After taking over at the top of the table last week Mere Brow A looked to put more distance between themselves and Tarleton by beating the visiting Waddington Cons A side 5-1, Mere Brows third so score on the trot. With only 4 matches left it is going to take a Devon Loch episode to stop them from picking up their 4th consecutive 1st division title. The opening frames were shared as Alan Tomlin got the better of Andy O’Hara 50-13 with Martin Brown beating Mark Tomlin 90-2. After that though it was all one way traffic as Danny Jassi, Andy Booth, John Greenwood & Alan Waring saw off the Con club challenge. Andy Booth made a nice break of 48 in his match against Ally Iddon but the breaks are just a side issue now as they tick off the points until they cannot be caught.
Tarleton BC A need to keep the pressure up on Mere Brow if they are to catch them out should they slip up, and although they beat Banks A 4-2 they were kicking themselves that they didn’t claim the full six points. Roy Cookson upset the apple cart from the very beginning as he managed to keep Rob Iddon at arms-length throughout the frame taking it on the final blue 55-30, as John Nelson compiled a very well taken 48 break in his match versus Andy Hardisty. The middle frames went the way of the home side as Andy Bolton beat Andy Bintcliffe 62-39 & Chris Hoare saw off Trevor Wetton 64-34. Tarleton realistically needed the remaining two frames left on the night and although Marcus Jackson played well to beat Andy Bridge 63-39 Alan Sutton potted a superb final black ball against Chris Gill to take the frame 39-41.
Fleetwood Hesketh A moved back into 3rd spot in the league after completing a 5-1 win over the now basement club Les Dodd’s B team. The match started well for Fleetwood as Mike Roberts & Ste Crane both won their opening encounters against Dave Brown & Delial Brewster to put them in control from the off. Doddy’s Alan Harley proved he is back to full health with a good win over Mike Reeder 67-49 though Gareth Hibbott beat the luckless Danny Clegg 81-27, helped along by a break of 45to restore the 2 frame advantage. With Doddy’s fielding short yet again(!!!), it was down to Stuart Evans to bring home the 5-1 victory, which he did, when beating Paul Rogers 75-15. Even though Doddy’s do have a game in hand over the teams at the bottom, results have gone such that they are now 3 adrift with only 4 weeks left of the season.
Birkdale Cons A came out on top in the battle of Con Clubs last week when they left Churchtown Cons A 5-1 winners making the bottom of the table very hard reading for all involved. Birkdale’s Mick Wardle beat Kevin Woodfull 52-29 in one of the opening frames as Craig Rice replied for Churchtown with a solid 70-37 victory over Phil Fitzgerald. John Melvin won a close encounter with Dave Harwood 69-56 as Saul Kemp beat David Matthews 64-32. The final pairings for Birkdale took the match away with them as Les Sullivan beat Mick Coxon 70-30 with Ricky Webb seeing off Les Prescott 69-24. Churchtown have two big games coming up if they want to remain in the top flight with a home game versus Waddington Cons B and a last match of the season battle at Les Dodd’s B..!!
The two teams with the most drawn games in the division, Argyle LTC & Tarleton BC B, played each other last week and shock horror it ended up a 3-3 draw. For Argyle it was draw number 8, and 7 for the visitors as they both look likely to cement their mid table position come the end of the season. Jon Holmes has took fantastically to playing snooker again since his away trip as he demolished Andy Marsden 82-0, well played sir, while Ray Forshaw beat Colin Coffey to level things up 1 apiece. Jason Swarbrick beat an inform Ryan Curry 58-15 to edge the visitors ahead only for Ste Forshaw to square things up when beating Neil Rigden 56-24. Sitting top of the player rankings in the division Paddy Tyndall put the tennis club back in front when beating Ste Gautrey 55-26, but Ste Harrison managed to beat Brian Jarrett to predictably square things up 3 apiece.
Stop press, break out the champers, put up the bunting as the Tarleton BC C team recorded their very first win of the season when they defeated Waddington Cons B 4-2, moving them off bottom spot for the very first time this season. The Waddy’s Andrew Linaker beat John Moore 55-18 as Shaun Fisher beat Denis Woodward 70-27 to level it up. One apiece became 2 apiece as Mark Rollins beat Steve Cobb 50-34 but the Waddy’s Philip Kitchen managed to beat Dean Bond 45-31 to level things up again and set up a tense final two frames. Tarleton passed the test to record their first win when Phil Keep beat Phil Gaskell 72-14 with Jimmy Jones getting the better of Ray Highton 58-30. The dream still on, Tarleton have Churchtown Cons & Les Dodd’s up next giving them hope of staying up come the end of the season.
Banks C may have brought up their 13th win of the season but there is no danger of it being unlucky for this team as the march on to an inevitable 2nd Division title, last achieved in the 2010-11 season. Churchtown Cons B had no answer to the league leaders as they struggled to contain Martin Sephton & Steve Harris in the opening frames to go 2-0 down from the off. Gary Hudson did manage to get something out of the night for Churchtown when he defeated Billy Cummings 48-39, Gary’s 12th win of the season, but John Prescott beat Paul Connor for a 3-1 score line. Alan Johnson ran amok against Jamie Barton piling up 82 points which included breaks of 33 & 25 in the frame as Cliff Arnold came out on top on the final colours 43-30 against Lawrence Richards and a 5-1 win. Thirteen points clear, a game in hand, it looks like being plain sailing from here on in for the team from Banks to top a very good season.
The last time Banks C found promotion to the 1st division the S&B cricket club joined them when finishing runners up to them, and that could be replicated this year after they drew 3-3 with Bretherton B last week. The opening frames were shared as Edward Moulton beat Mark Fletcher 55-27 and Paul Parker beat Nev Marsden 50-29. But the visitors would take the next two frames to put themselves in a great position to take the win on the night. Long-time stalwarts to the team Dave Palmer & Barney Newton provided the wins to put the 3-1 up but Bretherton fought back to give hope of getting promotion themselves this year. Simon Moulton saw off Tom Palmer 74-12 with Phil Iddon beating Tony Milner 51-22.
Banks B v Bretherton A – Bretherton A won 5-1, awaiting confirmation of the scores
Our Lady’s made it four unbeaten in the league recently even if they did only manage to gain a 3-3 draw with Mere Brow B who themselves are just managing to pull away from the bottom two in recent weeks. Formby’s Paul Heery made a super break of 33 against Dale Roberts to take his frame 55-9 as Kyle Prescott missed a black on 22 with the final colours at his mercy against Keith Turner to win 49-25. Mere Brow’s Crabby Junior beat Luke Marshall 67-42 his 8th straight win in the league as Michael Houghton levelled things up when beating Matthew Greenwood 61-32. With the match having the look of a draw about it so it became when Tommy Tickle failed to trouble David Forshaw, losing 52-12 as Alan Parker beat Crabtree senior 65-30 to see the honours shared on the night.
There were three drawn matches in the division last week and Scarisbrick v Les Dodd’s was the final one in the division. The frames were shared throughout the night as neither side could get that clean break in the pairings. Jordan Scutt struck for Scarisbrick first when defeating Ron Calder 63-38 but the home side replied when Chris Starkie beat Karl Bellman. Ian Tinsley beat Peter Parkinson 62-21 for the home side as Graham Marshall came out on top of a high scoring game with Peter Fenwick 71-56 to level things up. The draw finally came about when Norman Hallsworth brought up his 11th win of the season against Peter Jackson with Martin Matthews once again replying for the opposition to square it up 3 apiece when he beat Paul Horner 66-20 in the final frame.
The top two in the division may have it their own way at the moment put predicting who will come out on top between Les Dodd’s C & Churchtown Cons D is starting to get rather tricky. Doddy’s managed to go to Bath Street and beat the Cons B team 4-2, their 14th win of the season, but the Con club managed to gain a point back when defeating Fleetwood Hesketh B 5-1. The table is now split by the 1 point with just the four fixtures left in the season, and that all important final match show down at Les Dodd’s on Wednesday the 16th of March. It’s the week of Cheltenham that week and there will be many bets and side best as to who will come out on top of what has been a really good fight between the two sides all season long
Doddy’s Jamie O’Shaughnessy put his name forward once again for player of the year as he easily swept aside George Knight 107-28 making breaks of 34 & 32 in doing so, his 7th break of 30 or more this year. But the Con club have their own starts as well as Dave Quinn made his 7th break of 20 or more in the league, two coming against Mark Beaver last week. Billy Pye continued his good form on his return to playing going to a 5-0 win record as Doddy’s can lay claim to boast no more than 7 players on 10 wins or more so far this year. All we can say is bring it on and as all eyes lead to March the 16th and the final showdown in the league.
Formby Sports & Social may have lost their club last year but they continue to win matches as they made it win number 11 against British Rail last week. The Railways pair of Liam & Nick Wright both lost to Formby’s Adrian Morris & Mark Abbott respectively in the opening frames to go 2-0 down, not the start required when chasing your first win in the division for many a while now. Alex Fairley made it win number 14th of the season when beating Peter Robinson junior 71-18 as Eddy Cracknell eventually got the home side off and running when beating Steve McCluskey 55-42. The fourth win for Formby came courtesy of Tony Brookfield’s black ball win over Colin Nuttall 54-47 with John O’Malley replying for the hosts to make it a 4-2 defeat for the British Rail.
Birkdale Cons B overtook Scarisbrick B in the league table after claiming a 4-2 victory over the visitors, banishing last week’s 6-0 drubbing to Churchtown Cons D to the bin in doing so. Peter Wilding & Reg Dobson gave the Con club the perfect start when both winning their frames against Ian Lowery & Eddie Stockley respectively. Top stick v top stick next as Scarisbrick’s Wayne Copper beat John Mullard 70-21 but Geoff Tyas regained to two frame advantage when beating John Brown 65-28. Scarisbrick’s Mick Hodge would have been pleased to eventually got back to winning ways, especially after the start he had to the season, when he beat David Robinson 51-36 but Birkdale’s John Warnick managed to edge out Peter Simpson on the final colours 55-46 to secure the win for the Con club.
Birkdale Cons C took control of their match with Banks D from the off going 2-0 up and so will be a little disappointed that they only came away from St. Stephen’s with a 3-3 draw in the end. John McGee & Phil Green got them off to that early lead only to see the Banks pair of James Nixon & Barry Holmes level things up when beating Eddie Tennant & Paul Murphy. The last two frames could have gone either way in the end as Graham Melvin beat Paul Rimmer 49-35 and Birkdale’s Geoff Wright won on the final black 46-42 against Bob Burns.
The bottom of the table clash between Churchtown Cons C & Waddington Cons C ended up in a 3-3 draw, despite the Waddy going 2-0 up from the start. Bob Fairclough & Dave Brown got the ball rolling for the visitors from the off as they beat Brian Sheil & Joe Perberdy to set up what could have been only their 2nd win of the season. Churchtown took of the one middle frames when Adam Rothwell beat Max Riley 55-43 with Waddy’s Steve Whyte keeping the 2 frame gap when he beat John McCabe 46-34. But the Churchtown pair of Peter Milford & Roger Hughes both won to maintain the 10 point gap in the league over their basement cousins.
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