By Chris Gill

Rickerby Cup match reports for the Last 16

Mere Brow A, who made last year’s final Rickerby Cup final, went out of the competition on aggregate to Bretherton B after drawing 3 apiece.  Giving a whopping 300 point head start, equating to 50 a man head start, they nearly pulled off a quite remarkable win. The opening frames were shared with Andy O’Hara produced the break of the round, a superb 87, to beat William Moulton 102-91. Martin Brown however could not beat Simon Moulton, coming up short by 20 points in a 64-84 defeat. Alan Venables had no answer to Andy Booth as the 1st division player broke the hundred point barrier to beat him 101-65, gaining a healthy 36 points back on the handicap. This was cancelled out as Phil Iddon also scored a century of points, beating an out of sorts Danny Jassi 100-72. With the frames level at 2-2, and the aggregates scores separated by 1 point at 339-340, it was still all to play for. John Greenwood played solidly to beat Ste Fiddler 74-58, the Bretherton player scoring only 8 points in his frame. But Jack Wilby fell short in his match with John Gornall, who used all his experience in these situations to beat the young lad 101-49. It saw Bretherton go through by 37 points on the final aggregate score.

Another 3rd division side to progress through to the quarter-finals was Scarisbrick B who managed to beat the 2nd division leaders Waddington Cons B by 4 frames to 2. The home team set off in great fashion claiming both frames as Colin Rimmer beat Dave Woodward 74-50 as David Brown squeezed past Keith Percival on the final black 63-57. Scarisbrick took a 2-0 lead and 30 points lead into the middle frames but that was all to change very soon. Ste Cobb beat Billy Wilson 84-56 with Andy Linaker gaining a similar win in his 88 points to 43 victory over Peter Simpson. Frames squared up, the Waddy took a 43 point aggregate lead into the last pairings, and looked favourites for the match. Alan Ashworth, who was making only his second start for the Waddy, could do nothing to stop Ian Lowery run up a 70-26 victory, with John Hardisty making Ray Highton watch on as well, beating him 83-33 to see the home side go through 4-2 on the night.

Churchtown Cons B beat Tarleton B on the aggregate score after sharing the six frames in the match. The opening frames were shared with Colin Tennant beating Ste Gautrey 73-66 for the home side as Andy Marsden replied for the visitors beating Dave Pritchard 84-63. This put the visitors up by 14 points on the aggregate, but that would evaporate after the middle pairings to a 26 point deficit. This was mainly down to Paul Connor finding some great form in beating Ray Forshaw 93-39, a 54 point swing for the Con club. Ian Gautrey levelled the frames up with a 82-68 win over John Barton but it meant that the 1st division side need one big winner or both frames to progress through to the next round. Neil Rigden won Tarleton one of the last pairings, only by 8 points mind, leaving it up to John Gautrey to beat Guy Hudson in his match. Guy gave John no chance in his match eventually running out a comfortable 79-35 winner and move Churchtown into the next round.

In one of two all 1st division fixtures Tarleton C made short work of Mere Brow B beating them 4-2 on the night. Jamie Wane made the best contribution to his side’s efforts in one of the opening frames when making a well crafted 57 break against David Forshaw, falling short of a potential 82 clearance when missing the final green. It meant that Dale Roberts had to get that all important first win for his side, something he looked like doing until playing a poor shot on the final blue to gift the frame to Shaun Fisher 81-56. Mere Brow were now facing a big effort to turn around the match being 2-0 down and some 76 points behind on the aggregate and got some relieve when Paul Crabtree jnr beat Dean Bond. On the other table Pete Halsam played his usual attacking style of game to out pot James Smith 72-58, and so see the home side take a 3-1 and increase their aggregate lead. The win was confirmed when Mark Rollins beat Matthew Greenwood 63-40 as Paul Crabtree snr claimed a fine 63-39 win over Tarleton’s captain Phil Keep.

Last year’s winners, Fleetwood Hesketh, were knocked out by Churchtown Cons, losing on the aggregate score by 127 points after sharing the six frames on the night. I do not have the card to hand but the final aggregate scores were 373-500 in favour of the Con club.

Banks B made short work of Scarisbrick A when they won all 4 of the frames played. With both teams sitting side by side in the 2nd division, it was a bit of a surprise to see this match go all one way traffic from the start. Bob Ashcroft scored an impressive 93 points in his match against David Wright, with Andy Griffiths beating Chris Starkie 61-18. The 2-0 score line and 102 point lead was always going to be hard for the visitors to get back, but they gave it their best shot. Scarisbrick’s Peter Fenwick tried his best to contain Mike Marsh but could not stop the home player gaining a 78-49 win. John E Gearie secured the 4 frame rout when beating Norman Hallsworth in a close match 65-56, but the damage had already been done. Banks progress into the quarter-finals with a very comfortable 4-0 win.

Another side who claimed a 4-0 victory was Bretherton A when they saw off the 1st division side Waddington Cons A. With the home side getting a 24 a man head start, it meant that a good start was needed by the Waddy. That plan went out of the water from the off as Ron Dickinson played some good shots in his match up with Gary Flynn, and deserved his 95-50 points win. Gordon Russell topped that performance when beating Billy Evans 112-58 and give the home side a 2-0 lead and with it a 99 point advantage.  The match was all over after the next pairings as Dave Cottam beat Paul Wilson 88 points to 36, with Harry Haslam matching his team mate in beating Ali Iddon 74-43.

The 2013 winners of the Rickerby Cup, Argyle LTC, had no chance of repeating that feat of two years ago as they were unceremoniously dumped out of this year’s competition by Churchtown C 4-0 and by over 200 points on the aggregate score. Churchtowns top player Jim Bradley comfortably beat Ste Forshaw 91-49 with Brian Sheil doubling up the frames and scores beating Brian Jarrett 87-57. Things didn’t get any better for the tennis club as Colin Coffey could only watch on as Peter Milford potted his way to score a very impressive 123 points in his frame. Argyle where put out of their misery when Richard Hughes gained another big win, 89-37, to see the Con club go through by a mighty 222 points and all four frames.


The Champion of Champions

Last Sunday saw two of Southport’s top players, Chris Hoare and Gareth Hibbott, take part in the newly re-formed Champion of Champions event at Scotties snooker club in Liverpool. Chris Hoare, who was representing the Southport league, made a good start in his opening match beating Gary Gilbert of the Garston league 3-0. The first frame was a very nervous game as both players didn’t want to give any advantage away to their opponent and it made for some basic errors from both players in doing so. Chris eventually made a poor safety shot pay when taking the opening frame on the pink. His confidence lifted by the opening frame win he took the next with a 32 clearance when already over 30 points to the good. The third frame was taken in similar style, seeing him win by over 40 points, and into the 2nd round. He would face Pat Horne of the Widnes league next, who had just beaten ex-pro Ian Brumby 3-0, making breaks of 95, 50 and 58 in doing so. This seemed to inspire Chris to the challenge of beating him, and he took the opening frame in very quick fashion making breaks of 36 and 49 in doing so. The Widnes player seemed to get the bit between his teeth in the next making a 43 break himself to level the frames up 1 apiece. The third frame was a scrappy affair as Pat made most of his time at the table to score a 30 point win, and made sure of the win in the 4th frame to end Chris Hoare’s time in the event.

Garth Hibbott, who was representing the Ormskirk league in this event, made a great start to his day when beating Joe Metcalfe of Crosby in less than an hour’s play, securing one of his three frames with a 81 break. Craig Murdoch from the St.Helens league would be the next challenge, where the winner would go on to face up to the winner of the Hoare-Horne match. Gareth didn’t have the fireworks that he had in his opening match but he had enough in the tank to see off Craig 3-1 and so set up a semi-final clash with Pat Horne. This match would become a bit of a shoot out, especially with Pat seemingly going for his shots where ever the white ball landed. But Gareth had too much fire power for him beating him very comfortably 3-0 in a matter of no time. Gareth now faces Prescott leagues champion Brian Robertson in the final which will take place on Sunday the 2nd of February.

Following on from his successful time at Scotties Gareth produced another stella performance in beating Dale Roberts in their Marshall Handicap match. Giving the lad from Mere Brow a 50 point handicap start, Gareth produced a 45 break to help take the first frame only to go one big step further in the next frame when compiling a wonderful 110 break. This is Gareth’s 39th hundred break in the Southport league, and he assures me that the 50 mark is in his sights if he can still see the balls in his ageing years…!!!

This mark could have been surpassed later on this week when Paddy Tyndall broke down on 90 with a couple of reds left on the table. This came in his match with Ryan Curry who must be sick at the sight of Paddy having played him twice now in the comps only to lose to him twice.

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