term as they shared the next four frames to win the match, even though they were behind on the overall aggregate score 367-351.

The Churchtown Cons B team may be waiting to win their first league match of the season but this 4-0 stuffing of the Birkdale Cons C team may give them the confidence to get that win soon. The 96 point start was made to look a bit slim on the night as the home side enjoyed themselves against a Brikdale side who had yet to lose away from home in the 3rd division this season.

Another side who didn’t exactly enjoy their trip away from home was the Waddington Cons C team as they lost 5-1 to Bretherton B. Stefan Whyte showed some resistance for the Con club when he beat Alan Venables but in the end it was a bit one way traffic for the side from the ‘Edge O’Leet’.

A side that did enjoy its travels was Fleetwood Hesketh A, who had a 5-1 win over the luckless Southport Cons. Giving 192 start, the men from Marshside put their recent league form behind them to return to something that they know they can play by going 2-0 up with wins for Gareth Hibbott and Ste Crane. Larry Swindells managed to get one frame back but it should have been 2 apiece had Jeff Wainwright not lost a quite sizeable lead to Mike Reeder. With the Bath street team 3-1 down and plenty behind on aggregate it was very much a uphill task from there on in and Gavin Douglas & Neil Rimmer completed the formality when beating the Con clubs last two pairings.

Remaining results but no card received yet.

Mere Brow B beat Our Lady’s on aggregate after the frames were drawn 3-3.

Scarisbrick A beat Banks D

Scarisbrick B beat Les Dodd’s A 4-2

St. Teresa’s B are playing Tarleton BC C this Sunday night.

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