There were a few one sided games in the league this week as a number of teams are still getting to grips with new format and the one division structure.
The match of the week was in the Forge as the young Forge Bar team edged past Mary Pats in a tense final frame. There were also much more straightforward wins for Sperrin, Forge A, Bullseye A and the Bullseye B.
Forge Bar 11-9 Mary Pats
This was a titanic battle which had many twists and turns on the night. The first session set the scene as the home side took a slender 3-2 lead with victories for Chris Moore, Dean Vauls and James Nesbitt. Mary Pats had replied through Leigh Sloan and Martin McNeill.
The visitors kicked on in the second session though winning the first four frames through McNeill, Sloan, Bertie Hutchinson and Andy Hutchinson. Chris Moore the sole victor for the home side leaving a score of 6-4 in the visitor’s favour. Moore made it three from three as he won the first frame of the third session, Conor Kneeland and captain Daniel McAuley also scored for the home side, McNeill also made it three from three and George Nicholl got good win in the last frame of that session to keep his side ahead by a single frame.
The teams shared the first two frames in the final session to put Mary Pats 9-8 in front, however, a spirited fightback by the home side saw them take the final three frames through Moore, Vauls and Conor McGookin to gain a superb win. Chris Moore 4/4; Marty McNeill 4/4
Railway Arms 4 – 11 Forge A
Last year’s Second Division champions came up against the First Division winners, and it was Willie Eakin’s men who showed their class on the night. A poor start from the home side saw them lose the first four frames, their only win in the first session coming through Johnny McDowell.
Wins for Ady Toner, Marc Hutchinson, Corey Sweeney and Lee Hull. Chris Wade made his debut for the visitors with an excellent clearance, before Sweeney won his second with a stunning show of potting.
Arms’ captain Arthur McMullan showed his colleagues how it should be done as he controlled proceeding against Toner to make it 6-2. However, wins for Hull and Hutchinson left a halfway score of 8-2 and a mountain to climb for the home side.
Hutchison made it three from three shortly after as he pounced on an error from John Huston. The home side threatened a fightback as McDowell and McMullan both won their second of the night, but their joy was short lived as Wade and Darren Boyd sealed the victory. Arthur McMullan 2/2 : Marc Hutchinson 3/3
Bullseye B 11 – 0 Blackthorn
The new boys continue to struggle with their first year in the pool league, as missed chances cost them dearly against Stephen Warwick’s side.
The first frame was a scrappy affair as Howard Doherty and Ryan Hayes missed chance after chance, until Hayes fouled on the black. Chris McColgan followed up with a steady win over Stan Beech, before Steven Morton scraped by Davy Adams, who missed his last red.
Wins for the returning Drew Hutchinson and Kenny Watton secured a 5-0 lead from the first session. Warwick met Beech in the next and again the Blackthorn man had his chance, but Warwick stole the frame. Watton got his second with a super finish against Justin Mairs, before Hutchinson was gifted the next frame after Hayes potted the black too early.
McColgan was comfortable winner in frame nine. In the 10th frame, the visitors probably had their best chance of all to get one on the board. Harry Stirling potted brilliantly on the way to leaving a straight black into the middle, however, the pressure proved too much as he hit the knuckle, Howard Doherty grinded him down to take the frame.
The win was sealed as Kenny Watton produced another faultless performance. A harsh lesson for the Blackthorn, but one they will learn from. Kenny Watton 3/3
Social Club 1 – 11 Floyds Bar
On paper, this may have looked a tighter match than it turned out to be. Once again the importance of a good start showed in this match as the social club lost all five in the opening session.
Wins for Alan McBride, Ricky McMullan, Scott Clarke, Adam Watt and his brother Darryl got Floyds off to a flyer. John McIlreavy finally got one on the board with a win over McBride in the second session, but this was as good as it got as the visitors took the other four frames to leave it 9-1 at half way. Adam Watt and McBride won the first two in the third session to take the points. Adam Watt 3/3
Sperrin 11 – 6 Bullseye Old Boys
The Old Boys made their more glamourous opponents work hard to this victory after they took a first session lead.
Sammy McCloskey had an excellent break and finish in the opening frame, before Neville Smyth levelled in impressive fashion. Derek Allum made it 2-1 to the visitors with a scrappy win over Allen Tosh, before Billy Moore levelled.
George Canning put the old boys back in front as he got the better of Paul O’Connor. The second session started in better fashion than the previous one ended as Tosh improved with a win, before Smyth broke and finished to put the Sperrin ahead for the first time. However, Derek Allum produced an excellent performance to put Sperrin skipper Lee Caulfield to the sword.
The next two frames were shared as Moore won for the Sperrin, before Canning again got the better of O’Connor to make it 5-5 after the second session. The home side stepped up a gear in the next session as Tosh, O’Connor and Caulfield all won. Keith Hunter had got one for the old boys, but Neville Smyth rounded off a good session with another excellent finish, will the Forge be regretting letting Smyth go?
Further wins for Caulfield and Tosh sealed the points but the Sperrin skipper will know his troops will have to improve. Neville Smyth 4/4 , Allen Tosh 3/4; George Canning 2/3
Bullseye A 11 – 1 Roost Bar
This was always going to be a tough task for the Roost and the Bullseye showed no mercy, racing into a 5-0 lead after the first session.
Wins for Gary Wallace, Jimmy Moore, Adrian O’Kane, Raymond Baxter and Davy Tosh were recorded, before Bullseye skipper Reid decided to rest Moore in the next session, bringing in Steven McIlroy.
This change made no difference as the second session scoreline mirrored the first to leave it 10-0 at the break. Damien Reid, the most impressive, with a break and finish. Reid reinstated Moore for the next session, but it didn’t work out as Pat Conway picked up the only win for the Roost.
It was left to Reid to tidy up the victory with a win over Clive Robertson.
Week 3 fixtures
Mary Pats v Railway Arms
Roost v Forge Bar
Blackthorn v Bullseye A
Floyds v Bullseye B
Bullseye OB v Social Club
Forge A v Sperrin