Bullseye and Sperrin lead the way

As the Tennents Coleraine Pool League breaks for Christmas and the New Year, it will be Bullseye A and Sperrin who go into 2013 as joint leaders.

As Floyds Bar’s match with Social Club was postponed, this gave the two sides mentioned the chance to leapfrog them. The Bullseye A had a comfortable win over bottom placed Roost, while the Sperrin were pushed harder by a determined Bullseye Old Boys team. The Forge A remain in fourth as they crushed Railway Arms. While Mary Pats edge closer to the top eight, as they got the better of a Forge Bar side who could only find four players on the night.

Roost Bar 2 – 11 Bullseye A - The visitors started well, showing no mercy to the basement side as Steven McIlory got the better of Stewart Mitchell, although the Roost man had his chances. Adrian O’Kane doubled the lead before Raymond Baxter fired home an 8 ball finish after a dry break from DD Campbell. Damien Reid and George Cameron were next up, and in a scrappy battle it was the Bullseye captain who made it 4-0.

Jimmy Moore was next up and should have recorded a break and finish, only to snooker himself on the black, but opponent Gary Hunter could not capitalise and it was soon 5-0. Reid and Cameron met again, with a similar outcome to make it six. The home side finally got one on the board as Mitchell outgunned O’Kane with a great performance. Roost captain Campbell had no luck in the next as he fouled on his last yellow, leaving McIlroy an easy black.

The performance of the night came in the next as Clive Robertson took advantage of some slack play by Jimmy Moore, Clive recording his second big scalp in consecutive weeks. Baxter repeated his earlier display as he fired in a another 8-ball finish, this time Uel White paying the price for a dry break. With the visitors leading 8-2 going into the third session, Moore finally got his act together and saw off George Cameron. McIlroy won his third of the night, before the points were wrapped up by his skipper Reid. Steven McIlroy 3/3, Damien Reid 3/3

Bullseye Old Boys 7 – 11 Sperrin - The home side certainly made their more illustrious opponents fight hard for this victory, showing a great fighting spirit. Jeff Butcher fouled early in the first frame, allowing Billy Moore to take out a solid finish. The match was level as Derek Allum took advantage of a missed black by Raymond Stockman, but Allen Tosh regained the lead for the home side, beating John O’Donnell. It was the battle of the Smyths next as Neville got the better of Hubert, but Keith Hunter made sure there was only one frame in it at the end of the session as he beat Dijon McCorkell.

Stockman’s night didn’t get any better as John O’Donnell took out a good finish to level the match. The old boys could have taken the lead in the next, but Hubert Smyth was unfortunate to go in off, allowing Moore to take advantage. McCorkell stretched the Sperrin’s lead in the next before Neville Smyth fired home a break and finish to make it 6-3, however Hunter won the last of the session again to reduce the deficit. Billy Moore won his third of the night, before McCorkell beat Hunter, although the old boys skipper will be regretting a bad miss on his last yellow.

Jeff Butcher stopped the rot, capping a bad night for Sperrin’s Stockman, with a super finish. Derek Allum could have brought the home side right back into the match but a stroke of bad luck gave Tosh the frame. However, the old boys hung in there as O’Donnell won his second on the trot with a great black to beat Neville Smyth.

The deficit was reduced to 9-7 as Jeff Butcher was the next to put Neville Smyth to the sword, before Tosh steadied the ship for the visitors with a hard fought win over a luckless Hubert Smyth. It was left to Billy Moore to seal the win, taking his fourth win of the night, and no doubt the man who made the difference in this match. Billy Moore 4/4

Blackthorn 5 – 11 Bullseye B - A solid performance from Stephen Warwick’s men wo still hold an outside chance of breaking into the top four. Kenny Watton claimed the first with a good finish, before Stephen Biggart made it 2-0 with a scrappy win over Davy Adams. Stephen Morton claimed the next with a very strong performance, but Daryl Stirling finally got the home side off the mark as he was too strong for Stephen Warwick.

Justin Mairs played the captain’s role as he reduced the deficit to one frame. Chris McColgan made it 4-2 to the visitors, before Watton and Warwick followed suit to put the Bullseye strongly in control. Darryl Stirling, once again, was the man fighting back against the onslaught, but the fightback was short lived as Morton took his second of the night.

Karl Doherty and Davy Adams won the first two of the third session to give the Blackthorn a glimmer of hope. However, a classy win for Stephen Biggart followed by grinded out victories for Morton and McColgan put the visitors on the hill. It was Stephen Morton who stepped up next and he made no mistakes to win his fourth of the night, capping a man of the match performance. Stephen Morton 4/4

Forge A 11 – 1 Railway Arms - A strong performance by the defending champions, but the visitors will be disappointed with their showing. Arthur McMullan should have taken the first but failed to take advantage of an in-off from Ady Toner, who cleared up in one visit. Darren Boyd doubled up with a solid finish, before Marc Hutchinson made it 3-0 with a swift break and finish. John Huston offered some resistance with a great finish, but this proved to be the highlight of the night for the Arms. Another break and finish followed, this time by Lee Hull, before Hutchinson produced his second of the night to make it 5-1.

Boyd added his second before Willie Eakin potted an excellent black to keep the run going. The second session ended with wins for Lee Hull and Toner, the latter with an 8 ball finish, to make it 9-1. The match was soon over as two good finishes from Paul Baird and Hutchinson capped an excellent performance. Marc Hutchinson 3/3

Mary Pats 11 – 6 Forge Bar - The visitors undoubtedly paid the price for being a player short, as they had got off to a good start. The first three frames were all scrappy affairs, but the visitors took them all, with wins for Chris Moore, Daniel McAuley and Jonny Stirling. Gary Kennedy stopped the rot with the first quality performance of the night, before a walkover win for Andy Hutchinson reduced the arrears to a single frame.

The match was level as Mary Pats captain Martin McNeill beat Stirling, but the visitors came firing back as they took the next three. Moore beat Davy Rosborough in a scrappy match before Matthew Hayes took out the best finish of the night. Brian Hutchinson should have took the next for Mary Pats but a poor shot left Daniel McAuley an easy finish. Gary Kennedy was the man who got the walkover in this session, but the Forge Bar were still 6-4 in front at the halfway stage.

This was very much a game of two halves as the home side were a different outfit in the second half of this match. McNeill started the ball rolling with some impressive pool before Rosborough finally found some good form with an excellent finish to level the match. The Macosquin men took the lead for the first time on the night as Andy Hutchinson took advantage of a missed red by McAuley, before Gary Kennedy extended the lead with a great finish.

Another walkover win left the Forge with a mountain to climb, as Mary Pats only need one frame for victory in the last session. It was the skipper, once again, who produced when it mattered as McNeill rattled home a seven ball finish to seal two important points. Martin McNeill 3/4