by Carl Poulton
The Premier Blinds Orme Shield final was played under the excellently prepared lights and tables of Ashby Ivanhoe. The teams, Ivanhoe A and Belmont A, completed the draw and match referees Mark Stirling and Carl Poulton got proceedings underway.
Ian Archer of Belmont took on Andy Marriott in the first round of four matches. Whilst the early stages were tight, as expected, the frame opened up and Marriott was able to pot enough balls towards the end to keep Archer at bay. On the other other table an attacking frame of snooker was played by John Chambers of Belmont and Ant Moore of Ivanhoe A. Moore looked to be cruising to a frame win with a nice 34 but a slightly misjudged safety late on gave Chambers a chance and he cleared a final long pink to snatch the frame.
Next up was Mark Sherratt of Belmont A versus Daniel Blunn of Ivanhoe A. Blunn broke off and left Sherratt a long red which he duly potted. A lovely break of 56 followed leaving Blunn with too much to do in the later stages with Sherratt cruising to the frame win.
A less open frame was played on the other table where Ian Rennocks of Ivanhoe A edged past Rob Chambers on the final colours.
So 2-2 half time…
In the second half first up was Andy Marriott versus John Chambers and a re-match between Mark Sherratt and Daniel Blunn. Marriott overcame Chambers comfortably with a nice 30 and a decent mini-clearance after a brief saftey bout. Unfortunately Blunn could not exact revenge on Sherratt with the Belmont man always in control and Blunn unable to recapture some excellent season form.
With the match poised at 3-3 the final games saw Ian Archer take on Ian Rennocks and Rob Chambers do battle with Ant Moore. Rennocks played some excellent match play against Archer chipping away teen sized breaks and then leaving Archer in trouble. After a number of close snookers Archer finally left Rennocks the killer chance and he took it to take the frame. Rob Chambers came out of the blocks quickly against Ant Moore and held a sizeable lead throughout keeping Moore at bay and whilst some good attempts at snookers followed to try and win the match for Ivanhoe Chambers comfortably held on to take the match to the doubles decider.
So at 4-4 the doubles got under way: Sherratt and John Chambers for Belmont and Rennocks and Marriott for Ivanhoe A. There was a significant crowd now watching and as expected a nervy and tentative opening to the frame ensued. Both teams missed what would ordinarily be stock balls during the frame and the cat and mouse continued with Ivanhoe edging ahead. An in-off on a long potted green by Ivanhoe got Belmont back in the frame and the frame edged to the final 3 colours. Belmont needing the three ball clearance to take the trophy.
And what a clearance it was from John Chambers. A smashed long blue, deep screwed pink with the extension the white careering back off the baulk cushion leaving a 10ft black down the right hand rail that he smashed in with both a roar from him and the crowd.
So a 5-4 win to Belmont – an excellent game played in excellent spirit and a worthy end to the league season.
Thanks to Ashby Ivanhoe Club, Karen and all her staff, for hosting the event in such excellent fashion alongside the Orme Plate.