Leaders Forge ahead at the top

DIVISION 1 leaders the Forge A had a very busy, but successful, week in the Tennents Coleraine Pool League.

In total, they played three times during the week, catching up on their two outstanding games against Bullseye A and Forge Bar, as well as playing their scheduled match against Social Club A. The leaders took maximum points from these fixtures allowing them to open a five point gap at the top of the table. They will be looking to push on from this after the Christmas break, but the Sperrin A will be hoping to capitalise on any slip ups.

Another convincing win from Railway Arms, combined with a defeat for second placed Bullseye B, pushes them ever closer to the league titles. There will need to be one almighty slump if they are to be caught.

Division 1

Bullseye A 2 – 4 Forge A

This was an outstanding fixture which the visitors knew would be a tricky encounter. The leaders were under pressure from the off after Gary Wallace took the first with an excellent performance against Corey Sweeney. The home side doubled their lead as Jimmy Moore and Adrian O Kane won a scrappy contest against Raymond Baxter and Lee Hull.

Baxter stopped the rot as he beat Jimmy Moore in three frames. Marc Hutchinson levelled the contest with a comfortable straight frames win over O’Kane. The big turning point came in the next doubles, with Damien Reid and Willie Boreland leading 1-0 and then 2-1, Boreland miscued to let Hutchinson and Sweeney back into the match and they proceeded to take a good finish in the decider.

Reid was straight back on in the singles against Lee Hull, the Bullseye man had the first chance in the opening frame but a bad positional shot cost him, Hull took it and controlled the second to seal a great victory for the leaders. Player of the match – Marc Hutchinson (Forge A)

Sperrin A 4 – 1 Forge B

The basement side started well after Scott Clarke beat a struggling Darryl Watt in three frames. Raymond Stockman and Lee Caulfield levelled by winning the next doubles match, a good black by Raymond to win the third. Tommy Morrow was back to form with some great potting to beat Steven McIlroy.

Sperrin captain Stockman then beat his counterpart James Boyd to make it 3-1, before Morrow & Billy Moore sealed the victory in the second doubles contest. Player of the match – Scott Clarke (Forge B)

Social Club A 1 – 4 Forge A

The leaders followd up their previouis night’s victory with another top performance. Peter Martin took the fiurst against Lee Hull but the Forge man stepped it up a gear to fire home two 8-ball finishes in quick succession. Raymond Baxter and Marc Hutchinson made it 2-0 as they beat Paul O ‘Connor and Chris Moore in a hard fought doubles contest.

Baxter and O’Connor met in the next singles match, and it was the Forge man who put in a faultless display with two 8-ball finishes to make it 3-0. The Social had a glimmer of hope as Allen Tosh beat Hutchinson in three open frames. However, their hopes were soon dashed as Hull and Neville Smyth wrapped up the victory in fine style. Player of the match – Raymond Baxter (Forge A )

Forge Bar vs Bullseye A – Match postponed

Forge A 4-0 Forge Bar

This was another outstanding fixture and the leaders recorded a comfortable victory. Raymond Baxter and Marc Hutchinson were on fire as they beat Paul Baird and Darren Boyd respectively in the singles, before combining to beat the same pair in a quickfire doubles performance. As the Forge Bar only had 3 players at that stage, the game was effectively over and the A side claimed another important win.

Division 2

Bullseye Old Boys 1 – 5 Railway Arms

The leaders continue their match to the title with a relatively easy win. Johnny McDowell recovered from losing the first to beat Stephen Biggart. Adam Watt and Barry McLaughlin were too strong for Hubert Smyth and Derek Allum in the next, sending their team 2-0 up. Allum had no luck in his singles match either, losing to Scott McClelland.

The only joy for the home side came when George Canning produced the shock of the night to beat Adam Watt. Wahib Ziani made a surprise appearance for the leaders and he teamed with Ronnie McMullan to make it 4-1. The victory was sealed in typically solid fashion by Barry McLaughlin beating Old Boys captain Smyth in straight frames. Player of the match – Johnny McDowell (Railway Arms)

Bullseye B 3 – 5 Social Club

The home side slipped up, and now face a mighty battle for second spot. Lee McIlreavy totally outclassed Keith Hunter to take the first for the visitors. Lee then teamed with brother Simon to take a 2-0 lead with a slightly fortunate win against Hunter and Chris McColgan.

McColgan had no joy in the singles either, having to watch as Dave McMullan rattled home two great finishes. The home side finally started to fight back as Captain Stephen Warwick beat Simon McIlreavy including a break and finish in the second. Warwick made it a double, alongside Chris McColgan, as they beat McMullan and John McIlreavy.

The veteran McIlreavy made amends in the singles as he beat fellow old timer Davy Logue in a tight battle. The home side ensured it would go the distance as Kenny Watton beat Willy McMullan. The pair met again in the doubles, however, it was McMullan, partnered by skipper John Sweeney, who took the spoils to seal a good victory. Player of the match – Lee McIlreavy (Social Club)

Mary Pats 3 – 5 Sperrin B

A victory which sees the Sperrin B move into second place at the expense of Bullseye B. Alan Campbell made it two from two in the singles as he beat Andy Hutchinson with two great finishes. Campbell teamed up with Gaz Mullan in the doubles and it looked like they would make it 2-0 as they took the first, however, Drew Hutchinson and Davy Rosborough stormed back to take the next two and level the match.

Marty McNeill then put the home side in front beating Timmy Close 2-0 with a break and finish in the second. Gaz Mullan produced a great comeback to beat Drew Hutchinson and level the match. Gaz then teamed with father Eddie to provide a great doubles victory against McNeill and Andy Hutchinson.

Easton Eardley sealed a point for the visitors comfortably disposing of Rosborough. However, Alvin Morrow ensured it would go to the last as he beat Andy Lindsay. Lindsay got his revenge in the last doubles match teaming with Eardley to seal the victory. Player of the match – Gaz Mullan (Sperrin B)

League will recommence on 3 January 2011 for Division 1 and 10 January 2011 for Division 2