DIVISION One leaders Forge A dropped only their second point of the season against a resurgent Bullseye A side who will be looking to have a much better second half of the season.
However, second placed Sperrin A could not capitalise as they were held to a draw against Darren Boyd’s Forge Bar.
In Division Two, Railway Arms got back to winning ways with a great team performance against the Sperrin B. The Bullseye B continue to be their closest challengers as they won the derby clash against the ‘old boys’, although they had to battle hard to do so.
Forge A 3 – 3 Bullseye A
Having dropped their only point of the season last week, the leaders were hoping this would not damage their momentum. However, they met a Bullseye A side who have been boosted by the timely return of Willie Boreland to the ranks, and may well be helped further as they have now also welcomed Jimmy Moore back into the fold.
Marc Hutchinson started first for the home side against Gary Wallace. Young Hutchinson has hid a bit of a rocky patch in recent weeks and he looked nervy in this opening contest. The first frame was very scrappy but Gary played a great shot to leave Marc in a difficult snooker.
Marc hit his red but left Gary a chance and he took out a good finish. Wallace broke in the next and opted for yellows, he looked to be playing his way into trouble but pulled out a couple of excellent long pots on his way to an 8 ball finish, and first blood for his team.
Hutchinson teamed up with Raymond Baxter in the first doubles match, as they faced off against Davy Tosh and Willie Boreland. The Forge duo started well taking the first, however, they began to struggle from thereon and the experienced Bullseye duo took the next three comfortably to double the visitors’ lead. Tosh and Baxter met in the next singles match, with Tosh having the first chance in the opener, however, he could not get position on his last two reds and allowed Baxter back to the table. After a couple of safety shots, Tosh made a mistake and Baxter took out an 8-ball finish. Baxter ensured the home side got off the mark as he took out a break and finish in the next.
Bullseye captain Damien Reid met Lee Hull next with Reid looking good to go one up, however, a poor positional shot on his last yellow left him snookered, he gave Hull two shots and the Forge man ran out a good 8-ball finish. Hull controlled the second frame to level the match on the night.
This pair met in the next doubles match also, Hull alongside Neville Smyth, while Reid had the experienced Adrian O’Kane for company. The first two frames were very tactical and this suited the Bullseye pair as they went two up, although O’Kane enjoyed a touch of fortune in the second.
Smyth and Hull then opened the balls up a bit and this helped them immensely as they took out two good finishes to level. Smyth broke in the decider but lost the white as it went in off. With the reds sitting almost perfect, the Bullseye duo worked their way through them, despite some nervy shots, they took the frame to ensure at least a point.
O’Kane was back in action again in the final singles game against Forge captain Willie Eakin. The first was a tactical affair, O’Kane had first chance but could not get position on his last red. Eakin proceeded to leave a number of snookers, but O’Kane produced a number of great escapes.
Finally, the Bullseye man did miss, and Eakin used his two shots well. Eakin controlled the second frame and took out a good finish to seal a hard earned point. Player of the match – Gary Wallace (Bullseye A)
Sperrin A 3 – 3 Forge Bar
Lee Caulfield put the home side in front as he took advantage of Paul Baird’s inability to get used to the fast table conditions at the Newmills club. Caulfield looked like he would make it a double as he teamed up with skipper Raymond Stockman to go 2-1 up against Baird & Alan McBride. It looked like they would secure the win only for Stockman to hang the black, allowing the Forge duo an opening to force the decider.
Again, the Sperrin pairing looked in control but some slack play from Stockman cost them dear as the Forge levelled the match. Ady Toner picked up his first win for his new team as he beat McBride in straight frames. The captains met in the next as Stockman once again struggled to find his form. Darren Boyd played a great combination shot in the opening frame on his way to victory before taking advantage of a bad miss by Stockman in the second.
Toner was looking for his second win of the night, as he teamed once again with Billy Moore. They shared the first two frames with Boyd and Chris Wade, however, the Forge pair stepped up a gear after this. They took out two great finished in quickfire fashion to secure the first point.
Wade and Moore met in the last singles matches, with Moore, not for the first time this year, needing to rescue his team. Moore showed all his experience as he took the first, however, Wade flew round the table potting everything to level. Wade had first chance in the decider but ran out of position and Moore produced a great finish to rescue a point for his team once again. Player of the match – Billy Moore (Sperrin A)
Social Club A 4 – 0 Forge B
A strong performance by the home side saw the Forge B slump to another defeat. Peter Martin got the ball rolling as he was too strong for Dijon McCorkell in the opener. Martin teamed with Allen Tosh to take on McCorkell and John Huston in the next doubles match. The Social Club pairing producing another good performance as they made short work of a 3-0 victory.
Scott Clarke finally won a frame for the Forge B as he went one up against Tosh in the singles. However, Tosh rallied well to take the next two and make it 3-0. The ever dependable Paul O’Connor sealed the victory as he beat Steven McIlroy in straight frames. Player of the match – Peter Martin (Social Club A)
Sperrin B 2 – 5 Railway Arms
The home side started well in this vital clash as Ricky McMullan broke and finished in the first frame. His opponent Stephen Blair had his chance in the second but with the pressure on he missed a vital ball, allowing McMullan to put the home side one up.
These two met again in the next doubles match with McMullan, alongside Steven Wall, playing well to take the first frame. However, Blair and partner Arthur McMullan knuckled down well, producing some great pots to take the next two and level the match.
The home side went ahead again as Timmy Close beat Johnny McDowell in a high quality contest. McDowell had won the first with a great finish, but Close responded in quality fashion with two top notch clearances of his own. Adam Watt was the Arms’ major signing this year, but he has not really started to show his quality until now. Watt was too good for Easton Eardley as he brought the visitors level.
Watt teamed up with Johnny McDowell in the next doubles match but they lost the first against Eardley and Andy Lindsay. However, the Arms duo finished well to level, before taking the decider as Watt potted an excellent black to put their team ahead for the first time. The leaders then showed why they are in that position as Barry McLaughlin made short work of Steven Wall with a faultless performance.
It was left to Scott McClelland to seal the victory taking out a great seven ball finish in the first before comfortably winning the second also, against Peter McMullan, to take the points. Player of the Match – Scott McClelland (Railway Arms)
Bullseye Old Boys 3 – 5 Bullseye B
The Bullseye B had to work hard in this match to get a crucial victory that keeps them in touch at the top. Jeff Butcher opened for the Old Boys and took the first against Keith Hunter. Butcher should really have wrapped the game up but missed his chances, Hunter grinding out the next two frames.
Butcher was straight back on alongside Derek Allum in the doubles, once again taking the first frame. Opponents Kenny Watton and Stephen Morton should have been down and out but managed to take advantage of their opponent’s mistakes to produce another comeback victory and double their side’s lead.
Allum and Watton met again in the singles. Kenny has struggled to find his top form this season so far and his struggles continued as Allum enjoyed his fair share of luck on the way to a 2-0 victory. The match was levelled as George Canning beat Chris McColgan. McColgan won the first with a solid finish but Canning managed to level. The decider was a nervy affair but Canning produced the shot of the night on the black.
McColgan teamed with Hunter in the next doubles match but the struggled in the opener, allowing Canning and Howard Doherty to go one up. However, the talented Bullseye B duo dug their heels in to win 2-1. The third time that the B team had recovered from losing the opening frame. Davy Logue was back in action this week and started well with a super seven ball finish.
Logue looked like securing his comeback victory but was very unlucky as he went in off the black in the second. Stephen Biggart took full advantage as he won a tight decider to level the match once again. Hubert Smyth met Stephen Morton in the next and they shared the first two tight frames. Both players had chances in the decider but it was Morton who came through.
The final doubles match was a nervy affair as Davy Logue partnered Stephen Warwick, squaring off against Smyth and Biggart. The ‘Old Boys’ team took the first frame once again, but for the fourth time in the match, their opponents battled back as Logue and Warwick potted well to take the next two and secure a great victory in what was an absolutely cracking match overall. Player of the match – George Canning (Bullseye Old Boys)
Mary Pats 7 – 1 Roost Bar
A good win for Mary Pats against a Roost team who were, unfortunately, a man short on the night. The visitors started well as DD Campbell beat Drew Hutchinson in three tight frames. This pair met again in the next doubles match and it looked like Campbell would make it two from two as he, alongside Stewart Mitchell, took the opening frame. However, the pairing of Drew and Andy Hutchinson battled back well to take the next two and square the match.
The home side did not look back after this as Andy Hutchinson beat Mitchell comfortably in their singles match. Leigh Sloan got back to winning ways as he beat Clive Robertson in straight frames. Paul Henry and Alvin Morrow effectively ended the match with their 2-0 win over Robertson and George Cameron.
Martin McNeill put the gloss on the scoreline with victory over Cameron in the last singles match with the two remaining matches going down as walkovers to the home side. Player of the match – DD Campbell (Roost Bar)
The next committee meeting will be on Monday 12 December in the Railway Arms at 7.30pm. Can all teams ensure that their monthly fees are paid at or before this meeting.