The Sperrin dropped their first points of the season as they were held to a draw against the Bullseye A.
In what was an excellent match, the contest swung one way, then the other, before ending in a stalemate. Tommy Morrow, for the home side, and the inspirational Davy Tosh, for the visitors, were the top performers on the night. Elsewhere, we seen expected victories for Railway Arms, Floyds and the Forge A while the Bullseye Old Boys picked up their second win in a row after a disappointing start to the season.
Sperrin 10 – 10 Bullseye A
This was a contest between, arguably, the two top teams in the Coleraine League and the quality of some of the pool on show was top notch. Raymond Baxter and Lee Caulfield met in the first, with the Sperrin skipper having the first chance, however, he ran out of position, Baxter was able to lay a good snooker, getting two shots as a result.
The Bullseye man still had a lot of work to do but used his shots wisely to take out a solid finish. This was as good as it got for the Bullsey in the first session as, first of all, Billy Moore beat Gary Wallace, although the Bullseye man was unlucky with position on his last red. Neville Smyth rattled home an 8 ball finish against Adrian O’ Kane before Raymond Stockman took advantage of a missed black by Damien Reid. Tommy Morrow was in top form as he took out a great finish after Jimmy Moore lost position when having the first chance, this left the home side 4-1 in front after the first session.
Morrow was straight back on again and made it two out of two after Steven McIlroy missed a couple of good chances. Baxter finally stopped the rot with his second win of the night as Billy Moore went for a tough finish, but lost the cueball with only one yellow remaining, the Bullseye man was comfortable thereafter. Davy Tosh made a welcome return to the league and he produced some great pool, up until the black, however, opponent Stockman could not take advantage and Tosh got back to reduce the deficit to 5-3.
Jimmy Moore and Paul O’Connor were involved in a scrappy battle next, but Moore produced an excellent shot on his second last yellow to open the game up and then fired a black up the line in typical fashion. The match was level, eventually, as O’Kane got the better of Smyth this time. With the match time already at the two hour stage, there was despair when O’Kane was drawn against Paul O’Connor in the opening frame of the third session.
In typical fashion, neither player was prepared to give an inch but it was O’Kane who came through. Tommy Morrow levelled the match once again with an excellent break and finish, before Billy Moore regained the lead for the Sperrin. The contest went to stalemate once again as Jimmy Moore was too good for Caulfield before Davy Tosh produced another excellent performance to give the visitors an 8-7 lead with a session to go.
Raymond Baxter took out a solid finish to make it 9-7 but only after opponent Stockman missed a straight red. Morrow made it four from four with another great finish to reduce the Bullseye lead to one. Adrian O’Kane looked like he would put the visitors on the hill, however he missed a routine black to the middle, giving opponent Smyth a second chance which he took to level the match. Davy Tosh made no mistake in his match, with an excellent finish to guarantee his side a point.
It was down to Billy and Jimmy Moore to battle it out in the last. Billy looked to be the favourite but missed the black leaving Jimmy only two yellows and the black for victory, he managed to pot the first but the pressure got to him as he missed the second yellow by a considerable distance to leave Billy an easy black. Tommy Morrow 4/4, Billy Moore ¾, Davy Tosh 3/3, Raymond Baxter 3/4
Bullseye Old Boys 11 – 9 Mary Pats
Keith Hunter’s men continued their momentum after last week’s first win of the season with an excellent victory over Mary Pats. George Canning produced an excellent finish in the opener before Derek Allum followed up to double the home side’s lead. However, Andy Hutchinson and Leigh Sloan produced the goods to level the match. Keith Hunter produced a bit of a trick shot to give his side a 3-2 lead after session one.
Hunter was straight back on and he continues to play a captain’s role with a win over Brian Hutchinson. Sloan made it a double before Hubert Smyth regained a two frame lead for the old boys with a tactical victory over George Nicholl. However, the match was level by the halfway point as Marty McNeill and Andy Hutchinson picked up victories. Hubert Smyth and Hunter once again put the home side back in front, Hunter with a great break and finish to make it three from three.
Andy Hutchinson and Nicholl got the Macosquin men back into the match but they still trailled going into the last session as Derek Allum produced what has been described as the best finish of the season so far. The Portrush veteran was potting balls from all angles. Leigh Sloan levelled the match at 8-8 but George Canning edged the home side closer to a point.
However, McNeill managed to level the match once again as he enjoyed a slice of fortune against Smyth. Andy Hutchinson looked like he might put Mary Pats ahead for the first time in the match, however, a missed yellow gave Hunter a chance and the Bullseye captain rattled in an 8-ball finish to guarantee a point. Allum had the chance to seal the points and he did so in style with another excellent finish against George Nicholl. Keith Hunter 4/4, Derek Allum 3/4; Andy Hutchinson 3/4
Floyds Bar 11 – 3 Roost Bar
The home side continue their good run with a routine victory over the basement boys. Alan McBride won the first against over Pat Conway, but amazingly the Roost then turned things around as John Cameron beat Ricky McMullan before Stewarty Mitchell produced the performance of the night, with an excellent win over Scott Clark.
Adam and Darryl Watt managed to steady the ship for the home side with wins over DD Campbell and George Cameron respectively. The second session was a bit more straightforward for the home side as wins for the Watt brothers, McMullan and McBride put them 7 – 2 in front. However, Clark slipped up once again, as DD Campbell got the better of him.
With Clark getting a rest in the third session, the home side wrapped things up with some clinical pool, the Watts made it three out of three for both, McMullan added a second before Matthew Steen sealed the two points. Darryl Watt 3/3 , Adam Watt 3/3
Blackthorn 6 – 11 Railway Arms
The visitors took the victory here but were made to work hard by an improved Blackthorn outfit. League chairman Chris Baxter came out of retirement for this one, but he did not get off to a great start as Darryl Stirling put the home side in front. Fellow veteran Arthur McMullan showed Baxter how it was done with as he levelled the match beating opposing skipper Justin Mairs with a great pot on the black.
Scott McClelland and Barry McLaughlin both produced great finishes to put the visitors 3-1 in front. However, Karl Doherty played well under pressure to beat John Huston and make it 3-2 after session one. It didn’t get any better for Baxter as a bad mistake gifted Mairs the first frame of the second session to level the match. The visitors stepped up a gear as McClelland and McLaughlin both impressed once again, with John Huston also picking up a win.
Karl Doherty should have won his second but hung his last yellow and McMullan was able to take out the finish to leave it 7 – 3 at the midway point. Stirling picked up a second win after a bad miss by Huston, however the reprieve was short lived as McClelland produced a great finish once again, after Mairs missed his last yellow.
Harry Stirling won his first of the night as he got the better of Baxter and bring it back to 8-5. However, Barry McLaughlin was in top form on the night and he produced the goods again to beat Doherty. McMullan made it three from three with a tactical win over Ryan Hayes. Doherty managed to win his second of the night and keep the match alive as he got the better of McClelland, however McMullan made sure his team was not to be denied as he won his fourth of the night against Mairs. Arthur McMullan 4/4 , Barry McLaughlin 3/3
Forge A 11 – 5 Forge Bar
The defending champions were given a bit of a scare by their less illustrious opponents in this derby affair. Chris Moore, Daniel McAuley and Conor Kneeland took the first three to put the ‘Bar’ team three up in no time. Marc Hutchinson managed to get one back for the A team a he beat Scott Hamilton, but Matthew Hayes got the better of Darren Boyd to leave it 4-1 at the end of session one.
The A team knuckled down as session two began and wins for Corey Sweeney, captain Willie Eakin and a second for Hutchinson levelled the game at 4-4. The match turned around as Lee Hull and Darren Boyd made it a whitewash in the second session. Hull and Sweeney registered further wins at the start of the third session, before Daniel McAuley stopped the rot as he beat opposing skipper Eakin.
Normal service was soon resumed as Hutchinson got his third, followed by Ady Toner. Paul Baird wrapped up the victory as he beat Chris Moore to make it 11-5. Marc Hutchinson 3/3
Social Club 7 – 11 Bullseye B . No scorecard received
This week’s fixtures:
Railway Arms vs Bullseye B
Bullseye A vs Social Club
Forge Bar vs Sperrin
Mary Pats vs Forge A
Roost Bar vs Bullseye Old Boys
Blackthorn vs Floyds