It took 12 weeks, but this week finally saw the Sperrin lose their first mtach of the season, and they also lost top spot in the league table, as they threw away a 9-7 lead to crash 11-9 against new league leaders Floyds Bar.
The Bullseye A remain in third place, with defending champions Forge A still in fourth. Lower down, the best performance of the week arguably came from the Forge Bar who recorded a 11-9 victory over the Railway Arms.
Bullseye A 11 – 5 Mary Pats - The scoreline does not reflect this match as the Macosquin should have pushed the Bullseye a lot close if they had taken their chances. The visitors got off to a great start as Andy Hutchinson took out a solid finish after an in off from Adrian O’Kane changed the game.
The match was level in no time as Raymond Baxter fired home an excellent break and finish. Leigh Sloan should have put his team back in front but a bad miss allowed Bullseye captain Damien Reid back in to take the frame. The missed chances continued in the next frame as Davy Rosborough played some awful pool, despite being given a number of openings by Gary Wallace, the Bullseye man eventually made it 3-1.
Ryan Craig had a more impressive win as he took out a good finish against Mary Pats captain Martin McNeill. Reid got his second on the board as he beat Rosborough, who continued to struggle. The seventh frame was another which the visitors could have taken but Sloan missed a good chance, allowing Craig to take his second win.
Mary Pats finally came back into the match with a win for Andy Hutchinson, in a tactical battle against O’Kane, followed by McNeill who produced some tidy pool. Baxter stopped the revival in it’s tracks as he got the better of Kennedy once again, despite missing his first chance, to make it 7-3.
The match was running away from the visitors as Wallace and Craig won the first two of the next session, but McNeill and Hutchinson were keeping the fight alive themselves as they saw off O’Kane and Baxter respectively. However, Damien Reid put his side on the hill taking advantage of slack play by Sloan once again. Gary Wallace was delighted to get another frame, and he made no mistake as he saw off the challenge of Hutchinson. Damien Reid 3/3; Ryan Craig 3/3
Railway Arms 9 – 11 Forge Bar - A great result for the young Forge Bar side in a match which changed in the third session. Arthur McMullan had got his side off to the best possible start, but Matthew Hayes levelled. The game swung back in the Arms favour again through Barry McLaughlin but Conor Kneeland squared it once again.
The visitors edged in front with wins for captain Daniel McAuley and Chris Moore. However, the Arms were never far away and they took the next two through Stephen Blair and Johnny McDowell. Respective wins for the two captains, McAuley and McMullan left it at 5-5 at the halfway stage.
The game changed in the next session as the Forge won the first four through McAuley, Kneeland, Dean Reilly and Moore. The sole victor for the Arms being Stephen Blair, but his side faced a 9-6 deficit with a session to go. Scott McClelland got his first win of the night, but Reilly won the next to put his side on the hill.
A win for John Huston, followed by another for Blair, ensured the match went to the last frame. However, it was youth which overcame experience as Matthew Hayes got the better of Arthur McMullan in a nervy battle. Stephen Blair 3/3; Daniel McAuley 3/4
Bullseye B 11 – 6 Roost Bar - A good fight put up by the basement boys who are still searching for their first points. They weren’t helped when George Cameron was drawn out to play first but wasn’t there, giving Chris McColgan an easy win. Drew Hutchinson made it two as he took advantage of an in off from Clive Robertson. Stewart Mitchell got the first for the Roost as he saw off the challenge of Steven Morton.
Stephen Warwick put his side two frames ahead once again with an excellent last yellow, very swiftly followed by the black. Kenny Watton ensured a 4-1 lead after session one with an excellent finish against Roost captain DD Campbell.
The visitors started much better in the next session as Uel White beat McColgan in a tight affair, before Campbell reduced the arrears to a single frame, as Warwick slipped up trying to entertain the crowd. The match looked like was going all square but Mitchell was unlucky as he went in off the black to give Hutchinson his second win of the night. The home side kicked away again as Stephen Biggart controlled proceeding against George Cameron, who had finally arrived, before Kenny Watton got the better of an unfortunate Robertson, making it 7 – 3.
Watton was straight back on again, and he made it three wins from three, before Warwick got his revenge on Campbell in a tight match. Robertson got a deserved win in the next as he took out a good finish against Morton. McColgan put his team on the hill as he beat White in the next, but Stewart Mitchell was not giving up without a fight and he played another great frame against Drew Hutchinson.
McColgan had the chance to seal the win, but fell to defeat against White. It was left to Morton to seal the deal, and despite having struggled earlier, he showed great determination to get over the line. Kenny Watton 3/3; Stewart Mitchell 2/3
Sperrin 9 – 11 Floyds Bar. A result which took Floyds to the top of the league at the expense of their opponents. No match report received at time of writing.
Forge A 11 – 4 Bullseye Old Boys - A win to consolidate fourth spot for the Forge A who are three points behind both Bullseye A and Sperrin. Marc Hutchinson started off with a scrappy win over Keith Hunter, before Paul Baird won a tactical battle with fellow veteran Hubert Smyth.
Ady Toner soon made it 3-0 as opponent Wesley Douglas went in off the break and never got back to the table. Derek Allum was the Bullseye’s sole victor in the first session as he beat Darren Boyd but a break and finish from Lee Hull ensured a 4-1 lead for the home side. Forge captain Willie Eakin made his first appearance of the night and he was too strong for Jeff Butcher.
Hutchinson soon added another as he took advantage of a few mistakes from Douglas. Baird also added a second, before Toner stepped in with another 8-ball finish, this time from the break. Bullseye captain Hunter stopped a second session whitewash as he scraped by Hull. Baird made it 9-2 at the start of the third session with another hard fought win, this time against Allum. The visitors staged a mini revival as George Canning pulled off a great win over Eakin, before Hunter won his second in a row after opponent Hull missed the black.
However, this was shortlived as an excellent black from Hutchinson, followed by another good finish from Toner end the match in style. Paul Baird 3/3; Marc Hutchinson 3/3; Ady Toner 3/3
Social Club 11 – 7 Blackthorn Inn - The home side made it back to back wins for the first time this year with this battling performance. Darryl Stirling enjoyed some outrageous luck in the opener to put the visitors in front. However, the home side came roaring back as Simon McIlreavy and Uel Kirkpatrick won two tight frames to turn the match around. David Shirlow made it 3-1 as he took advantage of a few mistakes by Karl Doherty.
John Sweeney secured a strong first session lead with a very solid finish. The home side continued to stretch their lead as both Shirlow and Sweeney won the next two, however respective opponents Justin Mairs and Davy Adams were not without chances.
The visitors finally got theit act togther starting off with an excellent performance from Stirling to leave Simon McIlreavy with all seven balls still on the table. Ryan Hayes took inspiration from his team mate to fire home a great finish of his own. Karl Doherty then reduced the deficit to 6-4 as he beat Kirkpatrick.
Justin Mairs started off session three by reducing the arrears to one frame, however McIlreavy made up for his previous display by producing some good pool to beat Doherty. Darryl Stirling was at it again in the next, as he produced another outrageous fluke to bring it back to 7-6.
However, to good finishes from Shirlow and Willie McMullan saw the home side take a 9-6 lead into the last session. Stirling made it four from four with a more routine win, giving his side a glimmer of hope. They could have reduced the arrears further, but Doherty failed to take his chances, giving McIlreavy the frame.
It was left to McMullan to wrap up the win, and he produced a strong display to gain a welcome two points for the Social Club. Simon McIlreavy 3/4; Darryl Stirling 4/4
The committee of the league would like to wish all players and supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
There will be a two week break after the above fixtures, with the next games scheduled for Tuesday 8 January 2013.
This week’s fixtures
Forge A vs Railway Arms
Bullseye Old Boys vs Sperrin
Floyds Bar vs Social Club (to be played in Triangle Snooker Club)
Blackthorn vs Bullseye B
Roost Bar vs Bullseye A
Mary Pats vs Forge Bar