2007-08: Week 7

BURTON AND DISTRICT SNOOKER LEAGUE REPORT BY MICK HICKEBOTTOM The poisoned chalice of being early leaders of the Premiership took effect last week as leaders Belvedere Park ‘A’ played host to Willington Sports and Social Club ‘A’. The leaders Belvedere state they were happy in the end to come away with a draw. The first game was between Daz Lester and Willington’s Carl Bradbury and it was a firestorm match full of controversy. The first frame involved a mistake with the scoring followed by a score correction and then a miscount. Bradbury then missed a very simple pink when he thought he was way in front and the game all but over. Lester got one snooker and cleared pink and black to win by one point. To say Bradbury was upset would be an under statement and was not happy with the scoring error as he believed he was way in front. In the second, he made lighter work of it with some great safety to level the match. On the other table Craig Keen was up against Jan Pawlazyck and usually Keen is comfortable at home but in the first frame he was out played and out classed by Pawlazyck as he hit top form to dominate the frame. In the second, he was well in front until an unlucky foul allowed Keen to step in with a 35 break and steal the lead, which he never relinquished. All square at the halfway. Owen Jones then went on against Shane Reeves with all to play for. The frames were also shared but Reeves must count himself very unlucky with a succession of fouls that kept Jones in touch and gave him enough to win a frame. The last frames saw the captains play each other as Alan Davies took on Bill Stewart. The first went to the final black, which after several safety shots by both players Stewart potted. All pressure on Davies now who was playing in pain with a stomach bug but he finished it in style and saved the draw. Although unbeaten Belvedere know the top spot is wide open and only requires one team to make that surge. One of those teams is Burton Cons ‘A’ and they certainly showed their quality last week at home to Swad Snooker Centre ‘B’. They whitewashed the visitors with top break on the night going to Jon Fletcher who knocked in an 84 break when beating John Davis. There was another decent break in the match, which was from Neil Townsend who knocked in a 34, and this in itself showed how well his opponent Matt Milnes played as he took both. Is this the start of their season now? Teams must dread reading this column because no sooner that I praise them they take a dip in form, none more so than the following two teams. Firstly, a team I tipped for the top Woodville Working Mens Club ‘A’. They lost again last week and obviously do not travel well and were away at Ivanhoe ‘A’. Only Phil Wright took a frame as they went down 7-1. The other team was Woodville Sports and Social Club ‘A’ who last week were at home to Rolleston ‘A’ and were convincingly beaten 7-1. This snooker pundit needs to be quiet for a week or two and give them a chance. There was a grudge match last week in the first division at Stapenhill Institute as their ‘A’ team played host to their ‘B’ team. It showed perhaps a big divide as the ‘A’ team came out easy winners. Only Mick Comley for the ‘B’ team came away with a frame and that was off Steve Ford. The good news was that Paul Smith and Carl Jeffcoate came off table two at 10.30pm both taking all their frames. Dave Shenton is definitely worthy of the premiership as he took another two frames for the 7-1 win. Swad Snk Centre ‘D’ took a surprisingly but well deserved lead in their match last week away at the fortress of Ivanhoe ‘C’. It came from Tony Mitchell who took two off Mick Kirk and there will not be many who do that this season. However, Steve Cockeram soon counter balanced it on the other table who took both off Ray Bancroft to level it. The final two matches were shared for the final match draw. Swad Cons ‘A’ continue to impress at the top of this division and last week they were away at Swad Snk Cen ‘C’ and were showing no mercy. Paul Berry, Kev Dixon and John Chambers took all their frames with Chambers on top form and taking man of the match with breaks of 50 and 31 in his win over Pete Maguire Jnr. The only home player to take a frame was Rich Hinks who levelled with Darren Noble. Now I have praised this team most weeks and they have not dipped yet so it perhaps only applies to the premiership. In the second division, Swad Snk Centre ‘F’ have Clinton Sherratt to thank for their well deserved win at home last week to Ivanhoe D. He played out of his skin against Stuart Tagg to take both. It was also nice to see young 14-year-old Andrew Grainger take a frame off Paul Wileman. The other two matches were also levelled with the highest break of the night coming from Ivanhoe’s Brendon Mattley who stepped his game up to take a frame off Simon Mansfield with a 27 break. Swad were happy with a 5-3 win. John Carr ‘B’ was upset not to come away with a point at home to Alrewas British Legion ‘B’ last week. New player Austin Cox played well but was unfortunate enough to lose two black ball games against Tony Trueman not the sort of thing you want on your debut. The Legion’s top player Micky Morris took another two frames this time off John Peto and the match was won by the one frame from Brian Eccleston when playing Daniel Pearsall. For John Carr Steve Pearsall was their top player taking both off Josh Hunt. The top clash in this division occurred at Newhall Social Club ‘B’ who played host to front-runners John Carr ‘C’. However even with the new cellar advantage at Newhall, John Carr did the business coming away with a 7-1 win. It saw Mick Baxter knock in breaks of 22 and 21 in his two-frame win over Rob Press and Martin Beard knocked in another 21 in his draw with Dave Wain. Mark King and Gary Chambers were the other winners for John Carr. John Richardson of Stapenhill ‘C’ knocked in a 26 break as his team played host to Riley’s ‘B’ last week. However, he only took the one off Gary Mayne and really that is how the match ended, all square! In the third division Newhall Social Club ‘C’ had a good away win last week at Swad Cons ‘D’ as Jay Hayward and Joe McNulty took all their frames with McNulty knocking in a 23 break. However, on the night Kev Starkey for Cons took the highest break with a 31, which should have been more as he rattled a black in the jaws. He took two off Jonny Howlett. The other match between John Griffin and Josh Storer ended level for the Newhall 5-3 win. Gordon Jennings of John Carr ‘D’ cannot because of work commit himself every week to play but when he does he is the shining light and last week at home to Belmont ‘D’ he was John Carr’s only player to take two frames as they went down 5-3.