Sperrin close the gap

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WITH league leaders Forge A’s match postponed this week, it gave the Sperrin A a chance to put some pressue on the leaders.

They managed to do so, despite a spirited performance from their opponents Social Club A. Bullseye A recorded a welcome win as they slowly claw their way back up the table.

In Division 2, runaway leaders Railway Arms had a bye this week, this mean their closest challengers all had to win to maintain a glimmer of hope in the title race. Bullseye B, Sperrin B and Mary Pats all won, and only three points separate these teams, however, one of them is going to have to go on a major run if they are to overhaul the Arms.

Division 1

Sperrin A 4 – 2 Social Club A

Raymond Stockman’s men close the gap at the top to just one point, having played two games more than the Forge A. However, they were made to battle in this match. Lee Caulfield and Paul O’Connor met in the opener with the first two frames shared in a very average encounter.

Caulfield had the first chance in the decider, but his usual solid longpotting game let him down as he missed his second last red by a country mile, allowing o’Connor to secure the first. Caulfield was back on in the doubles, but partner Billy Moore was able to keep him under control, playing some good safety when required. The Social Clun took the lead again as Allen Tosh beat Tommy Morrow.

Tosh took out a great finish in the opener after Morrow had went for a tough finish of his own. Morrow levelled but did not look overly convincing. The Dervock man had a chance to take the decider but missed his last yellow allowing Tosh to seal a fine victory. The home side now had their backs against the wall, and Billy Moore was next to step up. He took the first against Peter Martin but a foul cost him the second.

The third singles match to go to a deciding frame, Moore reverted to his trademark tactical play, as he forced a number of mistakes from Peter, who was unable to match Moore in the tactical stakes. A scrappy doubles match followed as Morrow teamed up with Darryl Watt to face Martin and O’Connor. Not one of these players performed to anywhere near their standards. The match went to the deciding frame but it was Watt & Morrow who secured the win, with some good safety play in the last.

It was left up to Sperrin captain Stockman to try and get two vital points for his side but he lost the first after a great cut on the black by Moore. Moore came so close to getting a point for his side, but he went in off the black in the second. Stockman grabbed his lifeline with both hands as he went on to control the decider and get the win. Player of the match – Allen Tosh (Social Club A)

Bull’s Eye A 4 – 1 Forge B

The Forge B’S only win of the season came against Damien Reid’s men last time they met, and they got off to a great start this time also as Steven McIlroy beat Jimmy Moore in straight frames. However, this was as good as things got for Jamie Boyd’s charges. The next doubles match saw Adrian O’Kane and Willie Boreland beat McIlroy and John Huston, the contest going all the way.

Davy Tosh made short wotk of Huston in the singles to make it 2-1, before Gary Wallace produced his usual, solid pool to beat Dijon McCorkell. Tosh got his second win of the night, teaming with Moore in the doubles. They proved too good for McCorkell & Boyd in the last doubles. Player of the match – Gary Wallace (Bull’s Eye A)

Division 2

Social Club 3 – 5 Mary Pats

On recent form many would have fancied the home side in this contest, but the Macosquin men brought their A game. Lee McIlreavy’s unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt, as last year’smost improved player showed exactly why he got that title, with some great pool in a straight frames victory.

Young Lee did get a win under his belt as he teamed with skipper John Sweeney to beat Drew Hutchinson and Paul Henry in the first doubles match. John McIlreavy showed his son how it was done as he beat Drew Hutchinson in a strong performance. David Rosborough was instrumental in turning this match on it’s head.

First, he was much too strong for Social Club newcomer Willie McMullan, before he teamed up with Alvin Morrow to win the next doubles putting his team 3-2 up. The first point sawsealed as Martin McNeill saw off Sweeney in a 2-0 win. Simon McIlreavy ensured it would go to the last match as he beat Morrow. However, it was the visitors who stole the spoils after McNeill and Robert Todd came from one down to beat Simon McIlreavy & McMullan in the last. Player of the match – Davy Rosborough (Mary Pats)

Bull’s Eye B 7 – 1 Roost Bar

The Bull’s Eye remain Railway Arms closest challengers after this convincing victory over the basement side. Keith Hunter opened for the home side and he took out two tidy finishes to beat Stewart Mitchell. Hunter teamed with Stephen Warwick in the next doubles match and despite a poor start they managed to focus and get the better of Pat Conway and Clive Robertson.

Kenny Watton made it 3-0 as he beat DD Campbell, finished off with a great black to win it. Davy Logue was up next and he potted a great ball to open upo the first frame, going on to take an impressive finish. Opponent Robertson had chances in the second but Logue hung in there and went on to take the frame.

Watton and Warwick teamed up next and they took the first thanks to one of Warwick’s trademark shots. The Roost pair of Mitchell and Charlie Speight battled well in this one, and deservedly levelled things up. They should have went on to win but missed the black in the decider, gifting the victory to their opponents.

Warwick then won his singles match, as did Chris McColgan. George Cameron and DD Campbell saved the whitewash, winning the final match. Player of the match – Davy Logue (Bull’s Eye B)

Sperrin B 5 – 1 Bullseye Old Boys

A good win for the Sperrin keeps them in third place, over what is proving to be a very inconsistent Old Boys team. Alan Campbell made his debut for the home side, but he has proven before he is a very good player at this level, and he made no mistake beating Derek Allum in straight frames.

Allum fared no better in the doubles as he teamed up with Jeff Butcher. Opponents Peter McMullan and Eddie Mullan took a scrappy opener, but played much better in the second to double their side’s advantage. Peter showed a return to form as he took his singles game also, although Jeff Butcher was very charitable in the second frame as he potted the white in three successive shots.

The visitors finally got off the mark in a clash of the veterans between Eddie Mullan and Hubert Smyth. Eddie took the first but Smyth battled well to level. The decider could have went either way and came down to a blackball fight, but it was Hubert who got the win as Eddie hung what wasa tough looking black.

Timmy Close and Gaz Mullan reinstated their side’s three game advantage with a reasonably comfortable win over Smyth and Michael Logue. It was left to Close to wrap up the victory and he made no mistake with two great finishes against Howard Doherty, Player of the match – Peter McMullan (Sperrin B)

This week’s matches

Division 1 - Forge Bar vs Bullseye A; Sperrin A vs Forge B; Social Club A vs Forge A.

Division 2 - Bullseye Old Boys vs Railway Arms; Mary Pats vs Sperrin B; Bullseye B vs Social Club; Roost Bar - Bye.