Lee Caulfield’s Sperrin now occupy top spot, once again, on their own after this week’s fixtures.
Their win over the Railways Arms, combined with the Bullseye and Floyds playing out an entertaining draw, saw them move a point ahead of the Bullseye in second and four points clear of Floyds who sit in third, still with a game in hand. Forge A remain in the top four but Bullseye B are pushing them all the way, as they only sit two points back.
Floyds 10 – 10 Bullseye A - This looked the game of the week on paper and it didn’t disappoint as both teams gave 100% as they battled to a stalemate. The home side started the best as Adam Watt and Scott Clarke came through two scrappy affairs to beat Damien Reid and Ryan Craig. Gary Wallace got the Bullseye on the board as he rattled home a good finish against Floyds skipper Darryl Watt. However, Ricky McMullan regained the two-frame advantage after he got a second chance against Raymond Baxter who played a poor positional shot on his last red.
Jimmy Moore brought the Buillseye back into things as he controlled proceedings against Alan McBride. Moore was straight back on in the second session but opponent Darryl Watt got a huge slice of luck to take this frame and make it 4-2 in his side’s favour. Fellow captain Damien Reid grinded out a victory over McBride, before Wallace levelled the match with an excellent break and finish. Ryan Craig then put the Bullseye in front for the first time as he produced an excellent double on his last red.
However, Clarke replied with an excellent finish of his own to beat Baxter and square the match at the halfway point. The Bullseye started the next session off in top form, Reid won his second of the night after Adam Watt missed the black. His brother Darryl did not fare any better as he had a dry break and opponent Baxter fired home a good 8-ball finish. It was soon 8-5 as Jimmy Moore got the better of McBride for the second time. The comeback started as Ricky McMullan produced some solid pots to take the next, before what may have been a major turning point in the game.
Ryan Craig looked on course to give Bullseye a 9-6 lead, however, faced with a simple yellow into the middle, he got a massive kick which sent the yellow totally off line. His opponent Clarke showed no sympathy as he ripped out his seven reds and the black for his third win from three. Darryl Watt was first up in the final session and he took advantage of a bad miss by Moore to level the match at 8-8. Scott Clarke continued his great form as he won his fourth of the night, taking out another 8 ball finish against Reid. Craig still seemed to be reeling from his earlier mishap as he looked in control against Adam Watt, only to play a very poor shot when attempting a snooker, leaving Watt a couple of tap ins to put this team on the hill.
With their backs to the wall, the Bullseye would not give up, as Baxter fired home a break and finish to keep them in the game. This set up a decisive last frame battle between Gary Wallace and Alan McBride, who was still seeking his first win of the night. Wallace had a chance from the break, but ran out of position, allowing McBride back to the table, albeit with his reds in a difficult position. The Floyds man tried to leave a snooker, but was unlucky to leave Wallace a slight gap, which was enough for him to pot his last yellow and he deposited a simple black to grab a point, in what was an excellent contest. Scott Clarke 4/4; Gary Wallace 3/4
Sperrin 11 – 4 Railway Arms - The Sperrin returned to the top of the league with this comfortable win against the Railway Arms. Billy Moore got them off to a good start but Johnny McDowell levelled up in the next. This was as good as it got for the visitors in the first session as wins for Neville Smyth, Raymond Stockman and skipper Caulfield gave them a 4-1 lead. Paul O’Connor started the second session off in winning style, closely followed by another win for fellow senior Stockman.
The Arms threatened some sort of fight back, through wins for Stephen Blair and Barry McLaughlin, but Smyth stopped the Railway men in their tracks as he beat Arthur McMullan to make it 7-3. Blair took his second in a row to reduce the deficit to three frames, but his teammates could not help him, as wins for Stockman, Smyth, O’Connor and Allen Tosh, with his first of the night, sealed the victory. Neville Smyth 3/3; Raymond Stockman 3/3
Forge A 11 – 3 Social Club - The defending champions maintain their hold on fourth spot, with this victory, aided by a very strong start. Captain Willie Eakin rattled home an 8-ball finish to beat John McIlreavy in the opener, before Chris Wade followed with an excellent finish of his own. David Shirlow had a chance in the next, but a foul handed momentum to Marc Hutchinson, who did not need a second chance. Gavin McClements made his debut for the home side and registered a win, before Ady Toner took advantage of a few mistakes from Willie McMullan to make it a first session whitewash.
Shirlow was not having the best of nights, as another error cost him the game, Wade getting his second win of the night. The Social Club finally got one on the board, as John McIlreavy rolled back the years to stun young Marc Hutchinson. McClements added his second of the night, but Social Club rallied well to take the last two frames of this session. Simon McIlreavy punishing a bad miss by Paul Baird, before John Sweeney produced some great pool to beat Lee Hull.
McClements capped an impressive debut as he brushed David Shirlwo, before Ady Toner rattled home an 8 ball finish of his own. Hull then made up for his earlier disappointment, before Hutchinson rattled home a break and finish to secure the win for this team. Gavin McClements 3/3
Bullseye Old Boys 4 – 11 Bullseye B - Stephen Warwick’s men still have a chance of an unexpected top four finish as they brushed the old boys aside. Stepehen Morton got them off to the perfect start with a scrappy win over John O’Donnell. Jeff Butcher had chances to level, but a foul cost him as Chris McColgan used his two shots to take the frame. Stephen McMullan returned to action and he played some stunning pool against Hubert Smyth, befre Kenny Watton made it 4-0 with a quality break and finish.
Keith Hunter was the only winner for the old boys in the first session, and even this required a large slice of luck against fellow captain Warwick. Hunter was straight back on again and took his second in a row after McColgan, this time, made a mess when given two shots. Normal service was soon resumed however, as Morton produced a great red up the line to beat Derek Allum. Warwick also got a win under his belt with a solid finish, which did not include any flukes, before Watton added another in fine style.
The B team took an 8-2 lead into session three after a hard fought win for McMullan. The third session started with Kenny Watton getting his third win of the night, as did his teammate McMullan to put their team on the hill. A win for John O’Donnell stopped the rot before a third win for Hunter even threatened an unlikely comeback. However, Morton ensured the match would finish with a session to spare as he made short work of Jeff Butcher. Keith Hunter 3/3; Stephen Morton, Kenny Watton, Stephen McMullan – all 3/3
Blackthorn 7 – 11 Forge Bar - The Forge Bar move up to joint 6th alongside Railway Arms after this win, as they try to solidify their place in the second section for the end of season play offs. The home side had started off the better as Ryan Hayes produced a very tidy finish, followed by Darryl Stirling scraping by Chris Moore to give the Blackthorn an early two frame lead. Conor Kneeland stopped the rot, but Karl Doherty restored the two frame lead after Jonny Stirling had a terrible miss on the black.
Matthew Hayes took the last frame of the session to reduce the deificit to a single frame. The visitors started the second session better as Chris Moore levelled up, before Daniel McAuley outpotted Darryl Stirling to put his side in front for the first time. Hayes squared the match up once again as Jonny Stirling continued to struggle with his potting, before the home side regained the lead through Doherty. Ian Freeman was impressive in the 10th frame as he put the Blackthorn 6-4 ahead.
Moore started off this session well again as he beat Darryl Stirling, hoping his team mates could follow suit this time. Jonny Stirling finally found his potting game as he produced a good three ball finish, squaring the match once again. Karl Doherty won his third in a row, but Kneeland took the next to leave the match tied once again. It was Forge skipper McAuley who really spurred his team on, as he took the next. Moore took the first in the last session before McAuley added another, putting his team on the hill. It was left to Johnny Stirling, finally finding his true form, as he swept aside the challenge of Hayes. Karl Doherty 3/4; Chris Moore 3/4; Daniel McAuley 3/4
Roost Bar 4 – 11 Mary Pats - This win move Mary Pats level on points with the Bullseye Old Boys and they may well be fighting it out for a place in the second division play offs. Gary Kennedy met DD Campbell in the first, with Kennedy getting the better of things to put the Macosquin men ahead. Stewart Mitchell has been Roost’s form player this year and he found another good performance to beat Leigh Sloan. Brian Hutchinson regained the lead for the visitors before Davy Rosborough and skipper Martin McNeill gave them a comfortable first session lead.
However, the home side started to to come back at them with wins for Campbell and Mitchell, once again. However, their team mates could not follow up and wins for Hutchinson, Rosborough and McNeill once again turned the session around, leaving the score 7-3. A third win for Rosborough, followed by a first win for Sloan put Mary Pats two away from the match.
Clive Robertson, to his credit, kept the home side fighting a bit longer with a good win. However, the ever dependable McNeill, justifying his selection for the Interleague B team, made it three from three, leaving Gary Kennedy to take the next and wrap up the match. Stewart Mitchell 2/3; Martin McNeill 3/3; Davy Rosborough 3/3